War of the Rebellion: Serial 016 Page 0040 OPERATIONS IN N. VA., W. VA., AND MD. Chapter XXIV.

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attack Grover's brigade, of Hooker's division, was particularly distinguished by a determined bayonet charge, breaking two of the enemy's lines and penetrating to the third before it could be checked. By this time General McDowell had arrived on the field, and I pushed his corps immediately to the front along the Warrenton turnpike, with orders to fall upon the enemy, who was retreating toward the pike from the direction of Sudley Springs.

The attack along the turnpike was made by King's division at about sunset in the evening, but by that time the advance of the main body of the enemy, under Longstreet, had begun to reach the field, and King's division encountered a stubborn and determined resistance at a point about three-fourths of a mile in front of our line of battle.

Whilst this attack was going on the forces under Heintzelman and Reno continued to push back the left of the enemy in the direction of the Warrenton turnpike, so that about 8 o'clock in the evening the greater portion of the field of battle was occupied by our army. Nothing was heard of General Porter up to that time and h is forces took no part whatever in the action, but were suffered by him to lie idle on their arms, within sight and sound of the battle, during the whole day. So far as I know, he made no effort whatever to comply with my orders or to take any part in the action. I do not hesitate to say that if he had discharged his duty as became a soldier under the circumstances, and had made a vigorous attack on the enemy, as he was expected and directed to do, at any time up to 8 o'clock that night, we should have utterly crushed or captured the larger portion of Jackson's force before he could have been by any possibility sufficiently re-enforced to have made any effective resistance. I did not myself feel for a moment that it was necessary for me, having given General Porter an order to march toward the enemy in a particular direction, to send him in addition specific orders to attack, it being his clear duty, and in accordance with every military precept, to have brought his forces into action wherever he encountered the enemy when a furious battle with that enemy was raging during the whole day in his immediate presence. I believe - in fact, I am positive - that at 5 o'clock in the afternoon of the 29th General Porter had in his front no considerable body of the enemy. I believed then, as I am very sure now, that it was easily practicable for him to have turned the right flank of Jackson and to have fallen upon his rear; that if he had done so we should have gained a decisive victory over the army under Jackson before he could have been joined by any of the forces of Longstreet; and that the army of General Lee would have been so crippled and checked by the destruction of this large force as to have been no longer in condition to prosecute further operations of an aggressive character. I speak thus freely of the strange failure of General Porter, not because I am more convinced of it unfortunate results now than I was at the time, but because a full investigation of the whole subject, made by a court-martial, has fully justified and confirmed that opinion.

Our losses during the 29th were very heavy, but no separate returns of killed and wounded for that day have been made to me. I believed, from all I could learn from corps commanders, and so reported, that our loss during that day was not less than 6,000 or 8,000 killed and wounded, and I think this estimate will be confirmed by the general reports which cover the losses during the battles of the 27th, 28th, 29th, and 30th August and the 1st of September. My estimate of the loss of the enemy, reported to the Department on the morning of the 30th, was based upon the statements made to me by Generals Hooker and Kearny, who had