War of the Rebellion: Serial 016 Page 0044 OPERATIONS IN N. VA., W. VA., AND MD. Chapter XXIV.

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security of our trains and supplies, and I am quite convinced that General Banks is not the man to neglect the duty with which he was charged.

I arrived at Centreville between 9 and 10 o'clock on the night of the 30th. The same night I sent orders to the corps commanders to report to me in person as early after daylight as possible on the morning of the 31st, and on that morning the troops were directed to be posted as follows: Porter to occupy the entrenchments on the north or right of Centreville; Franklin on his left, in the entrenchments. In rear of Centreville, between Franklin and Porter, as a support, was posted the corps of Heintzelman. Sigel occupied the entrenchments on the left and south side of the town, with Reno on his left and rear. Banks was ordered to take post, as soon as he arrived, on the north side of Bull Run, and to cover the bridge on the road from Centreville to Manassas Junction. Sumner, as soon as he arrived, was ordered to take post between Centreville and Chantilly, and to occupy Chantilly in force. McDowell was posted about 2 miles in the rear of Centreville, on the road to Fairfax Court-House. Ammunition trains and some provisions were gotten up on the 31st, and all corps commanders were notified, by special order to each, that the ammunition trains were parked immediately in rear of Centreville, and were directed to send officers to procure such ammunition as was needed in their respective corps. I directed the whole of the trains of the army to be unloaded at Centreville and sent to Fairfax Station to bring up forage and rations.

We remained during the whole day of the 31st resting the men, getting up supplies of provisions, and resupplying the command with ammunition.

The enemy's cavalry appeared in force in front of our advance at Cub Run during the morning of the 31st, but made no attempt to cross and no attack upon our troops posted there. A few pieces of artillery were fired, but with no result on either side. The whole force that I had at Centreville, as reported to me by the corps commanders on the morning of the 1st of September, after receiving the corps of Sumner and Franklin, was as follows: McDowell's corps, 10,000 men; Sigel's corps, about 7,000 men; Heintzelman's corps, about 6,000; Reno's, 6,000; Banks', 5,000; Porter's, about 9,000; Franklin's, 8,000; Sumner's, 11,000 - in all, 62,000 men. From these forces two brigades, as I before stated, had been sent to Fairfax Station to guard the trains and the depot at that place, which makes it necessary to deduct 4,000 men. It is proper for me to state here, and I do it with regret and reluctance, that at least one-half of this great diminution of our forces was occasioned by skulking and straggling from the army. The troops which were brought into action fought with all gallantry and determination, but thousands of men straggled away from their commands and were not in any action. I had posted several regiments in rear of the field of battle on the 29th of August, and although many thousand stragglers and skulkers were arrested by them, many others passed around through the woods, and did not rejoin their commands during the remainder of the campaign. I had telegraphed to the General-in-Chief, from Rappahannock Station, on the 22nd, that this practice of straggling was very common, and was reducing our force considerably, even at that time. I also sent orders on the same day to General Sturgis to arrest all stragglers arriving at Alexandria, to confine them in military prisons, and to bring them to speedy trial. The active and incessant movements of the army prevented me, during the whole of this cam