we were quite able to maintain our position at that place until the stragglers could be collected and the army, after its labors and perils, put into condition for effective service, I considered it advisable, for reasons which developed themselves at Centreville, and which I explained to the General-in-Chief and set forth herewith in the appendix, that the troops should be drawn back to the entrenchments in front of Washington, and that some reorganization should be made of them, in order that earlier effective service should be secured than was possible in their condition at that time. I received orders about 12 o'clock on the 2nd of September to draw back the forces within the entrenchments, which was done in good order and without any interruption by the enemy.
The reasons which induced me, before I took the field in Virginia, to express to the Government my desire to be relieved from the command of the Army of Virginia and to return to the West, existed in equal if not greater force at this time than when I first stated them. I accordingly renewed urgently my application to be relieved. The Government assented to it with some reluctance, and I was transferred to the command of the Department of the Northwest, for which department I left Washington on the 7th of September.
It seems proper for me, since so much misrepresentation has been put into circulation as to the support I received from the Army of the Potomac, to state here precisely what forces of that army came under my command and were at any time engaged in the active operations of the campaign. Reynolds' division of Pennsylvania Reserves, about 2,500 strong, joined me on the 23rd of August at Rappahannock Station. The corps of Heintzelman and Porter, about 18,000 strong, joined me on the 26th and 27th of August at Warrenton Junction.
The Pennsylvania Reserves, under Reynolds, and Heintzelman's corps, consisting of the divisions of Hooker and Kearny, rendered most gallant and efficient service in all the operations which occurred after they had reported to me. Porter's corps, from unnecessary and unusual delays and frequent and flagrant disregard of my orders, took no part whatever except in the action of the 30th of August. This small fraction of 20,500 men was all of the 91,000 veteran troops from Harrison's Landing which ever drew trigger under my command or in any way took part in that campaign. By the time that the corps of Franklin and Sumner, 19,000 strong, joined me at Centreville, the original Army of Virginia, as well as the corps of Heintzelman and the division of Reynolds, had been so much cut up in the severe actions in which they had been engaged and were so much broken down and diminished in numbers by the constant and excessive duties they had performed, that they were in little condition for any effective service whatever, and required and should have had some days of rest to put them in anything like condition to perform their duties in the field.
Such is the history of a campaign, substantiated by documents written during the operations and herewith appended, which has been misunderstood to an extent perhaps unparalleled in the history of warfare. i submit it here to the public judgment, with all confidence that it will be fairly and deliberately considered, and a just verdict pronounced upon it and upon the army engaged in it. Upon such unbiased judgment I am very willing, setting aside any previous record I have made during this war, to rest my reputation as a soldier. I shall submit cheerfully to the verdict of my countrymen, but I desire that that verdict shall be rendered upon a full knowledge of the facts.
I well understood, as does every military man, how difficult and how