until 6 p. m., when the enemy, massing very heavy forces on our left, forced back that wing about half a mile. At dark we held that position. Under all the circumstances, both horses and men having been two days without food; and the enemy greatly outnumbering us, I thought it best to draw back to this place at dark. The movement has been made in perfect order and without loss. The troops are in good heart, and marched off the field without the least hurry or confusion. Their conduct was very fine. The battle was most furious for hours without cessation, and the losses on both sides very heavy. The enemy is badly crippled, and we shall do well enough. Do not be uneasy. We will hold our own here. The labors and hardships of this army for two or three weeks have been beyond description. We have delayed the enemy as long as possible without losing the army. We have damaged him heavily, and I think the army entitled to the gratitude of the country. Be easy; everything will go well.
P. S.- We have lost nothing; neither guns nor wagons.
Numbers 83. WASHINGTON, August 31, 1862-11 a. m.
MY DEAR GENERAL: You have done nobly. Don't yield another inch if you can avoid it. All reserves are being sent forward. Couch's division goes to-day. Part of it went to Sangster's Station last night with Franklin and Sumner, who must be now with you. Can't you renew the attack? I don't write more particularly for fear dispatch will not reach you. I am doing all in my power for you and your noble army. God bless you and it.
Send me news more often if possible.
H. W. HALLECK,
Numbers 84. CIRCULAR.] HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF VIRGINIA, Camp near Centreville, August 31, 1862.
Commanders of army corps will forthwith establish suitable grand guards in front of the positions they respectively hold and have outposts thrown forward, which shall furnish a line of sentinels covering the entire army. Those on the flanks will finish a grand guard for the flanks. The advanced position this side of Cub Run will only be held as an outpost, and the division now there will be withdrawn.
By command of Major-General Pope:
GEO. D. RUGGLES,
Colonel and Chief of Staff.
Numbers 85. [Circular to corps commanders.] HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF VIRGINIA, Centreville, August 31, 1862-8.30 a. m.
GENERAL: The major-general commanding the Army of Virginia directs me to instruct you to take measures immediately to to brig forward and distribute ammunition for you command.