with the First Corps, should hold the center, Major-General Reno should take position on my right, and General Reynolds on my left.
The First Corps took position behind Groveton, on the right of the Gainesville turnpike. My request to have two batteries in reserve behind the center for certain emergencies-one of General Reno's and one of General Reynolds' division-was not complied with, although all my batteries were more or less worked down, several pieces unserviceable and short of ammunition, and many horses killed or disabled. After having taken position as ordered the corps of Major-General Porter passed between the enemy and our lines and was forming in line of battle on the open field before the First Corps and that of General Reno, masking thereby our whole front. Not understanding the object of this movement, and being requested by one of the staff officers of General Porter to give my opinion in regard to the ground before us, I immediately rode over to the general (Porter) and suggested that, in accordance with the general plan, his troops should pass more to the right, join those of General Kearny on our extreme right, and direct his attack against the enemy's left flank and rear. I also informed him that there were too many troops massed in the center, and that General Reno and myself would take care of the woods in his front. Whilst this was going on I received repeated reports that the enemy was shifting his troops from the Gainesville turnpike to his right. I therefore ordered the Fourth New York Cavalry, under Lieutenant-Colonel Nazer, to advance in that direction between New Market and Groveton, passing behind our left, and to scout the country as far as they could go. I also sent one regiment of General Schenck's division to the left of our position, as an outpost, to observe the enemy's movements. After the lapse of about an hour I received notice that the cavalry pickets had found the enemy, and that the latter was moving against our left. I sent the messenger that brought this intelligence to General Pope's headquarters. Shortly afterward I received an order by Colonel Ruggles, chief of staff of General Pope, to occupy the "Baldheaded Hill" on my left with one brigade, which I did immediately. Meanwhile General Porter's troops, who had not changed their position, advanced into the woods where we had lost a thousand men the day before. About this time on our left, where General Reynolds was posted, the musketry and cannonading began to increase. The troops of General Porter had wholly disappeared in the woods, which led me to believe that the enemy had left his position in front, and that it was the intention of General Pope to advance the First Corps on the Gainesville turnpike. Suddenly heavy discharges began in front, the corps of General Porter having met the enemy, who was advantageously posted behind a well-adapted breast-work-the old Manassas Gap Railroad track. At the same time the enemy opened with shell and solid shot against our center and left wing. Our batteries replied promptly and spiritedly, and from the general appearance of the battle it was evident that we had the whole army of the enemy before us.
It was now about 5 p.m., when, awaiting the further development of the battle, I received a dispatch through General McDowell, and written by General Porter, expressing his doubt as to the final result of his attack, and requesting General McDowell to "push Sigel forward." Although I had not received positive orders from General Pope, I immediately made the necessary preparations either to assist General Porter or to resist an attack of the enemy should he repel General Porter and advance against my own position in the center, by directing General Stahel to deploy his brigade in front and General Schurz to