we had intercepted Longstreet from joining Jackson, Ewell, and Hill, who had just passed up the railroad Manassas Junction.
At Gainesville we took some 200 prisoners, stragglers from Jackson's army. I here received orders to halt my brigade for the night.
Next morning, 28th, took the advance toward Manassas Junction, arriving within a mile of the Junction at noon. I halted to await further orders. I accordingly turned my infantry aside into the shade of the woods, and sent my artillery ahead as far as the Junction, there being no water for them nearer. Upon visiting the railroad station at the Junction I found an immense amount of Government stores in cars, which were yet burning, having been set on fire by the rebels the night previous, after having helped themselves to all they could carry off. At 3 p.m. I received orders to join the balance of the corps, then marching in the direction of New Market. I accordingly moved across the country and soon overtook them. After marching about an hour skirmishing commenced in front. I was ordered to go forward and take position on Schenck's left, and pressed forward through the woods and underbrush in the direction of the rebel firing, which seemed to recede as I advanced. It finally grew dark, but I pushed forward in the direction of the firing, which had gradually grown into the thunder of a desperate battle. It becoming so dark and the nature of the ground not admitting of my battery being pushed forward, I left it in charge of two companies of infantry, and started forward with my four regiments in the direction of the heavy firing, which suddenly ceased with great shouting, indicating, as we judged, a victory by the rebels. It being now 9 o'clock, and the darkness rendering the recognition of friend or foe impossible, I withdrew to my battery, which was on a line with the front of the corps, then fully a mile in my rear, resting my brigade here for the night.
On the following morning (the 29th), at daylight, I was ordered to proceed in search of the rebels, and had not proceeded more than 500 yards when we were greeted by a few straggling shots from the woods in front. We were now at the creek, and I had just sent forward my skirmishers, when I received orders to halt and let the men have breakfast. While they were cooking, myself, accompanied by General Schenck, rode up to the top of an eminence, some 500 yards to the front, to reconnoiter. We had no sooner reached the top than we were greeted by a shower of musket balls from the woods on our right. I immediately ordered up my battery and gave the bushwhackers a few shot and shell, which soon cleared the woods. Soon after I discovered the enemy in great force about three-quarters of a mile in front of us, upon our right of the pike leading from Gainesville to Alexandria. I brought up my two batteries and opened upon them, causing them to fall back. I then moved forward my brigade, with skirmishers deployed, and continued to advance my regiments, the enemy falling back.
General Scheneck's division was off to my left and that of General Schurz to my right. After passing a piece of woods I turned to the right, where the rebels had a battery that gave us a great deal of trouble. I brought forward one of my batteries to reply to it, and soon after heard a tremendous fire of small-arms, and knew that General Schurz was hotly engaged to my right in an extensive forest. I sent two of my regiments, the Eighty-second Ohio, Colonel Cantwell, and the Fifth Virginia, Colonel Zeigler, to General Schurz' assistance. They were to attack the enemy's right flank, and I held my other two regiments in reserve for a time. The two regiments sent to Schurz