War of the Rebellion: Serial 016 Page 0333 Chapter XXIV. CAMPAIGN IN NORTHERN VIRGINIA.

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the Waterloo road, was moved across to the Sulphur Springs road to make the attack you had ordered.

In the course of the morning I received your telegram of 5 o'clock a.m.,* and as I was on my way to Sulphur Springs to direct the attack your telegram of 8.10 o'clock a.m.+ These informed me of your order to Reno to make the reconnaissance across the river below Rappahannock Station to Culpeper and of his failure to do so; and, in view of the failure of General Sigel to force the passage of the river above at Waterloo, authorized me to use my discretion as to crossing at Sulphur Springs, and desired me to ascertain, if possible, if the enemy were really in force at Waterloo, and what had become of the head of his column which yesterday was in front and had taken the road toward Salem. General Sigel, you informed me, reported his men unable to do anything until they should have some rest. Generals Bayard and Buford reported to me that, owing to the hard, unremitting services performed, their cavalry was broken down - the former, that his would neither charge nor stand a charge; the latter, that his was at that time disorganized.

As the falling back of General Sigel from Waterloo to Warrenton and the transfer of my troops from the Waterloo road to the Sulphur Springs road had left the right weakly guarded, and as it was around the right the enemy were then moving, I decided to replace my corps in the position it had occupied the day before.

In order to comply with your wishes to ascertain the force of the enemy at Waterloo and farther to the right, agreeably to your instructions of 8.10 a.m. I took command of General Sigel's corps and everything in front. (A copy of my note to General Sigel is below, marked E.)++ Brigadier-General Buford, with the available cavalry at hand and some artillery from General Sigel's corps, was sent to turn the head of the enemy's column, which was moving through Salem. This was reported to you and met your approval.

I am obliged here to ask your attention to General Sigel's report, which has been made public. It will be noticed the general gives at some length his reasons for abandoning the position at Waterloo Bridge and falling back under cover of the night of the 25th; a movement with which he seems to wish it to appear I was in some way connected, if, indeed, for which I was not responsible. He says, first, he had been under my command since his arrival at Waterloo, had sent to me for instructions, &c. It will be seen from your telegram, my letter, and his own report that he did not come under my orders until the 26th, after he had left his position and fallen behind my command at Warrenton. Second, he says I was to have relieved Milroy's brigade at the bridge. In that he mistakes the general order (which I have quoted) forming the line from Kelly's Ford on the left to Warrenton on the right. The river was to be held, except at Kelly's Ford, by cavalry only, and Buford's brigade was close behind Milroy for this purpose. Third, he says when he fell back he had no support within 8 or 10 miles of him. It is 8 miles, so called, from Waterloo Bridge to Warrenton. He had behind and to his right Buford's brigade; behind Buford, Rickett's division, of four brigades and four batteries of artillery, all of which were between 4 and 5 miles of the bridge. Fourth, he says matters were confused at receiving a mutilated order or letter from General McDowell, part directed to him, informing him he would meet his bridge train at


*In Appendix a.

+See No. 1, Appendix C.

++See No. 2, Appendix C.