War of the Rebellion: Serial 016 Page 0334 OPERATIONS IN N.VA., W.VA., AND MD. Chapter XXIV.

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Fayetteville, and part addressed to General Banks, calling for information from his corps. Here he is again mistaken. I wrote him no such letter nor such as he describes to General Banks. I did not myself know where his bridge train was, and had no right to call on General Banks for any return, for he was my senior. The letter to him, I have been informed by that officer, was from your late chief of staff, and was, I suppose, sent to Warrenton by telegraph from your headquarters, and forwarded thence to its destination by the operator by means of one of the cavalry of my corps. However this may be, I know nothing of it.

The attack on the enemy beyond Sulphur Springs by my corps was not undertaken for the reasons I have stated; but before the countermand was given King's division became engaged with the enemy, mostly with artillery, and the firing was kept up during the day. The troops opposed to him, as we learned from a flag of truce sent by the enemy, was a division of Anderson's, formerly Huger's, and, as far as I know, the last of those of which we had any knowledge that had left Richmond. I inferred from this enemy's rear rested then at Sulphur Springs.

On the supposition the enemy might offer us battle at or near Warrenton, upon which he could now concentrate a large force, you informed me in your telegram of the 26th that the corps on my left and rear would all be pushed forward, so as to be within supporting distance of the Third Corps. The information, however, received in the evening and night from General Buford, from General Sigel's scouts,and from some negroes was to the effect that the enemy's column, whose rear division we had been fighting at Sulphur Springs, was directed upon Thoroughfare Gap, through which his advance had passed, to attack our communications at Manassas. Copies of the telegrams to and from your headquarters, concerning the supposed designs of the enemy, are herewith, marked Appendix A.

You then decided to throw the army back on the forces of the enemy which had passed through the Piedmont Ridge at Thoroughfare Gap, and agreeably to your order of 8.30 a.m. of the 27th (and not as stated in General Sigel's proposal), I gave the latter, who as we were to march to the rear, was now in front, the following order:

Push immediately a strong advance along the turnpike from Warrenton to Gainesville for the purpose of taking possession of Buckland Mills, on Broad Run, and get your corps in hand as soon as possible to follow the advance. No wagons but for ammunition will accompany your corps on this road. Your baggage trains will immediately proceed to Catlett's. Detach three batteries from your corps to report to Major-General Kearny, commanding division, who will be moving by way of Greenwich to your support. Further instructions will be given as to which the batteries are to join General Kearny, and until they do they will remain with you.

I gave General Sigel the cavalry of my corps in place of his own, which had been detached by your order, and informed him that Reynolds', King's, and Ricketts' division would immediately follow him,* and that as soon as they closed upon him he should push his advance to Gainesville, the point where the Warrenton turnpike to Centreville and Alexandria was crossed by the road from Thoroughfare Gap to Manassas Junction.

The division of Reynolds, King, and Ricketts, in the order named, followed as soon as they could be brought in. As there was but one


*See No. 3, Appendix C.