road for all these troops to march over, stringent orders were given that all wagons not required for ammunition should be sent to the lower road, so as to leave this one as unencumbered as possible for the passage of the troops. So far as the Third Corps was concerned this order, with inconsiderable exceptions, mostly in Reynold's division, was obeyed.
General Sigel succeeded in reaching Buckland Mills in time to save the brigade which I had had made over Broad at that place, and had pushed on his advance to Gainesville as ordered, and that night the three divisions of the corps closed up with him.
Buford, who had been indefatigable on this as on every other occasion during the campaign, sent in word from our extreme left (our former right) that he had cut the enemy's column and forced Longstreet to deploy between Salem and White Plains. Duffie's Rhode Island Cavalry was sent up to watch the road between White Plains and Thoroughfare, to see that the enemy should not fall on the rear of our column unawares.
The night of the 27th I saw General Sigel at Buckland Mills, and informed him that Longstreet would be coming through the Gap next morning, and that, as the head of his corps (Sigel's) was now on the road leading from the Gap to Manassas Junction, I would give him one of my divisions (a third of my force) and charge him with the duty of marching to Hay Market, watching the Gap and engaging the forces when they came through, whilst I would take the remainder of my force and go against those who had already passed. I sent word to you of this at Bristoe, but whilst the preparations were being made to carry it out I received your order, dated Bristoe, August 27, 9 o'clock p.m., as follows:
At daylight to-morrow morning march rapidly on Manassas Junction with your whole force, resting your right on the Manassas Gap Railroad, throwing your left well to the east. Jackson, Ewell, and A. P. Hill are between Gainesville and Manassas Junction. We had a severe fight with them to-day, driving them back several miles along the railroad. If you will march promptly and rapidly at the earliest dawn of day upon Manassas Junction we shall beg the whole crowd. I have directed Reno to march from Greenwich at the same time upon Manassas Junction, and Kearny, who is in his rear, to march on Bristoe at daybreak. Be expedition, and the day is our own.
I showed this order to General Sigel, and sent him a copy of my general order,* the receipt of which the acknowledge at 2.30 a.m. on the 28th. My order required all the forces to march immediately. His advanced division was already at Gainesville, and he had to close his command upon it and march as ordered. I endeavored, by every exertion of myself and staff, to get the force forward as early as you had indicated, and, so far as the Third Corps was concerned, worn as the divisions were by the marching and counter-marching of the day previous up to a late hour in the night, which had prevented many of the regiment from obtaining their supplies, there was no difficulty. They were ready, and marched forward with alacrity, though many of the regiments had barely finished the march of the day before; but General Sigel's rear division was so long getting out of its bivouac that Reynolds' division, after waiting some time, had to pass the larger part of it, and General Sigel's corps, instead of complying fully with my orders at Warrenton, that all wagons not carrying ammunition should go by the way of Catlett's, had brought with them nearly 200, which encumbered the road and embarrassed our movements seriously, and
*See No. 4, Appendix C.