when all the divisions were closed up, instead of a rapid march, everything came to a stand.
At 7.30 o'clock I received a message from General Reynolds, who was at the head of the Third Corps, that General Sigel was halting on the road at the junction of the railroad (Gainesville), and was making no preparations to advance or to organize or from his line, and that his men had built fires to cook their breakfast, and had blocked up the road so that he could not get forward. I sent my assistant adjutant-general to the head of the column to urge General Sigel to march immediately on Manassas Junction, as ordered, but it was late in the forenoon before the head of the corps passed him.
All the forces of the army now,by your orders, converging on Manassas Junction, and had been moving, will we crossed the railroad at Gainesville, in the angle comprised between the Orange and Alexandria Railroad and the Manassas Railroad, which unite at Manassas Junction. The troops under my command, the First and Third Corps, were to cross the Manassas road at Gainesville and move with the right on that road, the left well to the east.
General Sigel says in his report that he understood he was to have his right on the railroad leading from Warrenton Junction to Manassas Junction, the Orange and Alexandria Railroad, some 6 miles to the south of us. He saw your order to move with his right on the Manassas Railroad, and had my general order in writing to the same effect. When I arrived at Gainesville I found he had moved to the right or south side, instead of to the left or north side, of the Manassas road.
I varied from your orders to march with "my whole force" only so far as concerned General Ricketts' division and the cavalry of Buford and Bayard. Knowing that Longstreet would be coming through Thoroughfare, I sent cavalry in the morning Colonel Wyndham's First New Jersey Regiment of Cavalry to the Gap, and sent up other cavalry as fast as I could get hold of it, and on receiving would the enemy was coming through I detached Ricketts' division to hold him in check. This departure from your orders to move with "my whole force" on Manassas I felt called upon to make to carry out the spirit of your plan of crushing the enemy at that place before his re-enforcements, of whose position I had just received positive intelligence, could join, as those re-enforcements, I thought, could be better held in check at the Gap than this side of it.
As soon as the Warrenton road was free Reynolds' division pushed forward across the railroad, and after a short march the head of his column found itself opposed by the enemy with a battery of artillery posted on a hill. The attack, commenced by the enemy as soon as we came in view, caused Reynolds to deploy his column, to bring up his artillery, and send out his skirmishers. After a short engagement the enemy retired, so that when our skirmishers occupied the hill he left he was nowhere to be seen. Supposing from the movements of this force that it was some rear guard or cavalry party, with artillery, sent out to reconnoiter, the march of the division, after caring for the killed and wounded, was resumed, and it turned off to the south of the road to go to Manassas. As General Sigel's getting so far to the south of the Manassas railroad left so wide a distance between him and the leading division of the corps (Reynolds') that King's division, which was to have gone to the left of Reynolds', was now brought between it and General Sigel's corps, and the march on Manassas resumed.
The country between the Warrenton turnpike and the Manassas railroad, on which we were now marching, was unknown to us. It was