War of the Rebellion: Serial 016 Page 0340 OPERATIONS IN N.VA., W.VA., AND MD. Chapter XXIV.

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on the day before had been detached and been on the extreme left, hanging on the enemy's right and rear, was now on the left, up the Warrenton road.

On going with General Heintzelman over to the position held by his troops we found all the points held by the enemy the day before beyond Bull Run abandoned, and in going over to the Sudley Springs road and west of it was saw no evidence of the enemy in force, some skirmishers and advanced posts or rear guards, as the case might, be being all that we found. On returning to headquarters and reporting these facts we found that word had been sent in from the front that the enemy was moving back on the road to Gainesville. Similar word was given by General Patrick. On the supposition that the enemy was falling back I received your orders* to take command of the corps above named and pursue the enemy. I accordingly gave orders that Ricketts' division should report to General Heintzelman, who was to have charge of the right of the advance, and was to move on the enemy by the road from Sudley Springs to Hay Market - a road running west nearly parallel with the Warrenton turnpike and the north side of it - and paled the other division, Reynold's and King's, which were to the front on the Warrenton turnpike and near General Porter's corps, under that general, to support him in his advance on that road; but just as these orders+ were issued General Reynolds rode up to my headquarters and reported, of his own personal knowledge, that the enemy were not falling back; on the contrary, that he was passing his troops to the south of Warrenton turnpike, and massing them behind the woods, to turn our left and make an attack on the southwest angle of the two roads and thence across the Sudley Springs road to the southeast angles. It may be well to state here - what, however, is well known to you - that the country around the field of battle is much of it thickly wooded, and that the march of large bodies on the side of the enemy could only be seen at intervals and can be easily hidden from view.

On General Reynolds' information, seeing no time was to be lost and that instant measures were to be taken to meet this unexpected movement, I gave him orders to take his division immediately over to provide for this threatened attack and occupy the hill south of the turnpike, he knowing the ground well, having been over it in the course of the battle the day before. You at the same time gave orders that some of General Sigel's corps should also move to the south of the turnpike on the Bald Hill, so called, near Groveton. I immediately wrote to General Porter that he must exercise his discretion as to the use of King's division in the movement, he suggested, in his front, that I had been obliged to take Reynold's division from him to guard the left, and had to go there in person to see to it; that you said if he should need more force you would send him General Sigel. I sent word also to General Heintzelman of the change, and that I was obliged to take from him two brigades and two batteries of artillery of Ricketts' division to aid in improvising the defense of the left, south of the turnpike, where I immediately repaired, and remained throughout the battle, having no further communication either with General Ricketts' division, under General Heintzelman, or General King's division, under General Porter.

The Warrenton turnpike goes west up the valley of the little rivulet of Young's Branch, and through the battle-field is mostly closed to the


*See No. 6, Appendix C.

+See Nos.7 and 8, Appendix C.