a reconnaissance to Culpeper. Nothing is expected from Sigel. I wish you would send me a regiment of cavalry; I have not a mounted man here; send one of Buford's or Bayard's.
AUGUST 26, 1862.
I have just received your telegram of 5 o'clock a.m., directing me to ascertain in some way or another whether the enemy be really in force at Waterloo Bridge. My corps, as ordered, is on the march to Sulphur Springs, and I start in a few moments myself. When I get there I will endeavor to ascertain what you wish.
WARRENTON, August 26, 1862.
I have just received your telegram of 8.10 o'clock a.m., informing me of the inability of Reno and Sigel to make the reconnaissances ordered at Rapphannock and Waterloo, and leaving it discretionary with me, under the circumstances, to make the reconnaissance by my whole corps at Sulphur Springs, but saving it will certainly be well for me to ascertain what there is in the direction of Waterloo Bridge and farther to my right, and authorizing me to assume command of General Sigel's corps, &c.
Before receiving this I had, under instructions of last night, concentrated all my command on the Sulphur Springs road to make the movement ordered at that place. General Sigel, returning from the position of Waterloo, leaves the road from that place to Warrenton but feebly held by a regiment of infantry from Reynolds and one of cavalry from Buford. The country from Sulphur Springs and up to and beyond Waterloo is covered with the dust of a large moving mass. The head of my column has reached Sulphur Springs and a brisk cannonading is now going on. I have sent out to learn where General Sigel's corps are. They were, it seems, passing through town all last night. Buford and Bayard both report their cavalry as broken down. The former says his is disorganized; the latter, that his will neither charge nor stand a charge. I had, under the discretion you gave me, decided not to throw my whole corps on to Sulphur Springs, but to place it substantially in the position indicated in general orders and to push as strong a force as I can spare toward Waterloo, and if I can gather a force of cavalry that can perform any service, to endeavor to feel the enemy's right. If it is possible forage should be sent forward, as all our artillery and trains as well as cavalry will go. My men have two days' rations in their haversacks, and being on the march they cannot cook the three days' you desire. General Banks, I am, told, is at Bealeton. Sigel, I just learn, is at Warren Green Hotel, by an officer just from General King. Firing is maintained by the enemy at Sulphur Springs from two four-gun batteries.