War of the Rebellion: Serial 016 Page 0350 OPERATIONS IN N.VA., W.VA., AND MD. Chapter XXIV.

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that place last night, and Buford says the fords near Waterloo are bad. I have directed the available force of Sigel's cavalry, with the section of his artillery, to report to General Buford this afternoon on the Waterloo road, with three days' cooked rations. I have directed Buford to march at dawn to-morrow toward Chester Gap, to ascertain what direction the enemy have taken on our right, whether to Rector town or Front Royal, through Chester Gap. He will either take the Carter Church road up the left bank of Carter Run or the road direct from this place to Chester Gap, as inquiries to be made this afternoon shall determine. However persons may have differed as to the force at Waterloo, Sulphur Springs, or elsewhere, all agree in one thing - the movement of the enemy to our right from Rappahannock to Waterloo. Battalions, trains, and batteries all have the same direction. The force of the enemy now seems to be above Sulphur Springs. In addition to Sigel's corps, now here, I beg to suggest that Hooker and Kearny be marched at once in this direction, instead of in the direction of Rappahannock Station, for whether we attack them or they attack us, the contest must come off, it seems to me, as things now stand, above rather than below Sulphur Springs. If they could make a march this afternoon toward Sulphur Springs or Waterloo Bridge it would be a movement, I think, in the right direction.

What is the enemy's purpose it is not easy to discover.* I have thought he means to march around our right through Rectortown to Washington; others, that he intended going down the Shenandoah, either through Chester or Thornton's Gap. Either of these operations seems to me to be too hazardous for him to undertake with us in his rear and flank. Others, that it was object to throw his trains around into the valley, to draw his supplies from that direction, and have his front looking to the east rather than to the north. It is also thought that while a portion of his force has marched up the immediate right bank of the Rappahannock, a larger portion has gone through Culpeper, up the Sperryville road. No doubt these various suppositions may have occurred to you, but I have thought it not inappropriate to recapitulate them here with reference to the concentration of forces in this direction, which I have herein suggested. Cannonading still continues about the same. I have ordered Buford to send you a cavalry regiment. I cannot bet hold of Bayard.

IRVIN McDOWELL,

Major-General, Commanding.

WARRENTON JUNCTION, August 26, 1862-3.15 p.m.

Major-General McDOWELL:

Cox is not here and will not be here to-night. What information have you received since your last telegram that makes his presence necessary with you?

JNO. POPE,

Major-General, Commanding.

WARRENTON JUNCTION, August 26, 1862-7 p.m.

Major-General McDOWELL:

Reno marches with his whole force at daylight to-morrow morning, and will take post 2 1/2 miles this side of Warrenton, his left of the rail-

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*See p.68 for copy of dispatch as received by Pope.

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