ing my attention to a seeming discrepancy between your (my) report of the capture of Manassas Junction on the night of August 26 last and that of Major-General Stuart, together with an extract from his report. It is not difficult to account for partial or serious discrepancy in reports of two officers, when one was present on the spot with all the circumstances passing under his immediate notice, and the other was at the time a mile or two distant, and in the night. I have carefully read over my original report, dated Carlottesville, January 6, 1863 (the clerk who copied it must have made an error in writing 1862, which please correct), and have to-day had a conference, through my staff, with numerous officers who took part in the transaction, and have not a word to alter, that report stating correctly the main facts, but not all the circumstances, which I shall now briefly relate.
I was not aware in marching on Manassas Junction that General Stuart had gone in ahead, as the staff officer did not notify me of that fact, nor that I was to act under General Stuart; hence, when I heard the discharge of musketry in our front, as stated in my report, I was quite ignorant of the cause, and but for the prudence of my aide-de-camp (Lieutenant McKim) might have fired into our own cavalry. We were then marching by the flank. It was arranged between General Stuart and myself that I should form line of battle and advance, and as soon as this was done to inform him of the fact. He informed me that we were but a short half mile from Manassas. I estimated the distance afterward at 1 1/2 to 2 miles, being disappointed, as we advanced, by his estimate. The distance can easily be known to any one by the fact that where I met General Stuart was opposite the center of woods on the north of the Orange and Alexandria Railroad, where the extensive hospitals had been erected; therefore the pickets which he refers to were not the enemy's interior, but their exterior, pickets. The encounter with these pickets was by musketry alone, and not by a single discharge of artillery, as our troops were not over 400 yards from the spot, and could easily distinguish the irregularity of the fire as that of skirmishers, which General Stuart does not allude to in his report. I received no orders from General Stuart as to the disposition of my force in its advance, and it was not until we received the fire of the enemy's batteries, half a mile distant from Manassas, that I disposed the two regiments each on either side of the railroad. General Stuart is entirely mistaken in his statement that I soon sent him word it was so dark I preferred waiting until morning. I sent no such message, nor anything like it, and General Jackson can himself judge of the likelihood of my doing so by recalling to his mind the fact that I wrote him a note previous to our reaching Bristoe, suggesting a night attack with one brigade (not mine) as the only means of securing the immense stores which I had heard were there and saving them from conflagration. The only message I sent to General Stuart was by my aide-de-camp, Lieutenant McKim, that I was ready to advance, should do so at once, and that he could assist with his cavalry in any way he judged proper. I saw no cavalry that night until two or two and a half hours after the capture had taken place, when a regiment arrived unmolested from the north side of the railroad, commanded by Colonel [Thos. S.] Flournoy [Sixth Virginia], I think. The time of their arrival I can fix with tolerable precision, as my note to General Jackson was written at 3 a. m. (which please correct), and I sought Colonel Flournoy, who had come in a short time before, to obtain a courier to bear the note. As to the statement of General Stuart that "the place was taken without difficulty," I am embarrassed by a difficulty in applying