War of the Rebellion: Serial 017 Page 0832 OPERATIONS IN N. VA., W. VA., AND MD. Chapter XXIV.

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night of the 28th and 29th of August, for the reason that the information from the front, upon which the dispositions of the army were made, varied at different periods of the day and night, and it was not until toward daylight in the morning of the 29th that I became thoroughly satisfied of the position of the enemy, and of the necessary movements of troops to be made in consequence. The orders that I gave to General Porter on the 29th of August, as I remember them, were four. One of them was detached in the night, I think; I do not remember the time. That order, I think, required him, in consequence of information we had received of the concentration of the enemy's forces beyond Centreville, to move upon Centreville. But about daylight in the morning, I sent General Porter an order to take his own army corps, which was then at Manassas Junction, and which by my order had been re-enforced by the brigade of General Piatt-which had come up there in the command of General Sturgis and King's division of McDowell's corps, which had withdrawn to Manassas Junction, or to that vicinity, during the night of the 28th-and move forward in the direction of Gainesville.

An hour and a half later I received a note from General McDowell, whom I had not been able to find until that hour in the morning, requesting that King's division of his corps be not turned over to General Porter, but that he be allowed to conduct it himself. I then sent a joint order to Generals porter and McDowell, directed to them at Manassas Junction, specifying in detail the movement that I wished to be made by the troops under their command-the withdrawal of King's division, of McDowell's corps, which, during the greater part of the night, I had understood to be on the Warrenton turnpike, and west of the troops under Jackson. Their withdrawal to Manassas Junction, I feared, had left open Jackson's retreat in the direction of Thoroughfare Gap, to which point the main portion of the army of Lee was then tending to re-enforce him. I did not desire to pursue Jackson beyond the town of Gainesville, as we could to have done so on account of the want of supplies-rations for the men and forage for the horses. My order to Generals Porter and McDowell is, therefore, worded that they shall pursue the route to Gainesville until they effect a junction with the forces that are marching upon Gainesville from Centreville-the forces under Heintzelman, Sigel, and Reno; and that when that junction was formed (as I expected it would have been very near to Gainesville), the whole command should halt, it being, as I stated before, not feasible with my command in the condition it was in, on account of supplies, to pursue Jackson's forces farther. During the whole morning the forces under Sigel and heintzelman had kept up a skirmishing with the rear of Jackson's forces, they retiring in the direction of Gainesville. they were brought to a stance at the little town of Groveton, about 8 miles, I think, from Centreville, and perhaps 5 or 6 miles from Gainesville. When i rode on to the field of battle, which was about noon (having been delayed at Centreville), I found that the troops had been sharply engaged and were still confronting each other. General Sigel reported to me that he needed re-enforcements in the front; that his line was weak, and that his troops required to be withdrawn from the action. I told him (as I did General Heintzelman, who was present on the ground) that I only wished them to maintain their positions, as the corps of McDowell and Porter were then on the march from Manassas Junction toward the enemy's right flank, and ought, in a very short time, to be in such position as to fall upon that portion of his line. I desired them, therefore, only to maintain the positions they occupied. We waited for the arrival of Generals McDowell and Porter. At 4 o'clock, or some little after that time (perhaps at half-past 4 in the afternoon), finding that neither McDowell nor Porter had made their appearance on the field, I sent an order to general porter, informing him, generally, of the condition of things on the field and stating to him that I desired him to push forward and attack the enemy in flank, and, if possible, in rear, without any delay. This order was sent to General Porter about half-past 4 in the afternoon. Finding that General Porter did not comply with this order, and receiving a dispatch which he sent to Generals McDowell and King, stating to them that he was about to fall back, or was falling back, to Manassas Junction, and that he did so because he saw clouds of dust, showing that, in his judgment, the enemy was advancing on the road he was occupying, and sating that it appeared to hi, from the fire of the battle that he had bee listening to, that our forces were retreating and the enemy advancing, and he had determined to fall back to Manassas Junction, and recommended Generals McDowell and King to send back their trains also-receiving this note, purporting to be from General Porter to Generals McDowell and King, i sent an order to General Porter, direction him, immediately upon the receipt of the order, to march his whole command to the field of battle, and to report to me in person for orders, stating to him that I expected him to comply strictly with that order. i put it in such form (perhaps not entirely courteous) because I had understood General Porter, upon two several occasions, to have disobeyed the orders that I had sent him. These are all the orders that I issued on that day and night to General Porter. I will state, in addition to what I have already said, that the first of these orders to which I have referred, being subsequently superseded, is not perhaps referred to here. I will also state that the corps of Sigel, Heintzelman, and Reno were formed in line of battle