War of the Rebellion: Serial 017 Page 0904 OPERATIONS IN N.VA., W.VA., AND MD. Chapter XXIV.

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Question. Where was General Porter's command at that time?

Answer. On this road leading from Manassas Junction, by way of Bethlehem chapel or church, toward Gainesville. The rear of his column had passed by Bethlehem chapel, which is at the junction of the Sudley Springs road with the road from Manassas Junction to Gainesville.

Question. Bethlehem church enables you to identify that position?

Answer. Yes, sir; it is at the junction, or the crossing rather, a little beyond the crossing, of the Sudley Springs, or Gum Springs, or old Carolina road, with the road from Manassas Junction to Gainesville. The rear of General Porter's command was beyond that road, the head of it stretching out here in this direction [indicating on the map.]

Question. Can you speak with any confidence as to the hour of the day at which you communicated to General Porter the contents of this note from General Buford?

Answer. It was somewhere before noon, I think. It is impossible for me to keep the hours of the day in mind on such occasions. I have tried it several times, but have never succeeded except some important things, such as daylight and darkness. It was communicated a short time after it was received.

Question. Did you, or not, upon communicating this note, confer with General Porter in reference to his movements and your own?

Answer. I did.

Question. Will you state fully what occurred in that conference?

Answer. On passing the head of General Porter's column, which was on the road I have before mentioned, General Porter was in advance of the head of his column, I think, on a slight eminence or roll or rise of ground, with some of his staff near him. I rode up to him, and saw that he had the same order as myself-the joint order. Soon after my attention was directed to some skirmishing, I think some dropping shots in front of us. The country in front of the position where General Porter was when I joined him was open for several hundred yards, and near, as I supposed by seeing the dust coming up above the trees, the Warrenton turnpike, which was covered from view by woods. How deep those woods were I do not know. It did not seem at that time to be a great distance to that road-the Warrenton turnpike. I had an impression at the time that these skirmishers were engaged with some of the enemy near that road. I rode with General Porter from the position he occupied eastward to the right, that is, the column being somewhat west of north, and I going east, made an angle with the line of troops on the road. The joint order of General Pope was discussed between us-the point to be held in view, of not going so far that we should not be able to get beyond Bull Run that night; that was one point; the road being blocked with General Porter's troops from where the held of his column was back to Bethlehem church; the sound of battle, which seemed to be at its height on our right toward Groveton; the note of General Buford, indicating the force that had passed through Gainesville, and as he said, was moving toward Groveton, where the battle was going on; the dust ascending above the trees seeming to indicate that force to be not a great distance from the head of General Porter's column. I am speaking now of that force of the enemy referred to by General Buford as passing down the Warrenton turnpike toward Groveton. I understand this note of General Buford to refer to a force of the enemy. The question with me was how soonest, within the limit fixed by General Pope, this force of ours could be applied against the enemy. General Porter made a remark to me which showed me that he had no question but that the enemy was in his immediate front. I said to him, "You put your force in here, and I will take mine up the Sudley Springs road, on the left of the troops engaged at that point with the enemy," or woods to that effect. I left General Porter with the belief and understanding that he would put his force in at that point. I moved back by the shortest road I could find to the head of my own troops, who were near Bethlehem church, and immediately turned themes up north on the Sudley Springs road, to join General Reynolds' division which belonged to my command, and which I had directed to co-operate with General Sigel in the movements he (General Sigel) was making at the time I left in the morning. After seeing the larger part of my troops on the Sudley Springs road, I rode forward to the head of the column. I met a messenger from General Pope. I stopped him, and saw that he had an order addressed to General Porter alone. I do not recollect more than the general purport or tenor of that order. It was to the effect that he should throw his corps upon the right