War of the Rebellion: Serial 017 Page 0923 Chapter XXIV. CAMPAIGN IN NORTHERN VIRGINIA.

Search Civil War Official Records

Question. Look upon the paper I now show you [handing witness a paper], dated "Bristoe, 6 a.m., 29th," addressed to General Burnside, and purporting to be a copy of a dispatch sent by the accused to General Burnside on that day, and state what you know, if anything, in regard to its having been sent over the wires.

Answer. [After examining the paper.] I think that dispatch was sent.

Question. Did you, or not, see the original?

Answer. I think I did.

Question. Have you any recollection as to whether or not it was in the handwriting of the accused?

Answer. I thought so at the time.

Question. Have you, or not, seen enough of General Porter's handwriting to enable you to judge of it and determine whether this was in his handwriting or not?

Answer. Yes, sir; I think I have.

Question. Have you, or not, any recollection, of the rank or name of the officer who bore this dispatch to the office?

Answer. I think it was a private that brought it; an orderly.

Question. Do you, or not, think it was sent on the day of its date?

Answer. I cannot say.

The dispatch was then read as follows:

[Received 5.30 p.m., August 29, 1862.]

FALMOUTH, VA., 29th-5 1/4 p.m.

General H. W. HALLECK,

General-in-Chief:

The following message has just been received:

BRISTOE, 29th-6 a.m.

General BURNSIDE:

Shall be off in half an hour. The messenger who brought this says the enemy had been at Centreville, and pickets were found there last night.

Sigel had severe fight last night; took many prisoners; Banks is at Warrenton Junction; McDowell near Gainesville; Heintzelman and Reno at Centrevill, where they marched yesterday; Pope went to Centreville with the last two as a body guard, at the time not knowing where was the enemy, and when Sigel was fighting within 8 miles of him and in sight. Comment is unnecessary.

The enormous trains are still rolling on, many arrivals (animals) not having been watched [watered] for fifty hours; I shall be out of provisions to-morrow night; your train of 40 wagons cannot be found.

I hope Mac's at work, and we will soon get ordered out of this. It would seem from pooper statements of the enemy that he was wandering around lose; but I expect they know what they are doing, which is more than any one here or anywhere knows.

Just received the following order:

"HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF VIRGINIA,

"Near Bull Run, August 29, 1862.

"Major-General PORTER:

"General McDowell has anticipated [intercepted] the retreat of Jackson; Sigel is immediately on the right of McDowell.

"Kearny and Hooker march to attack the enemy's rear at early dawn. Major-General Pope directs you to move upon Centreville at the first dawn of day with your whole command, leaving your trains to follows. It is very important that you should be here to a very early hour in the morning. A severe engagement is likely to take place, and your-presence is necessary.

"GEO. D. RUGGLES,

"Colonel, &c."

[F. J. PORTER.]

A large body of enemy reported opposite. I am preparing, and will hold the place until the last. The only fear I have is a force coming from Manassas Junction.

A. E. BURNSIDE,

Major-General.

The examination by the judge-advocate here closed.