Question. At what hour on the morning of the 30th of August did you withdraw from your position, and under what order? Please also state what took place at the time you withdrew.
Answer. A short time before daylight, on the morning of the 30th, I received a written order from General Porter, which i have with me, directing me to lose not a moment in withdrawing, and to come down the road toward him.
Question. Will you read the order, and state the time of its receipt?
Answer. There is indorsed upon the order, in my handwriting. "Received a few minutes before daylight, August 30, '62."
The order is as follows:
Lose not a moment in withdrawing and coming down the road to me. The wagons which went up, send down at once, and have the road cleared; and send me word when you have all in motion.
F. J. PORTER,
Your command must follows Sykes.'-F. J. P.
Question. Do you recollect who delivered that order to you?
Answer. Captain Monteith, of General Porter's staff.
Question. State what took place in consequence of that order.
Answer. i immediately issued the orders to the commandants of brigades and of the artillery to get ready to retire, and to get them in motion as soon as possible. I think General Butterfield's brigade moved first, and then Colonel Barnes' brigade; General Griffin's was to bring up the rear. We called in our pickets. I replaced Hazlitt's battery, which was of 10-pounder Parrott guns, by Martin's battery of brass 12-pounder smooth-bore, to remain in the rear and cover the movement. Butterfield's and Colonel Barnes' brigades moved on up the road. When General Griffin had called in the skirmishers, and was ready to move, I went on myself. Before this, however, it was daylight. I passed the head of General Griffin' s brigade, and rode on for the purpose of overtaking the troops in front of us. Not coming up with them, I sent forward one of my staff to ascertain where they were, and to act as a guide for Griffin's brigade in following them. After some time, he came back and said that he could not find them; that he had been as far as Manassas Junction. I supposed that, in compliance with the orders of the previous day, they had gone to Centreville, as we had no orders to go to any other point. I then turned back until I met General Griffin, and from that point his brigade went on by way of Manassas Junction to Centreville. I was with them.
Question. Was the purpose of keeping Griffin's brigade back the anticipation of an attack on your rear while withdrawing?
Answer. Yes, sir; I supposed that we would be attacked. In the afternoon of the day previous, Colonel Marshall, who was in command in front, sent in a report that the enemy were passing down toward the railroad in the woods on our right, and I supposed that in the morning, at daylight, when the enemy discovered that we were retiring, they would be very likely to attack us.
Question. Did General Butterfield's and Colonel Barnes' brigades get to their destination, or, rather, did they take a different road from the one you took?
Answer. Yes, sir; so I understood afterward.
Question. How soon, after discovering that you had taken the wrong direction, did you proceed to join the command on the battle-field?
Answer. As soon as I discovered it, I went on myself-almost immediately. When we arrived at Centreville, I went to what had been General Pope's headquarters, expecting to find and General Porter there, and was then informed that General Pope had gone to the front, and that General Porter was probably with him. I was referred to Colonel Calry, of General Pope's staff, and went to him and made some inquiries of him. I immediately wrote a note in his tent to General Porter, stating that I was at Centreville, and was surprised at not finding him there, and that as soon as Griffin's brigade had got some rations-they were out-it would move on to the front. General Griffin's commissary immediately went to work to get rations for the men. I went to where my own teams were, to get some dinner. While there, I heard firing of artillery, the first I had heard during the day. I ordered my horse, and rode to General Griffin, and told him that I heard firing, and that we must move immediately.