here disturb you. If you had a good force you could go to Richmond. A force should at once be pushed out to Manassas to open road. Our provisions are very short.
F. J. P.
After telegraphic, this dispatch will be sent to General Burnside.
HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF VIRGINIA, Warrenton Junction,
August 26, 1862-7 o'clock p.m.
Major General F. J. PORTER, Commanding Fifth Army Corps:
GENERAL: Please move forward with Sykes' division to-morrow morning through Fayetteville, to a point within two and a half miles of the town of Warrenton, and take position where you can easily move to the front, with your right resting on the railroad. Call up Morell to join you as speedily as possible, leaving only small cavalry forces to watch the fords. If there are any troops below, coming up, they should come up rapidly, leaving only a small rear guard at Rappahannock Station. You will find General Banks at Fayetteville. I append below the position of our forces, as also those of the enemy. I do not see how a general engagement can be postponed more than a day or two.
McDowell, with his own corps, Sigel's, and three brigades of Reynolds', numbering about 34,000, are at and immediately in front of Warrenton. Reno joins him on his right and rear, with 8,000 men, at an early hour to-morrow. Cox, with 7,000 men, will move forward to join him in the afternoon of to-morrow. Banks, with 6,000, is at Fayetteville. Sturgis, about 8,000 strong, will move forward by day after to-morrow. Franklin, I hope, with his corps, will by day after to-morrow night, occupy the point where the Manassas Gap Railroad intersects the turnpike from Warrenton to Washington City. Heintzelman's corps will be held in reserve here at Warrenton Junction until it is ascertained that the enemy has began to cross Hedgeman's River. You will understand how necessary it is for our forces to be in position as soon as possible. The enemy's lines extend from a point a little east of Warrenton Sulphur Springs around to a point a few miles north of the turnpike from Sperryville to Warrenton, with his front presented to the east, and his trains thrown around well behind him in the direction of Little Washington and Seprryville. Make your men cook three days' rations, and keep at least two days' cooked rations constantly on hand. Hurry up Morell as rapidly as possible, as also the troops coming up in his rear. The enemy has a strong column still farther to his left, toward the Manassas Gap Railroad, in the direction of Salem.
Put your men in position to remain during the night, and have out your pickets; put them so that they will be in line, and on rising, will be in position to resist anything. I am about a mile from you. McDowell says all goes well, and we are getting the best of the fight. I wish you would send me a dozen men from the cavalry.
E. J. PORTER,
Keep me informed. Troops are passing up to Gainesville, pushing the enemy. Ricketts has gone; also King.