War of the Rebellion: Serial 018 Page 0617 Chapter XXIV. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC. - UNION.

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Captain Norton is at Fort Monroe. Our men need their knapsacks, now on schooners at Fort Monroe. Ammunition not yet arrived.

F. J. PORTER,

Major-General.

HEADQUARTERS SECOND DIVISION,

August 21, 1862 - 9.30 a. m.

Colonel E. SCHRIVER, Chief of Staff:

COLONEL: The bridge will be done in half an hour. I understood the general commanding to say, when finished to cross the rest of Hartsuff's brigade and a battery of artillery. Major Tillson, who also saw the general last night, informs me that I am mistaken. The enemy's cavalry line the whole woods in front, and see dust rising beyond.

Very respectfully,

JAMES B. RICKETTS,

Brigadier-General, Commanding Division.

HDQRS. CAVALRY FORCES, THIRD ARMY CORPS,

Camp near Rappahannock River, August 21, 1862.

Colonel E. SCHRIVER, Chief of Staff:

SIR: I have the honor to make the following report, in obedience to orders, as to why my brigade is in the condition I have reported it and why I did not have rations for my men last night. On the 18th of August I received orders to have three days' rations cooked, but before the order reached the Jersey camp Colonel Myers, chief quartermaster, came up and said my wagons must be immediately gotten out on the road, as the army was retreating. I immediately gave that order. Then came an order for me to move to the front, which I did. General McDowell told me that I would move the following morning at day-light and cover the retreat. Instead of that, according to his order I waited for General Sigel to pass, and did not start till 3 in the afternoon. I fell back, but instead of joining the command, as I had expected, I was ordered to remain at Brandy Station. I wrote that night to you about rations, but received no reply. I was compelled to fall back in the morning, and I again reported the fact to General McDowell when I saw him, but he in reply said nothing.

The above is the reason that I have, or rather had, no rations. The haste in which the train was ordered out and my anxiety to come to the front, where I supposed my presence was needed, together preventing the issuing of rations, and my being told that I would move at day-light the following morning and thinking that I would join at night preventing me from sending back men to get the rations desired.

At Brandy Station the Jersey and Pennsylvania regiments were both on picket, and also the Maine cavalry. Colonels Duffie and Allen reported to me that their horses had had nothing to eat for some two days, except what they could pick up, and for that reason I ordered them to the rear, also because they had no carbines; keeping with me the 150 carbines of the Maine cavalry.

The inspection report of General Roberts shows the condition of the horses of the Pennsylvania and Jersey regiments, and on account of the weakness of the horses of the latter from constant service I lost many men in the skirmish of yesterday.