River fordable anywhere. Sykes is here. Morell, with two divisions, is at Kelly's, and Griffin at Barnett's. Reno is expected to pass to my left.
F. J. PORTER,
HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF VIRGINIA,
Warrenton Junction, August 26, 1862-7 p. m.
Major General FITZ JOHN PORTER,
Commanding Fifth Army Corps:
GENERAL: Please move forward with Sykes' division to-morrow morning, through Fayetteville, to a point 2 1/2 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 seedily 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' men, being 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 e held in reserve here at Warrenton Junction until it is ascertained that the enemy has begun 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 Sperryville. 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 towards Manassas Gap Railroad, in the direction of Salem.
HEADQUARTERS FIFTH ARMY CORPS,
Six miles from Bealeton, August 26, 1862-11 p. m.
Commanding Army of Virginia, Warrenton Junction:
GENERAL: Your dispatch of 7 p. m. is at hand, and your instructions will be obeyed as rapidly as possible. My forces have been disposed of under the instructions of the general-in-chief, and owing to the fact that their wagons have been sent to Falmouth for provisions (that on