intrenchments. The whole force I had for duty yesterday morning was 57,000 men, exclusive of Couch's.
The straggling is awful in the regiments from the Peninsula. Unless something can be done to restore tone to this army it will melt away before you know it. Part of Couch's command was detained, and is still so, at Alexandria. The enemy is still in our front. It is his undoubted purpose to keep on, slowly turning our position so as to come in on our right. You had best at once decide what is to be done. The enemy is in very heavy force and must be stopped in some way. These forces under my command are not able to do so in the open field, and if again checked I fear the force will be useless afterwards.
If you knew the troops here and their condition I think it would be well. You had best look out well for your communications. The enemy from the beginning has been throwing his rear toward the north, and every movement shows that he means to make trouble in Maryland.
Wherever I have attacked him he is in greatly superior force. I would attack to-day, but the troops are absolutely unable.
WASHINGTON, D. C., September 2, 1862.
Major-General POPE, Fairfax Court-House, Va.:
You will bring your forces as best you can within or near the line of fortification. General McClellan has charge of all the defenses, and you will consider any direction, as to disposition of the troops as they arrive, given by him as coming from me. Do not let the enemy get between you and the works. It is impossible for me to leave Washington.
H. W. HALLECK,
FAIRFAX COURT-HOUSE, September 2, 1862.
(Received 11.30 a.m.)
Major General H. W. HALLECK, General-in-Chief:
As I expected, the enemy last evening attacked my right furiously in the direction of Fairfax Court-House, but were repulsed with heavy loss.
Our loss was also severe, General Stevens being killed and Kearny missing. The enemy has not renewed his attack this morning, but is evidently again beating around to the northeast.
Your telegram of this date is just received, and its provisions will be carried out at once.
Ball's Cross-Roads, September 2, 1862-7.10 p.m.
Major-General HALLECK, General-in-Chief:
I arrived here safely. Command coming in on the road without much molestation. Some artillery firing on the road through Vienna to Chain Bridge, but nothing of a serious character, so far as I can learn.