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[186] own; and now his opportunity had vanished. Longstreet's corps had been arriving throughout the day, and was now all present — much of it perfectly fresh, so far as fighting was concerned, and ready for most effective service on the morrow.

Pope, so often disappointed and baffled, found his fighting force reduced by casualties and by stragling, on the morning of that eventful morrow, to about 40,000 men.1 These had had a surfeit of marching and fighting, with very little eating, for the two preceding days; while his artillery and cavalry horses had been ten days in harness, and two days without food. To his appeal of the 28th to Gen. Halleck for rations, for forage, and fresh horses, he had that morning at daylight2 received an answer from Gen. Franklin, written by direction of Gen. McClellan, and dated 8 P. M. of the 29th, informing him that rations would be loaded in the available wagons and cars at Alexandria so soon as he would send back a cavalry escort to bring out the trains. If cavalry had been ever so necessary to the guarding of railroad trains, he had probably not then a regiment that could have gone to Alexandria and back within 48 hours. He had received no reenforcements or supplies since the 26th, and had no assurance that any were on the way. To retreat was difficult; to stand still and famish unadvisable; so he ordered Porter, supported by King, to advance down the Warrenton turnpike and attack; while Heintzelman and Reno, supported by Ricketts's division, were to assail and turn the enemy's left.

Porter's attack was feeble; and not unreasonably so, since he encountered the enemy in greatly superior numbers, and was speedily thrown

1 In his official report, he says:

At that time, my effective force, greatly reduced by losses in killed, wounded, missing, and broken-down men, during the severe operations of the two or three days and nights previous; the sharp actions of Hooker, King, and Ricketts on the 27th and 28th, and the furious battle on the 29th, were estimated by me and others as follows: McDowell's corps, including Reynolds's division, 12,000 men; Sigel's corps, 7,000; Reno's corps, 7,000; Heintzelman's corps,7,000; Porter's corps, which had been in no engagement, and was, or ought to have been, perfectly fresh, I estimated at about 12,000 men, including the brigade of Piatt, which formed a part of Sturgis's division, and the only portion that ever joined me. But of this force the brigades of Piatt and Griffin, numbering, as I understood, about 5,000 men, had been suffered to march off at daylight on the 30th for Centerville, and were not available for operations on that day. This reduced Porter's effective force in the field to about 7,000 men; which gave me a total force of 40,000 men. Banks's corps, about 5,000 strong, was at Bristow Station, in charge of the railroad trains, and of a portion of the wagon trains of the army, still at that place.

2 Aug. 30

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