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[354] men and officers was gallant and distinguished. The report of General King is herewith appended, exhibiting his high opinion of the conduct of this brigade, and of the officers who distinguished themselves in that action. The disposition of the troops on the west of Jackson having failed through Ricketts's movement toward Thoroughfare Gap, and the consequent withdrawal of King, an imminent change in the disposition and proposed movements of the troops for the succeeding day became necessary; and about daylight on the morning of the twenty-ninth, shortly after I received information of the withdrawal of King's division, I sent orders to General Sigel, who was in the nighborhood of Groveton, supported by Reynolds's division to attack the enemy vigorously as soon as it was light enough to see and bring him to a stand, if it were possible to do so. I instructed General Heintzelman to push forward from Centreville toward Gainesville at the earliest dawn, with the divisions of Hooker and Kearny, and directed General Reno to follow closely in his rear; to use all speed, and as soon as they came up with the enemy to establish communication with Sigel, and attack with the utmost promptness and vigor. I also sent orders to Major-General Fitz-John Porter, at Manassas Junction, to move forward with the utmost rapidity, with his own corps, and King's division of McDowell's corps, which was supposed to be at that point, upon Gainesville, by the direct road from Manassas Junction to that place. I urged him to make all speed, that he might come up with the enemy and be able to turn his flank near where the Warrenton turnpike is intersected by the road from Manassas Junction to Gainesville. Shortly after sending this order, I received a note from General McDowell, whom I had not been able to find during the night of the twenty-eighth, dated at Manassas Junction, requesting that King's division might not be taken from his command. I immediately sent a joint order to Generals McDowell and Porter, directing them, with their two corps, to march with all speed toward Gainesville, on the direct road from Manassas Junction. This order, which is appended, sets forth in detail the movements they were directed to make.

Sigel attacked the enemy about daylight on the morning of the twenty-ninth a mile or two east of Groveton, where he was soon joined by the divisions of Hooker and Kearny. Jackson fell back several miles, but was so closely pressed by these forces that he was compelled to make a stand, and to make the best defence possible. He accordingly took up a position with his left in the neighborhood of Sudley Springs, his right a little to the south of Warrenton turnpike, and his line covered by an old railroad-grade which leads from Gainesville in the direction of Leesburgh. His batteries, which were numerous, and some of them of heavy calibre, were posted behind the ridges in the open ground on both sides of Warrenton turnpike, while the mass of his troops were sheltered in dense woods behind the railroad embankments.

I arrived on the field from Centreville about noon, and found the two armies confronting each other, both considerably cut up by the sharp action in which they had been engaged since daylight in the morning. Heintzelman's corps occupied the right of our line, in front or west of the Sudley Springs road. Gen. Sigel was on his left, with his line extended a short distance south of the Warrenton turnpike; the division of Gen. Schenck occupying the high ground to the left of that road. The extreme left was occupied by Gen. Reynolds. Gen. Reno's corps had reached the field, and the most of it had been pushed forward into action, leaving four regiments in reserve, and in rear of the centre of our line. Immediately after I reached the ground Gen. Sigel reported to me that his line was weak; that the divisions of Schurz and Steinwehr were much cut up, and ought to be drawn back from the front. I informed Gen. Sigel that this was utterly impossible, as there were no troops to replace them, and that he must hold his ground; that I would not again push his troops into action, as the corps of Porter and McDowell were moving forward from Manassas Junction, on the road to Gainesville, and must very soon be in position to fall upon the enemy's right flank, and probably upon his rear. I rode to the front of our line, and inspected it from right to left, giving the same information to Gens. Heintzelman and Reno. The troops were accordingly suffered to rest in their positions, and to re-supply themselves with ammunition. From twelve until four o'clock very severe skirmishes occurred constantly at various points on our line, and were brought on at every indication the enemy made of a disposition to retreat. About two o'clock in the afternoon several pieces of artillery were discharged on the extreme right of the enemy's line, and I fully believed that Gens. Porter and McDowell had reached their positions and had become engaged with the enemy. I did not hear more than three shots fired, and was at a loss to know what had become of those two corps, or what was delaying them, but I received information shortly afterward that Gen. McDowell was advancing to join the main body by the Sudley Springs road, and would probably be up with us in two hours. At half-past 4 o'clock, I sent a peremptory order to Gen. Porter to push forward at once into action on the enemy's right, and if possible to turn his rear, stating to him generally, the condition of things on the field in front of me. About half-past 5 o'clock, when Gen. Porter should have been coming into action in compliance with this order, I directed Generals Heintzelman and Reno to attack the enemy. The attack was made with great gallantry, and the whole of the left of the enemy was doubled back toward his centre, and our own forces, after a sharp conflict of an hour and a half, occupied the field of battle, with the dead and wounded of the enemy in our hands. In this attack, Grover's brigade of Hooker's division was particularly distinguished by a determined bayonet-charge, breaking two of the enemy's lines

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