that you wished to unite our whole forces before a forward movement was begun, and that I must take care to keep united with Burnside on my left, so that no movement to separate us could be made. This withdrew me lower down the Rappahannock than I wished to come. I am not acquainted with your views, as you seem to suppose, and would be glad to know them as far as my own position and operations are concerned. I understood you clearly that at all hazards I was to prevent the enemy from passing the Rappahannock. This I have done and shall do. I don't like to be on the defensive if I can help it, but must be so as long as I am tied to Burnside's forces, not yet wholly arrived at Fredericksburgh. Please let me know, if it can be done, what is to be my own command, and if I am to act independently against the enemy. I certainly understood that, as soon as the whole of our forces were concentrated, you designed to take command in person, and that, when every thing was ready, we were to move forward in concert. I judge from the tone of your despatch that you are dissatisfied with something. Unless I know what it is, of course, I can't correct it. The troops arriving here come in fragments. Am I to assign them to brigades and corps? I would suppose not, as several of the new regiments coming have been assigned to army corps directly from your office. In case I commence offensive operations I must know what forces I am to take and what you wish left, and what connection must be kept up with Burnside. It has been my purpose to conform my operations to your plans, yet I was not informed when McClellan evacuated Harrison's so that I might know what to expect in that direction; and when I say these things, in no complaining spirit, I think you know well that I am anxious to do every thing to advance your plans of campaign. I understood that this army was to maintain the line of the Rappahannock until all the forces from the Peninsula had united behind that river. I have done so. I understood distinctly that I was not to hazard any thing except for this purpose, as delay was what was wanted. The enemy this morning has pushed a considerable infantry force up opposite Waterloo Bridge, and is planting batteries, and long lines of his infantry are moving up from Jeffersonville toward Sulphur Springs. His whole force, as far as can be ascertained, is massed in front of me from railroad crossing of Rappahannock around to Waterloo Bridge, their main body being opposite Sulphur Springs. (Signed)
United States Military Telegraph--Received August 26, 1862. From War Department 11.45 A. M.To Major-Gen. Pope: Not the slightest dissatisfaction has been felt in regard to your operations on the Rappahannock. The main object has been accomplished in getting up troops from the Peninsula, although they have been delayed by storms. Moreover, the telegraph has been interrupted, leaving us for a time ignorant of the progress of the evacuation. . . (Signed)
headquarters Third corps, Aug. 25--11.25 A. M.Colonel Ruggles, A. A.G. and Chief of Staff: Colonel: Inclosed you will please find reports of Col. Clark, A. D.C., from the Signal corps station, of the movements of the enemy on the south side of Hedgeman or Rappahannock River. The facts are reported as having been observed by himself, and can be relied upon as being as near the truth as the distance will permit. It seems to be apparent that the enemy is threatening or moving upon the valley of the Shenandoah via Front Royal, with designs upon the Potomac — possibly beyond. Not knowing whether you have received this information, I forward it for the consideration of the Commanding General. Respectfully, etc.,
Warrenton Junction, Aug. 25, 1862--9.30 P. M.Major-Gen. Sigel, Commanding First Corps: You will force the passage of the river at Waterloo Bridge to-morrow morning at daylight, and see what is in front of you. I do not believe there is any enemy in force there, but do believe that the whole of their army has marched to the west and north-west. I am not satisfied either with your reports or your operations of to-day, and expect to hear to-morrow early something more satisfactory concerning the enemy. Send back and bring up your provision-trains to your command, but no regimental trains or baggage of any description. You will consider this a positive order to be obeyed literally. You will communicate with me by telegraph from Warrenton.
Warrenton Junction, Aug. 25, 1862--9.30 P. M.Major-Gen. Mcdowell, Warrenton: I believe that the whole force of the enemy has marched for the Shenandoah valley, by way of Luray and Front Royal. The column which has marched to-day toward Gaines's Cross Roads has turned north, and when last seen was passing under the east base of Buck Mountain, toward Salem and Rectortown. I desire you, as early as possible in the morning, holding Reynolds in reserve at Warrenton or vicinity, to make a reconnoissance with your whole corps, and ascertain what is beyond the river at Sulphur Springs. There is no force of the enemy between here and Culpeper, or at Culpeper. I send you a despatch for Gen. Sigel, which please read and send to him immediately.