needed. Will use all efforts to have Sturgis and Cox within three miles of you to-morrow night, and have requested Gen. Halleck to push forward Franklin at once, carrying his baggage and supplies by railroad to the point where the Manassas Gap Railroad intersects the Warrenton turnpike. From that position he can either advance to your support or prevent your right from being turned from the direction of the Manassas Gap Railroad. I think our fight should be made at Warrenton, and if you can postpone it for two days every thing will be right.
headquarters army of Virginia, Warrenton Junction, Aug. 26, 1862, 8.20 P. M.Major-Gen. Heintzelman, Commanding, etc.: The Major-General commanding the army of Virginia directs me to send you the inclosed communication and to request that you put a regiment on a train of cars and send it down immediately to Manassas, to ascertain what has occurred, repair the telegraph wires and protect the railroad there till further orders. With great respect, General, Your obedient servant, (Signed)
headquarters army of Virginia, August 26, 1862, 12 P. M.General McDowell: Gen. Sigel reports the enemy's rear-guard at Orleans to-night, with his main force encamped at White Plains. You will please ascertain very early in the morning whether this is so, and have the whole of your command in readiness to march. You had best ascertain it to-night, if you possibly can. Our communications have been interrupted by the enemy's cavalry, near Manassas. Whether his whole force, or the larger part of it, has gone round, is a question which we must settle instantly. And no portion of his force must march opposite to us, to-night, without our knowing it. I telegraphed you an hour or two ago, what dispositions I had made, supposing the advance through Thoroughfare to be a column of not more than ten or fifteen thousand men. If his whole force, or the larger part of it, has gone, we must know it at once. The troops here have no artillery, and if the main forces of the enemy are still opposite to you, you must send forward to Greenwich to be there to-morrow evening with two batteries of artillery, or three if you can get them, to meet Kearny. We must know at a very early hour in the morning, so as to determine our plans. (Signed)
headquarters army of Virginia, Warrenton Junction, August 27, 1862.General orders, No.--: The following movement of troops will be made, viz.: Major-General McDowell with his own and Sigel's corps, and the divisions of Brig.-General Reynolds, will pursue the turnpike from Warrenton to Gainesville, if possible, to-night. The army corps of General Heintzelman, with the detachment of the Ninth corps under Major-General Reno leading, will take the road from Catlett's station to Greenwich, so as to reach there to-night or early in the morning. Major-General Reno will immediately communicate with Major-General McDowell, and his command, as well as that of Major-Gen. Heintzelman, will support Major-General McDowell in any operations against the enemy. Major-General Fitz-John Porter will remain at Warrenton Junction till he is relieved by Major-General Banks, when he will immediately push forward with his corps in the direction of Greenwich and Gainesville, to assist the operations on the right wing. Major-General Banks, as soon as he arrives at Warrenton Junction, will assume the charge of the trains, and cover their movement toward Manassas Junction. The train of his own corps, under escort of two regiments of infantry and a battery of artillery, will pursue the road south of the railroad, which conducts into the rear of Manassas Junction. As soon as all the trains have passed Warrenton Junction, he will take post behind Cedar Run, covering the fords and bridges of that stream, and holding his position as long as possible. He will cause all the railroad trains to be loaded with the public and private stores now here, and run them back toward Manassas Junction as far as the railroad is practicable. Wherever a bridge is burned so as to prevent the further passage of the railroad trains, he will assemble them all as near together as possible, and protect them with his command until the bridges are rebuilt. If the enemy is too strong before him, before the bridge is repaired, he will be careful to destroy entirely the trains, locomotives, and stores before he falls back in the direction of Manassas Junction. He is, however, to understand that he is to defend his position as long as possible, keeping himself in constant communication with Major-General Porter on his right. If any sick, now in hospital at Warrenton Junction, are not provided for, and able to be transported, he will have them loaded into the wagon-train of his own corps (even should this necessitate the destruction of much baggage and regimental property) and carried to Manassas Junction. The very important duty devolved upon Major-General Banks, the Major-General commanding the army of Virginia feels assured that he will discharge with intelligence, courage, and fidelity. The general headquarters will be with the corps of General Heintzelman until further notice. By command of Major-General Pope.