Later in the day, however, Adjutant-General Cooper
sent this telegram:
, though gratified that such an order had at last been given, was much annoyed at the thought that it had been too long delayed to effect any substantial good.
He so informed the War Department, but lost no time in communicating with General Johnston
, through telegram and by means of a special messenger, Colonel Chisolm
, one of his aids.
The latter was instructed to say to General Johnston
that there was not a moment to lose, and that all the available transportation of the Manassas Gap Railroad would be in waiting at Piedmont
, to assist in conveying his troops.
carried also a proposition that at least a portion of General Johnston
's forces should march by the way of Aldie
, so as to assail McDowell
's left flank and rear, at Centreville
But, for reasons General Johnston
must have thought important, based, as he alleges, on the difficulty of directing the movements of troops so distant from each other, no action was taken by him about this suggestion.
The feigned resistance and retreat from Fairfax Court-House, had had the desired effect of leading the enemy to believe in the abandonment of our position at Manassas
‘We had expected to encounter the enemy at Fairfax Court-House, seven miles this side of Centreville
,’ says Major Barnard
, United States Engineer,1
‘and our three right columns were directed to co-operate, on that point.
We entered that place about noon of the 17th, finding the intrenchments abandoned, and every sign of a hasty retreat.’