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ion, even on the first of September, for any active operations against the enemy; but I determined to attack at daylight on the second of September, in front of Chantilly. The movement of the enemy had become so developed by the afternoon of the first, and was so evidently directed to Fairfax Court-House, with a view of turning my right, that I made the necessary disposition of troops to fight a battle between the Little River pike and the road from Centreville to Fairfax Court-House. I sent l and Porter were directed to unite with the right of Sumner; Banks was instructed with the wagon trains of the army, to pursue the old Braddock road and come into the Alexandria turnpike in rear of Fairfax Court-House. Just before sunset on the first, the enemy attacked us on our right, but was met by Hooker, McDowell, Reno, and Kearny's division, of Heintzelman's corps. A very severe action occurred in the midst of a terrific thunder-storm, and was terminated shortly after dark. The enemy
ed so near me as almost to take away my breath. Strange to tell, it put me in the wildest spirits. On Monday our corps moved to Ox Hill, between Chantilly and Fairfax Court-House, where, in the afternoon, we had, under a driving thunder-storm, a smart but undecisive fight with three divisions of the enemy. In it were killed Generals Kearny and Stevens, valuable officers, both worth the battle. Thus the corps fought six days out of seven, after enormous marches. On Wednesday, the third instant, we marched to Dranesville; on Thursday to Leesburgh, where we met D. H. Hill's corps, Ripley's division, and perhaps others. On yesterday the army crossed the Potomac, D. H. Hill a little earlier in the day than we, and at a different ford. We marched till half-past 12 last night; started to-day before day, and reached this town by one P. M., or earlier. It is twenty-four miles from Leesburgh, and within eighteen of Pennsylvania. Of the scene at the passage of the Potomac I have not
he Orange and Alexandria road crosses Rapidan River, with his pickets extended as far to the east as Raccoon Ford, and connecting with Gen. Buford on his right at Burnett's Ford. From Raccoon Ford to the forks of the Rappahannock, above Falmouth, the Rapidan was lined with cavalry pickets. On the top of Thoroughfare Mountain, about half-way between Generals Bayard and Buford, was established a signal-station, which overlooked the whole country as far south as Orange Court-House. On the seventh I proceeded to Sperryville, and inspected the corps of Major-Gen. Sigel. I remained at Sperryville until four o'clock in the afternoon of that day, during which time I received several reports from the front that the enemy was crossing the Rappahannock at several points between the railroad-crossing of that river and Liberty Mills. I reached Culpeper Court-House on the morning of the eighth of August. The town had been occupied for several days by Crawford's brigade, of Gen. Banks's corp
. Banks's corps; and on the seventh Ricketts's division, of McDowell's corps, had also reached there from Waterloo Bridge. During the whole of the morning of the eighth, I continued to receive reports from Gen. Bayard, who was slowly falling back in the direction of Culpeper Court-House, from the advance of the enemy, and from Gem Hazel River to Culpeper Court-House, and also to Gen. Sigel to march at once from Sperryville to the same place. To my surprise, I received, after night on the eighth, a note from Gen. Sigel, dated at Sperryville, at half-past 6 o'clock that afternoon, asking me by what road he should march to Culpeper Court-House. As there wad, with the cavalry force under his command, not yet having been able to join the main body, I had telegraphed Gen. King at Fredericksburgh to move forward on the eighth, by the lower fords of the Rappahannock and Stevensburgh, to join me. A large part of his command had just returned from a very fatiguing expedition against the C
right, his left, and partly on his rear, and that he was retreating in the direction of Sperryville. Desultory artillery firing had been kept up all day on the ninth, in the direction of Gen. Banks's corps, but I continued to receive, during the whole of that day, reports from Gen. Banks that no considerable force of the enemy tain, but I had sent forward Brig--Gen. Roberts, Chief of Cavalry, of my staff, and had directed him to report to General Banks in the early part of the day of the ninth, and to advise freely with him as to the operations of his corps. General Roberts, as well as General Banks, was fully advised of my wishes, and that I desired Geced, when the enemy was driven back to the woods, principally by the batteries of Ricketts's division. The artillery firing was kept up until near midnight of the ninth. Finding that Banks's corps had been severely cut up, and was much fatigued, I drew it back to the rear, and pushed forward the corps of Sigel, which had began to
herefore directed General Banks, or in his absence, General Williams, who succeeded to the command, to assemble his corps on the road to Culpeper Court-House, and about two miles in rear of our front, to collect his stragglers, send back his wounded to Culpeper Court-House, and proceed as rapidly as possible to put the corps in condition for service. In consequence of the vigorous resistance of the night previous, and the severe loss of the enemy in trying to advance, before daylight of the tenth, Jackson drew back his forces toward Cedar Mountain, about two miles from our front. Our pickets were immediately pushed forward, supported by Milroy's brigade, and occupied the ground. The day of the eighteenth was intensely hot, and the troops on both sides were too much fatigued to renew the action. My whole effective force on that day, exclusive of Banks's corps, which was in no condition for service, was about twenty thousand artillery and infantry, and about two thousand cavalry--
giving King's division one night's rest, to fall upon him at daylight on the twelfth on his line of communications, and compel him to fight a battle, which must have been entirely decisive for one army or the other. But during the night of the eleventh, Jackson evacuated the positions in front of us, and retreated rapidly across the Rapidan, in the direction of Gordonsville, leaving many of his dead and wounded on the field and along the road from Cedar Mountain to Orange Court-House. No mate bringing off about one hundred. The cavalry had, in the mean time, approached to within three hundred yards of the enemy's lines without drawing their fire, and having ascertained their position, withdrew to our lines. On the morning of the eleventh, it being determined to take our dead and wounded off the field, I was ordered to advance my brigade to cover our ambulances and working parties. I accordingly sent forward my three companies of cavalry, followed by my infantry. The cavalry, u
. A reconnoissance on the morning of the twelfth found the enemy had withdrawn during the night, in the direction of the Rapidan River. I followed them as rapidly as possible, as soon as this was ascertained, but only succeeded in discovering their rear-guard of cavalry in full flight. Having advanced some six miles, as far as Crooked Creek, and finding it impassable, on account of the previous heavy rains, encamped my brigade upon its bank and awaited orders. On the morning of the thirteenth, finding Crooked Creek and Robinson's River fordable for my cavalry and artillery, I crossed my infantry on slight bridges, hastily constructed. When about eight hundred yards south of Robinson's River, I was obliged to halt my brigade, with the exception of the cavalry, on the bank of a narrow and deep creek emptying into Robinson's River. The bottom of this creek where it crossed the road was composed of mud worn into deep holes, thus rendering it impassable for my artillery. In th
reaching me of large forces of the enemy reinforcing Jackson from the direction of Richmond, and by the morning of the eighteenth, I became satisfied that nearly the whole force of the enemy from Richmond was assembling in my front, along the south acticable the line of that river, I according directed Major-General Reno to send back his trains on the morning of the eighteenth, by the way of Stevensburgh, to Kelly's or Barnett's Ford; and as soon as the trains had gotten several hours in advanc to follow the movement of his train to Sulphur Springs. These movements were executed during the day and night of the eighteenth, and the day of the nineteenth, by which time the whole army with its trains had safely recrossed the Rappahannock and nt and three privates on picket-duty, belonging to the Third Virginia, belonging to my brigade. At four P. M. on the eighteenth, received orders to prepare to fall back as far as Sulphur Springs, the enemy having been reported as advancing in grea
sue the same route; while the train of Gen. Sigel was directed through Jefferson to cross the Rappahannock at Warrenton, Sulphur Springs. So soon as these trains had been sufficiently advanced, McDowell's corps was directed to take the route from Culpeper to Rappahannock Ford, while General Sigel, who was on the right and front, was directed to follow the movement of his train to Sulphur Springs. These movements were executed during the day and night of the eighteenth, and the day of the nineteenth, by which time the whole army with its trains had safely recrossed the Rappahannock and was posted behind that stream, with its left at Kelly's Ford, and its right about three miles above Rappahannock station, Gen. Sigel having been directed immediately upon crossing at Sulphur Springs to march down the left bank of the Rappahannock until he connected closely with General McDowell's right. Early on the morning of the twentieth, the enemy drove in our pickets in front of Kelly's Ford and
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