Page images

flour, beef, pork, and bacon, whereof sisted in seeking a more immediate the Rebel army stood in greater need junction with Longstreet's advance. than did ourz. McDowell, Kearny, Pope reached Manassas, with Kearand Reno reached, during the night, ny's division and Reno's corps, about the positions assigned them by Pope. noon; Jackson having left with his

Longstreet had only started the rear-guard an hour earlier. Pope day before from the south side of the immediately pushed forward all his Rappahannock, opposite Warrenton forces in hand upon Centerville, Springs, and had not yet entered ordered Porter to come up at once Thoroughfare Gap. Could McDow- to Manassas, and McDowell to adell but block it effectually with a few vance toward Centerville. Meanregiments and batteries, while the while, McDowell, unordered, had rest of our army was hurled upon detached Ricketts's division and sent Jackson, our triumph must be cer- it toward Thoroughfare Gap; so that tain and decisive. Hence Pope, it was no longer available for the about dark, sent back explicit orders directed movement on Centerville. to Porter, at Warrenton Junction, to Late in the afternoon, Kearny move forward at 1 A, M.," and report occupied Centerville; Jackson's rearto leadquarters at Bristow, 10 miles guard retreating by Sudley Springs ; distant, during the night or early next while part of his force took the Warmorning. This order Porter failed to renton turnpike toward Gainesville, obey ; not moving till after daylight, impeding our advance on both roads and not reaching Bristow till 101 A. M. by destroying the bridges over Bull McDowell was likewise ordered, Run and Cub Run.

At 6 P. M., at 9 P. M.," to press forward, at the Jackson's advance, now moving very earliest dawn, toward Manassas toward Thoroughfare Gap, encounJunction, resting his right on the tered King's division of McDowell's Manassas Gap Railroad, while Reno corps, and a sanguinary combat enadvanced simultaneously from Green- sued, which was terminated by darkwich upon Manassas, and Kearny ness, the advantage being on the side upon Bristow. Kearny reached Bris- of the Rebels. The loss on both sides tow at 8 A. M.,26 with Reno on his was heavy; and among the Rebel left, and was immediately pushed wounded were Maj.-Gen. Ewell and forward, followed by Hooker, on the Brig.-Gen. Taliaferro; the former track of Ewell. McDowell gave severely. orders for the required movement at

Pope, still at Centerville, was ap2 A. M.; but Sigel, who held his ad- prised of this collision at 10 P. M., vance, had not fairly cleared Gainės- and then felt that he had Jackson ville at 74 A. M.

sure. Sending orders to McDowell Meantime, Jackson, who was not and King to hold their ground at all easily caught napping, had com- hazards, and directing Kearny to menced his evacuation of Manassas at push forward at 1 A. M." from Cen3 A. M., moving viâ Centerville; and terville, along the Warrenton turnthus escaping the destruction which pike, and to hug Jackson close, so as probably awaited him had le per to prevent his retreating northward 13 August 28. 24 August 27.

August 28.

20 August 29.



[ocr errors]

toward Leesburg; and to Porter, ing, of King's abandonment of the whom he supposed to be now at Gainesville road, had sent orders to Manassas Junction, to move upon Sigel

, at Groveton, to advance and Centerville at dawn, he confidently attack vigorously at daylight, supexpected to have Jackson inclosed ported by Reynolds; while Heintzeland early in the morning assailed by man, with Hooker's and Kearny's 25,000 on either side, who were to divisions, was to push forward from crush him before Longstreet could Centerville toward Gainesville; Reno possibly arrive.

following, with orders to attack But he was reckoning without his promptly and vigorously. Fitz-John host—or rather, without the other Porter, with his own corps and King's one. Gen. Longstreet's advance had division, was to move from Manassas reached Thoroughfare Gap at 3 upon the Gainesville road with all P. M.," and passed through it; but speed, with intent to turn Jackson's encountered on this side a superior flank at the intersection of the Warforce, strongly posted, by which it renton turnpike. was easily repulsed. As there was Sigel, who was nearest the enemy, no time to be lost, Gen. D. R. Jones, with the division of Schurz forming with two brigades, was sent in at his right, that of Schenck his left, once; while Hood, with two others, and the brigade of Milroy between following a mountain foot-path, at- them, advanced, by order, at 5 A. M., tempted to turn our right; and Wil- and was fully engaged before 7; cox, with two more, inaking a circuit gaining ground by hard fighting till through Hopewell Gap, three miles half past 10, when Milroy and north, was to come in on our rear. Schurz had advanced a mile, and

Ricketts's single division was of Schencktwo miles, though obstinately course unable to stand against Long- resisted by the enemy. But the street's heavy corps, and was driven off Rebel strength in their front was with loss, cornmencing its retreat just constantly increasing, and now asat dark. Longstreet's whole force sumed the offensive, hurling heavy was pushed rapidly through the pass, masses of infantry against our right; and, early next day, its van was in which held its ground firmly by the Gainesville, pressing on to the rescue aid of its batteries, but not without of Jackson, its steps quickened by the heavy loss. roar of cannon, and meeting no re- Schenck, being now ordered by sistance to the desired concentration; Sigel to strike the Rebel assailants McDowell and King having got out in flank and rear, was soon briskly of the way during the night, retreat- engaged; the enemy attempting to ing on Manassas Junction. When flank him in turn. At this moment, Longstreet, before noon, came rapidly Gen. Kearny's division of Ileintzelinto action on the right of Jackson, man's corps arrived on the field, by already hotly engaged, the Rebel the Sudley Springs road, and went army was once more rëunited, and in on Sigel's right; while Reno, comfelt itself invincible.

ing up by the Gainesville turnpike, Pope, apprised, just before morn- supported our center; and Reynolds, August 28.

August 29.


[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]







Explanations. AA-arrow-heads)-indicate the route pursued by forced by McDowell and Peno, and confronted by JackJackson's forces, viz.: to Manassas Junction, Aug. 27; son (a, b, c), who was afterward rëenforced by Longvia Centerville to Groveton and Sudley Springs on the street, Aug. 29. 29th, and on the 1st of September to near Germantown. The same position substantially, but extending farther

The position of Hooker's and Ewell's forces in their to the left, was held on the 30th, by Heintzelman, Reno, engagement on the 27th, near Bristow, is shown; while Porter, Sigel, and Reynolds (named in order from right the position of the commands of McDowell and Sigel, at to left), supported by McDowell. Gainesville, and Reno and Kearny, at Greenwich, as held No attempt is made to represent the changes of posi. that night, are also shown, being indicated by the respec- tion which occurred during the two days of severe fight. tive initials, viz. :

ing. M-McDowell.


The position of the several commands at Centerville R- Reno.


on the 31st August, and near Germantown on the 1st The positions of Gens. McDowell and Sigel were some- September, are indicated by initials, where the full name what farther advanced toward Centerville, at the time does not occur, viz. : of their collision with Jackson's advance on the 2Sth.


I-Heintzelman, A, B, C, represent the lines formed by the commands


8-Sigel. of Heintzelman, Sigel, and Reynolds, afterward rēen





with the Pennsylvania Reserves, the left, advanced by order, charged came into position, at noon, on our the enemy's left and swept back his extreme left.' About 2 P. M., Gen. first line, rolling it up on his center Hooker, with IIeintzelman's remain- and right. King's division was sent ing division, came down the Sudley into the fight about sunset, and adSprings road on our extreme right; vanced considerably beyond our genand his troops immediately went in eral line of battle; but, soon finding to the aid of the wasted and hungry itself confronted by a heavier force commands of Schurz and Milroy, of the enemy, was brought to a stand. who were thus enabled to refill their Meantime, Hood charged in turn, cartridge boxes and obtain some with a fresh division of Longstreet's much needed food and rest.

corps, which had marched through The fighting thence till 4 P. M. the Gap that day and been sent by was desultory--a succession of heavy Lee to the relief of Jackson, now skirmishes from point to point along clearly outnumbered. Hood's famous the front; either General being intent Texas brigade and that of Law rushed on his approaching rëenforcements, forward with great intrepidity, reand trusting to time as his friend. pulsing Kearny's most advanced reAt 41, McDowell being announced giments, taking 1 gun, 4 flags, and as at hand, Pope sent a peremptory 100 prisoners. Darkness arrested the order to Porter to go into action on conflict, either army resting on the the enemy's right, turning it if pos- field of battle; but Pope, with some sible; and, an hour later, presuming reason, claiming the advantage, in this order obeyed, directed Heintzel. that he held some ground which had man and Reno to attack the enemy been wrested from the enemy during in front; which order was gallantly the day. The losses on either side obeyed.

were probably not far from 7,000 And now, though Fitz-John Por- men. ter was still missing, and King's di- But Pope was really beaten, though vision did not reach the field till near he did not yet know it. His aim had sunset, our army was for once supe- been to overwhelm Jackson before rior in numbers; Kearny's and Hook- Lee, with Longstreet, could come to er's fresh regiments pressing forward his assistance; and in this he had and crowding back the enemy's left, conspicuously failed. Had his entire which had been skillfully disposed for army been in hand and in line of a good part of the day behind the battle by 9 o'clock that morning, his embankment of an abandoned rail- success would have been certain and road, which served most effectively casy; but, dropping in by brigades as a breast-work. At 5 P. M., Kear- and divisions throughout the day, ny, bringing up nearly his entire and Porter not even getting into acdivision, and changing his front to tion at all,so he had barely held his



20 Pope, in his official report, says:

30 Pope, in his official report, says: “ In this attack, Grover's brigade of Hooker's “ About 8 P. M., the greater portion of the field division was particularly distinguished by a deter- of battle was occupied by our army. Nothing mined bayonet-charye, breaking two of the ene- was heard of Gen. Porter up to that time; and my's lines, and penetrating to the third before it his forces took no part whatever in the action; could be checked."

but were suffered by him to lie idle on their

own; and now his opportunity had ing him that rations would be loaded vanished. Longstreet's corps had in the available wagons and cars at been arriving throughout the day, Alexandria so soon as he would send and was now all present—much of it back a cavalry escort to bring out the perfectly fresh, so far as fighting was trains. If cavalry had been ever so concerned, and ready for most effec- necessary to the guarding of railroad tive service on the morrow.

trains, he had probably not then a Pope, so often disappointed and regiment that could have gone to baffled, found his fighting force re- Alexandria and back within 48 duced by casualties and by strag- hours. He had received no rëengling, on the morning of that event- forcements or supplies since the 26th, ful morrow, to about 40,000 men.” and had no assurance that any were These had had a surfeit of marching on the way.

on the way. To retreat was diffiand fighting, with very little eating, cult; to stand still and famish unadfor the two preceding days; while visable; so he ordered Porter, suphis artillery and cavalry horses had ported by King, to advance down been ten days in harness, and two the Warrenton turnpike and attack; days without food. To his appeal of while Heintzelman and Reno, supthe 28th to Gen. Halleck for rations, ported by Ricketts's division, were for forage, and fresh horses, he had to assail and turn the enemy's left. that morning at daylight ® received Porter's attack was feeble; and not an answer from Gen. Franklin, writ- unreasonably so, since he encounten by direction of Gen. McClellan, tered the enemy in greatly superior and dated 8 P. M. of the 29th, inform- numbers, and was speedily thrown arms, within sight and sound of the battle during | and checked by the dest: uction or this large the whole day. So far as I know, he made no force as to have been no longer in condition to effort whatever to comply with my orders or to prosecute further operations of an aggressive take any part in the action. I do not hesitate to character." say that, if he had discharged his duty as be

31 In his official report: he says: came a soldier under the circumstances, and had made a vigorous attack on the enemy, as he was

"At that time, my cffective force, greatly reexpected and directed to do, at any tinie up to

duced by losses in killed, wounded. missing, and 8 o'clock that night, we should have utterly broken down men. during the sovere oferations crushed or captured the largur portion of Jack of the two or three days and nights previous; son's force before he could have been by any

the sharp actions of Ilooker, King, and Ricketts possibility sufficiently rïen'orced to have made

on the 27th and 28th, and the furious battle on the an effective resistance. I did not myself feel for 29th, were estimated by me and others asf:llows: a moment that it was necessary for me, having McDowell's corps, including Reynolds's division, given Gen. Porter an order to march toward the 12.000 men; Sigel's corps, 7,000; Reno's corps, enemy, in a particular direction, to send him in 7,000; IIeintzelman's corps, 7,00?; Porter's corps, addition specific orders to attack; it being his which had been in no engagement, and was, or clear duty, and in accordance with every military ought to have been, perfectly fresh, I estimated at precept, to have brought his forces into action about 12,(,00 men, including the brigade of Piatt, wherever he encountered the enemy, when a

which formed a part of Sturgis's division, and furious battle with that enemy was raging during the only portion th:t ever joined me. the whole day in liis immediate presence. I be- this force the brigades of Piatt and Griffin, numlieve-in fact, I am positive—that at 5 o'clock on bering, as I understood, about 5,000 men, had the afternoon of tlie 29th, Gen. Torter had in

been suffered to march off at daylight on the his f ont no considerable body of the enemy. I 30th for Centerville, and were not available for believed then, as I am very sure now, that it was

operations on that day. This reduced Porter's easily practicable for him to have turned the effective force in the field to about 7,000 men; right flank of Jackson, and to have fallen upon

which gave me a total force of 40,000 men. his rear; that, if he had done so, we should bare Banks's corps, about 5,000 strong, was at Brisgained a decisive victory over the army under

tow Station, in charge of the railroad trains, and Jackson before he could have been joined by of a portion of the wagou trains of the army, any of the forces of Longstreet; and that the

still at that place." army of Gen. Lee would have been so crippled Aug. 30.

But of


« PreviousContinue »