To Herman Haupt

Col. Haupt, United States Military Telegraph.
Alexandria, Va Aug. 31. 7/10 A.M. 1862

What news? Do you hear firing this morning? A. LINCOLN

Haupt replied, “No news received as yet this morning; firing heard distinctly in direction of Bristoe at 6 o’clock”. At 10 A.M. Haupt reported, “We escaped any injury to the track or bridges last night. We sent forward trains until 2 am. They all reached their destination which affords I think an ample supply of subsistence & ammunition. We sent 88 cars The trains were all guarded the tops filled with riflemen & strong guards at all the bridges. We asked Manassas a short time ago if firing was heard He said no Fairfax just answered no firing heard. I sent out one of Genl Couches [Darius N. Couch] regiments about 12 last night The other reported for duty after 2 AM. It was of no use to send it at that hour as no train was ready.”

At 10:10 Haupt reported further: “One of our train dispatchers reports from Manassas that he was ordered out of his car at Bristoe this morning by our own troops with the information that they were ordered to destroy the cars & engines & they have been burned. I suppose this was done by command of Genl Banks”.

The Second Battle of Bull Run was over, and at 8:50 A.M. on September 1 General Pope would advise Halleck that he should order the army to fall back to the entrenchments in front of Washington.


To Herman Haupt

Col. Haupt,
Alexandria, Va Aug. 30. 1862, 3/50. P.M

Please send me the latest news. A. LINCOLN

As in the case of the preceding telegram, there may have been two with identical wording sent at different hours. Haupt’s Reminiscences, p. 119, prints this telegram as sent at 8:50 P.M. Haupt’s reply, however, is dated as sent and received at 5 P.M., as follows: “The latest news is that our men are busy building bridges beyond Bull Run. One of my assistants has just returned from Bristoe to Manassas Reports bridge across Kettle Run finished A good force at work at Broad Run and another at Bull Run. One train of supplies sent out & unloaded Another of thirteen cars of bread & meat just starting the track to Bull Run should be clear by this time but I have no advices of the fact. Major [B. F.] Fifield [?] has this moment arrived on return train & gives it as his opinion from the position of affairs when he left that Jackson has by this time surrendered. This is doubtful as we can hear firing”.

To Herman Haupt

Col. Haupt. Washington, D.C.,
Alexandria, Va. Aug. 30, 10/20 AM 1862.

What news? A. LINCOLN

This same telegram appears in Haupt’s Reminiscences (1901), p. 119, dated “August 30, 1862, 9 A.M.” Lincoln may have sent two identical telegrams, since there are three telegrams which may be considered as replies. The first is dated at 11 A.M., “Firing this morning is heard in direction of Centreville. I have sent out four trains. . . . The intelligence last evening was that Hooker and Pope were pushing the enemy toward the gap in the mountains through which they had advanced, and that McDowell and Sigel were heading them off. This morning the direction of the firing seems to be changing and it is not impossible that the enemy’s forces may be changing direction and trying to escape toward Fredericksburg. . . . I await intelligence . . . and will communicate anything of importance that I hear.” The second is dated as sent at 11:30 A.M., received at 11:35 A.M., “Our opr. has reached Manassas. Hears no firing of importance. I have directed part of the 200 Riflemen to go out as Scouts make observations & report constantly. 2 of [sic] 3 flashes just seen from Manassas in direction of Centreville. Our Expedition this A M appears to have [been] completely successful We have re-established teleg communication with Manassas & if protected will even have cars running but the Military authorities heretofore have never extended to us the protection that was necessary & we have assumed the responsibility of going ahead without it. Our telegraph operators & Railway Employees are entitled to great credit. They have been advance ‘pioneers’ occupying the posts of danger & the Exploit of penetrating to Fairfax & Bringing off the wounded when they supposed twenty thousand Rebels were in their front & flank was one of the boldest performances I have heard of.” The third is dated as received at 11:50 A.M., “One of our men who is just in left Bristoe yesterday noon says our men had nearly finished repairing Kettle-Run Bridge A large number of cars with four Engines were the other side of Kettle-Run Bridge ready to come over as soon as possible One of the Engines, the one in advance had 12 cars of ammunition & more behind After the completion of Kettle Run the Trains can advance to Bristoe They are probably there now This intelligence is extremely gratifying I learn too that Broad Run Bridge has been attempted to be destroyed by cutting off the legs of all the trestles They could not have done mischief in a way that would render it more easy & Expeditious for us to repair Very few hours should make Broad Run passable & then Bull Run will remain the only obstacle.”

To Nathaniel P. Banks

Major Genl. Banks.
Manassas Junction, Va August 30. 8/35 PM. 1862

Please tell me what news. A LINCOLN

Banks replied at 11:45 P.M., “It is represented to me that the engagement yesterday evening was very severe but successful for our arms. Another engagement occurred this afternoon but I have not yet learned the result”.

To George B. McClellan

Major Genl. McClellan Washington, D.C.,
Alexandria, Va Aug. 29. 1862.

Yours of to-day just received. I think your first alternative, towit, “to concentrate all our available forces to open communication with Pope,” is the right one. But I wish not to control. That I now leave to Gen. Halleck, aided by your counsels. A. LINCOLN

To George B. McClellan

War Department,
Major Genl. McClellan Washington, D.C.,
Alexandria, Va. Aug. 29. 2/30. 1862.

What news from direction of Mannassas Junction? What generally? A. LINCOLN

McClellan replied at 2:45 P.M., “The last news I recd from the direction of Manassas was from stragglers to the effect that the enemy were evacuating Centreville & retirring towards Thorofare Gap this by no means reliable. I am clear that one of two courses should be adopted. First to concentrate all our available forces to open communication with Pope. Second to leave Pope to get out of his scrape & at once use all our means to make the capital perfectly safe. No middle course will now answer. Tell me what you wish me to do & I will do all in my power to accomplish it. I wish to know what my orders & authority are. I ask for nothing but will obey whatever orders you give. I only ask a prompt decision that I may at once give the necessary orders. It will not do to delay longer.”

To Ambrose E. Burnside

Major Genl. Burnside Washington, D.C.,
Falmouth, Va. Aug. 29. 2/30 P.MX 1862.

Any further news? Does Col. Devin mean that sound of firing was heard in direction of Warrenton, as stated, or in direction of Warrenton Junction? A. LINCOLN