anxiously during the rainy night an attack from this quarter, and, sending around an aide, had all my command under arms and ready.
At daylight an orderly rode to me with an order from General Kearny to turn over my command to my next officer and report to him. I found him in his bed. He told me he had received an order from General Heintzelman to place me under arrest-for what offense he knew not. I asked if it could have been for advancing too far. He replied that he could not imagine what for, but said he would suspend the order for arrest, and ordered me to go to General Heintzelman and say that he (General Kearny) assumed all the responsibility of my actions on the 31st May. I obeyed this order, and sent in by Lieutenant Hunt to General Heintzelman a message that I would be pleased to have five minutes' conversation, in which I could explain my conduct. He returned with a reply that it must be in writing. As I turned to leave for that purpose, Captain McKeever, an attache of General Heintzelman's staff, approached me, and asking what I wanted I told him, and be replied in a very sneering voice, "General Kearny should be sufficient of a soldier at least to know more than to have sent you here. You have no right to approach General Heintzelman."
My brigade, in the position to which it was assigned by me, did gallant service under Colonel Ward on the 1st June, and protected partly by the railroad did great execution with little loss.
In my case a court-martial was convened. General Heintzelman did not attempt to prove that he had sent me any order that was disobeyed, and after the evidence of the prosecution the court, through its judge-advocate, Colonel Gantt, suggested to me that it was not necessary to make a defense. I was honorably acquitted, and returned immediately to my command. I must here return my thanks to General Kearny for his persistent efforts to prevent the assignment of another general officer to the permanent command of my brigade during my arrest on these frivolous, unjust, and malicious charges. General Heintzelman had assigned one.
With my own brigade and division these charges, and the fulminating of them at the time by one Samuel Wilkeson, of the New York Tribune, recognized by General Heintzelman as a volunteer aide-de-camp, had no effect, but I have the honor to submit whether the code that governs our Army is not defective in not providing some redress for injuries of this kind. In this case a general officer is placed temporarily before the country in the pillory of disgrace, arrested by daybreak on the battle-field, these facts sent over the country by news-paper correspondents acting as volunteer aides-de-camp, and when the court-martial meets, this officer, of the same grade as the accused, to whom he had refused five minutes' explanation, testifies that he is entirely ignorant of the whole case. This officer is of course shielded by superior rank and age from the usual responsibility.
I am gratified that my conduct and that of my brigade met with the approval of the commanding general of the division. That my command, 1,300 strong, could have retaken all the artillery captured by the enemy, could have accomplished what Couch's and Casey's divisions failed to do, or even Sumner's corps on the right did not attempt to do, is a very great compliment to it and myself, but is, I think, undeserved.
With the knowledge now had of the strength of the enemy I believe that the advance of my brigade on the right saved, by its display of re-enforcements, the divisions of Couch, Casey, and the two brigades of our division supporting them, from complete disorder and rout,