War of the Rebellion: Serial 015 Page 0073 Chapter XXIV. GENERAL REPORTS.

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General McDowell replied "the character and credibility of the witness."

The court was cleared.

The court was opened, and the following decision announced:

General McDowell having avowed that the object of his question was to impeach the character and credibility of the witness, the court rule that the question is incompetent for that purpose, so far as it calls for facts contradicting the testimony of the witness in rehalation to the organization, &c., of his regiment or brigade.

The cross-examination on that subject was by General McDowell on collateral points, in respect to which he cannot make new issues and introduce rebutting witnesses for the purpose of impeachment; but he court will receive competent testimony to contradict the witness in his evidence on material points or impeach his general character for truth and veracity.

The court adjourned to meet to-morrow, the 5th December, 1862, at 11 o'clock a. m.


COURT-ROOM, Numbers 467 SOUTH FOURTEENTH STREET, Washington, D. C., December 5, 1862.

The court met pursuant to adjournment. Present, * * *

Colonel GEORGE D. RUGGLES, aide-de-camp and assistant adjutant-general, the witness under examination.

* * * * * *

The recorder informed the court that he has received a communication from R. D. Goodwin, dated Washington, December 5, 1862, which was read, as follows:


Lieutenant-Colonel and Recorder, Court of Inquiry:

By request of the court I do hereby inform you that P. Clark, esq., late of Fredericksburg, Va., now stopping at Willard's Hotel, in this city, has informed me of very grave charges which he can make against Major-General McDowell as to his disloyalty, &c. He may leave the city soon if not summoned. I expect more facts this evening from another person; if so, I will inform you.

Respectfully, your obedient servant,


WASHINGTON, D. C., December 5, 1862.

The court instructed the recorder to send for Mr. Clark, with a view to ascertaining what is the character of his testimony as pertaining to the matter under investigation.

Question by General McDOWELL. What do you know of the general character of R. D. Goodwin for veracity ad what is his character in that respect?

The court was cleared at he instance of a member.

The court was opened, and the following decision announced:

The question is incompetent. The witness cannot be examined as to particular facts, but ought first to be asked substantially whether he has the means of knowing the general character of the witness for truth and veracity. If the witness answers that he has such knowledge, then the question will be competent, inquiring as to the character in that respect.

General McDowell here presented to the court a paper, which was read by the recorder, and which is appended to this day's proceedings.