Question by General McDOWELL. Had you not great difficulty in getting cars unloaded at this time, and were we not on a forced march to reach Front Royal by a given time for and important purpose?
Answer. Such is the fact.
Question by General McDOWELL. Was not General McDowell himself actively engaged during that same night, directing the operations for opening the road, unloading the cars at Rectortown?
Answer. I can't tell whether it was the same night or the preceding night he was so engaged. It was one or the other; and either the same night or the next night he rode to Front Royal on horseback.
Major DAVIS TILLSON, Maine Artillery, a witness, was recalled.
Question by General McDOWELL. You have testified in your previous examination that you were in command of a battery at Belle Plain, Va., in May, 1862. State,as far as you know, the position of Belle Plain as respects the military operations then going on at Fredericksburg.
Answer. Belle Plain is 8 miles, I think, below Aquia Creek. Upon my arrival there were no wares, bridges, or preparations of any kind for landing troops or supplies. It was immediately made a depot by the erection of the necessary works. Lieutenant Ross was placed in command, and large accounts of stores of different kinds were landed, from whence they were taken to Fredericksburg. Question by General McDOWELL. What personal attention, if any, did Major-General McDowell give to this station, the works progressing, and the troops stationed there?
Answer. General McDowell went from Aquia Creek with the troops under the command of Lieutenant-Colonel Leech, Ninetieth Pennsylvania Volunteers, the first, I think, that was sent there. My own battery arrived soon after. Before the troops were landed General McDowell went up to the place selected for landing, and personally superintended the construction of a small bridge from the bank to one or more canal-boats that were fastened conveniently for that purpose. Soon after, on the same day or the next,the men of my own battery were landed, and under the immediate supervision of General McDowell cut down the lumber and built a new bridge, over which horses, mules, and a battery of artillery, and a heavily loaded train of pontoon wagons were disembarked. I recollect this bridge occupied in its construction between three and four house. I afterward had the curiosity to measure it, and found it to be a little over 70 feet in length. I saw General McDowell repeatedly after this at this station, and received from him orders to do everything possible to forward supplies with the greatest rapidity. I know that he gave similar orders to a Lieutenant Ross and other officers.
Question by General McDOWELL. What supplies, if any, for your command did you take from the neighborhood, under what orders, and through what forms?
Answer. I took, I think, just 41 bushels of corn for the use of my battery horses. I did this in compliance with orders from Lieutenant-Colonel Myers, General McDowell's chief quartermaster. The form was in substance this: It stated the place and person to whom the property belonged, the amount taken, and that it would be paid by the United States at the expiration of the war should the owner thereof by able to prove satisfactorily that he had been a true and loyal man from the date of the certificate. My own certificate given in this instance may have varied somewhat from this
Question by General McDOWELL. What orders, if any, did you receive, as chief of artillery, as to the employment of colored men as drivers of battery wagons, &c.? On what basis was the rate of pay established if you know?
Answer. While at Falmouth, and having already employed several negroes as driven of army transportation wagons, I received and order from the division headquarters to which I was attached-and order stating, in substance, that contrabands would no longer be employed as drivers, they having shown themselves unfit to have the care of public animals. As the batteries could not well dispense with the services of these negroes, or contrabands, I went to the department headquarters and inquired