War of the Rebellion: Serial 015 Page 0101 Chapter XXIV. GENERAL REPORTS.

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corps designed to be employed in your movements by the route of the Peninsula was to be left to cover Washington until the first corps sent off to the Peninsula should be opposed by the enemy's force falling back from Gordonsville; and, if so, was General McDowell's corps left behind for that duty?

Answer. The means of water transportation we had rendered it necessary to embark the army in successive portions, and the idea was to leave a corps or more, which would be the last to embark, in position to cover Washington so long as there was danger of its being attacked by the enemy. Before I left Washington I was satisfied that it was not then in danger, and I directed Sumner's corps to be embarked before General McDowell for the reason that I wished to employ General McDowell's corps as a unit. I did not leave General McDowell's corps behind for the purpose of covering Washington. I expected it to follow me the moment transportation for it was ready.

Question by the COURT. Had General McDowell orders to that effect?

Answer. Yes; that is, to follow me when transportation was ready.

General McDowell presented to the court a communication marked A, which was read by the recorder ant is appended to the proceedings of this day.

Major General ERASMUS D. KEYES, U. S. Volunteers, a witness, was duly sworn.

Question by General MCDOWELL. Please state to the court your present rank and command, and if you have served under General McDowell when he commanded a division in the Army of the Potomac and with him as commanding army corps in that army?

Answer. My present rank is major-general of volunteers. I command the Fourth Army Corps. I served under Major-General McDowell when he commanded a division, as brigadier in the Army of the Potomac. I also served with him as a corps commander, that is, he commended the First and I the Fourth Army Corps, but not for a great length of time.

Question by General MCDOWELL. State to the court as fully as you can concerning General McDowell's conduct as division commander whilst you served under him.

Answer. I served under General McDowell as a division commander from about the 1st of August till about the middle of November following as a brigadier. The conduct of General McDowell during that time was in my opinion that of an attentive officer, who understood the duties of this command perfectly well. It was my impression and knowledge that he examined the details of his command daily. He would pass through the camp very frequently; make frequent and very careful inspections of the men; saw his command frequently under arms and exercised them all. That is my answer to his military conduct.

Question by General MCDOWELL. State to the court as fully as you can concerning General McDowell's conduct as army corps commander whilst you and he served in that capacity in the Army of the Potomac.

Answer. While I served with him as corps commander, which was not far from the 12th of March until the end of the month, when I left for the Peninsula, I saw him frequently. During that time I did not see him actually oh the field more than two or three times; that I had frequent conversation and discussions with him in reference to the plan of campaign and the conduct of the war. General McDowell appeared to be very active, and it struck me he had studied the subject of the campaign thoroughly, and that he understood and performed the duties of his command with a great deal of alacrity and intelligence. I thought his conduct indicated that his heart was zealous in the cause. It was my impression that his ability and his intelligence were fully equal to his command. I should add, at the time I refer to, about the 10th March, the discussions of corps commanders were very important of course, as the subject of the campaign was under frequent discussion, and I saw more of General McDowell and heard views more in detail than I did those of any other corps commander.

Question by General MCDOWELL. Were you ever present at any con-