War of the Rebellion: Serial 015 Page 0125 Chapter XXIV. GENERAL REPORTS.

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that General McDowell had made a disposition by which our two corps could act with more unity. I believe that he could be on the battle-field with the greater part of his troops at an earlier hour of the day. I also believe that he did not give his troops the right direction on the 29th, because instead of attacking the enemy on his right flank, by coming in on our left, his troops, as much as I could see, came in from the rear; that is to say, instead of coming in the direction of New Market he came in the direction of Centreville-I do not know for what reason. I cannot understand for what reasons General McDowell left the position which he held on the 28th, in the evening, which would have been, according to my opinion, the right place for attacking the enemy in his right flank on the 29th.

There is on the next point, "neglectful or otherwise in co-operating with his associate commanders." I think that General McDowell neglected to get a personal knowledge of the affairs of my corps on the 29th of August, and that it was therefore impossible for him to make his arrangements as they had to be made or as they were intended. I also must mention a remark of General McDowell, which he made to one of my staff officers during our march from Gainesville to Manassas.

General McDowell asked, at this point in the examination, if this is proper evidence to be received by the court; that it was his impression that the court declined to receive like evidence from a witness a day or two since.

The court was cleared.

The court was opened.

The court asked the witness the name of the staff officer to whom he referred; where he is, and if his presence before the court could be produced.

Answer. It is Captain Dahlgren, on of my staff; he is here now present before the court.

The following decision of the court was announced:

If it were in proof that General McDowell had made an improper remark, relating to the operations in question, to a staff officer of General Sigel, it would be competent to prove that the remark was duly reported to General Sigel equally as though it were a written message sent to him. It is desirable to observe this order in obtaining the proof in this case if it were practicable, but General Sigel is now called from the field, and it appears to be necessary to receive the testimony. If not supported by direct proof that General McDowell made the remark to such staff officer, it will not operate to General McDowell's prejudice.

The court informed General McDowell that if the considers that it might prejudice his case to continue the examination of General Sigel upon this point, they would suspend the further examination of the witness for the present, with a view to introducing the testimony immediately of Captain Dahlgren.

General McDowell stated that it would please him to have the present witness continue, but would ask that Captain Dahlgren might withdraw from the court while testimony is being given on the matter upon which Captain Dahlgren is to be questioned.

The court requested Captain Dahlgren to withdraw, and to hold himself in readiness to appear as a witness before this court.

The witness continued:

When our troops were on their march to Manassas, the head of the column about 1 mile distant from Manassas, I was of the opinion that a battle would be fought near the point where the troops of General McDowell were at that time. I ordered all the troops back and formed them in line of battle, advancing about a mile toward Groveton, so as to come on the right of General McDowell's corps. I sent first one of my engineers back to see where General McDowell was and to bring me instructions, but as his answer was not satisfactory to me, as he did not speak English very well, I sent Captain Dahlgren, who came back and told me that General McDowell directed me to march to Manassas immediately, and that after having questioned General McDowell in regard to the position I should take the general made a remark, "Gen-