War of the Rebellion: Serial 015 Page 0321 Chapter XXIV. GENERAL REPORTS.

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to have led to where they were most needed, but from which they were forced back &c.

"Answer. When re-enforcements were called for to go to the assistance of General Meade, I was ordered by General Sykes to take three of my battalions and move up to the front and left to the point most threatened, which I did at once. I left General Milroy haranguing and gesticulating most emphatically in the same place where his conversation with you commenced. He was calling for re-enforcements, and urging that if they were sent at once the day was ours, and that the enemy were ready to run. After I placed my three battalions in position I moved to the right of my line, where, to my surprise, I saw almost 100 yards to my right the remainder of my brigade, which had been sent to the front after I left, and General Milroy was giving it some orders. I at once rode up to him and told him that these battalions belonged to my brigade of regulars, and that I could not consent to any interference with my command. He said that he did not know they were my men and did not wish to interfere with me, and only wanted to place them in the best position. I told him that I was responsible for the position of my command, and did not want any assistance either in posting it or fighting it, when he left me. His own brigade was not near there, and he seemed to be rushing about the field without any special aim or object, unless it was to assist in the performance of other officer's duties whenever he could find any one to listen to him. I did not lose one inch of ground after I got my brigade together, which I did immediately by moving this latter portion to the left, but held the enemy at bay for an hour, and, instead of being forced back, I maintained my position until ordered to fall back to the position from whence we started. Had the enemy "forced" me back, in the sense of General Milroy's report, he would have obtained possession not only of the turnpike, but of the stone bridge, and what would have been the result you are well aware-our defeat would have been disastrous.

"I am, sir, respectfully, your obedient servant,

"ROBT. C. BUCHANAN,

"Lieutenant-Colonel Fourth Infantry, Commanding First Brigade, Regular Infantry."

I have now reviewed what seemed to me to be the principal points in the evidence. There are others I might have noticed had not this statement already grown to a fatiguing length.

It is now more than five months since, on an intimation from the highest authority, I asked for this investigation. It has been held near where all the alleged acts of commission or omission took place. It has been open. All persons have been invited in the most public way to disclose to the court whatever they knew which would tend to show criminality in my conduct as an officer or as a man, and the court have asked witnesses not only what they knew, but what they knew others knew; those who do not wish me well have been asked every question likely to develop anything to my prejudice, and I feel that now, after this tedious and patient investigation which this court has so faithfully made, that as to the past, on all matters concerning my loyalty or sobriety, I may be spared the charges that have been so freely made against me.

Nearly two years ago I was here organizing the small beginnings of the Grand Army of the Potomac. When I commenced we had here in Washington --- Cooper, now the senior general in the secession army; Lee, commanding at Fredericksburg; Johnston, the commander of the rebel Army of the Mississippi; Magruder, the commander of the enemy's forces in Texas; Pemberton, the commander at Vicksburg; Jones and Field, prominent generals on the other side, besides many others of less rank. Alexandria mostly, if not wholly, secession; Georgetown and Washington very much so. I organized the first hundred, the first thousand, and the first brigade of the loyal citizens of the place, and this in opposition to all the bad influences brought to bear against us. And when the troops from the North came down and the capital had been saved and the opposite shore taken, I organized the army of which the present one is but an extension-a great one, it is true.

I have been in constant active service. No doubt of my loyalty has been entertained by the authorities or my superiors, and no evidence

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