General James A. Garfield, U. S. Volunteers; Brigadier General N. B. Buford, U. S. Volunteers; Brigadier General J. P. Slough, U. S. Volunteers; Colonel J. Holt, Judge-Advocate-General.
The accused was also present.
The minutes of the preceding session were read and approved.
The court then proceeded to the trial of Major General Fitz John Porter, U. S. Volunteers, who was called before the court, and, having heard the order appointing the court read, was asked if he had any objection to any member named in the detail.
The accused replied that he had no objection. The court was then duly sworn by the judge-advocate, and the judge-advocate was duly sworn by the president of the court, in the presence of the accused.
At the request of the accused, permission was granted for his counsel Honorable Reverdy Johnson and Charles Eames, esq., to be present during the trial.
The accused submitted the following application in writing:
WASHINGTON CITY, December 2, 1862.
Major General D. HUNTER,
President of General Court-Martial, Washington, D. C.:
GENERAL: I respectfully ask of the court, through you, that its proceedings may be open, not merely to the public, but also to the press.
Accusations of a most serious character are laid against me. They extend over a short period, embracing important operations. The impression has gone forth that I am in a degree responsible for the latter, and I am charged with preventing success. My character has been assailed through the public press with charges of "doubtful loyalty," and my name stained with such epithets as "traitor" or "semitraitor." If the testimony elicited by this court sustain the allegations, I alone am the sufferer by the publicity. If my innocence be proved, after the impartial investigation which I am confident this honorable body will require, let my countrymen be convinced that the confidence reposed in me was not misplace, and that by this investigation the Government designs to do justice to our country and to those engaged in fighting her battles.
I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
F. J. PORTER,
P. S.-I see to-day published in the morning papers the report of the General-in-Chief, in which he comments on some of the matter for investigation before this court. The presentation of that matter at the present, while my trial is going on, is apt to prejudice the public mind, and I ask, therefore, that this application be granted. I the more urge this, as the General-in-Chief refrains, he says, from commenting on matter of complaint against General Buell because his trial is progressing.
F. J. PORTER,
The room was cleared, and the court proceeded to deliberate with closed doors.
After some time the doors were reopened; whereupon the judge-advocate stated the decision of the court to be as follows:
The court, having considered the application of General Porter, decide that it will sit with open doors, in accordance with the custom of the service.
The charge and specifications were then read, as follows:
Charges and specifications exhibited against Major General Fitz John Porter, of the volunteers of the U. S. Army, by B. S. Roberts, brigadier-general of U. S. Volunteers, and inspector-general of Major-General Pope' Army of Virginia.
CHARGE 1ST.-Violation of the Ninth Article of War.
Specification 1st.-In this, that the said Major General Fitz John Porter, of the volunteers of the United States, having received a lawful order, on or about the 27th August,