War of the Rebellion: Serial 017 Page 0835 Chapter XXIV. CAMPAIGN IN NORTHERN VIRGINIA.

Search Civil War Official Records

Question. In point of fact, did, or did not, General McDowell, in obeying that order, pass General Porter and his command on the way?

Answer. I so understood. General McDowell can tell that better than I can myself.

Question. I will ask you now in regard to the last order, that which purports to be dated ont he 29th of August, at 8.50 p. m., and is set forth in the fourth specification of the first charge. I will ask you if General Porter obeyed that order or not.

Answer. General Porter appeared himself on the field the next morning with a portion of his command. Two brigades, however, were not present with him, but were reported by aides-de-camp to me as being at Centreville.

Question. Do you, or not, know at what point those brigades were separated from his command?

Answer. I do not.

Question. What brigades were they?

Answer. One was General Griffin's brigade; the other was General Piatt's brigade. I would say, however, of the latter brigade, that when they reached Centreville, and found that there was a battle going on in the advance, they marched forward to the field, and made their appearance on the ground, and took parti in the action late in the afternoon on the 30th of August; that is, the brigade of General Piatt. They did so without orders to that effect from anybody.

Question. Do you know what became of General Griffin's brigade, or where it was during the battle of the 30th of August?

Answer. Of my own knowledge I do not know, except what was reported to me by my aide-de-camp from Centreville, that the brigade was there.

Question. It took no part in the action?

Answer. No, sir.

Question. Will you state what effect, if any, was produced, or was liable to be produced, on the fortunes of that battle by the absence of that force?

Answer. A very great effect. I do not know the strength of General Griffin's brigade; but a brigade of four regiments and a battery of artillery, as I understand it. That was utterly withdrawn from the field; took no part in the action. General Piatt's command got up very late; too late to do anything, except, indeed, to contribute to enable us to maintain our ground until the darkness closed the fight. The presence of the other brigade would undoubtedly have been of immense benefit.

Question. Did, or did not, you regard the withdrawal of those brigades from General Porter's command, under the circumstances, a clear violation of the order issued to him to report with his command ont he battle-field?

Question objected to by a member of the court.

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 that the question should be propounded to the witness.

Question (repeated). Did, or did not, you regard the withdrawal of those brigades from General Porter's command, under the circumstance, a clear violation of the order issued to him to report with his command on the battle-field?

Answer. Undoubtedly.

Question. Will you state to the court whether or not you had made known to General Porter the position of the enemy's force, and your