War of the Rebellion: Serial 017 Page 0839 Chapter XXIV. CAMPAIGN IN NORTHERN VIRGINIA.

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advocate stated the decision of the court to be that question was irrelevant.

To this decision of the court the accused submitted a protest in writing, and asked that the same be entered upon the record.

The room was then cleared, and the court proceeded to deliberate with closed doors.

After some time the doors were reopened, and the judge-advocate stated that the court determined to hold the question as to the disposition to be made of this paper under advisement until to-morrow.

Whereupon the court adjourned to 11 a. m. to-morrow.

WASHINGTON, D. C., December 5, 1862.

The court pursuant to adjournment.

Present, Major General D. Hunter, U. S. Volunteers; Major General E. A. Hitchcock, U. S. Volunteers; Brigadier General Rufus King, U. S. Volunteers; Brigadier General B. M. Prentiss, U. S. Volunteers; Brigadier General James B. Ricketts, U. S. Volunteers; Brigadier General Silas Casey, U. S. Volunteers; Brigadier 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, with his counsel, was also present.

The minutes of the last session were read and approved.

The protest, in writing, submitted by the accused, and which was under consideration by the court yesterday at the hour of adjournment, was then read by the judge-advocate. It is as follows:

The witness having, in his examination-in-chief, attributed the disasters of the army under his command in Virginia in August lat to the failure of the accused to obey all or some of his orders, and having stated that he was of the opinion that such orders might have been obeyed, and it being, so far as the prosecution has gone, upon his evidence that such disobedience occurred that the prosecution had endeavored to be maintained, the accused is advised by his counsel that the question just ruled out by the court is not only relevant and legal but most material, in order to show that the recollection of the witness in such his examination-in-chief is not to be relied upon; and that he for the first time afterward charged the alleged disobedience upon the accused; because it was the duty of the witness, not only not to doubt whether he would take any action in relation to the matter, but to report the same as a grave offense on the part of the accused; and his determination or doubt whether he would take such action, or make such report, are facts not only admissible but material evidence that at the time to which the question relates he did not believe there had been any such disobedience on the part of the accused, and, therefore, respectfully, request to have this protest entered on the proceedings of the court against the exclusion of the question referred to.

F. J. PORTER,

Major-General.

The judge-advocate said: The witness requests the permission of the court to answer the question referred to in the protest just read.

The accused made no objection.

The room was thereupon cleared, and the court proceeded to deliberate with closed doors.

Some time after the doors were reopened, and the judge-advocate announced the decision of the court to be that the witness have permission to answer the question referred to.

The question was then read to the witness as follows:

Question. If, as you have stated, you were of the opinion that the army under your command had been defeated, and in danger of still greater defeat, and the capital of the country in danger of capture by the enemy, and you thought these calamities could have been obviated