War of the Rebellion: Serial 017 Page 0867 Chapter XXIV. CAMPAIGN IN NORTHERN VIRGINIA.

Search Civil War Official Records

Answer. I do not recollect that I saw any of General Porter's corps arrive at Bristoe Station before I left; I saw troops arriving from that direction.

Question. Will you state to the court the condition of the road between Warrenton Junction and Bristoe Station, over which this order required General Porter and his command to march?

Answer. The condition of the road was good, generally. The first 3 or 4 miles of the road passed through open country, some woods intersecting it. Some bridges had been burned, and the passing of the streams were the only difficulties I now remember, and they were not material, a large number of wagons having passed them without any difficulty, as General Pope himself moved down, following him.

Question. State what you know, if anything, in regard to any order or orders issued by Major-General Pope to General Porter on the 29th of August, in reference to his movements.

Answer. On the morning of the 29th, an order was directed to General McDowell and General Porter, severally, requiring them to move their forces from Manassas Junction in the direction of Gainesville, and to continue on the road leading from Manassas Junction toward Gainesville to a point which I inferred to be near Gainesville, but I do not know how near, and there they were to halt their commands.

The judge-advocate stated the order referred to by witness was the joint order set forth in specification second of the first charge.

The witness continued:

In this order I remember they were instructed not to proceed so far as to be unable, in case of necessity, to fall back behind Bull Run that night. This order gave to these generals a discretion of departing from its strict letter, if any great advantages were to be derived from such a departure; but pressed upon them the importance of keeping in a position where they could fall back behind Bull Run that night, as it was believed by General Pope that they would be obliged to do so to get back to rations and supplies.

Question. Is the order set forth in specification two of charge one the order to which you are now referring?

Answer. That is the order I am now referring to.

Question. What do you know, if anything, in regard to the order issued by General Pope to General Porter, set forth in the third specification of the first charge, baring date 4.30 p. m. of the 29th August?

Answer. About 4.30 p. m. of the 29th of August it was supposed by General Pope that General Porter was near the field of battle. The direction in which the first order required him to move would have brought him, as was supposed, near the field of Porter was expected, the flash and the smoke from some pieces of artillery, and I inferred it to be artillery from General Porter, who was expected to attack there about that time. But it very soon ceased, and General Pope then wrote another order to General Porter, which, according to my recollection, stated that the direction of his movement would bring him on the enemy's right flank or rear, and that he wished him to press forward and attack immediately.

Question. Is, or is not, order to which you now refer the one set forth in the third specification of the first charge?

Answer. That is the order to which I refer.

Question. Will you state what you know, if anything, in regard to General Porter's having either obeyed or disobeyed those orders?

Answer. I know that General Porter did not attack, as he was directed to attack in that order. I was on that part of the field several times, and was expecting every minute that the attack would be made, and was watching for it with a great deal of anxiety, but it was not made.

Question. Did you continue upon the field until the engagement closed?

Answer. I was on the field all day, and remained on the field that night.