return to the old custom, a great deal more delay would be the result than by following the course this court had hitherto adopted.
The accused further submitted (through his counsel, by permission of the court) that he had been advised by his counsel to accede to the proposition made by the judge-advocate at the commencement of this trial, to depart from the usual custom of courts-martial, as appearing to them to be likely to conduce to a more enlightened administration of justice. His counsel had attributed this departure from the usual custom to the perhaps unexampled fact that this court-martial had had the opportunity to reduce to writing all oral statements with the same rapidity with which the oral statement itself was made. This, within their knowledge, had never before been the case. It combined the exactness of written statement with all the facility of oral statement and to them appeared to be a great and substantial advantage over the old custom. Heretofore, as his counsel supposed, the practice of courts-martial, in requiring all statements and suggestions to be reduced to writing before the same were submitted to the court, was with a view to perfect exactness and regularity of procedure. The old practice was waived by this court-martial solely by reason of the fact that a stenographer of acknowledge eminent ability had been produced by the judge-advocate, with the consent of the court, at the commencement of this trial, in order to facilitate the execution of the labors before them.
The accused further suggests for the consideration of the court, that his counsel advise him that they fear, should the court return to the old practice, they will often be under the necessity of consuming the time of the court while they prepare in writing the questions they desire the accused to propound to the witnesses under examination. While his counsel deem it is not necessary for them to assure the court that they will use all possible, haste, and delay the court as little as possible, they fear great detention will unavoidably result from a resort to the old practice of courts-martial.
The court was thereupon cleared.
After some time the court was reopened, and the judge-advocate announced the decision of the court to be that the questioning of witnesses should continue as heretofore by this court-martial; but he counsel for the accused should address no argument to the court but by express permission from the court.
The examination of the witness upon the stand (Theodore E. Moreland) was resumed by the accused.
Question [repeated]. Will you look at that paper [handing paper to witness], and say if it be the order of General Pope which is referred to and commented upon in the telegraphic message which has just been proved, and placed upon record, and which was transmitted at the same time with the dispatch?
Answer. [After examining the paper.] I believe that is the same order that accompanied the dispatch.
The paper was then read as follows:
HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF VIRGINIA,
Warrenton Junction, August 27, 1862.
The following movement of troops will be made, viz:
Major-General McDowell, with his own and Sigel's corps and the division of Brigadier-General Reynolds, will pursue the turnpike from Warrenton to Gainessville, so as to reach Gainesville, if possible, to-night.
The army corps of General Heintzelman, with the detachment of the Ninth Corps, under Major-General Reno (General Reno leading), will take the road from Catlett's Station to Greenwich, so as to reach there to-night or early in the morning. Major-