War of the Rebellion: Serial 017 Page 0937 Chapter XXIV. CAMPAIGN IN NORTHERN VIRGINIA.

Search Civil War Official Records

In order that this court, in its search for truth and desire to administer justice, may be fully enlightened on all the points of evidence, and understand, in all bearings, the relations these telegrams have to the subjects of investigation, I desire to present in this, the opening of my defense, all the telegrams, and messages in my possession and all the orders of Major-General Pope relating to the subject-matter of investigation all of which I deem material evidence, in my defense.

I present them in their chronological order, in that shape which I am confident will best enable the court to give the attention and consideration it desires and the subject merits.

I have reason to believe the Government is in possession of al my telegrams, and the telegrams of those who were in communication with me. I have striven to obtain from officers, all I sent out-I retained no copies of them-for the purpose of using them in my defense. I have secured only two of the originals. One is now in possession of the court, remaining there because the one presented by the prosecution is an imperfect copy, a material concluding portion being omitted, doubtless by accident or inadvertence. The other I will furnish, as well as any others which I may become possessed of, or which the Government will produce.

I may be ignorant of what I have written, but whatever it may have been, I now unhesitatingly declare I will present in my defense any and all documents, if furnished me, which bear on the case. Whatever I may appear to have said in secret, I will here openly acknowledge and abide by. I have nothing to conceal.

I wish the court to bear in mind what I shall prove: that while I was on the Rappahannock, I was directly responsible to General Burnside and General McClellan for all my military acts; that, after reporting to General Pope, I was in communication with General Burnside, and, at his request, conveying to him information tending to aid him in his operations and in securing his own forces, and the line of the Rappahannock left unprotected by me, under orders from General Pope. And at the same time I was relying upon General Burnside for the only supplies which could keep alive my command. It will be seen that I was giving him information which I knew he was communicating to the Government, tending to make him feel secure, and which caused me for, one reason, to wish to be recalled to operate over the Rappahannock upon the rear of the enemy, the only vulnerable point, in my judgment, in which the enemy could be struck.

If the documents presented by the Government show my feelings and disposition, so do these before, during, and after the actions, and constitute material evidence in my case. I ask the court to maturely weigh and consider all this evidence, for evidence documents must be, if the documents present by the prosecution be evidence. Some of these papers have been proved.

As the witnesses appear, I will have the copies now presented identified.

I am now ready to go on with my case, reserving till the close of the whole evidence my entire defense.

Major General JOHN G. PARKED was then called by the accused, and sworn and examined as follows:


Question. Will you to the court the relations you bear officially to General Burnside, and your relations in regard to the telegram or