Examination by the COURT:
Question. Was the order of the 29th of August, issued by General Pope to General Porter, to attack the enemy on their right and rear, a practicable order or not, in your opinion?
Answer. I can hardly state whether it was or not. I had not been on the ground where the movement was to be effected, and during the 29th I had been away from General Pope a great deal of the time, acting as an aide-de-camp, according to the best of my recollection, and did not see the communications which he received that day, and I am not prepared to say whether this order could have been carried out or not.
Question. Did your order from the Adjutant-General's Office direct you to report to General Pope as his chief of staff?
Answer. It detached me for duty as chief of staff for the Army of Virginia, and directed me to report for duty to General Pope, commanding that army. It was upon that ground that I applied to be relived when General Pope was relieved from the command of the Army of Virginia. I contended that I did not belong to his staff, but to the Army of Virginia, and, when that army ceased to exist, I was liable to be subject to other orders.
Question. At what time did the action of the 29th of August commence, and for how long a time did the musketry fire continue?
Answer. The first cannonading that I heard on that day was an hour or two after sunrise; the cannonading was resumed, i think, about 8 o'clock, and continued at intervals until after dark. The night before that battle General Pope had camped on the road from Manassas to centreville, where that road crosses Bull Run Creek. The first cannonading I have spoken of, I heard while riding with General Pope near the heights of Centreville. We had then just crossed a bridge. We then went to Centreville, and remained there until in the neighborhood of 11 o'clock-either a little before or a little after that time, I cannot say which; we then went on to the field. I do not know positively that there had been musketry fire before that time, but I heard musketry firing form that time until dark.
The examination of this witness was here closed.
The court then adjourned to 11 a. m. on Monday next.
WASHINGTON, D. C., December 29, 1862.
The court met 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; and Colt. J. Holt, Judge-Advocate-General.
The accused, with his counsel, was also present.
The minutes of the last session were read and approved.
Major General GEORGE W. MORELL, after hearing his testimony read, made the following explanation:
I am satisfied, upon reflection, that the order of the 29th to attack was not countermanded prior to the receipt of the order to pass the night where I was. I construed the order to pass the night there as being virtually a countermand of the order to attack. I was making dispositions to pass the night when General Porter joined me.
Examination resumed by the COURT:
Question. Please state whether you made, or ordered to be made, any reconnaissance of the enemy's force in your front on the 29th of