War of the Rebellion: Serial 017 Page 0984 OPERATIONS IN N. VA., W. VA., AND MD. Chapter XXIV.

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what was the position of the enemy in relation to the position of General Porter's corps?

Answer. That is a hard question to answer. I do not know much about the enemy; I only know that during the day large clouds of dust were going to our front and to our left, from a point stated to us then to be passing through Thoroughfare Gap. There were large clouds of dust all that afternoon, in fact nearly all day, as nearly as I can recollect, coming from a point said to us to be Thoroughfare Gap; I should say it was 3 or 4 miles from where I was, fully that; I except, of course, these batteries that opened on us about 1 o'clock. They were nearer; they were within 1,200 or 1,500 yards of us; we saw no force at all; we saw scattering groups of horsemen or of infantry. I do not believe we saw in any one group over 40 men.

Question. What was the character of the country, as seen from your position, lying between you and the enemy?

Answer. At one point in front of us the woods came, I should think, to within 600 yards of us, and just back of the battery, where this battery was stationed, it appeared that it ran off into a valley. It had that appearance; I have not been over the country there. It would appear that men would come over the hill and look at us, and then they would drop back.

Question. Were there woods between you and the enemy which you would have had to pass through to reach them?

Answer. Directly in front of us there were woods. There was a little cleared strip or field to our right, which seemed to run right up to the top of this hill.

Question. At that period of the day was it practicable for General Porter, by a movement to his left, to outflank the enemy or attack them on their right flank?

Answer. I can only state my opinion. I have stated that the enemy seemed to be coming from Thoroughfare Gap. In fact, there is not a doubt, if that point was Thoroughfare Gap, that the enemy was coming through there all day. To have got in rear and flanked the enemy, General Porter would certainly have had to turn Thoroughfare Gap, as I understand it, though I have never been over that ground.

Question. Do you know of the receipt of any orders by General Porter from General Pope to attack the enemy on that afternoon?

Answer. I do not.

Question. Do you know of any orders having been given by General Porter on that day to attack the enemy?

Answer. I know that General Morell received one somewhere near sundown; it may have been a little before or a little after.

Question. What then took place?

Answer. We had started back toward Manassas Junction when this order came down the road. The order was carried by an orderly, and was stopped by Colonel Warren, who read it. We faced our command about immediately, and started back. We were probably a mile and a half or two miles from the position referred to in my previous testimony as occupied by this battery. After I had faced my brigade about, I rode ahead to General Morell, who had received the order, and asked him if he was going to attack. He replied, in substance, "No, it is too late; and this order has been given under a wrong impression." I do nit know but that, in justice, I ought to state what the substance of that order was. The substance of that order was, "That the enemy are retiring or retreating; attack and pursue him vigorously." That is, and nearly as I recollect it, the substance of it. General Morell said to me, "Colonel Marshall, who commands the pickets in front, states that the enemy are receiving re-enforcements."

A member of the court objected to the witness stating what others had said; he desired him to confine his testimony to what he knew of his own knowledge.

The accused wanted to know if the latter part of the answer already given by the witness would be allowed to remain upon the record.

At the request of a member of the court, the court was cleared.