War of the Rebellion: Serial 017 Page 0992 OPERATIONS IN N. VA., W. VA., AND MD. Chapter XXIV.

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no knowledge of General Porter's position at that time, but I suppose that the nearest he must have been at any time was within two and a half or three miles, probably three miles, across this broken country.

Question. We understand you to state that the country between you and the command of the accused was broken country?

Answer. Yes, sir; between my left and the position where I understand the troops of the accused to have been at that time. I did not know then they were there.

Question. On the 29th, before 4 o'clock p. m., what was the character of the battle-artillery or infantry?

Answer. Principally artillery.

Question. About what time did the infantry fire commence in force and volume?

Answer. As near as I can recollect, it must been between 4 and 5 o'clock, probably 5 o'clock; that is. I refer to the part near me. There may have been infantry firing on the right which I could not hear.

Question. Had you opportunity to observe and know the conduct of the accused as an officer, the zeal displayed by him in the discharge of his duties during the month of August, up to the time he was going to join the Army of Virginia?

Answer. I served under General Porter on the Peninsula and up to the time that we embarked at Harrison's Landing, my division going by water from Harrison's Landing to Aquia Creek, the remainder of the corps going by land as far as Old Point Comfort. I have had opportunities to judge of General Porter's conduct, and I have always considered him an energetic, faithful, and devoted officer.

The examination by the accused here closed.

Examination by the JUDGE-ADVOCATE:

Question. You say that the night of the 27th of August was too dark to have marched troops over a country not known to them, without either a guide or having a road to follow. Suppose they had a road, and a guide who had passed over the road a few hours before, who was acquainted with it, or professed to be acquainted with it, and who proposed to conduct the army, and that army was to march during that night over one of the country roads of Virginia, would it have been practicable to do so?

Answer. I suppose it would.

Question. Was there not considerable and heavy infantry firing about 11 o'clock a. m. on the 29th, and at intervals from that time to 3 o'clock p. m.?

Answer. There was some firing at intervals, but I do not recollect any very heavy infantry firing.

Question. You say that a command with artillery, &c., could not have passed over the country between New Market and Groveton in the immediate presence of the enemy. Was not the ground equally bad for the enemy as for General Porter? And if the enemy could take position there, why could not General Porter's troops have taken position against them?

Answer. It was impossible to maneuver troops over that country. They could take position there, of course, and they could be attacked in position by troops; but it would have been very difficult to have got artillery up through that broken country, and a very disadvantageous attack would have been made.

Question. You do not seem to catch the point of the question. It is simply to inquire whether, in your judgment, the disadvantages were