Examination by the COURT:
Question. How far had your division retired, previous to the reception of the communication of which you have testified by General Porter, on the 29th of August?
Answer. I do not know the precise distance. I was in support of Morell's division, which was under the fire of the enemy. We moved back to Bethlehem church, where the road forked.
Question. At what hour on the morning of the 28th did you command commence its march toward Bristoe Station?
Answer. We commenced it as soon as I could distinguish the road; I did not observe the precise hour; I take it to have been about half-past 3 o'clock.
Question. Are you to be understood as saying that had you received and order from General Porter to march at 1 o'clock a. m. on the 28th, with the knowledge which you then had of the road and of the obstructions on it, and the condition of the troops, you would not have obeyed it?
Answer. If I had received such an order from General Porter, of course I would have obeyed it.
Question. After starting for Bristoe Station, did you continue you march without stopping until you arrived there, and did you lead the column?
Answer. I led the column on that morning, and I continued my march to Bristoe Station, with the except;ion of the usual halts which commands always have, to allow men to pass to the rear, and the one that I spoke of at the creek, where I said I found it necessary to halt my command for some time in order to unite it.
Question. About what was the strength of your command?
Answer. My command was composed of three batteries of artillery and about 4,400 or 4,500 men.
Question. Making in all about how many men?
Answer. About 4,750, I think.
Question. Would it have been impracticable to have moved this infantry on to Bristoe Station, had they left at 1 a. m., as ordered?
Answer. It would not have been impracticable, but I think it would have resulted in so much breaking up of the command and so much confusion that it would have been a false military movement.
Question. You say that if you had received an order from General Porter to move at 1 o'clock a. m. on the 28th of August, you would have obeyed it. If you had been in the place of General Porter, and had received such an order from General Pope, would you have obeyed it?
Answer. The same influences which determined my opinion, as given to General Porter, would have determined it if the order had come from General Pope to me.
Question. An officer commanding a corps, receiving an order from his commanding general, 8 or 10 miles off, ought he not, in determining the best mode of executing that order, to exercise a degree of discretion which would not be proper in a division commander receiving an order from his commanding officer on the spot?
Answer. He ought to exercise a degree of discretion undoubtedly, and such a degree of discretion as would not be proper in an immediate subordinate.
The examination of this witness was here closed.
The court thereupon adjourned to 11 a. m. to-morrow.