WASHINGTON, D. C., December 31, 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 Casery, 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 Colonel Joseph Holt, Judge-Advocate-General.
The accused, with his counsel, was also present.
The minutes of the last session were then read and approved.
Major General AMBROSE E. BURNSIDE was then called by the accused, and sworn and examined as follows:
By the ACCUSED:
Question. You are the major-general commanding the Army of the Potomac?
Answer. I am.
Question. In August last, while the accused, General Porter, was on his march to join the Army of Virginia, was he under your command, with orders from you to protect the line of the Rappahannock and its fords?
Answer. Yes, sir; in connection with other orders.
Question. Did you, during that period, direct or request him to send you, by telegraph or otherwise, what information he could gain concerning the military situation in Virginia at that time?
Answer. I did.
Question. Did you receive such information from General Porter, from time to time, by telegraph?
Answer. I received from him frequent telegrams, as well as some verbal and written messages by orderlies.
Question. Did you regard the sending you such information, and the conclusions of the accused thereupon, as an official act done by him in the performance of his duty, under your direction?
Answer. I did. The relations between General Porter and myself, in forwarding these troops, were such that I did not consider it necessary always for his language to be formal; and I did not consider it necessary for me always to give him a written order for any act I desired him to do. I was temporarily in command of that point, and the forces were forwarded through me, and all the officers knew very well that they were to receive their orders from me, and they were very considerate in carrying out their spirit, without there being much formality, because there was not much time for formality. Our communications may frequently have been somewhat informal, but they were in sprite entirely of an official nature. So informal were they, that I may have sent communications to General Porter that I do not know anything about to-day; I may not have kept any copies of them, for there was not much time for anything f the kind.
Question. From you observation of General Porter's military conduct, and from your knowledge of him as and officer, what opinion have you formed of him touching his attention and fidelity to his duty and his zeal in its performance?
Answer. I have never seen anything to lead me to think that he was anything but a zealous, faithful, and loyal officer.
The examination by the accused here closed.