Answer. They were very much fatigued. They had marched from Ellis' Ford to Bealeton, and from there up to Warrenton Junction almost all the way without water, in the dust. It was very warm, and it was with great difficulty I got them along.
Question. Did you march, or attempt to march, at 3 o'clock?
Answer. I did. I had my column formed, and staff officers sent out to notify me when the head of my column take its place in the line. We marched from the camp up the road, and there waited until we could take our place, which was at the rear of General Morell's division.
General sykes testifies:
Answer. About 10 p.m. on the 27th of August, General Porter sent for me. We were then encamped at Warrenton Junction, Va. In his tent I met General Morell, General Butterfield, and Captain Drake DeKay. General Porter informed me that he had received an order by the hands of Captain Drake DeKay, directing his corps to march at 1 o'clock a.m. on the 28th. We talked it over among ourselves, and thought that nothing was to be gained by moving at midnight, or 1 a.m., rather than at dawn. I was very positive in my opinion, and gave General Porter my reasons. They were, first, that a night march was always exceedingly fatiguing and injurious to troops; that my command had already marched from 12 to 14 miles that day; that I thought the darkness would canes confusion; that a constant stream of wagons had passed ahead of us from the time my command reached Warrenton Junction until dark; and, above, all I thought that as but two hours, or three hours at most, would elapse between 1 o'clock and daylight, we could make the march in much better order, and march more rapidly, by starting at dawn than if we started at the hour prescribed.
And, again, the same witness proceeds:
The night my unusually dark. Before I directed the advance to be sounded, I sent an aide-de-camp to find the road, so as to lead the column upon it. He returned in a short time, and told me that darkness was so great that he could not distinguish the road. He also told me that he was assisted in that search by several soldiers.
As anticipated, we ran upon this train of wagons within 2 miles of my camp. They encumbered the road for miles. Myself and staff officers were constantly engaged in opening the way for the head of my column. On several occasions I had to take my mounted escort and place them on the road with drawn sabers to prevent the wagons from closing up any interval that occurred. I do not think that in my military life I ever had so much with a train as I had the day. The wagon-masters and teamsters were alike insubordinate. About 2 miles from Bristoe Station, a stream crossed the road. On the Bristoe side of the stream, General Porter and his staff officers directed and compelled all those wagons to be parked, so that none of them should precede my troops. That order was carried out. I was compelled to halt the head of my command on the Bristoe side of that stream for fully an hour, in order that my rear brigades might be united with the brigade in advance, and the cause of this separation was the train or trains on the road.
General Morell gives an account of the consultation held as to the execution of the order, and to the same general effect. Being asked-
Did the generals then present, yourself included, express in strong terms the difficulty of moving as early as 1 o'clock, or earlier than 3 o'clock?
Yes, on account of the difficulty of marching at night. It was a very dark night. It was cloudy and threatening to rain, and did rain before morning.
He proceeds as follows:
If we had moved at 1 o'clock, the men probably have been kept up all night - have broken their whole night's rest. That was what I wished to avoid, and I think the other officers did also. Reveille would have been beaten by 12 o'clock. I suppose some of the men did not get into camp until dark.
Question. When you moved at 3 o'clock, did you encounter difficulties and confusion in your movements in the darkness?
Answer. Yes, sir; until we had the benefit of daylight, there was a great deal. Directly in front of our camp was a little stream of water, or wale, that made it difficult to get started.
General Griffin, speaking from his own experience in the execution of