Porter's troops from Warrenton Junction to Bristoe Station, so far as you have knowledge of the country?
Answer. That would depend upon where the wagons were. There were places where the wagons would have entirely obstructed the road.
Question. Do you know where the wagons were?
Answer. I do not.
Question. Were there, or not, any repair on that railroad between Warrenton Junction and Bristoe Station between the time when you passed over it and 1 o'clock of the morning of the 28th?
Answer. I believe not.
In conclusion of the testimony upon this point, I refer to the statements made by Colonel Brinton, lieutenant-colonel of the Second Pennsylvania Cavalry, stationed on the evening of the 27th of August last at Cattlett's Station, which is about 3 miles from where my corps then were, and directly on the road to Bristoe Station, to which they were ordered. Colonel Briton states that he left Catlett's Station to proceed to Warrenton Junction at about 10 o'clock that night; that he returned to Catlett's Station That night, occupying about an hour in returning, and arriving there about 1 o'clock. Thus he must have known, fully and exactly, the practicability of the road for troops at the very hour in question under this first specification. he first testifies that " the night was very dark and overcast; very cloudy; that it was difficult to distinguish the road or any objects on it."
After mentioning that there were two officers with him, his testimony proceeds as follows:
Question. Did you see any wagons on the road over which you traveled?
Answer. Yes, sir. The road from Catlett's Station, for half a mile westward, was blocked up with wagons. We ran into them constantly. The road is there a narrow one, leading through a wood, and it was difficult for su to get along on that account. We ran into a tree on the one hand, or a wagon on the other, without being able to distinguish until we were upon it.
Question. Did you frequently see wagons in the road with their horses unhitched, and their teamsters absent?
Answer. On my return, I noticed that horses were hitched to the wagons. I did not observe it particularly as we were going to General Porter's.
Question. When you reached General Porter, did you speak to him of the condition in which you had found the road?
Answer. Yes, sir; I did. In answer to his inquiry concerning the state of the road.
Question. Did he make of you any request in relation to the road?
Answer. Yes, sir. He requested me to try to have the road cleared, stating his intention to pass along with his corps.
Question. Did you do anything to comply with that request?
Answer. Upon my return, I told the adjutant to send out some men to get these wagons out of the way. The railroad bridge over Cedar Creek is one which, I think, it would be difficult to pass a party of infantry over at night; almost impossible, certainly, without danger. I passed over it, I think, two days before, and led my horses across it, but that was in the day-time; even then it was a difficult matter. Infantry could have passed over it well in the day-time, but the planks were thrown loosely on, and they would be likely to fall through at night. As I was leading my horse across, I saw one fall through that was being led over.
In his cross-examination by the judge-advocate occurs the following passage:
Question. When returning, having no occasion to look for General Porter or anything to interrupt your progress, did you, or not, proceed directly to Catlett's Station without encountering any obstacle growing out of the darkness of the night?
Answer. No, sir; I stopped several times at the wagons trains that lay in the road, between the ford of Cedar Run and our encampment at Catlett's Station. I had been told that our regimental train was one of those lying in the road, and I wanted to find it. And in stopping there, inquiring of the wagons, I experienced great difficulty in finding it. In one train the horses were unhitched from the wagons, and were standing at the wheels or at the tongues of the wagons, where they were fed, I suppose,and in many instances no wagoner cold be found. It was my desire to find my own regimental train, which caused some delay.