War of the Rebellion: Serial 017 Page 1089 Chapter XXIV. CAMPAIGN IN NORTHERN VIRGINIA.

Search Civil War Official Records

was a very good one; and, if they attacked, they would have had to move their line over toward us. But I think that, on the morning of the 30th, if we had remained there, they would certainly have attacked us.

Question. You withdrew in their immediate presence, did you not?

Answer. Yes, sir. My opinion on the 29th, while I was on that duty, was, that they desired to remain on the defensive and have us attack them, feeling confident of their position.

Question. At what hour on that evening did you first receive the impression that the battle was going against General Pope?

Answer. Between 4 and 5 o'clock.

Question. Do you think that you communicated to General Morell, as fully as you now state it, your impressions as to the strength of the enemy in your front?

Answer. I think that I did. My object in going in myself to confer with him was that he might get correct impressions; that a dispatch, or a message by an orderly, would not answer.

Examination by the judge-advocate here closed.

Examination by the COURT:

Question. How large a force of the enemy did you see on that day with your own eyes?

Answer. I cannot tell you. I could merely judge of their strength. It was a dense timber in which I was. We would get a view of the enemy first from one point through the timber and then from another. There was no place in which I could see their whole line. Their line of skirmishers was two regiments, at least, whereas mine was but one; and then, again, their troops appeared to be lying down behind this railroad.

Question. Was the line of the enemy extended over the road which General Porter would have used in reaching the right flank of Jackson's forces?

Answer. Provided General Porter had gone directly to General Pope's left, do you mean?

Question. Yes, sir; was that road open or free?

Answer. That road was blocked up by the enemy. There was no direct road to go over to General Pope's left, except by this road that the enemy already had.

Question. Did the enemy in your front make a junction with the enemy in General Pope's front, according to your understanding?

Answer. I do not think they did.

Question. What space do you suppose there was between the two parts of the enemy's forces?

Answer. They would naturally have made a connection with their dragoons. But their line of battle was not a continuous line. Their line of battle in front of General Porter's command was separate and distinct from their line of battle in front of General Pope's command.

Question. What was the space between their two lines of battle, should you think?

Answer. I should judge it to be at least 2 miles.

Question. From the position of the forces, both those of the enemy and our own, would the march of General Porter to reach the right flank of Jackson have been direct or circuitous?

Answer. It would have been circuitous, through a broken country. If he had endeavored to go the most direct route, it would have been through a broken country. But I do not perceive that it was practicable for him to have gone that route. I think that, in order to have acted upon the enemy, he would have had to go back the same route we took the next morning in retreating.

Question. Not practicable because of the character of the country or the position of the enemy?

Answer. Because of the broken country; it was rocky, and then a part of it was very heavily timbered; and it would have been impracticable to have carried artillery through there, besides being fired upon and met by this enemy in our front.

Question. Did you go over that part of the country yourself?

Answer. I could see it; I did not go over it.

Question. What would have been the distance of the march if it had been made?

Answer. He would have had to have gone, perhaps, half a mile or more out of the way by going a little around to the right.

Question. Was that route open, or was it obstructed, either by the nature of the country of by the enemy?

Answer. It was obstructed by the nature of the country. Whether it was or not by the enemy, I do not know. I was told that their dragoons had taken some prisoners at that point, which we would have had to cross over. That point looked to me during the whole day to be a very dangerous one; and that night I so expressed myself, and requested that a strong force should be put in that direction to watch our right.