War of the Rebellion: Serial 017 Page 1090 OPERATIONS IN N.VA., W.VA., AND MD. Chapter XXIV.

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Question. You have spoken of General Morell's division being drawn up in line of battle fronting the enemy. Will you please state, if you, know, the relative position of the remainder of General Porter's corps to that force of General Morell, at the time they were drawn up in line of battle, and your command thrown forward as skirmishers?

Answer. I was informed that they were directly in rear of us when I went on that duty.

Question. Were they in line of battle?

Answer. I do not know. I did not see them. I do not known anything about that. I was informed that they were close behind us. We were in the advance.

Question. You have stated that General Porter's direct march toward Jackson's right was obstructed both by the character of the road and by the enemy.

Answer. His direct march by the most direct route was obstructed; that was held by the enemy.

Question. Was the circuitous route you have spoken of absolutely obstructed or not? Was it a practicable in any sense?

Answer. I do not think it was a practicable route in any sense, by day or night. I do not think there was any route left for General Porter to have acted upon, except by going back again on the road to Manassas, and then joining our army.

Question. What length of time would it have required to make that march, returning in the way you speak of?

Answer. I cannot tell you the length of time. It would have taken several hours, perhaps about half a day, to have marched and got into position again, so as to have had any effect.

Question. Was that the road taken by you on the 30th?

Answer. Yes, sir.

Question. Did it take a half a day, then?

Answer. I do not think how long it did take us. There was a data which I do not recollect. I would like to say here that I had been out on picket with my command from 1 o'clock on the afternoon of the 29th all that night, until the next morning. We had had nothing to eat until the next morning, and then I could get only a little hard bread, which I made my men carry on their shoulders until we could stop on the march somewhere for them to eat it. I did not feel like making any observations, but went right to the battle-field and into the fight.

Question. Of the line of battle formed by the enemy opposed to General Porter's command between 5 o'clock and sundown, what portion of the enemy's troops were south of the Manassas Railroad.

Answer. They were more along the railroad. The railroad came down close to us, off a little to the right of my skirmishers; so that, in advancing my skirmishers, my right came on the railroad much sooner than my left.

Question. Were any of the enemy's forces south of that road?

Answer. They were along the railroad, but none this side of it, except skirmishers. I met dragoons along the whole front, and particularly on this direct road; and then afterward their skirmishers came to my front and extended in a longer line than I did, and drove me in.

Question. Supposing the force of General Porter to have been extended from the point where General Morell's command was down to Bethlehem church, could not a large portion of them have moved along the Sudley Springs road to the battle-field within a much shorter period of time than you have named for the whole movement?

Answer. By all means, much sooner than we would.

Question. Do you know any reason why that road was not practicable for an advance on the 29th?

Answer. I do not know any reason why it was not practicable.

Question. Would such a separation of General Porter's corps on the 29th, by a part of it moving up the Sudley Springs road to the battle-field, have been an eminently dangerous military movement at that time, considering the position and force of the enemy in front?

Answer. It would be unusual to separate parts of a corps, and particularly with such a large force of the enemy in our front. It would have left us very weak in our position in the advance. I understood that the part of the corps that was left behind by General Porter was left there as a support to us, to be used in any direction that he saw fit. It would have been unusual, and I think it would have been criticized by General Porter's officers, to have sent them off in any other direction, leaving us alone with this large force of the enemy in our front.

Question. Suppose the case of an order from General Pope to General Porter to make the movement to assault the right of Jackson's army, could that Sudley Springs road have been taken by any portion of General Porter's corps to accomplish that object?

Answer. Yes, sir; it could have been taken, but it could not have been taken when we got the order in time to have met the enemy done anything.