War of the Rebellion: Serial 017 Page 1096 OPERATIONS IN N.VA., W.VA., AND MD. Chapter XXIV.

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reached the front, I saw the dispositions for that purpose being made. In proof what I here, state, I cite the following passage of the testimony of General Morell as it stands written on pages 578 and 579 [968] of the record. He says:

A little while before sunset - just about sunset - I received an order, in pencil, from General Porter, to make disposition to attack the enemy. That order spoke of the enemy as retiring. I knew that could not be the case from the reports I had received, and also from the sounds of the firing. I immediately sent back word to General Porter that the order must have been given under a misapprehension, but at the same time I made dispositions to make the attack in case it was to be made. Colonel Locke soon after came to me with an order from General Porter to make the attack. I told him, and I think in my message to General Porter I spoke of the lateness of the day, that we could not do it before dark. Before I got the men in position to make the attack, the order was countermanded, and I was directed to remain where I ws during the night. Genera Porter himself came up in a very few minutes afterward, and remained with me for some time. It was then just in the gray of evening, between dusk and dark. I then put my men in position for spending the night.

I now add to this testimony the following explanatory statement of General Morell, as written on pages 628 and 629 [979] of the record.

Major General George W. Morell, after hearing his testimony read, made the following explanation:

"I am satisfied, upon reflection, that the order of the 29th to attack was not countermanded prior to the receipt of the order to pass the night where I was. I constructed the order to pass the night as being virtually a countermand of the order to attack. I was making dispositions to pass the night when General Porter joined me."

And now, in a word more, I close all I have to say as to this third specification of the first charge, and the disobedience which it alleges of the order of 4.30 p.m. of the 29th, which its sets forth.

That order was written to me in contemplation upon its face of several essential conditions of fact, every one of which was reversed in my actual situation, either at the time when the order was written or when I received it.

It contemplated my presence on the enemy's right flank, but both when it was written and when it was received I was actually in presence of the enemy in great force, and almost impregnably posted in my direct front. It contemplated the possibility of direct access by my corps to Jackson's right flank; both when it was written and when it was received by me, such access to Jackson's flank was impossible by the character of the intervening country, and, if attempted by me, would have brought with the swift sure destruction of my corps by the enemy in my front. It contemplated an attack by me on Jackson's right, while, at the same time, I should keep up connection with General Reynolds on my right. Both when it was written and when it was received to have kept up connection with General Reynolds, would have led me in one direction, and to have led me in a widely divergent, or rather in a nearly opposite, direction; and each of these movements by me, both at the time when the order was written and when it was received by me, so utterly impracticable, and so surely disastrous, that no commander in his senses, being where I then was, and knowing what I knew, could possibly have ordered, or sanctioned, or attempted to execute either one of them, to say nothing of the extreme absurdity of attempting to execute both of them at the same time. The order, when it was written, contemplated an attack by mein the daylight. When it reached me, the sun was setting, or had set, and before it could reach my front the dusk was on and darkness at hand. When it was written, it contemplated an attack by me in co-operation with the main battle; when it reached me, that battle was