War of the Rebellion: Serial 017 Page 1100 OPERATIONS IN N.,VA., W.VA., AND MD. Chapter XXIV.

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The movements of General Griffin, in pursuance of this order from General Morell at Centreville, are described by himself, at page 670 [989] of the record, as follows:

Question. At what time on the 30th, if at all, did you move from Centreville toward the battle-field?

Answer. I should think about 5 o'clock in the afternoon.

Question. What prevented your getting to the field?

Answer. The road was blocked up by wagons and stragglers coming toward Centreville,and the bridge at Cub Run was broken through so that it was impossible to get past it at all.

Question. Did you go to the bridge, or how far did you go?

Answer. I got to the bridge with the head of my brigade.

I here close my answer to the specification charging me with disobedience of orders in permitting General Griffin's brigade, on the morning of the 30th, to proceed to Centreville. I never did permit any such movement. The movement occurred through an accidental mistake, and in unintentional disobedience to my positive and very peremptory instructions, which directed General Morell's division, including General Griffin's brigade, to follow General Sykes, who, with his division, led by myself in person, proceeded directly to the battle-field, under my order to that effect.

A single word, now, as to the movement of General Piatt's, or, more properly, of General Strugis' brigade, on the morning of the 30th, and I close what I have to say in answer to the two specifications now under consideration.

On page 654 [985] of the record, General Griffin's testimony, under examination by the court, and entirely uncontradicted, is set down as follows, in reference to his movements at daybreak on the morning of the 30th:

Question. What did you know of the direction you were to take?

Answer. I understood from the staff officer who brought me the order that the division was to follow General Sykes.

On page 655 [985] of the record, General Griffin testifies as to General Sturgis as follows:

Question. Did you see any other forces belonging to General Porter's corps on the way?

Answer. Near Manassas Junction we passed General Sturgis, with Piatt's brigade. He said that he had been directed to follow Sykes, and wanted to know which way he had gone.

Upon these undisputed facts, I do not feel at liberty further to argue before this court the question whether I disobeyed the order which directed me to proceed, on the morning of the 30th, with my corps, to the battle-field of the previous day. I did so proceed, and I gave all the proper orders, directing my whole corps to accompany or to follow me. I affirm that it was wholly prudent and proper for General Morell's division, in moving away under these orders from the immediately front of the enemy in force, to use careful precautions to prevent or repel the assault of that enemy upon our rear.

General Griffin's brigade was detailed for that special duty, and I say he is to be commenced for his attention to the execution of that important duty, although it resulted in his accidental failure, by reason of missing his road without my knowledge, to make his way direct to the battle-field in pursuance of my order. But whether or not the court concur with me in this opinion, the fact still remains that I, as the general commanding the corps, did fully and cordially obey with the utmost promptness and celerity the whole of the order of General Pope directing