War of the Rebellion: Serial 017 Page 1103 Chapter XXIV. CAMPAIGN IN NORTHERN VIRGINIA.

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to prove that it was used. His immediate reference of the one exception to the case of Griffin's brigade, though it was not named by General Pope as being the exception, proves, first, that the conversation had embraced the military operations of the days just passed, as well as the participation of my corps in these operations, and, secondly, it proves conclusively that Colonel Ruggles had overheard enough of the conversation to know at that time the topics upon which it had turned.

In fact, General Pope himself, far from contradicting, in any essential particular, Colonel Ruggles in his testimony as to General Pope's declaration to me at Fairfax Court-House, does himself, in the main, confirm that testimony. He intimates, indeed, that the exculpation was partial and limited; but he admits that it embraced the principal fact that he intended to take no further proceedings against me, and he expressly places that intention upon the additional and still more important fact that he did not then believe me guilty of intentional or purposed crime or delinquency. Remember this was six days after my first, and four days after my last, alleged offense had been committed. If offense had been committed by me, and that during that six days General Pope and myself had been in constant communication, if I was guilty it was then high time for to know it. If my alleged guilt had brought or menaced great disaster or danger to his army and upon this capital, as the charges and specifications aver, then it was official delinquency, if not imbecility, in General Pope not by the time, the 2nd September, to have found it out. Remember we had had our explanations before he made his declarations to me. Remember that he himself states that at the explanation he knew and mentioned what he considered to be very unkind and unfriendly written comments upon his military plans and proceedings before, as he states, I had a chance to know them. And yet, with all these lights upon my conduct; with all my military acts, as now embraced within these charges and specifications, full and fresh before him; with all their consequences, then fully developed, he deliberately decides and declares that he shall take no further proceedings against me, being (save upon one comparatively immaterial point) satisfied with my explanations, and convinced that I am not guilty of intentional crime. Three, or, at the most, four days elapse, and all this is changed. On the 5th or 6th of September, as Colonel Ruggles has testified here, and as he then immediately reported to the Adjutant-General and the Headquarters of the Army, we find General Pope urging Colonel Ruggles to be the chief witness upon my trial, which, it would appear, had then been decided upon. Why this urgency on the part of General Pope to his chief of staff? Did he wish me to be tried? Did he wish me to be convicted, that the was organizing and arranging the whole hierarchy of evidence against me; assigning to his own chief of staff the principal part of the drama, and then, as appears from Colonel Ruggles' statement, assuring, or attempting to assure, that officer that his impressions or information that I had not obeyed the orders given me was sufficient; and that he, notwithstanding his expressed reluctance, should be summoned to the stand as principal witness against me? What had happened in this short interval to effect so wonderful a change in the mind and purpose of General Pope? He tells us plainly he had come to Washington, and here he had been made to see my military conduct in a new light. His eyes were open here - that, I believe, is his very phrase - to many things that he had not rightly judged before; and now, on the 5th or 6th of September, if we may judge him by his conversation with Colonel Ruggles, he is hot in my pursuit. His eyes are opened!