War of the Rebellion: Serial 017 Page 1105 Chapter XXIV. CAMPAIGN IN NORTHERN VIRGINIA.

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peremptory order, I had no right to be there. It was a false military movement. My post of real military power was the rising ground which Morell's division, backed by the rest of the corps, was holding. Had we been permitted to hold on there, the terrible attack upon our left flank on the 30th would never have been made. I could and would have stopped it then,as I did stop it the day before. If the major-general late commanding the Army of Virginia, whose inspector-general is, at least, my nominal prosecutor here, doubts the truth of what I now say, let him produce, if he can, as I asked him to produce at the trial, the note which I sent him by Captain Douglass Pope at dusk, in reply to his order of 4.30 p.m. of the 27th, directing me to attack Jackson's right, and he will then learn, or at least recollect, what I at that moment judged concerning both the position of the enemy and my own. Let him publish that note, since it has not been produced, if he can even at this late day find, it and then all who choose to compare that note with what I have just stated will know what the military theory of the position which I now express with al confidence has ever since that day remained in my mind unchanged.

And this brings me back again reluctantly to consider further the testimony and the action of General Pope in this matter. Believing, as it appears that he did, on the 5th or 6th of September last, that I had, by criminal conduct and intent, put his army and this capital into great peril, why did he not then exhibit charges against me? Was it fit, if, after his eyes had been opened at Washington, he did at last see me as a man stained with the guilt which his subordinate, three months after, had undertaken in these charges to impute to me - was it fit for him, as a patriot or a soldier, or as my commanding officer, to stand by in silence and see me, for months afterward, invested with high and most responsible command? Does not the fact that he did thus so long stand silent, cover this whole accusation, to the judgment of all candid men, with the odious suspicion of being, at the best, a mere afterthought, if not something far move wicked and malignant? On page 52 [840] of the record of the session of this court, on the 5th of December last, appears, in the testimony of General Pope on that day, the following statement:

It was not until the campaign was closed, and I came to Washington City, on the 4th or 5th of September, that I was informed by the President of the United States that he had seen several dispatches or letters from General Porter to General Burnside, dated a day or two previous to these battles, which had occasioned him very grave apprehensions that General Porter would fail to do his duty. This communication of the President to me opened my eyes to many matters which I had before been loth to believe, and which I cannot bring myself now to believe.

I invoke attention to the carefully measured, yet most sinister, language of this whole declaration, made by a man filling a high place in the service of his country, under the solemnity of an oath. But, most of all, and first of all, do I stand up here to repel and repudiate with just indignation the inference which may afflict many a well-meaning but uninformed mind, upon the reading of this testimony, and which, peradventure, may have touched in this my trial even the enlightened and calm judgment of this court, to the effect that, on the 4th of day of September last, the President of the United States could, by any possibility, have harbored in his mind, even for one moment, the apprehension or the suspicion, based upon telegrams of mine, or anything else in my conduct, that I was, or was capable of being, the guilty man whom these charges, which I have now crushed down under a mighty mass of refutation, indicate and describe. With still more indignation and scorn do I repel, by the oath of whomsoever supported, the scandalous thought