War of the Rebellion: Serial 017 Page 1107 Chapter XXIV. CAMPAIGN IN NORTHERN VIRGINIA.

Search Civil War Official Records

and polite manner, as he expressly states, whenever I referred to anything connected with General Pope. All these things were quite too much for him, and though there was no harm in the woods I spoke if they had been written down, yet, as I spoke them, they fixed him in conviction that I was a traitor; not exactly a traitor according to law - that he did not mean - but a traitor through personal hostility, and, I suppose, also through a "sneering manner" toward General Pope. I submit to the court that, in so far as I understand this person's testimony, this is a true and fair picture of its sense and substance on this point, that is to say, if the court can find any substance or sense in it. I can spend but very few words more upon Lieutenant-Colonel Smith's testimony, but as he seems so very much grieved about my thinking about the possibility of our having to fall back to Alexandria, I cannot but refer to the last answer given by General Heintzelman when called by the Government to testify upon this trial, and, speaking of the state of things on the 27th, 28th, and 29th of August, he testifies as follows:

I knew that the enemy had possession of the railroad, and that, of course, we were obliged to fall back.

I may be permitted to hope that this straightforward declaration of the heroic and experienced Heintzelman will alleviate the sensibility and dispel the horrible suspicions aroused by a passing remark from me somewhat in the same sense, which, by the way, if I ever made it, has quite passed our of my memory. I will further suggest that men who mean to be traitors, or quasi-traitors, and, at all events, to fail a general whom they have strained every nerve to reach by forced marches, in order to co-operate with him against an enemy who is rushing upon him, they do not usually adopt the course of revealing the intended treason which is in their hearts by a sneering manner to a chance visitor in a first brief interview, especially when he happens to be a member of the staff of that very general whom the aforesaid traitors or quasi-traitors to fail or betray.

I will also more seriously suggest that a soldier's face may sometimes seem to be clouded by other feelings and foreboding than those of a traitor with his crime upon his mind, especially when, as in my case on the 28th of August, that solider happens to command an army corps, and sees before him, as I then did, a whole military situation not at all satisfactory in its aspect to his military judgment. But enough, perhaps too much, of Lieutenant-Colonel Smith's wild fantasies and strange, wild words of testimony in which they are expressed. Hoping that this passing and parenthetical exposure of them in their naked futility may not be deemed wholly superfluous, I return to the wholly different and broadly contrasted testimony of General McDowell. Upon this testimony I remark with regret that General McDowell appears to have forgotten almost all that I remember of what took place between us on the 29th of August last, either face to face or by message, and that he seems clearly to remember some very important matters of which, after my best efforts, I can find no trace whatever, either in my memory or my action, or his action, or the communications direct or by message which on that day passed between us. I assume that this court, having regard to the clear, positive, and direct concurrent testimony of two eye and ear witnesses, Colonel Locke, my chief of staff, and Captain Martin, chief of artillery in General Morell's division, both of highly respectable character and position, and both upon the point to which they testify wholly uncontradicted, does not doubt that General McDowell did, not far from midday on the 29th of August, ride up to me,