with the message directing me to remain where I then was, which my same chief of staff wars most positively that he, a few minutes after the alleged giving of that order, did receive from General McDowell, and did forthwith deliver to me, as being a message of such great importance in his judgment at the moment as, for reasons which he fully renders in circumstances detail, to fix itself indelibly in his mind, and to have remainder in its very terms perfectly in his recollection from that to this. Thirdly, General McDowell does not pretend to state or to remember any reply whatever made by me to him when, as he says, he gave me that order and understood me to assent to it; but this court well know, in view of all the proof upon this court, especially as given as to my position before the enemy, is the testimony of Marshall, Hyland, Stevenson, Morell, and Griffin - all speaking in just the same sense to the point, that if I had then received from McDowell such order to attack, it is utterly incredible and impossible that I could have received it with immediate and silent assent, and have permitted him to leave me without discussing it, and stating my objections to it. Still more utterly incredible and impossible is it, that if I had thus received and assented to that order, and then failed to act in pursuance of any such direction, that I could possibly have abstained from sending to General McDowell, who was, for a long me afterward, as his own testimony shows, within a mile and a half of me, any notice or explanation whatsoever of my failure so to act. Such a course would have been hear insanity, utter craziness in me or in any other army corps commander in my position. Such conduct on my part would have resounded along the lines of the whole army. It would have been proclaimed forthwith at the headquarters of General Pope. It would have been blazoned among these charges and specifications side by side with the order itself, and, if true, it ought to have made the words of exculpation which General Pope uttered to me at Fairfax Court-House on the 2nd September, four days afterward, choke him a she spoke. But it is not true that General McDowell then, or at any time on that day, gave me any such order "to put my troops in there," or to do anything of the kind; and fortunate is it for General McDowell that it is not true, for if he had given me any such mandate, to thrust my corps in over that broken ground between Jackson's right and the separate enemy massing in my front, the danger and disaster of such a movement would have been then and now upon his hands. I am gad that I can say that General McDowell is utterly in error upon this point, and is in no way chargeable with such fatal military blonde. It is not alone that I am as clear as I can be as to any fact in my life that I received at that time no such order from him, but it is demonstrated in what I have said, as well as in what else stands proved in this record, that no such order to me could have been then by him given.
Unable, as he testifies, by habit of mind, accurately to remember the divisions of time, he has plainly confused in this testimony, I will charitably hope, not without some efforts, though unsuccessful, at accurate recollection, the situations, the sayings, and the doings of different days. I have said that I would speak of his testimony with calmness and candor, and without disrespect. Under strong provocations I have kept my word, but I have demolished his testimony before you, and with it the whole prosecution falls, and the accusation is left to the condemnation and derision of all just men.
F. J. PORTER,