War of the Rebellion: Serial 017 Page 1112 OPERATIONS IN N.VA., W.VA., AND MD. Chapter XXIV.

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charge had not assumed the solemn form that has been given to it, it would be received everywhere, where my whole conduct is known, as ludicrously false or the creation of a morbid or distemperoid brain.

Without assuming to myself a purer patriotism than animates the soldiers of the Union, I say fearlessly that none, no, not one, loves our Union with a stronger, a holier love. There is nothing in the future, as there has been nothing in the past, that I would not do and gladly do to achieve its victory over its enemies and to bind up the wounds under which it now bleeds. Life! what is it to the soldier who is false to his flag and his country? Life! what will be its value to the soldier (may God avert the calamity!) who may survive to witness its flag trailed in the dust, its reputation and power broken, its people separated into fragments, their fraternal affection converted into bitter sectional hate, and the cause of constitutional freedom itself for ages, if not forever, extinguished? As far as one arm and the aspirations of one heard may be exerted to avert the dire calamity, mine will be used to the last moment of my life. I live now amidst whatever discouragements surround us, and through the gloom which they cause, cheered only by the anticipation that all will yet be well; that our Union will emerge from its present dangers even stronger for the trials through which it is passing; that it will be ours once more to be proud of and to glory in and again to light the world by the effulgence of its example; that it will become, as it was but recently, a monument of past renown and a pledge of future glory, and will so continue "till time's last echo shall have ceased to sound."






SIR: In compliance with your written instructions, under date of the 13th [12th] instant-

To revise the proceedings of the court-martial in the case of Major General Fitz John Porter, and to report fully upon any legal questions that may have arisen in them, and upon the bearing of the testimony in reference to the charges and specifications exhibited against the accused, and upon which he was tried-

I have the honor to submit the following report:

As the animus of the accused toward his commanding general, in pursuing the line of conduct alleged against him, must largely affect the question of his criminality, and may furnish a safe and reliable light for your guidance in determining points otherwise left doubtful by the evidence, it is proper that it should, if possible, be ascertained before entering at large upon the review of the case, which you have instructed me to make.

General Porter, with his command, belonged to the Army of the Potomac, which had closed its disastrous campaign on the Peninsula just before the moment at which the narrative of the events set forth in the record before you is taken up by the witnesses who have deposed. General McClellan and Assistant Secretary of War Tucker state that he displayed great energy and zeal in debarking his troops


*Reprinted from H. Ex. Doc. No. 71, Thirty-seventh Congress, this session. See letter from the Acting Judge-Advocate-General, p.1134.