War of the Rebellion: Serial 017 Page 1115 Chapter XXIV. CAMPAIGN IN NORTHERN VIRGINIA.

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the latter said that "he (General Roberts) did not know him, and that he would fail General Pope."

Lieutenant Colonel Thomas C. H. Smith, an aide-de-camp on the staff of General Pope, called on the accused in the afternoon of the 28th of August. He had not heard of his disobedience of any orders, and had, like General Roberts, the most favorable opinion of his character and conduct as an officer; eat, such was the impression made upon him by his manner and conversation, that, at the close of their interview, he left him, fully satisfied that he would fail General Pope, and would withhold from him his support in the then pending operations of the Army of Virginia. Soon thereafter he arrived at the headquarters of Virginia. Soon thereafter he arrived at the headquarters of General Pope, and said to him that he had just seen General Porter on his way there, and that he would fail him, and added:

So ascertain am I that Fitz John Porter is a traitor, that I would shoot him to-night, so far as any crime before God is concerned, if the law would allow me to do it.

The impression thus expressed he still retains, and reiterated in his testimony. This evidence is of a most striking character, and should be closely examined with a view to the ascertainment of the weight to which the opinion of the witness is entitled. It has been stigmatized in the defense of the accused as "ravings" and as "wild fantasies," which "encumber the record" as "rubbish." Such epithets were not warranted either by the language or manner of the witness. While expressing himself thus forcibly, it was evident that he was a man of fine intelligence, and equally evident that his conscientiousness rendered him careful and guarded in his statements. Certainly the particular impression referred to was deposed to with a depth and solemnity of conviction rarely paralleled in judicial proceedings. Under the pressure of the severe cross-examination to which he was subjected, he endeavored to lay bare the foundations on which his belief of the accused's meditate treachery rested. The task, however, was a difficult one, and he may not have been entirely successful. In reference to a large quantity of ammunition ordered by and forwarded to the accused, which had not been received, he manifested utter indifference, stating that "it was going where it belonged;that it was on the road to Alexandria, where we are all going" - a favorite thought, as appears from his dispatches. His manner was sneering throughout, whenever allusion was made to matters connected with General Pope; and-

His look was that of a man having a crime on his mind.

It was physically impossible for the witness to reproduce the manner, the tone of voice, and the expression of the eye, and the play of the features, which may have so much influenced his judgment; yet these often afford a language more to be railed on than that of the lips. He could not hold up before the court, for its inspection and appreciation, the sneer of which he spoke; and yet we know that a sneer is as palpable to the mental as a smile is to the natural vision. It is a life-long experience that souls read each other, and that there are intercommunings of spirits, through instrumentalities which, while defying all human analysis, nevertheless completely command the homage of human faith. Great crimes, too, like great virtues, often reveal themselves to close observers of character and conduct as unmistakably as a flower garden announces its presence by the odors it breathers upon the air. The witness may have misconceived this "look," but from the calamities likely to follow such an act of treachery, if, indeed, it was then contemplated, it must be admitted as altogether probable that the shadow of such a crime struggling into being would have made itself manifest. In view