me on the 11th the statement of conversations of Lieutenant Barnard, acting aide-de-camp, written by himself, which he claims to have had with General Hinks. I wished for the orders which you gave, not the conversations of a subaltern officer. As I proceed I will mention the points wherein your report neither complied with the order nor represents correctly the facts, times, and occurrences so far as they are know to myself or can be ascertained from others.
The history of your connection with this most unfortunate and ill-conducted expedition is this: I had intended a movement upon Petersburg to be made, founded upon very careful investigation and correct information of the state of the defenses and of the number of the troops and general condition of the enemy, as well in Petersburg as in front of our line. I had determined to intrust that expedition to the command of Brigadier-General Hinks and General Kautz, General Hinks to take about 3,500 of his colored troops as infantry, and two roads, the City Point road and Jordan's Point road, or rather as near those roads as possible, avoiding the strong redans and moving on the light rifle-pits which were known to connect them. My information was that the force of the enemy consisted of the Seventh North Carolina, a few pieces of field artillery, about 300 of the Seventh Confederate Cavalry, who were employed in picketing the various roads into Petersburg, extending over a circuit of some 20-odd miles, and the second-class militia of the neighborhood, consisting of exempts from physical disability from the army, boys under seventeen, and men between fifty and fifty-five of which last number I had information there were 40, the whole militia forces amounting to between 1,000 and 1,200. These were the troops manning 9 miles of entrenchments, of which there was but a single line, about 2 1\2 miles from the city proper. Ii had concluded to detach Duncan's brigade of colored troops from the line of entrenchments on this side of the Appomattox to General Hinks, thus weakening the line in order to make by a very much larger force the attack doubly sure.
I was informed and believed, and do still believe, and have subsequent information to confirm it, that the enemy's infantry parapets were such as might be ridden over by a mounted cavalryman. The plan of attack was that General Kautz should take 1,200 or 1,400 cavalry, and, making a detour which would take a considerable time, go out under cover of a column of infantry, striking out to the left and coming in upon the south side, would move upon the Jerusalem plank road, which is on the left of the town; that movements on the enemy's works in two columns should be made on the right of their entrenchments by the Jordan's Point road and City Point road, avoiding the redans which cover those roads, and assaulting the infantry lines which connect them and which run through open fields, or not very thick woods, one to be a real and the other a feigned attack, to be converted into a real one, if the first, or Kautz's mature at Spring Hill with General Hinks, by a fortuitous circumstance you joined the party. The intended movement, the causes which led to it, the information upon which it was based, and the plan of attack was there unfolded to you between General Hinks, yourself, General Weitzel, and myself. After the attack had been determined upon and we had separated, I was informed by General