War of the Rebellion: Serial 068 Page 0291 Chapter XLVIII. ENGAGEMENT AT PETERSBURG.

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emphatically, all the charges therein set against me, to request a copy of the orders which I have disobeyed or have failed to obey, and then to demand of the President a court of inquiry to investigate all my official acts and conduct while serving in this department. I court a full investigation into the part I have taken in the campaign here.

I received at 2.10 p. m. yesterday, while waiting for the reports of my subordinate commanders, an imperative order to submit by 5 o'clock p. m. a full report of my operations, with a multiplicity of details which could only be obtained from the subordinate reports. Those reports, I am informed, have been made to the major-general commanding by his order. My report was completed at 5.20 p. m. in as much detail as the order seemed to demand, and I fail to see in it, as subsequently corrected, any important item requiring change. Two additions to it have since been made to correct unimportant omissions, one giving the name of a regiment inadvertently left out, and the other giving the written statement* of Lieutenant Barnard, of my staff, of all the communications which he caried between General Hinks and myself. I also omitted to state that four pieces of artillery accompanied Colonel Hawley's command.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Major-General, Commanding.


In the Field, near Hatcher's, Va., June 14, 1864.

Colonel J. W. SHAFFER,

Chief of Staff, Dept. of Virginia and North Carolina:

COLONEL: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of a special order,+ by which i am relieved from my command, and directed to proceed to Fort Monroe, for the alleged reason that I had requested a court of inquiry upon my official action in the Petersburg expedition.

I beg leave, respectfully, to represent that the major-general commanding has gravely misapprehended my note of the 12th of June. In that note I intimated that after receiving copies of the orders which it was alleged that I had disobeyed, my only recourse to protect myself from censure, which I believed to be undeserved, would be to demand from the President a court of inquiry, not on my action in the Petersburg expedition alone, but on my official acts and conduct while serving in this department. I had once before been subjected to censure, and I therefore designedly used the expression "while serving in this department." I did not at that time, nor have I yet asked for a court of inquiry from the major-general commanding, nor even from the President, and I respectfully refer to that portion of the Ninety-second Article of War, which prohibits such courts unless directed by the President, or demanded by the accused.

If the passage in my note referred to could be construed to be such a request, which it was not, and was not intended to be, it must be taken with its qualifications "by the President."


*See p. 295.

+See p. 283.