War of the Rebellion: Serial 069 Page 0728 OPERATIONS IN SE. VA. AND N.C. Chapter XLVIII.

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I said further to the major that this must cease as I would not permit General Warren or any other general to abuse me in the presence of my staff. The major replied that if I had anything to say of General Warren I should say it to General Warren himself. I replied that I certainly would call on General Warren and say as much or more to him. The major then left, and I presume returned to corps headquarters. One hour later I received an order relieving me from the command with orders to report to General Grant, and later in the day an order from General Grant, directing me to proceed to Baltimore, there await further orders, and report to the Adjutant-General U. S. Army. Now, general, what I have related is the sum and substance of this difficulty, and the facts herein given can be sworn to by a multitude of witnesses. The order was seen and read by Colonel Bates, commanding brigade, and by some of my own and Warren's staff. We all agreed that by the words "move along the Cold Harbor road and take part in the action" was intended that we should move up that road toward the point where Wright was engaged.

Had I done otherwise I would have laid myself open to the imputation of fearing to meet the enemy with my 5,000 men and as many more at my [command] to support them. Knowing that General Warren had a spare force near him, I took it for granted that he would look out for that unlucky gap. But to avoid all difficulty I took the precaution of covering it with a double line of skirmishers advantageously posted, and connecting my right with Cutler's left. I innocently believed that I was faithfully carrying out Warren's orders, had successfully flanked a battery, would be commended by my chief and perhaps get another star. But alas, how foolish are the imaginations of man; how vain his expectations. I declare I never was more astonished than when I heard from an officer, who had passed part of the night at corps headquarters, that General Warren disapproved the proceedings and meant, when he wrote I should "move along the road," that I should move up the road, remaining parallel to and abreast of my former position.

Of course this removal damages me in public opinion, and its effects on my future career are irreparable, as no other corps commander will care to have a division commander sent to him, who so skillful and able a corps commander as Major-General Warren had rejected for exceeding his orders, endangering his own men, and almost bringing on a general engagement without orders. I see no remedy. The public press is closed to me both by general orders and by my own sense of propriety. As a good patriot I must suffer, but I am desirous that you, General Meade, Major Michler, and some others whom I have regarded as my friends, ready to hear reason, should know the truth and be thereby enabled to form a just appreciation of this case.

I have the honor to be, general, very truly, and respectfully, your obedient and obliging servant,


Brigadier-General of Volunteers.



Issue an order to Major-Generals Hancock and Wright directing the latter to relieve such portions of General Gibbon's command as