War of the Rebellion: Serial 080 Page 0052 OPERATIONS IN SE. VA. AND N. C. Chapter LII.

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General BURNSIDE. I would suggest that all the dispatches should be left.

General HANCOCK. General Meade is now giving his direct testimony, and only such dispatches are numbered as he wishes to incorporate. The others will be left here and can be called for at any time.

General MEADE. Well, I will read these dispatches and you can number them and put them down (documents 54, 55, 57, and 58).

It was on those reports of the signal officers that General Warren's orders were predicated. The following is the report of the chief engineer (document 59).

I believe I have now every dispatch that I have received, and the Court are fully aware of all information that I received on the ground.

General Burnside said that before the Court adjourned he would like to ask what latitude was allowed in the investigation.

General Grant, and to the first inception of the mine.

General MEADE. I would state that in the general orders issued on the night previous to the assault, the cavalry was ordered to make this attack on the left. Two divisions of the Cavalry Corps were over at Deep Bottom. They could not cross the river until after the Second Corps had crossed, to that it was late in the day before they came up; indeed, the head of the column did not appear before the offensive operations were suspended. As General Wilson had been ordered to be in readiness, however, and in view of the unavoidable delay of Sheridan, orders were sent to General Wilson, not to wait for General Sheridan, but to push on himself to the Weldon railroad and make an assault upon the enemy. No report was received from General Sheridan. General Sheridan was sick. General Gregg reported in the evening that he had advanced his cavalry, and that they found the enemy in force at Reams' Station, at Gurley's house, and at various other points along the railroad. There was no attack made by the except at Lee's Mill, where General Gregg, encountering cavalry, drove them away to water his horses. When it was known that our offensive operations were suspended, orders were sent to the cavalry that they should push on as far as possible and find out the enemy's position, but the original orders about going into town were modified, inasmuch as the operations in our immediate front were suspended. I desire to say to the Court that it has not been my disposition or intention to throw censure upon anybody for the unfortunate failure; that, indeed, I have not been furnished with the necessary information to enable me do so. I have not yet received Major-General Burnside's nor his subordinate commanders' official reports. I have very little knowledge of what actually transpired except from the dispatches you have heard read here. I have been groping in the dark since the commencement of the attack. I did not wish to take any unpleasant measures; but I thought it my duty to suggest to the President of the United States that this matter should be investigated, and that the censure should be made to rest upon those who are entitled to it. What I have done has been to show that I tried to do all I could to insure success.

During the day General Burnside and some of his staff, Generals Potter and Ferrero, of the Ninth Corps, were present.

The Court adjourned to meet at 10 a.m. on the 9th.



August 9, 1864.

The Court met pursuant to adjournment.

Present, Major-General Hancock, Brigadier-Generals Ayres and Miles, and Colonel Schriver, judge-advocate.

The reading of the record of the second day was proceeded with, until suspended at page 30, document 25, by General Burnside's verbal application to have all the documents bearing date after 2 p.m. on the 30th of July, and all evidence relating to events subsequent to that time,