War of the Rebellion: Serial 080 Page 0053 Chapter LII. THE RICHMOND CAMPAIGN.

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removed from the record, the reasons for which, by direction of the Court, were reduced to writing and presented as follows:


August 9, 1864.


GENTLEMEN: I beg to submit to the Court that all testimony, whether by dispatches or otherwise, relating to occurrences subsequent to 2 p.m. on 30th July last, at which time our troops had withdrawn from the enemy's line, and the assault was over, should be erased from the record, and no such evidence admitted in future. The terms of the order appointing the Court distinctly limit the action of the Court to reporting the "facts and circumstances attending the unsuccessful assault on the enemy's position on the 30th of July, 1864," and "their opinion whether any officer or officers are answerable for the want of success of said assault," and whatever events happened subsequent to the withdrawal have no relation to the success or want of success of the assault and are not within the purview of the Court. Moreover, certain of these subsequent occurrences have been made the subject of charges against me by the major-general commanding the army, and on which charges I am to be tried by another court. They, therefore, should not be investigated by this Court.

I am, gentlemen, very respectfully, your obedient servant,



The following paper was then submitted by Major-General Meade:

I respectfully submit to the Court that the objection raised by Major-General Burnside is not tenable. As I have before said, I consider my conduct the subject of the Court's investigation. To show that I was not and could not be held responsible for the manner of the withdrawal, and the circumstances attending it, it is necessary for me to show that I was not furnished with any information, and furthermore I claim the right to show in evidence that no effort on my part was omitted to obtain the necessary information. Independent of this personal consideration, and my rights as one whose conduct is under examination, I beg leave, also, to submit that the receiving of these official dispatches in this case cannot in any way affect the case of General Burnside, when on trial on the charges referred to by him. Those charges are disobedience of orders, and have no reference to his management of affairs on the 30th, because even should it be proved to the satisfaction of the Court (and I shall be glad to hear that it is) that General Burnside is in no way responsible for the lamentable failure on the 30th, it does not alter the facts of the case whether he obeyed or disobeyed my orders on that or any other occasion. This is a foreign matter, stands on its own merits, and has no connection with the proceedings of this Court beyond the fact that these documents will be produced in both cases. Again, I respectfully submit, General Burnside's objections should have been made earlier in the proceedings, because among the charges preferred against him is one based on the very disrespectful dispatch sent by him to me at 8 a.m. July 30, and this dispatch should be thrown out on the same ground, which would at once prevent me from stating my case in the manner in which I claim I have the right to. I beg leave to call the attention of the Court to the hour of 2 o'clock being specified in General Burnside's objections, and ask the Court to note that there is no evidence before them when the assault, if any, was made, or what occurred at 2 o'clock. I take it this Court must modify the rules which would govern courts of inquiry when the conduct of only one individual is called in question. This Court has to pass judgment on the conduct of numerous officers, and the relative rights of each should be considered. As I understand it, no one in particular is arraigned here, and therefore what occurs here can only be repeated elsewhere to the detriment of any of the parties concerned, and must be repeated. These are official documents, part of the archives of the Army of the Potomac, and their production in my vindication will give no weight to their production against. General Burnside, should he be tried on the charge of disobedience of orders. For these reasons I must respectfully insist on the Court receiving them.

General Burnside then submitted the following:

In reply to General Meade's argument, I beg to say that there is no evidence on the record and none furnished by the documents in question that General Meade did in any way, by aide-de-camp or otherwise, use means to obtain any information in reference to the withdrawal or anything that occurred after he left my headquarters, about 11 o'clock, until after 6 o'clock in the evening, instead of, as he states, no effort being omitted on his part to obtain the necessary information; nor was such