War of the Rebellion: Serial 080 Page 0066 OPERATIONS IN SE. VA. AND N. C. Chapter LII.

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that was decided upon as the best method of withdrawal. The dispatch which I sent to General White, and, which I have just handed to the Court, was received by him in time to be read by two of the division commanders before they left the front for my headquarters, and was forward by them to the general officers in the crater. One of those general officers was taken prisoner and the other two are available as witness before this Court. Their names are Generals Hartrant and Griffin. As to the effect of this dispatch I will leave it for the persons present to give evidence of, particularly as an important dispatch from myself to General Meade, here, contains my opinions of it.

Adjourned till August 11.



August 11.

The Court met pursuant to adjournment.

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

The proceeding of the fourth day were read (General Burnside's testimony first) and approved after various corrections by General Burnside.

Generals Ferrero, Willcox, and Potter were present also.


In concluding my testimony I simply desire to call the attention of the Court to the fact that important evidence before them would indicate that I had not given proper information of what was going on in my front during the action on the 30th, and to say to them that up to the time that the mine was exploded there was nothing possible for me to report, because I could not answer questions which General Meade propounded to me by one or two different dispatches, except by saying that I did not know the reason for the delay, and as soon as I learned it I would inform him of it, which I think I did by verbal communications, either by Captain Sanders or Captain Jay. As soon as I ascertained the cause of the delay I request Major Van Buren, who informed me of it, to state to Captain Jay fully the causes, and he will be able to state to you whether he did do or not.

The explosion of the mine, as I before said, was a fact evident to every one along the line, and each and every command then had its orders to do a certain work, which were so explicit as to enable them to move at once to that work-first, orders to corps commanders under General Meade, next orders from corps commanders to their division commanders, and so on.

I reported to General Meade by dispatch when we made a breach in the enemy's works, as will be seen by your record. I also reported to him soon after in answer to probably frequent anxious dispatches that we were endeavoring to advance, that it was hard work, but that we hoped to succeed, which was the full extent of the knowledge then in my possession, and all that I could learn from personal observation of the contest in the neighborhood of the breach. Soon after he received the report of my inspector-general stating the condition of the troops in the crater and in the rifle-pits to the right and left of it. This report was intended for me, but was opened by General Meade and sent to me by him. The obligation resting upon me to send him a copy was, therefore, removed, inasmuch as I knew that he had already seen its contents from his own statement. I reported to him a short time after that or just before that I thought it was the proper time to concentrate General Warren's troops, and that I would indicate to him the time when I thought they ought to go in, for there was hardly room at that time for them to go in on our front. I received an answer from him stating the object of his dispatch, and that he desired to know if it was practicable for General Warren's force to be put in upon our left. At about that time, certainly before I could determine the fact, I came into contact with General Warren personally at my headquarters, and he and I made the personal reconnaissance that has been before alluded to. I parted with General Warren with the distinct understanding that he was to report to General Meade the condition of affairs in his front, and, as I before said, with the statement that he would endeavor to get General Meade to come to the front himself, which I considered to be sufficient answer to General Meade's dispatch, particularly as General Warren went directly from me to the telegraph office. It is possible that in this I made a mistake. At another