War of the Rebellion: Serial 080 Page 0070 OPERATIONS IN SE. VA. AND N. C. Chapter LII.

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Question. What was the interval between them?

Answer. General Ledlie was to move first; General Willcox was to follow General Ledlie as soon as possible after General Ledlie had cleared the breach; then General Potter was to follow General Willcox. As soon as I ascertained that General Ledlie had made a halt I sent orders at once to General Willcox and to General Potter to proceed without reference to General Ledlie in the order in which they had been directed to move. I ordered them to go in at once without reference to going through the breach, and proceed at once as before directed, without reference to General Ledlie; thinking that if they could find room to get through to the right and left and could move forward, it would enable General Ledlie also to move forward with his troops. And finally General Ferrero was moved upon the last order from General Meade to put in my whole force. I think that the troops were moved forward, as rapidly as they could be moved forward under the circumstances and I know that they did not pass by the flanks of General Ledlie to go to the crest, but it was in consequence of obstacles produced by the firing of the enemy and the rough ground in the crater of the enemy's works. But they did go to the right and left, driving away a considerable portion of the enemy from those lines and made several distinct attempts to charge to the front. My own opinion is that the principal obstacle was the presence of the enemy to our right and left, which enabled them, the moment our troops attempted to advance to the top of the crest, to give them a fire in the rear.

Question. For what distance on each side of the crater were the enemy's works abandoned immediacy after the explosion of the mine?

Answer. I should say 150 yards or more on each side.

Question. To your own personal knowledge, did any of your troops get beyond the crater, and how far toward the crest?

Answer. As far as I could see there were lines formed beyond the crater and attempts made to charge, but the lines were repulsed, but to say how far I would not be willing to express an opinion.

Question. Can you tell how far it was from the crater to the crest?

Answer. From the crater to the crest I should say was 500 yards.

Question. How long did your troops remain in the crater before the order was given to retire?

Answer. The order was given to retire, I think, about 9.30. When the order was given to retire I went to General Meade's headquarters, consulted with him, ascertained that it was final, and decided that our best method of retiring was to hold the crater until dark and then retire by trenches.

(The question was repeated and the witness requested to give a more specific answer.)

Question. How long did your troops remain in the crater before the order was given to retire?

Answer. They remained there until about 2 o'clock. I think the order reached them about 11.40. They remained there about four hours before the order was given to me to retire.

Question. Did Generals Willcox's and Potter's divisions attack the crest, or did they proceed perpendicularly along the enemy's intrenchments to the right and to the left?

Answer. The principal part of their movements was in that direction, with all possible directions to move to the front as fast as possible.

Question. Had you authority to put in the supports of other corps, or had any one else who was present and could see what was going on?

Answer. Although I can designate no order upon which I had a right to put in supports, yet I am satisfied that any support which I called upon General Ord for would have been given to me; and it is almost impossible that there was such an order. At all events, he expressed every willingness to give me all the support possible, no matter what the movements of his troops were, and consulted freely with me, and asked me at what points I thought he ought to put his corps in. I told him