HEADQUARTERS SECOND CORPS,
Jones' House, August 29, 1864.
The Court met pursuant to the orders from the President at 10 a.m. Present, Major-General Hancock, Brigadier-Generals Ayres and Miles, and Colonel Schriver, judge-advocate.
The proceedings of the sixth day were read and approved.
The judge-advocate submitted a letter which he received from Major-General Burnside respecting his testimony, as follows:
COLEMAN'S EUTAW HOUSE,
Baltimore, August 15, 1864.
Inspector-General, Army of the Potomac, Judge-Advocate, &c.:
COLONEL: You will remember that in answering the last question put to me, as to the reason none of my division commanders went into the crater, I made some explanation after saying "I don't know; " but it was finally decided to let the answer be "I don't know." Lest it may be understood to be a censure upon those officers, I beg to add to the answer the following: "I think General Potter was in the crater, and I am satisfied that the others left they were in the best position to command, except General Ledlie,who, I understand, was sick. The Court can determine."
Please lay this before the Court, and believe me,
Yours, very truly,
A. E. BURNSIDE,
These officers, with the exception of General Ledlie, have served with me long gallantly, and I do not desire to do aught to injure their well-earned reputation.
TESTIMONY OF Major J. C. DUANE.
Major J. C. DUANE, Engineer Corps, sworn, says:
Questions by the JUDGE-ADVOCATE:
Question. Were you present at the assault of the 30th of July, and in what capacity did you serve?
Answer. I was on the Fifth Corps front, assisting in directing the artillery fire.
Question. Can you produce maps showing the lines then occupied by the armies?
Answer. Yes, sir; I here produce two maps showing the general positions of the armies and the position of the Ninth Corps in detail.
(These maps are marked Nos. 65 and 66 Appendix.)
Question. What in your opinion were some of the causes of failure on that occasion?
Answer. One cause was that the troops, instead of moving up by division front, (column of division), moved up by the flank. Another was that they stopped in the crater instead of pushing immediately forward. The points between which they could have taken on the ridge are the points on the map between Clark's house and Cemetery Hill. Those being taken, Petersburg was in our possession. I have no doubt the enemy had guns in that position, but I do not know that he had any works. If there were any works there they were screened by the trees. No guns were opened immediately after the assault. The distance from the crater to the crest is about 500 yards.
Question. Could the troops have gone forward by division front?
Answer. I think they could if proper working parties had been sent to remove the abatis.
Question. Were there any working parties with them?
Answer. I do not know. I was directed not to interfere with General Burnside in his operations. I had no control over the operations in that part of the line.