War of the Rebellion: Serial 080 Page 0076 OPERATIONS IN SE. VA. AND N. C. Chapter LII.

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Question. Were there engineer officers to lead or direct the assaulting columns?

Answer. Lieutenant Benyaurd, of the Engineers, was on duty on that front, and was available in case the general commanding that corps wished to make use of an engineer. Captain Farquhar was also on duty with the Eighteenth Corps, and was present, but not under my orders.

Question. What arrangements were made for facilitating the debouche of the troops from our lines and passage over the enemy's parapets?

Answer. I do not know.

Question. Were the obstructions at the enemy's line formidable-of what did they consist?

Answer. They consisted of a strong rifle-pit with a good abatis in front. Such obstructions are formidable in case there are troops behind the parapets to defend them. In this instance there did not appear to be sufficient force behind the parapet to prevent those works being carried.

Question. How was our artillery fire as to effectiveness on that occasion?

Answer. It completely silenced the batteries of the enemy that were in position and had been in position previous to this day on the Fifth Corps front. I had nothing to do with the right, which was on the Eighteenth Corps line.

Question. In your opinion was the point of attack a judicious one?

Answer. I did not consider it so, although there was a chance of success. The point of attack was on a re-entrant on the line, which exposed an attacking column to a fire on both flanks and front.

Question. Did you at any time make that known to the authorities?

Answer. I did, two or three days previous to the attack.

Question. In written or verbal communications?

Answer. I had frequently made it known verbally-two days previous to the attack, in writing-to the general commanding the Army of the Potomac.

Question. Can you produce that report?

Answer. I can; and I will hand it to the judge-advocate.

(It is marked 67.)

Question. It is a very unusual way of attacking field fortifications. I do not think that there was any reasonable chance of success by such an attack.

Question. Had the engineer department anything to do with it?

Answer. It had not.

Question. Please to state what advantage would have resulted from holding the crater, simply.

Answer. No advantage.

By the COURT:

Question. Did you see this explosion and assault?

Answer. I saw the explosion. I did not see the assault distinctly; I was too far to the left.

Question. You could not see how far to the right or left the enemy's parapet was abandoned, from any fire that came from it?

Answer. No, sir.

Question. What artillery of the enemy did you see open and play upon that assaulting column within the first fifteen minutes after the explosion?