Question. As it was planned, had you an opportunity of seeing whether the plan was carried out in the best manner, the plan having been adopted?
Answer. I can mention some faults. There was great defect, I think, in the preparation for the movement of the assaulting column; I judge so from the way the column moved, as I did not visit the exact point. And, second, I think the first force, instead of moving straight on to the hill, should have cleared the intrenchments right and left of the crater, so as not to have exposed the advancing column to a flank fire. I tried to make a similar assault there on the 18th of June, and that very same battery that operated on the left flank of Burnside's force that day was in operation on the previous occasion, and stopped all my efforts.
Question. Could you mention that battery particularly by showing it on the map, or designating it is some way?
Answer. It is the first-battery on the south side of the mine.
Question. Was our artillery fire effective on that occasion?
Answer. As much so as it could be. I heard Colonel Abbot complain that a group of trees in front of one of his large batteries was left standing, and it was his desire to have it cleared away.
Question. Did he say whose business it was to clear it away? Did he find fault with any one? In whose front was it?
Answer. In General Burnside's front. I remember he said General Burnside had told him that he was afraid clearing it away might disclose his intention but I do not think that he said whose fault it was that it was not done, or whether it was a fault, except in interfering with his batteries.
By the COURT:
Question. A side from any general principle with reference to the matter upon which you predicated the chances of success, do you think that after the mine exploded there really was a chance of success?
Answer. There are so many if's in it. If we could have carried that first line of rifle-pits, and then maintained ourselves after we got to the crest, we would have had success; but I do not believe any troops will stand on an open plain, with artillery covered by redoubts playing upon them, and I think that is what the enemy had then, or ought to have had, if they did not. If they have been there all this time without that preparation they are much more unprepared than I think they are.
Question. Did they open much artillery fire for the first fifteen minutes or half hour after the explosion?
Answer. I should say not a great deal-not where I was; only a very little. There was no particular danger in my vicinity for a group of horsemen standing right out in plain sight, as we did all the time. Their batteries were mainly placed for enfilading any line attacking, and probably reserved their fire until that line approached.
Question. A side from that operation of the Ninth Corps, if the Fifth Corps, supported by another, could have been thrown round on the enemy's right, occupying those two railroads and turning his right, what was the chance of success in that direction?
Answer. It would be impossible for me to say. I do not know what the nature of their defenses were in that direction. I believe from what I have heard that the very brigade which repulsed General Burnside was located there in the morning, and my corps at that time had no force in reserve except General Ayres' division, and a brigade of General Crawford's, and a brigade of General Cutler's.
Question. Was there any force of the enemy there strong enough to resist the number of troops we had disposable, had they been put in properly after the first assault had failed?
Answer. I can answer that question and cover a little more: When we attacked in the first operation on Petersburg, we had more force than on this occasion