War of the Rebellion: Serial 080 Page 0080 OPERATIONS IN SE. VA. AND N. C. Chapter LII.

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and the enemy had about the same, I think, and I don't believe that the blowing up of the mine made up for the difference in the increased strength of the earth-works as they were on the 18th of June and the 30th of July; and if the operation of the 18th of June decided anything I think it decided that the operation of the 30th of July would have met with the same result.

Question. Did you feel the want of any person on the field who could see for himself and give commands on the spot; had that any effect upon the result; or do you think that any person ought to have been present who should have had command of the storming party, and all the troops ready to take part in the operation?

Answer. I think some one should have been present to have directed my command as well as General Burnside's and General Ord's, some one person; but whether that would have affected the result or not I am not prepared to say.

Question. Did you experience any uncertainties and doubts for the want of such a person's presence there?

Answer. Yes.

Question. Were there moments when such a person's presence was necessary in order to decide at once what should be done?

Answer. I think it was necessary that some one should have been there. If you have my official report it will show you that I was in doubt whether to move to the left or move to the right to help General Burnside, and that I had to await the transmission of dispatches and corresponding answers. My report shows how much, but I do not know that that would have affected the main result at all. My report is a complete answer to your question. Sometimes in these badly planned or badly inaugurated assaults the longer and better they are pressed the worse we are off, great losses being sustained after the time and chance of success are gone.

The Court adjourned to meet at 10 a.m. on 30th of July [August].



Jones' House, August 30, 1864.

The Court met pursuant to adjournment.

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

The proceedings of the seventh day were read and approved.


By General MEADE:

Question. What did you mean by saying "some one should have been present to have directed my command together with the commands of Generals Ord and Burnside"? Were you not aware that the commanding general of the Army of the Potomac was in the field and in telegraphic communication with yourself and the other officers alluded to?

Answer. I saw from my position, which was, I suppose, about 400 yards from General Burnside's, as well as could be seen in the morning in the smoke, that the assault was not going on very rapidly and that no effort had been made to do what I thought was the first essential-to take that battery on the left of the mine. I then went to General Burnside's, which was as close to the scene of operations as a man could be and see well. There I found Generals Burnside and Ord engaged in conversation. I suggested to General Burnside that that battery should be taken at once; he asked me to go down the line and take a look at it from another point, and I did so. Upon returning I said I was confirmed in my first opinion, and he asked me if my troops could not take it. At that time all the approaches leading down to where the mine was were filled with his troops still slowly moving down and there was no chance for me to get at the battery, except to go over the open field. I, however, determined to put in General Ayres' division at once and try to take it, and went back for that purpose, when I got a dispatch from General Meade (the ex-