Answer. I did not go to the front until difficulties were reported in the way of carrying out the order received from General Meade to move my division out to the right, independent of the troops in my front, and endeavor to reach the crest of the hill. It was reported by the division commanders that the nature of the ground was such that they could not get out that way. I went down to inspect the ground myself, and I derived the impression that there were difficulties in the way of getting out from the position occupied by my men at that time except in one place. They were in the long covered way, the way leading to the angle from which the troops debouched. The ground was swampy, covered with more or less undergrowth and trees, and appeared to run obliquely in front of the enemy's trenches. If the troops should get into that swamp and undergrowth it would have been difficult to have kept them in order, and the enemy would have had them at a greater disadvantage, raking them if they occupied the trenches. The covered way was a pretty deep one, and I supposed from the fact of its being there leading to the place of exit it was swept by a very heavy fire from the enemy's batteries. It was reported that the stream running through the marsh was bridged in one place by a narrow bridge, where we crossed it, and that it was a difficult place for troops to pass over. When I got there I saw that it was very muddy, that delays would be occasioned, and that it was a difficult place to attempt to take the enemy's intrenchments, and we would have got on the ground just under the enemy's works and probably be exposed to a very severe fire.
Question. Did any troops, to your knowledge, misbehave or disobey orders?
Answer. None that I know of, except after when an assault was made by some colored troops, followed by a brigade of the Tenth Corps, which assault was made about 8 o'clock while I was in the front line of our trenches and within less than 100 yards of the crater, and what I would call the movement of assault. The men were repulsed by a very heavy concentrated fire, which ewnveloped that point of exit, the enemy having massed forces on the right and front and some fire coming from the left.
Question. In your opinion had the first troops that went forward not hesitated or halted in the crater could they not have got to the desirable point - that is, Cemetery Hill?
Answer. I knew nothing about their halting of the facilities that they had for getting forward, except through what I heard from others, I not having been present at that time.
Question. How was our artillery firing, as far as you observed - effective or otherwise?
Answer. The artillery fired very rapidly and for a long time, and judging from the reports in the enemy's newspapers which I have seen since we must have done considerable damage by our artillery upon their columns moving across t the place of attack.
Question. Were the obstructions north and south of the crater removed sufficiently to admit the passage of troops in line of battle, say brigade front?
Answer. I did not see that any obstructions made by the enemy's trenches had been removed when I was there, except what had been removed by the explosion of the mine at the crater. Their ditch still remained, and I counted the regimental flags of our troops in my front occupying the trench. I do not know whether there was a strong abatis before the attack; so that I refer only to the ditch and the parapet.
By the COURT:
Question. Do you thin the assault would have been successful there had the best dispositions been made that you are conversant with?
Answer. From what I learned afterward of the behavior of the troops after the explosion, when the enemy was most alarmed, I think that the assault, if it had been made with no more vigor, would have failed no matter what the disposition. If the troops had behaved properly elsewhere I think the probability of success would have been increased by having more opening, a simultaneous assault, and increased material; but if the troops would have behaved as improperly as they are reported to have done in front - not going forward when ordered - I think the assault would have failed no matter what the disposition.