War of the Rebellion: Serial 080 Page 0086 OPERATIONS IN SE. VA. AND N. C. Chapter LII.

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Question. In your opinion was there any necessity for an officer of rank being present who should have had a more general command than the commander of the troops making the assault and the commander of the supports and reserves; should there have been an officer present to have combined the whole command, nearer than the commander of the army, who was only in telegraphic communication with the different commanders of troops on the field; should there have been one single person there invested with authority to direct the whole operation, and would the result have been different if such had been the case?

Answer. The only commands refereed to as present there, the assaulting corps and the reserves, were under General Burnside and myself; and upon reporting to General Burnside I accompanied him to the trenches and told him I would obey any instructions he gave me; so that the whole of the operations were under his orders, until the orders came from higher authority to make the change referred to, and to discontinue the assault. General Burnside being the senior officer I considered that he had a right to give me orders. He directed me to place mu troops in the rear until after his troops should have made the assault, and until he had learned when they would be necessary and where, which I did. General Burnside was to give me word when to move my troops and where to move them. I told him I considered myself bound to obey any instructions that he might give me, and that any instructions that he would give would be obeyed with alacrity. So that, so far as concerns the movements directed by him, I do not think the presence of any other officer in those two corps would have made any change in moving forward.

Question. Could your troops when they were called into action have advanced to the front over the enemy's parapet and have gotten through in line of battle in any front greater than that of two regiments, at the time you were sent in, on each side of the crater?

Answer. I think in probable that my troops might have gotten in on the left of the crater at that time if they had advanced through the opening by fronts of regiments, or even companies - gotten into the enemy's trenches; but my answer must be understood to convey only a knowledge of what I saw. I do not know what force the enemy had on the left. I only knew that the resistance on the right was very great, and they appeared to have a severe fire upon the troops on the right of where we advanced to the crater. My troops were directed to support General Burnside on the right.

Question. Were you present when the mine exploded; do you consider that the troops might have advanced to the top of Cemetery Hill on that ridge had they been properly led forward or the troops behaved properly?

Answer. I do not consider I was present when the mine exploded.

Question. Where was your general position onthe field during the operations of the morning?

Answer. When the mine exploded, and probably for and hour and a half or two hour afterward, I was with General Burnside in the trenches in rear of one of the batteries abut one-third of half a mile from the point of assault; after that for half an hour I was up to the front as far as I could get without going into the crater or outside our line of intrenchments as far as the head of my advanced division was. I then returned, and General Burnside and myself occupied the same place in the rear of this battery for probably an hour, except that I rode to the rear where General Meade was and passed around a little trying to rally some troops who were going from the front. This took me till between 9 and 10 o'clock, when General Burnside and myself both rode to the rear to learn something about an order that was issued in regard to our future movements.

Question. Could anything be seen from this point with sufficient distinctness to have enabled the commanding general to give orders other than he did from the point occupied by him?

Answer. Immediately after the explosion the fire from both our batteries and the enemy's came very heavily, and the could of smoke prevented us from seeing anything