War of the Rebellion: Serial 080 Page 0089 Chapter LII. THE RICHMOND CAMPAIGN.

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have an opportunity to get forward, ad the divisions of Generals Ledlie and Willcox were to precede me. I therefore commanded General Griffin, who had the lead in my division, to deploy a line of skirmishers to the right of this crater, and in case the assault seemed to be successful, and General Ledlie moved forward, he should advance his skirmishers to the right, and if he did not find so much serious opposition as to detain him there he should push his troops forward to the right, and move forward nearly parallel with General Ledlie. I gave him these orders about 12 o'clock at night, and I do not think that I communicated to General Burnside that I had made this change. Therefore my troops commenced moving as soon as General Griffin found that General Ledlie's column had started. This leading division commenced moving and passed into the right of the crater and turned down to the right.

Question. Did the troops halt in the crater.

Answer. Yes, sir.

Question. Why?

Answer. No reason at all that I know of.

Question. What was the nature of the obstructions in the enemy's line, formidable or otherwise?

Answer. To the right of the crater there was an ordinary line of rifle-pits with a sort of chevaux-de-frise in front of it made by pointed stakes being driven into the ground. Immediately in rear of this and to the right of it there were two covered ways. One seemed to be a covered way, and one perhaps a place dug to carry something out of the fort. There were transverse lines of rifle-pits, and some coverings thrown up by the men to protect themselves - one running in these angles between the advance line and this covered way, which runs up toward Petersburg, and another running on the bank of the ravine which runs up through the enemy's line to the right of the mine, about the line I was ordered to take.

Question. What was the degree of artillery firing on that point, the point of assault?

Answer. Immediately after the assault very light; afterward the fire was very severe indeed, as severe as I ever saw.

Question. What time elapsed, as near as you can tell, from the time of the assault till the time this severe fire commenced?

Answer. I should think fully half an hour.

Question. Was the ground around the crater commanded by the ground held by the enemy?

Answer. Yes, sir; that is, immediately in rear of the enemy's line which we had pierced the ground commanded it, and the ground to the right on the other side of the ravine commanded it. In speaking of the right I mean our right. The ground to the left I did not notice so well because I had no business there.

Question. For what distance on each side of the crater were the enemy's works abandoned after the explosion of the mine?

Answer. To the right of the crater the front line was abandoned for a space of 250 or 300 yards, I should think - that is, the enemy's troops rushed out of this line back to theses covered ways and so forth. From the hasty glance I gave to the left there did not seem to be anybody within 300 yards. Perhaps it would be better to say that the line was only partially abandoned; they did not all go - some went and some did not.

Question. Could the troops have proceeded to the crest immediately after reaching the crater?

Answer. I do not know any reason why they could not.

Question. Did any troops that you know of advance from the crater to the crest?

Answer. Some of my troops advanced from the right of the crater toward the crest. I suppose they went upward of 200 yards, and they were driven back.

Question. Why, do you suppose, were they driven back?