War of the Rebellion: Serial 080 Page 0090 OPERATIONS IN SE. VA. AND N. C. Chapter LII.

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Answer. At that time they were driven back by the fire. They were too weak to advance farther.

Question. By the fire of artillery or of infantry?

Answer. Both.

Question. At what hour was that?

Answer. That must have been about half or three-quarters of an hour after the mine exploded.

Question. Do you think that if your men had been adequately supported they could have gone forward to the crest, notwithstanding the obstacles that presented themselves - firing and so forth - at that hour?

Answer. I think that if I had my whole division together at that time, if the ground had been such that I could have had my whole division together and made that charge, I could have gone to the crest.

Question. When these troops fell back, where did they go?

Answer. They fell back partially into this covered way leading from the fort to the right, and a few were driven into the crater of the mine.

Question. How long was it after they got in before they were ordered to retire; how long were you in that place, or wherever they were?

Answer. Until the general order came to withdraw the troops.

Question. How long would you estimate that time to be?

Answer. It must have been five or six hours. It seems to me we did not get that order till about 11 o'clock. General Burnside sent for me, I should think, about 10 o'clock in the morning and stated that he had received an order to withdraw, and asked me if I thought we could hold the position. I told him I thought we could hold the position, but unless something was going to be done there was no use in it. He said it was an important point, or something of that sort; and I asked him if I could make arrangements to withdraw, and he told me, "No," that he was going to see General Meade, and that I should wait until he should have consulted with him. Half or three-quarters of an hour afterward I received a copy of a telegram to General White, who was acting as his chief of staff, with an indorsement on the back of the dispatch to the effect that is should be submitted to the officers in the crater, or something to that effect, for their opinion as to how they should withdraw. Subsequently I started to go into the crater to consult with them, and I received an order from and aide-de-camp of General Burnside to report in person at his headquarters.

Question. Was the time a fit one to withdraw, in your opinion?

Answer. The troops were not withdrawn at all; they were driven out by the enemy.

Question. When did the chief loss of men occur?

Answer. The chief loss in my division occurred between 6.30 and 10 o'clock in the morning. The heaviest loss was at the time that some of the troops of the Fourth Division (the colored division) met with a check and were repulse.

Question. Was it in the act of retiring from the crater?

Answer. More than half the prisoners I lost were lost in the crater. I should explain that I had very few men in the crater, that seeing how it was overcrowded, and that one or two regiments that attempted to pass through were lost among the other troops gave way, and the operation of General Ferrero's troops was unsuccessful, and they gave way, I had some stragglers forced into the crater. I suppose I had not more than 200 men in there. My troops were holding the line to the right of that mostly.

Question. By whom was this removal of the troops conducted?

Answer. It was not conducted at all, sir. The circumstances were there: After we had received this order General Burnside directed me to report at his headquarters. I went to his headquarters, met there the other division commanders, and we consulted upon the best plan which should be adopted to withdraw the troops. I had previously sent out orders to connect my right with the crater by an entrenchment