troops that made the assault should move with the utmost rapidity to gain that crest. I contend that the point of the assault was not properly selected to carry our that object; that the obstructions which the explosion of the mine would naturally create would disorganize the troops and prevent them moving forward with the rapidity that was desired. Furthermore, I would state that the manner in which the troops went in would not lead them to attain the object that was desired. The two divisions that followed the leading division were to have protected the flanks of the same. Now, how could they protect the flank when the leading division (the head of that column) would hardly have reached the crest before the Second Division would have reached the crater, subjecting the First Division to flank fires and to be taken in reverse? And, even had the Third Division, which had the second Division, which was the third in column, could have reached its proper point to protect the right flank of the First Division. I mean t convey the idea that either other movements should have been made on the flank of the leading division, or that division should have been made on the flank of the leading division, or that division should have deployed to the right and left, engaging the enemy on the flank, so as to give the assaulting column an opportunity to advance rapidly to the crest of the hill.
By the COURT:
Question. How long was it after the explosion of the mine before the assaulting column moved forward?
Answer. I was not with the leading division; therefore I cannot give you the ex act time, but it was very shortly after.
By the JUDGE-ADVOCATE:
Question. State to the Court how the Fourth Division (colored troops), your own command, conducted themselves on the occasion.
Answer. I would state that the troops went in in the most gallant manner; that they went in without hesitation, moved right straight forward, passed through the crater that was filled with troops, and all but one regiment of my division passed beyond the crater. The leading brigade engaged the enemy ant a short distance in rear of the crater, where they captured some 200-odd prisoners and a stand of colors, and recaptured a stand of colors belonging to a while regiment of our corps. Here after they had taken those prisoners, the troops became somewhat disorganized, and it was some little time before they could get them organized again to make a second attempt to charge the crest of the hill. About half an hour after that they made the attempt and were repulsed by a very severe and galling fire, and, I must say, they retreated in great disorder and confusion back to our first line of troops, where they were rallied, and there they remained during the rest of the day and behaved very well. I would add that my troops are raw, new troops, and never had been drilled two weeks from the day they entered the service till that day.
Question. If your division had been the leading one in the assault would they have succeeded in taking Cemetery Hill?
Answer. I have not the slightest doubt from the manner in which they went in, under very heavy, fire, that had they gone in in the first instance, when the fire was comparatively light, but that they would have carried the crest of Cemetery Hill beyond a doubt.
By the COURT:
Question. Did you go forward with your division?
Answer. I went to our first line of works and there remained to see my command go through. I would state that I deemed it more necessary that I should see that they all went in than that I should go in myself, as there was no hesitation in their going forward whatever. I was at no time at a farther distance than eighty or ninety yards from my division.
Question. Where were you after they had all passed the crater, and were, as you say, at one time half an hour in reorganizing?
Answer. I was immediately in front of the crater on our front line of works. I would also state that one regiment was checked between the crater and our front line unable to get through, and I was at that time making every effort to get that regiment through with the intention of passing through myself as soon as they got past, but it was impossible for me to do so from the crowded state of the troops that were there.