Question. State briefly some of the causes, in your opinion, of the failure of the assault.
Answer. I think one cause was the way in which the troops were taken in by the flank, passed down these covered ways, one on the right and the other on the left, on which General Ferrero's troops went down. I understand that only a portion of our parapet was taken away, and the troops had to go through by the flank instead of advancing in line. The portion of the ground south of the covered way was the way along which the troops could have advanced in line. The railroad cut being only six feet high in one place, the troops could have easily advanced through that. The troops were not in their proper positions at the time of the assault - that is, a portion of the troops were away back beyond the edge of those woods when they should have been in the hollow.
By the COURT:
Question. Had you been placed in charge of a proper working party, suitably equipped, could you not, immediately after the explosion of the mine, have leveled the enemy's parapets so as to have allowed troops in line of battle to have passed through?
Answer. I think I could. When the enemy afterward had a flank fire between the enemy's line and ours, I offered to General Burnside to run a covered way from our line to the enemy's line, on the right and left of the crater.
(Lines marked on map 66 A and A1.)
By the JUDGE-ADVOCATE:
Question. Would any advantage have ensued from simply holding the crater without advancing farther?
Answer. No, sir; I do not think so.
By the COURT:
Question. Were there any preparations made in the way of collecting gabions, and so forth, so that if the troops had been successful we could have crowned the crest?
Answer. No, sir; not that I know of.
Question. Were tools collected or used - picks, shovels, axes, &c.?
Answer. I did not see any.
The Court adjourned to meet at 10 o'clock on 1st of September.
HEADQUARTERS SECOND CORPS, September 1, 1864.
The Court met pursuant to adjournment.
Present, Major-General Hancock, Brigadier-Generals Ayres and Miles, and Colonel Schriver, judge-advocate.
The proceedings of the ninth day were read and approved.
GENERAL WILLCOX - RECALLED.
Question. In your testimony yesterday you stated that at the time of the explosion of the mine you were at Roemer's battery. Where were you the rest of the time?
Answer. Immediately after the explosion I started for the head of my column, which was on left and it rear of the First Division. I arrived at the front line of works nearest the crater before the whole of the First Division had crossed. The head of my column had already commenced moving for the crater, and was then occupying the left portion of the enemy's works.