Question. Do you know why the First Division did not go forward?
Answer. I do not, sir.
Question. Did you see any of the appliances for overcoming obstacles that usually accompany troops - working parties with tools?
Answer. I saw no such preparations to remove obstacles in the enemy's line. I had no such assistance.
Question. Do you think the mode of marching up your command was a judicious one - the form I mean?
Answer. No, sir; it was injudicious, for two reasons. First, we moved up by the flank. That I consider injudicious. And secondly, we were ordered up left in front which made us face by the rear rank, which was not a satisfactory way of maneuvering.
Question. Was it a verbal or a written order, and by whom was it issued?
Answer. It was a verbal order issued by General Ferrero about 11 o'clock on the night before. The order to me that night was to go up by division, follow the First Brigade, and to move left in front. But early in the morning I learned from a staff officer whom I sent out to tell me when the First Brigade moved, that it was filing along the covered way. My instructions were to follow the First Brigade. I was detained at least an hour and a half in the covered way be the troops in front, and by the order of the assistance inspector-general of the corps. He, finding the pits into which we were to go full of troops, suspended the other order until he could see General Burnside.
Question. How did your particular command retire from the front?
Answer. In confusion.
Answer. Driven back by a charge of the enemy.
Question. And not by any orders?
Answer. No, sir; they received no order. They were ordered to stop by myself and all my staff officers who were in the pits. When I got into this position on the right of the crater the fire was very severe; there was also a very severe enfilading fire from the right. I attempted one charge without success the moment I reached there. I could not get more than fifty men out. I sent word to General Burnside by Major Van Buren, of his staff - as he was the only staff officer I was in the pits except my own - that unless a movement was made to the right to stop the enfilading fire not a man could live to reach the crest; but that I should try another charge in ten minutes,and hoped I would be supported. In about eight minutes I received a written order from General Ferrero in pretty near these words, "Colonels Sigfried and Thomas, commanding First and Second Brigades: If you have not already done so, you will immediately proceed to take the crest in your front." It was signed in the ordinary official manner, "By order of General Ferrero: George A. Hicks, captain and assistant adjutant-general." I cannot produce that order because I destroyed it when I was captured in Petersburg. Colonel Sigfried had, I think, already received it as he was in the crater. I sent word to Colonel Sigfried's brigade, on my right, where I supposed the colonel to be, that I was about to charge, that we should go over with a yell, and that I hoped to be supported. I went over with two regiments and part of a third, but I was driven back. The moment they came back the white troops in the pits all left and they after them. I was not supported at all in my charge.
Question. Where was the division commander all this time?
Answer. I do not know. When I went up with my brigade he was in the bombproof on the left, with the commanding officer of the First Division. Generals Willcox, Ledlie, and Ferrero were in the
bomb-proof on the left.
Question. Was the bomb-proof a good place to see what was going on?
Answer. No, sir; there were place near there where something could be seen, but the earth about the crater prevented almost anything being seen immediately to the left of it. The dirt was throw up very high. There were, I think, however, places near there where a view could be got.