and the rest, as I stated, were in the covered way; and I did not see any of the Ninth Corps - the white troops of it - make any movements whatever. They had all moved forward and occupied the crater before I had gone to the front, so that I am ignorant of their information. I know that the colored troops were down the covered way before the division of the Tenth Corps. It was my opinion, the case being as it was, that the division of the Tenth Corps should not have passed down the covered way; that they might have passed down the hill to the bottom, the passed over our works, and then up over the open ground toward the enemy's. I think all the troops should have gone that way. The massing of our troops at our most extreme advanced position, and then, crowded as they were, forming them for an advance created more or less confusion. It would be likely to do so among the best of troops, and certainly it did in the Ninth Corps. I was going to remark that it was my opinion that instead of waiting to have moved down the covered way, it would have been proper for me to have avoided that covered was and moved over the open ground. There was very little fire upon that ground, and the enemy could have probably brought but little there at best; and I think the division could have been moved down the hill and up over the open ground without serious loss - no more than might be expected; and then the troops would have been already in position to have acted with some considerable vigor, and with a reasonable hope of adequate results.
Question. Do you know of, or did you see, anything like fascines, gabious, or such things as are generally used and considered necessary, indeed, for an affair of that kind on the ground?
Answer. No,sir. When I saw the difficult of passing our troops from our most advanced work to the crater, and saw that there was a little depression where the ground rose on each of it (not much to be sure, but almost enough to cover the troops), I recommended to my superior, General Ord, and also his staff, that men with shovels should go out and throw up, certainly on the left of the crater, on a little rising ground, a rifle-pit or breast-work to cover our men so that they could pass from our line of works to the crater without danger; but I learned that there were no tools there for any such work, but it was concluded that these tools should be obtained, and afterward Captain Farquhar, of the Engineers, told me that he had sent for these tools, and that they would go to work and make this covered way, but before anything could be accomplished the troops were running back.
Question. Do you think the plan for the assault was one that with ordinary diligence and skill the assault ought to have been successful?
Answer. I don't see how ordinary troops, with good commanders and one head to direct, could have possibly failed under the circumstances. It was necessary that some one person should be present to direct the various movements and make them one operation. If there had been perhaps the result would have been different.
Question. Do you think it would have been any benefit to our arms to have held the crater simply?
Answer. That I think would depend upon our ultimate object. I think it would have been no use to have held the crater if we had remained inactive, or on the defensive, as we have done since. If it was our intention to work up to the crest by mining it would have been so many hundred yards to our advantage.
Question. Would it not have been difficult to hold the place in consequence of the fire that could have been brought to bear upon it; is not that the re-entrant point in the line?
Answer. Yes, sir. The enemy's fire, at least as I saw it, was at least a semi-circle - that is, a continuation of the line of fire from one side in the direction of the crater would strike the enemy's works on the other, making the line of fire a semicircle.
Question. You regard the order to withdraw the troops at the time it was given a judicious one, do you?
Answer. I think so, under the circumstances. I understood that the troops in the crater did not move forward; and that being the case, the sooner they went back the better.