War of the Rebellion: Serial 080 Page 0125 Chapter LII. THE RICHMOND CAMPAIGN.

Search Civil War Official Records

Question. Was he with his troops all he time?

Answer. He was. at 7 o'clock we moved down the covered way from in rear of our batteries in front of our reserve camp. Three regiments went into the crater, the remainder of the brigade stopped in the works. About 8 o'clock I was sent into the crater by Colonel Bliss to ascertain why the tree regiments in front did not charge, he remaining in the works with four regiments of the brigade. I went, and found the three regiments were formed in the covered way beyond the crater toward Cemetery Hill.

Question. Where did the covered way strike the enemy's pits to the left of the crater?

Answer. Facing their front, it led a little to our right of the crater, tending off a little to the right of Cemetery Hill.

Question. What efforts were made to bring up the regiments which were left in the works, by their commanders?

Answer. The three regiments which went forward were first to charge before the rear regiments were to move forward.

Question. With what part of the brigade was Colonel Bliss?

Answer. With the portion that was left behind; he remained with the last regiment, and did not go forward at all to my knowledge.

The Court, after discussion with closed doors, adjourned to meet at 10 o'clock on the 9th of September.



September 9, 1864.

The Court met pursuant to adjournment.

Present, Major-General Hancock, president, Brigadier-Generals Ayres and Miles, and Colonel Schriver, judge-advocate.

The proceedings of the fourteenth, fifteenth, and sixteenth days were read and approved.

The Court, with closed doors, then resumed the discussion of the testimony, and decided on the following finding and opinion:


After mature deliberation on the testimony adduced the Court find the following "facts and circumstances attending the unsuccessful assault on the 30th of July:"

The mine, quite an important feature in the attack, was commenced by Major-General Burnside soon after the occupation of his present lines without any directions obtained from the headquarters of the Army of the Potomac. Although its location (and in this the engineers of the army concur) was not considered by Major-General Meade a proper one, it being commanded from both flanks and reverse, the continuance of the work was sanctioned.

It was not the intention of the lieutenant-general commanding or of the major-general commanding the Army of the Potomac, it is believed, to use the mine in the operations against Petersburg until it became known that the enemy had withdrawn a large port of his forces to the north side of the James River, when it was thought advantage might be taken of it in an assault. All the Union troops sent north of the James had been recalled in time to participate in the assault, so that the whole of the forces operating in front of Petersburg were disposable.

the mine was ordered to be exploded at 3.30 a.m., but owing to a defective fuse it did not take place till 4.45.