The board will consist of Major General W. S. Hancock, Brigadier General R. B. Ayres, Brigadier General N. A. Miles, Volunteer service; Colonel E. Schriver, inspector-general, recorder.
By command of Major-General Meade:
AUGUST 2, 1864.
The Board met at 10 a.m. at the headquarters of the Second Corps, agreeable to the notification from Major-General Hancock, the presiding officer.
Present: Major General W. S. Hancock, Brigadier General R. B. Ayres, Brigadier General N. A. Miles, Volunteer service; Colonel E. Schriver, inspector-general, recorder.
The order for the Court was read. At the outset the Board finds itself embarrassed by the requirements of the order, viz, to report upon the facts and circumstances of a failure of the troops to execute certain orders on the 30th of July, and whether any one is answerable therefor.
There is demanded of it a duty, which has always been performed by a court of inquiry, but the powers of which required by law (see Ninety-first Article of War), such as summoning of witnesses and their examination on oath, in presence of those whose conduct may be censured in the finding of the Board, should they desire to appear, it does not possess. This alone would be a bar to legal and just proceeding. But without this obstacle, the Board is of opinion that the Rules and Articles of War especially forbid the institution of a tribunal, by whatever name it may be designated for an object like that specified in the special order, unless directed by the President of the United States, or on the demand of the accused who in this case, although not actually known to exist, may become no less a real personage by the finding of the Board, but who will not have had the privilege of being present throughout the investigation and of confronting witnesses by whose evidence he is placed in the position of an accused party.
The Board, therefore, unanimously directs that these preceedings be submitted to the commanding general.
On motion the Board adjourned until it shall be directed to meet again by the proper authorities.
W. S. HANCOCK,
Major-General, President of Board.
R. B AYRES,
NELSON A. MILES.
Brigadier-general, U. S. Volunteers.
HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC.
August 3, 1864.
Brigadier General JOHN A. RAWLINS,
Chief of Staff:
GENERAL: I am compelled from a sense of duty to ask the lieutenant-general commanding that Major General A. E. Burnside, commanding Ninth Corps, be relieved from duty with this army. The inclosed charges and specifications will show in part the gravamen of the reasons which require I should ask the removal of Major-General Burnside. The whole course of that officer on the 30th ultimo,and subse-