War of the Rebellion: Serial 080 Page 0173 Chapter LII. THE RICHMOND CAMPAIGN.

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quently has been of such a character that it is impossible I can properly command this army if he continues in command. The lieutenant-general commanding is himself aware of the difficulty experienced on the 30th ultimo of obtaining any detailed or accurate information from General Burnside of what was actually occurring at the front. At about 5.30 a.m. I had accidentally placed in my hands a dispatch from Colonel Loring, of General Burnside's staff, to General Burnside, written at the crater of the exploded mine, informing General Burnside of the occupation without resistance of the crater by the advance of his corps, but stating his (Colonel Loring's) fears that the men could not be got to advance. Subsequent information from other sources led me to fear the existence of some obstacle of this kind to account for the non-advance of the column in accordance with my orders. Anxious to be advised of the exact condition of affairs, and considering it natural General Burnside should wish to defer any such report as long as he had hope of removing this obstacle, I wrote the dispatch asking to be advised of the truth, meaning the exact or true state of the case, in order that I might be governed by it, as if it was really the case that the column could not be got to advance, my judgment was clear it should be withdrawn before the enemy could mass his troops and arrange his batteries to render, as he subsequently did, that withdrawal not only precarious but disastrous and, as I fear, not very creditable to us.

In reply to this communication I not only received no satisfactory information, but was answered by a personal insult.

After it was determined by the lieutenant-general commanding and myself that it was useless to make any further efforts to advance, orders were given to General Burnside to withdraw, and on his representation of the precariousness of this operation, he was authorized to sensation of the precariousness of this operation, he was authorized to withdraw at such time and in such manner as would render the movement secure, and he was directed if necessary to hold the position till after dark.

It was represented to me at this time that the crater and adjacent parts of the enemy's lines occupied by us were os overcrowded by our troops that it was impossible any more could leave our lines until an advance was made from the crater. At this time, between 10 and 11 a.m., in conjunction with the lieutenant-general commanding, I left General Burnside's headquarters, and returned to my own, where I was in telegraphic communication with him. From that time till 7 p.m. I heard nothing from General Burnside, and, presuming our forces still in possession of the crater, I did not call for any information. At 7 p.m. a rumor reached me that the enemy had driven us out of the work, whereupon I addressed a telegram of inquiry to General Burnside. Not receiving any reply to this telegram, another was sent to General Burnside at 10 p.m., repeating the call for information, to which no more respect or attention was paid than to the first. The night passed without any reply,and about 9 a.m. of the 31st another call was made on General Burnside and his attention directed to the previous calls. This last likewise failed to elicit any information,and it was not till 9 a.m. of the 1st instant that any report of the withdrawal and the circumstances attending it was made to me by General Burnside and I the learned for the first time the extraordinary construction General Burnside had placed upon the order to withdraw, which justified apparently, in his estimation, the failure of his command to make any defense to a threatened attack, and this in the face of his acknowledgment that they had just successfully repelled one.