War of the Rebellion: Serial 081 Page 0440 OPERATIONS IN SE.VA. AND N.C. Chapter LII.

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railroad and pointed it out on the map. I promised to meet him on the railroad and put him in position. Not apprehending there could be any difficulty in this division finding the road, I went to the other divisions. The First Division, however, as I afterward ascertained, took the City Point road. I have nothing to add to General Barlow's statements except that two officers of his staff were over the whole length of the road the column should have taken from Old Court-House and reported the result of their examination to him. I also called General Barlow's attention to the fact that under General Grant's dispatch the firing ought to have guided the column, whereas he marched directly away from the firing. There seems to be a disposition to father most of the mistakes of that day on me. In this particular case I simply communicated to Captain Bird the fact that under General Grant's dispatch the Second and Third Divisions would move by the nearest route to Petersburg, and advised, rather than ordered, the route I pointed out as General Barlow's nearest and most direct road.



Lieutenant-Colonel and Chief of Staff.

[Third indorsement.]


Respectfully returned to General Barlow.

The communication from General Hancock of the 26th instant was not written with any intent of charging General Barlow with any fault. It was intended as a circular, similar copies of which were sent to each division commander, yet the major-general commanding the corps did consider an explanation necessary from General Barlow, to account for the cause of delay in reaching the position in front of Petersburg and would have called for it at the time for the constant operations in progress almost from the time of the arrival of General Barlow's division in front of Petersburg until General Hancock relinquished the command of the corps. It is not considered that there was any other point except the one referred to, on which an explanation was required from General Barlow. These papers are returned with Colonel Morgan's indorsement. General Barlow will please return them to this office.

By command of Major-General Hancock:


Assistant Adjutant-General.

[Fourth indorsement.]


Respectfully forwarded.

I did march on the left-hand road until I got a positive order to march in a different direction. If the orders were given to Captain Bird instead of to me I am not responsible for any error in their transmission. It seems hardly necessary to refer to the suggestion of Colonel Morgan that he advised rather than ordered. Considering the frequency with which he is sent to show me the route I think the major-general commanding will not decide that I am at liberty to regard his directions on these subjects as mere advice. Either Colonel Morgan gave me orders or I was left without orders at a critical time, without any knowledge of the enemy's or our own position, or of the