War of the Rebellion: Serial 081 Page 0442 OPERATIONS IN SE.VA. AND N.C. Chapter LII.

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After the Second and Third Divisions had arrived near Petersburg I found my way to Old Court-House expecting momentarily to meet the First Division. I found the rear of it at Old Court-House, followed its course toward City Point and found General Barlow some two miles in advance of his column. Before overtaking him I persuaded one of his staff officers to send an orderly back to turn the train on the right road. I rode with General Barlow until we arrived say three miles from Petersburg, when his men being very tired he halted his division and sent a staff officer with me to headquarters for orders. General Barlow stated to me then what he hardly alludes to now, that he thought the road to the left was the right one and the principal reason he did not take it was that he thought he might interfere with the other divisions and that Captain Bird was very confident I had pointed out the other. On that occasion he said more about his desire not to interfere with the march of the other divisions and less about his having received a positive order through me to take the road on which I found him.


Lieutenant-Colonel and Assistant Inspector-General.

[Seventh indorsement.]


Respectfully returned to Brigadier-General Barlow, commanding division, with reference to the indorsement of Lieutenant-Colonel Morgan, assistant inspector-general.

By command of Major-General Hancock:


Assistant Adjutant-General.

[Eighth indorsement.]


Respectfully returned.

The order directing me to take the interior road stated that I should meet the other divisions at Old Court-House, and either the order, or Captain Driver, who brought it, directed me to halt at Old Court-House for further orders. When I met Colonel Morgan later in the evening I distinctly stated that I had taken the road I did because of his order. I mentioned my fear of interfering with other troops, not as a reason why I did not take the left-hand road, but as the reason which I supposed induced Colonel Morgan to direct me by the other road. With all deference to Colonel Morgan, he is entirely mistaken in his recollection of what I stated to be my principal reason for not taking the road to the left. Nearly all my staff officers know that my advanced guard had marched some distance down this road, and they were present at the conversation with Captain Bird which induced me to change the route, and know that it was upon the sole ground that Colonel Morgan had ordered it. Being utterly ignorant of the position of our forces, I had no means of knowing that the left-hand road, though it might lead more directly to Petersburg would lead me to the position it was desired I should occupy, and the mere fact that the road led to Petersburg was not sufficient to make me take it in opposition to a positive order [leaving out of view the error of its transmission,