between 7.40 a. m. and 3.40 p. m. it was reported to him, by an officer of his own staff, that out of the eight divisions composing my entire command, including the two divisions that had been ordered across the river, six divisions had been employed in making the effort to seize Hamilton's Hill, keeping the attacking force supported, and in checking the advance of the enemy, while but two divisions were left to protect the bridges, the right and the center, and to keep the line of retreat open, and which two divisions were actually attacked during the day. After my testimony had been taken by the committee, and they had declined to call General Hardie as witness, I asked permission to hand them copies of the reports made by him to General Burnside during the day. This request was granted; and, although it is impossible to overstate the value of the testimony contained in these dispatches, fourteen in number, sent from the field of battle by an officer of the staff of General Burnside, who could have had no motive at the time to state anything but the exact truth, as the events were transpiring under his own eyes, yet no mention of or reference to these dispatches is made by the committee in their report. As they present a statement of the transactions of the day upon the left, as seen by a competent and impartial witness, I present them in full, in the order in which they were sent. It will be noticed that the first dispatch is dated at 7.40 a. m. This dispatch is follows, viz:
HEADQUARTERS FRANKLIN'S GRAND DIVISION,
December 13 - 7.40 a. m.
General Meade's division is to make the movement from our left, but it is reported that the enemy's skirmishers are advancing, indicating an attack upon our position on the left.
JAS. A. HARDIE,
Brigadier-General of Volunteers and Assistant Inspector-General.
The telegraph station connecting with General Burnside's headquarters was about one-third of a mile from my headquarters, so that by 8 o'clock of that morning General Burnside was informed by his assistant inspector-general of the fact that I had sent General Meade's division to make the movement directed by him. I submit, with entire confidence, that had General Burnside, upon the receipt of General Hardie's first dispatch, discovered that I had either misapprehended his order, or was sending too small a force to its execution, he would at the moment have corrected my misapprehension. So far from that, General Burnside did not communicate with me in any manner from that time until 2.25 p. m. of that day, when he sent me an order in writing, in which it was stated that my instructions of this morning were so far modified as to require an advance upon the heights immediately in my front. General Hardie's dispatch upon the receipt of this order is as follows:
HEADQUARTERS LEFT GRAND DIVISION,
December 13 - 2.25 p. m.
Dispatch received. Franklin will do his best. New troops gone in. Will report soon again.
JAS. A. HARDIE,
Brigadier-General of Volunteers.
Later in the day, and after 3 o'clock, when every regiment that I could spare was engaged in various parts of the field (as will appear by referring to Hardie's reports and General Burnside's own testimony hereafter given) with an enemy that greatly outnumbered us, and when