War of the Rebellion: Serial 107 Page 1029 Chapter LXIII. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.-UNION.

Search Civil War Official Records

in capital letters, "Franklin's inconsistent statements." What inconsistency is there between my interpretation of the second clause of the order that it was for an armed observation to ascertain where the enemy was and in the statement that in sending in this armed force of observation I had ascertained where the enemy was, and had been compelled to fight the whole strength of my command as fas as I could, and at the same time keep my communication with the river open in resisting a superior force which had discovered itself on three sides of me? But the committee in quoting my testimony, for some reason satisfaction to themselves, have omitted to state what was testimony, for some reason satisfactory to themselves, have moitted to state what was testified by me in the same connection. By referring to the testimony given by me at Falmouth (which has heretofore been made public) I find that the words immediately following the quotation made by the committee in their present report are as follows: "The reason that we failed was that we had not troops enough to carry the points where the attack was made under the orders that were given." Why the committee have omitted that part of my evidence, while from the quotation marks the reader is led to suppose the whole sentence is given, I shall not stop to inquire.

The next statement in the report refers to the number of troops with which the attack was made by me, under the orders to send out "a division at least," to seize the heights near Captain Hamilton's, and that is headed in the tract in the same conspicuous manner, "Franklin responsible for the defeat." The committee's tatement on this subject occupies but a few lines, and admits the sending out by me, under this order, of four divisions, numbering 16,500 men, as stated by them, without giving the number of Doubleday's division, which was nearly 7,000 more. The committee name only Meade's, Gibbon's, Doubleday's, and Birney's divisions, as those by which the attack was made and suppit in proof, and in General Hardie's reports, that Newton's and Sickles' divisions also aided in that movement, while the divisions of Howe and Brooks also engaged the enemy during the day. However easy of explanation it may be that the employment of Newton's division was not referred to in the report, it is difficult to understand why Sickles' division should be omitted, when the only evidence they have published on this subject discloses the fact that Sickles' division was also engaged. The committee further say, "that the attack was in reality made by one of the smallest divisions in my command, the division of General Meade, numbering about 4,500 men." They have omitted to state in that connection what was in evidence before them - that Meade's division was posted on the extreme left of my line, and the order being to attack at once, was consequently best posted for the attack. The Army of the Potomac had no braver soldier or better officer than General Meade to lead his division to the attack. The commmittee next say, that "General Burnside, upon hearing of the small force ordered to attack the enemy, sent an order to General Fraznklin to make a vigorous attack with his whole force." The comitte do not state when General Burnside sent to me any order after that received at 7.30 a. m.; but if the ordinary construction is to be put upon their language, they intend to the receipt of General Hardie's first dispatch to General Burnside, dated at 7.40 a. m., in which he was informed of what I proposed to do under the order. As before observed, this dispatch must have been received by General Burnside by 8 a. m. So that, according to the report, General Burnside sent me a second order to make a "vigorous attack with my whole force" shortly after 8 a. m.