War of the Rebellion: Serial 108 Page 0000 (Untitled)

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from my testimony which they have given, is the one already quoted, that-

The testimony of all the witnesses before your committee proves most conclusively that had the attack been made upon the left all the force that General Franklin could have used for that purpose, the plan of General Burnside would have been completely successful, and our army would have achieved a most brilliant victory.

This sweeping statement is made without giving a word of testimony in support of the conclusion, or the name of a witness. I am necessarily in ignorance of what has been testified to by others before the committee, but I know that General Burnisde and myself were at least two of "all the witnesses," and that he, when he was first examined, testified to the contrary of any such statement. I know that General Hardie's words, written from the battle-field to his chief, were in evidence, and that the facts shown by these witnesses prove the conclusions of this committee to be as unfounded as they are unmerited.

Standing, as I do, thus arraigned and condemned by the committee, I have no fear that my countrymen will adopt their verdict until I have been heard in my own behalf. They have thus far inhaled with the air they breathe that vital principle of fair play that hears before it condemns. As a people, they have no purpose to serve in striking down a public servant, unless he has proved to be unfaithful to his trust, and to their sense of justice I appeal, though the circumstances attending my accusation compel me to add to my statement a few rods personal to myself. My profession is that of arms. I was educated to it as a pupil of the nation. My duty and inclination leading in the same path, with the feeling that stirred the nation's pulse when its flag was torn down by parricidal hands, I dedicated my life and whatever was enwrapt within my life to the defense of my country. I did not underrate the proportions of the rebellion, and I accepted my line of duty with the conviction that the nation would require of its loyal children determined purpose, and perhaps great sacrifices, before its unity would be restored. With these convictions I took command of a brigade in the Army of the Potomac in June, 1861. From that time until I was relieved from duty with the Army of the Potomac, on the 25th day of January, 1863, I have been trying to do my duty in camp and upon the field. That I have not altogether failed, the brave men who have grown up with me have proved on the battle-fields of Virginia and Maryland, and it is but common justice tot hose of them who yet live, and to the memory of those who are dead, to say that they never failed me in the time of trial. My time has been passed with my command. Including a period of illnes, I have been absent from it but twenty-one days. This has left me but little time to look after matters personal to myself. Having no political associations of influence, I must content myself as best I can with the reflection that the committee believed that the failure at Fredericksburg demanded a victim, and that, being of no consequence except as a soldier, it was most available to order me to that duty. I have had no friendships which have stood in the way of the performance of my duty.

When General Burnside took command of the Army of the Potomac, and up to the time he left it, I gave a hearty obedience to every order he gave me, as well as a full and frank expression of my opinion when he invited me to his councils. I supposed that we were attached friends, and that we were both looking only to those means which would achieve success. I agreed with him fully in the propriety of crossing the Rappahannock at Fredericksburg at the time proposed by his orginal plan. After that failed, whatever advice I gave to him in council sprang from the honest convictions of my judgment, and I should have