JCCW – Gen. Montgomery C. Meigs

16 09 2009

Testimony of Gen. Montgomery C. Meigs

Report on the Conduct of the War, Vol. 2, pp. 246-247

WASHINGTON, July 14, 1862.

General M. C. MEIGS recalled and examined.

By Mr. Chandler:

Question. It would appear from some of the testimony we have taken in regard to the circumstances attending the battle of Bull Run, that one of the causes of the delay of our army at Centreville from Thursday until Sunday was occasioned by a lack of supplies. Do you remember anything in regard to that?

Answer. This is the first I have heard of it. I was called upon to supply a certain number of wagons and horses, the most of which I had to purchase after I was called upon for them. I did all I could. I do not think I supplied them quite as early as I had hoped to do, or as was desired. But my impression has been that before General McDowell moved we could see where were the means of transportation that had been asked for. I may be mistaken about that. I did all that I could, and I think that General McDowell was quite satisfied; at least I never heard any complaint from him in regard to it. We supplied all the wagons that could be obtained, and I think we supplied all that were asked for. The army that moved was larger than it was first intended to move.

Question. Do you recollect the number of troops that were moved out to Centreville?

Answer. My recollection is, that it was first intended that 30,000 men should go, but that some 33,000 or 34,000 actually marched.





Recent Arrivals

14 09 2009

Publishers don’t send a ton of books for review here, but when they do they seem to do it in bunches.  Over the past few weeks I’ve received three, and since I’m not sure exactly when I’ll get to them I think it’s fair to give you a little information on them in the meantime.  I’ll discuss them here in order of receipt.

A-Separate-CountryA Separate Country  is by Robert Hicks, author of the bestseller The Widow of the South.  The novel centers around the life of John Bell Hood in post-war New Orleans.  But skimming through the book I get the idea that this is something other than a simple imagination of Hood’s life, as it seems to be told from several perspectives and is maybe something of a mystery.  Forty reviewers on Amazon average to a little over three out of five stars.

The-Mule-ShoeThe Mule Shoe  has the potential to be really interesting in a good way, or really interesting in a train-wreck way.  It’s a novel by Perry Trouche, a Charleston, SC shrink.  It appears to be an examination of a fictional rebel soldier as he descends into, well, I want to say psychosis but will probably wind up being lashed for my imprecision.  The bulk of the book is set against the fighting at Spotsylvania, where the voices in the protagonist Conner’s head and his visions force a resolution. 

Undaunted-HeartLast is Undaunted Heart, by Suzy Barile, an English and journalism instructor in North Carolina and the great-great-granddaughter of Ella Swain Atkins and General Smith Dykins Atkins, the subjects of her non-fiction study.  Atkins was in command of a brigade of William Sherman’s cavalry that occupied Chapel Hill, NC after the surrender of Joseph Johnston’s army at Bennett Place; Ella was the daughter of the president of the University of North Carolina.  They did some courtin’ & sparkin’ and were married, much to the chagrin of many.  I have heard some of the basics of their courtship and marriage before, but Undaunted Heart promises to tell the rest of the story.

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Capt. James B. Ricketts’s Capture by the 7th GA

13 09 2009

Capt. Maddoe letter*

The 7th Ga. Inf. was the regiment that took the first battery of the enemy on position in the field – capturing the battery of Capt., since Mag. Gen’l., Rickett, U.S.A.  It was stationed near the Henry house.  Gen’l. Bartow was leading the regiment at that time, and was shot through the heart while he had the colors of the 7th Ga. in his hand. 

We  (illegible word) found Capt. Rickett in the rear, shot through the leg & very much frightened, thinking that we would kill him, as he had reportedly told his men we serve them, if we captured any of them.

He immediately denounced his own cause & justified ours by saying he was an honest man, because he belonged to the Regular army and was honor-bound to obey orders, no matter what the cause. 

“Have you had any water, sir?”

“Yes thank you, I am an honest man.”

Others came up

“Gentlemen, I am an honest man.”

An old comrade came up, dressed in Confederate uniform.

“Why Cap’t. Rickett!  How do you do, sir?”

“You know I am an honest man.”

The Capt. Was nearly frightened to death & in momentary expectation of being bayoneted.

From South Carolina Department of Archives & History, Columbia SC.

Misc. Records

1864-1903  Box 9

[Contributed by Dr. Thomas Clemens, Keedysville, Md]

[*The writer may be Captain Charles K. Maddox of the 7th Georgia]





JCCW – Gen. James B. Ricketts

12 09 2009

Testimony of Gen. James B. Ricketts

Report on the Conduct of the War, Vol. 2, pp. 242-246

WASHINGTON, April 3, 1862.

General JAMES B. RICKETTS sworn and examined.

By the chairman:

Question. What rank and position do you hold in the army?

Answer. I am at present a brigadier general of volunteers.

Question. What was your rank on the 21st of July last, the day of the battle of Bull Run?

Answer. I was a captain of the first regiment of artillery.

Question. In whose brigade?

Answer. General Franklin’s brigade.

Question. Will you please give us an account, in your own way, of what you saw of the battle?

Answer. I saw very little except what concerned myself. You must know that any one who has charge of six pieces of artillery has as much as he can attend to to manage them and obey orders. I went on the field at Sudley’s Spring, in General Heintzelman’s division, General Franklin’s brigade. After crossing the stream, where I watered my horses, my first order was to take to the right into an open field, to effect which I had to take down the fences. I then came into action about a thousand yards from the enemy, I should judge. There was a battery of smooth-bores opposed against me, doing some damage to us; it killed some horses and wounded some few of my men; I myself saw one man struck on the arm. My battery consisted of six rifled Parrott guns, consequently I was more than a match at that distance for the smooth-bore battery. It is difficult to judge of the passage of time under such circumstances, as we never look at our watches then. But after firing, I should judge, twenty minutes or a half an hour, I had orders to advance a certain distance. I moved forward, and was about to come into battery again, when I was ordered to proceed further on, up on a hill near the Henry House.

By Mr. Chandler:

Question. About what time was it when you first came into action?

Answer. We had marched twelve miles. I should judge my first coming into action must have been somewhere about noon. That, of course, is a mere guess. I received this order to move forward. I told the officer that he must indicate the spot, so that there should be no mistake about it. I saw at a glance, as I thought, that I was going into great peril for my horses and men. But I did not hesitate to obey the order, merely asking to name the spot clearly indicated to me. The ground had not been reconnoitred at all, and there was a little ravine in front that I had to pass. As I marched at the head of my company with Lieutenant Ramsay, he said to me, “We cannot pass that ravine.” I told him that we must pass it. As we were under fire, to countermarch there would be fatal. The confusion consequent upon turning around there would expose us to great danger. As it was, we dashed across, breaking one wheel in the effort, which we immediately replaced. I called off the cannoniers and took down the fence and ascended the hill near the Henry House, which was at that time filled with sharpshooters. I had scarcely got into battery before I saw some of my horses fall and some of my men wounded by the sharpshooters. I turned my guns upon the house and literally riddled it. It has been said that there was a woman killed there by our guns. It was in that house that she was killed at the time I turned my battery on it and shelled out the sharpshooters there. We did not move from that position—that is, we made no important movement. We moved a piece one way or the other, perhaps, in order to take advantage of the enemy’s appearance at one point or another. But our guns were not again limbered up. In fact, in a very short time we were not in a position or a condition to move, on account of the number of our horses that were disabled. I know it was the hottest place I ever saw in my life, and I had seen some fighting before. The enemy had taken advantage of the woods and the natural slope of the ground, and delivered a terrible fire upon us.

Question. Was that the place where your battery was lost?

Answer. Yes, sir.

Question. And where you yourself was wounded and fell?

Answer. Yes, sir.

Question. Who gave you the order to march forward there?

Answer. Lieutenant Kingsbury, of General McDowell’s staff, brought me the order. Lieutenant Snyder was also near, and I told him I wanted him to bear in mind that I had received that order, although no point was indicated.

Question. Had you a sufficient infantry support for your battery?

Answer. At that time I knew of no support. I was told a support was ordered. One regiment, the Fire Zouaves, I know came up to support me, and, when I saw them in confusion, I rode up to them and said something cheering to them. I had not much time to speak to them, but I thought I would say a little something cheering to them, as it might have some effect upon them.

Question. How long did you continue to operate your guns after you took that position?

Answer. Somewhere between a half an hour and an hour, I should judge.

Question. Was Griffin’s battery near you?

Answer. I do not know, except from what I have heard. I know there was a battery a little to the rear on my right, and from all accounts I suppose that to be Griffin’s battery. They were on my right in my first position, and moved up with me and took a position a little on my right.

By the chairman:

Question. How came they to order you to advance without infantry to support you? Is not that unusual?

Answer. The infantry came up directly afterwards. I do not know where the position of the infantry was. All I saw were the Fire Zouaves, who came up on my right to support me.

Question. In what number?

Answer. I should suppose, when my attention was called to them, that there were from two hundred to three hundred men.

Question. What number of infantry is supposed to be sufficient to support a battery?

Answer. To go into such a place as that, I should say there should have been two full regiments to have supported my battery.

By Mr. Odell:

Question. Was the smooth-bore battery of the enemy supported?

Answer. Yes, sir; and we drove them away. They retired some distance as we advanced. They must have had a heavy support, judging from the amount of lead they threw from their muskets, for long after I was down the hail was tremendous. The ground was torn up all around me, and some bullets went through my clothes. I never expected to get off at all.

By Mr. Chandler:

Question. How many of your men were hit?

Answer. I do not know. I was five months in Richmond as a prisoner. I, of course, made no report, and have made none yet. No report has been made, though I think it should have been made by the next officer, as I was virtually lost; was away from the battery, and knew nothing of what occurred to the men.

By Mr. Odell:

Question. Who was in command of the artillery—the chief of artillery?

Answer. Major Barry—now General Barry.

By Mr. Chandler:

Question. Did he direct the movements of the artillery?

Answer. I did not see him.

By the chairman:

Question. Was the place where you were posted before you were ordered to advance more advantageous than the one to which you did advance?

Answer. I think it was, up to the time that I left it; and I think it would have been for a little longer time, considering that I had longer range guns than the enemy had.

Question. Could you have sustained yourself in your first position?

Answer. I think so. Yes, sir.

Question. From whom did the order to advance emanate?

Answer. General McDowell’s aid brought it to me. Major Barry had no aid. Whether it was Major Barry’s order or not, I could not tell. He had charge of the artillery, and was supposed to have directed its movements.

Question. Was it good generalship to order you to advance with your battery without more support than you had?

Answer. Do you mean the one regiment?

Question. Yes, sir; the Fire Zouaves you speak of.

Answer. No, sir; I do not think it was. I desire to state here that I have seen it mentioned that I made some mistake as to the enemy. Captain Griffin and myself are coupled together as having made some mistake on the field as to the character of the enemy. I wish to say that I made no mistake in regard to the enemy.

By Mr. Chandler:

Question. You refer to mistaking a regiment of the enemy for one of our own troops?

Answer. Yes, sir.

Question. You are not connected with that in our testimony.

Answer. I am very glad to hear it. I had noticed that, among other things, in the papers; and when I came back from Richmond, I saw the President, and he said to me: “You thought you were going to certain destruction in going up there, so you said,” referring to our last position. I replied, “That is a mistake, I made no remark at all, except that I wanted the place clearly indicated to which I was to move.”

By the chairman:

Question. Were you present at the council of war the evening prior to the battle?

Answer. No, sir.

Question. At what time on the day of the battle did you learn that Johnston’s troops were coming down from Winchester?

Answer. Well, sir, I heard before we left little Rocky Run, this side of Centreville, that there was danger of meeting Johnston’s men on that day. I cannot tell you who told me.

Question. In your judgment, as a military man, after it was ascertained that Johnston would be down, was it prudent to fight that battle, unless you could have, for instance, Patterson’s army to follow Johnston’s down?

Answer. Yes, sir, I think so. I think we could have fought with the army we had. We had apparently as good men as ever were.

Question. Suppose that battle could have been fought two weeks before it was fought, what would have been the probable result?

Answer. I believe if we had fought it even two days before we would have walked over the field. I saw on the field of battle a number of officers who had resigned from our army, whom I had known; and while I was at Richmond some of them told me that at one time they were giving away, and that our panic was perfectly unaccountable to them. We gained the battle with the force we had. I believe there was a time when we had really won that battle, if we had only kept at it a little longer.

Question. As a military man, to what circumstances do you attribute our disaster on that day?

Answer. I impute it to the want of proper officers among the volunteers.

By Mr. Wright:

Question. Do you mean the colonels and generals?

Answer. I mean throughout. I cannot say particular colonels and particular captains, because some of them were excellent. But, as a general rule, many of the officers were inferior to the men themselves. The men were of as good material as any in the world, and they fought well until they became confused on account of their officers not knowing what to do.

By the chairman:

Question. Were you present and able to know the last charge of the enemy which was decisive?

Answer. Which charge was that?

Question. The same one that captured your battery, I believe. All the witnesses speak of a certain charge that was made there by the enemy.

Answer. My battery was taken and retaken three times. For a part of the time the struggle was going on over my body; and I think that for a part of the time I must have been insensible, for I bled very freely.

By Mr. Chandler:

Question. Which of our regiments fought over your body for the battery? Not the zouaves?

Answer. I did not know which regiment it was. It was not the zouaves. I saw a regiment, after I was down, move very near my battery, and I saw a shell explode among them, somewhere, I should judge, about the color company; and in speaking of it to Dr. Swan afterwards, the surgeon of the 14th New York regiment, who went over the field the next day, I concluded it was the 14th regiment, because he said he saw a great many of his regiment killed there. I therefore supposed that that was the regiment engaged in that struggle for the battery.

Question. Were you captured with your guns?

Answer. Yes, sir; I suppose I may say I was taken with my guns. When I was found I was asked my name, and I told them my name was Captain Ricketts. They asked if I was captain of that battery, pointing to one that was moving towards them, and I told them I was.

Question. Your guns were turned upon our troops after they were captured, were they not?

Answer. They say they were turned upon us; and I remember hearing one or two explosions.

By Mr. Julian:

Question. What kind of support did you receive from the Fire Zouaves?

Answer. Well, sir, these Fire Zouaves came up to the ground, but they soon got into confusion and left.

By Mr. Odell:

Question. Was that in consequence of want of proper directions from their officers?

Answer. I should judge, from the manner in which the men stood there, and from their not being properly in line, that it was from want of officers; either that their officers were ignorant of their duty at that time, or that they were not there. I cannot say how that was. Our men really behaved very gallantly up to a certain time.

Question. Did the 14th New York regiment support you at all while you were in position?

Answer. That I cannot tell you. They were in the woods on my right, I know; because a number of officers told me about them, though they took them for the Fire Zouaves on account of their red uniform.





JCCW – Gen. Winfield Scott

12 09 2009

Testimony of Gen. Winfield Scott

Report on the Conduct of the War, Vol. 2, pp. 241-242

LIEUTENANT GENERAL WINFIELD SCOTT.

NEW YORK, March 31, 1862.

On the statement of Major General Patterson, submitted by him as evidence to the honorable the committee of the House of Representatives on the conduct of the war, I beg leave to remark :

1. That his statement, 148 long pages, closely and indistinctly written, has been before me about 48 hours, including a Sunday when I was too much indisposed to work or to go to church; that I cannot write or read at night, nor at any time, except by short efforts, and that I have been entirely without help.

2. That, consequently, I have read but little of the statement and voluminous documents appended, and have but about two hours left for comments on that little.

3. The documents (mainly correspondence between General Patterson and myself) are badly copied, being hardly intelligible in some places from the omission and change of words.

4. General Patterson was never ordered by me, as he seems to allege, to attack the enemy without a probability of success; but on several occasions he wrote as if he were assured of victory. For example, June 12th he says: he is “resolved to conquer, and will risk nothing;” and July 4th, expecting supplies the next day, he adds: as soon as they “arrive I shall advance to Winchester to drive the enemy from that place;” accordingly he issued orders for the movement on the 8th ; next called a council of war, and stood fast at Martinsburg.

5. But although General Patterson was never specifically ordered to attack the enemy, he was certainly told, and expected, even if with inferior numbers, to hold the rebel army in his front on the alert, and to prevent it from re-enforcing Manassas Junction, by means of threatening manoeuvres and demonstrations—results often obtained in war with half numbers.

6. After a time General P. moved upon Bunker Hill, and then fell off upon Charlestown, whence he seems to have made no other demonstration that did not look like a retreat out of Virginia. From that movement Johnston was at liberty to join Beauregard with any part of the army of Winchester.

7. General P. alludes, with feeling, to my recall from him back to Washington, after the enemy had evacuated Harper’s Ferry, of certain troops sent to enable him to take that place; but the recall was necessary to prevent the government and capital from falling into the enemy’s hands. His inactivity, however, from that cause need not to have been more than temporary; for he was soon re-enforced up to, at least, the enemy’s maximum number in the Winchester valley, without leading to a battle, or even a reconnoissance in force.

8. He also often called for batteries and rifled cannon beyond our capacity to supply at the moment, and so in respect to regular troops, one or more regiments. He might as well have asked for a brigade of elephants. Till some time later we had for the defence of the government in its capital but a few companies of regular foot and horse, and not half the number of troops, including all descriptions, if the enemy had chosen to attack us.

9. As connected with this subject, I hope I may be permitted to notice the charge made against me on the floors of Congress that I did not stop Brigadier General McDowell’s movement upon Manassas Junction after I had been informed of the re-enforcement sent thither from Winchester, though urged to do so by one or more members of the cabinet. Now, it was, at the reception of that news, too late to call off the troops from the attack; and besides, though opposed to the movement at first, we had all become animated and sanguine of success; and it is not true that I was urged by anybody in authority to stop the attack, which was commenced as early, I think, as the 18th of July.

10. I have but time to say that among the disadvantages under which I have been writing are these: I have not had within reach one of my own papers; and not an officer who was with me at the period in question.

Respectfully submitted to the committee.

WINFIELD SCOTT. NEW YORK, March 31, 1862.





Savannah’s Bull Run

12 09 2009

Robert Moore has posted this outstanding photo essay on Savannah, GA First Bull Run related sites. Thanks Robert! Check it out.





JCCW – Gen. George Cadwallader

11 09 2009

Testimony of Gen. George Cadwallader

Report on the Conduct of the War, Vol. 2, pp. 235-241

WASHINGTON, March 19, 1862.

General GEORGE CADWALADER sworn and examined.

By the chairman:

Question. What has been your rank and position in the army?

Answer. I hold a commission of brigadier general in the State of Pennsylvania, under which, upon the call of the President last spring, I came into the service for three months. I also held a commission as major general by brevet in the army of the United States, conferred upon me after my commission as brigadier general had terminated. I state that, as it is considered material by General Scott.

Question. When did you commence service last year, and where did you serve?

Answer. I was mustered into service on the 19th of April, 1861, for three months.

Question. Under General Patterson?

Answer. Not at that time. I was assigned to the command of the department of Annapolis, my headquarters being at Baltimore. I succeeded General Butler in that command. I subsequently joined General Patterson’s column, where I commanded the first division of the column, consisting of the three brigades then commanded by General Williams, Colonel Thomas, and Colonel Miles.

Question. Did you accompany General Patterson in that campaign until he returned?

Answer. I joined him at Chambersburg, and remained with him until the army returned to Harper’s Ferry.

Question. What was his force at Martinsburg, Virginia?

Answer. My official position only gave me official knowledge of my own division, and perhaps I can only give an estimate.

Question. Give your estimate, according to the best light you had upon the subject.

Answer. I should say, according to the general knowledge I had, that he had from 18,000 to 22,000 men; perhaps from 18,000 to 20,000 men for duty.

Question. What was the object of that expedition, as you understood it?

Answer. I never was informed there, and never was officially consulted in regard to it by General Patterson. General Scott told me when I left here, and I also knew from the Secretary of War and the President, that the object was to drive General Johnston and the rebel force under him out of Harper’s Ferry. That was the object for which I went there, and I expected to be relieved and to return here the moment that was accomplished. I was so promised by the Secretary of War, but it was not done.

Question. General Patterson followed General Johnston from Harper’s Ferry for a while, did he not?

Answer. My division, as a part of General Patterson’s column, was in the advance. I crossed the Potomac from Williamsport; and when Johnston retreated as we advanced upon Harper’s Ferry, we went down as far as Falling Waters, on the Virginia side. I was there met with an order to send to Washington all the regular troops—they were all under my command— as it was thought that Johnston had fallen back to re-enforce Beauregard, and that Washington was in danger. All the regular troops being ordered to Washington, and the object of dislodging the enemy from Harper’s Ferry having been accomplished, General Patterson was compelled, or rather induced, to give me the order to fall back. I was then on the way to Martinsburg, and had got as far as Falling Waters, some miles on the other side of the Potomac. General Patterson was still at Hagerstown. A great misfortune, by the by, was that recall.

Question. Did you accompany his army into Virginia?

Answer. Yes, sir; I remained with the army until we went on up to Martinsburg, and on to Bunker Hill, which is ten miles from Winchester.

Question. What was Johnston’s force at Falling Waters, as near as yon could estimate it?

Answer. My information was so uncertain, so vague, that I never had any very definite idea upon the subject.

Question. He retreated before you after the battle of Falling Waters, did he not?

Answer. Yes, sir. He fell back first upon Bunker Hill, and then upon Winchester, which is due south about ten miles from Bunker Hill.

Question. Your position at Bunker Hill threatened Winchester, did it not?

Answer. Yes, sir.

Question. Do you know the orders General Patterson received from headquarters here?

Answer. I know now; I did not know then. When I returned here General Scott expressed great astonishment that I had been kept in ignorance of everything of that kind, and directed Colonel Townsend, his adjutant general, to furnish me with copies of everything that had passed between him and General Patterson.

Question. When Patterson was at Bunker Hill with his army, was there any difficulty in his detaining Johnston in the valley of Winchester, and preventing his going down to join Beauregard?

Answer. I always considered our position a false one from the time that Johnston retreated from Bunker Hill. I could see that no movement we could make from there could accomplish the purpose of holding Johnston at Winchester one moment longer than he chose to stay. To the south of him he had the whole country open, while we were directly north of him. I always thought we should have moved more in a southeasterly direction, where we could have been more within supporting distance of a column moving from here, and also in a position more threatening upon Johnston’s right flank—our left upon his right. On the only occasion I ever was consulted, which was at Martinsburg, where the commanding officers of divisions and brigades, and the officers of the engineer corps on duty with our column, were summoned together by General Patterson, I expressed my opinion that, as we were not holding Johnston at Winchester one moment longer than he chose to stay there, we ought to attack him, and move in this direction at once, and unite with the forces that we supposed were about to attack Manassas. That was the advice I gave before all the officers present.

By Mr. Wright:

Question. When did you advise that?

Answer. It was within two days before we left Martinsburg for Bunker Hill. It was at the only meeting of the officers that was held during the campaign. It was a large meeting, and all the principal officers and the engineer officers were present.

By the chairman:

Question. What was the reason given for not attacking Johnston?

Answer. General Patterson gave no reason. He summoned these officers, myself among others, and asked our opinion as to what, under existing circumstances, we would advise being done. And, according to military usage, beginning with the junior in rank, it came to me last. Major General Sanford, of New York, and Major General Keim, of Pennsylvania, among others, were there. I at last gave my opinion, stated it briefly, as I have stated it here. We were not holding Johnston, because, as we were ten miles north of him, he could leave whenever he chose. He could get information much more rapidly from Beauregard than we could get it from Washington, and he knew exactly what the movements over in this direction were. If the intention was to hold Johnston there, we were not accomplishing the purpose; and we could not do it where we then were.

Question. Would it not have been easy to have placed yourself in a position where you could have done so?

Answer. Certainly. If we had moved upon Berryville and got upon his right flank, and he could not have moved one foot without our being upon his flank, we could have been at Manassas sooner than he could, and could have attacked him at any moment. Some of the officers thought that, as our army moved from here under General McDowell, Beauregard might retreat, falling back upon the whole of Patterson’s army, General Johnston uniting with him for that purpose. It was the opinion of two or three of the officers that Johnston might advance and cut us off while Beauregard came with his whole army upon Patterson’s column.

Question. Suppose that Patterson had orders from General Scott to hold Johnston in the valley of Winchester?

Answer. Which, I say, he could not have done without attacking him.

Question. Then, with such orders, he should have attacked him ?

Answer. That was what I thought; either to have attacked him or to have come down here, as we were doing no good there.

Question. You were at Bunker Hill when Johnston turned off to Charlestown?

Answer. Yes, sir; my division was in the advance from Bunker Hill in the direction of Winchester; and I marched with that column from Bunker Hill to Charlestown through Smithfield.

Question If you threatened Winchester while at Bunker Hill, did you not relinquish your threatening attitude when you turned off towards Charlestown ?

Answer. Of course, for we then went away from Winchester.

Question. So, from the time you turned off from Bunker Hill to Charlestown, all hope of detaining Johnston must have entirely vanished ?

Answer. Certainly; we were marching.away from him. In other words, we were on our way to Harper’s Ferry through Charlestown.

Question. Do you know whether General Patterson, when he resigned all hope of detaining Johnston, immediately informed General Scott of that fact?

Answer. I never was consulted about any such thing. Until I came back here I never saw a line from General Scott to General Patterson, or from General Patterson to General Scott. When I so informed General Scott he expressed great dissatisfaction, saying, “General Patterson knew that my communications to him were intended as much for you as for himself.” And it was then that he turned to Colonel Townsend and ordered him to make out and furnish to me copies of everything that had passed between General Patterson and himself.

Question. Is there anything more that you deem material which you would like to state? If so, please go on and state it in your own way.

Answer. I have no desire, nor do I know that there is anything of public utility for me to state, other than I have already stated. There are matters personal to myself; that, of course, I have no right to bring before this committee.

Question. You can state anything that you think best.  We are endeavoring to find out how this war has been conducted, and you can state anything in that connexion that is material for us to know.

Answer. I should like to state some things on my own account; and they are historical, too, so far as anybody may deem them of public importance. You asked me what my rank and position in the army were. When I was in command at Baltimore I was sent for by General Scott to come here. General Cameron was at General Scott’s headquarters, and General Scott handed me my commission as major general by brevet in the army, saying, “That commission of General Cadwalader’s as a major general of the army is a perfectly valid one at this time.” The question was whether I should rank as major general with General Patterson, and whether I was to be assigned to duty under my major general’s commission. Upon that General Cameron promised to assign me to duty under my brevet commission as a major general. He offered me a commission as major general of volunteers, or a commission of brigadier general in the regular service, which was what I had held during the Mexican war. I accepted the commission of brigadier general in the regular service, with the promise of the President, through the Secretary of War, that I was to be assigned to duty under my commission as major general by brevet, with the promise of promotion as major general, when they heard from General Fremont, which they expected to do in two weeks; under the expectation and with the conviction, as they told me, that he would decline the commission tendered to him. With that promise I took the commission of brigadier general, with the understanding that I was to be assigned to duty under my commission as major general by brevet, in preference to the commission of major general of volunteers.

Question. When was that?

Answer. That was the 8th of June. I addressed a letter to the Secretary of War before I left here, reminding him of the promise so as to avoid all mistakes, and which he perfectly remembers. General Fremont, unexpectedly to them, returned and accepted the commission offered him, which prevented their being able to give me that. For some reason General McClellan was brought here, and had I been commissioned major general, I would have ranked him. That prevented their being able to do one thing or the other. In the mean time they made major generals of volunteers, whom I would have ranked, that ranked me. They could not comply with their promise to me, and I went home, as they did not want me. That was the military position I occupied, and those are the reasons I am not now in service.

Question. You say they were convinced that General Fremont would decline. Upon what did they found that conviction?

Answer. I do not know. That was what General Cameron told me.

By Mr. Gooch :

Question. Did they desire that General Fremont should decline?

Answer. That I do not know; I merely tell you what passed. They told me that I was to have that commission; that they knew he would decline. That was the offer to me. I certainly would not otherwise have accepted the commission of brigadier general in the regular army, when I had the commission offered me of a major general in the volunteers. My commission of major general by brevet dates back to 1847, and ranks all except General Wool. They were unable to do what they had promised. They had appointed as major generals of volunteers General Banks, General Butler, General Dix, &c., and to come in then would have placed me very differently from what their own proposition was. I had not asked for that; they had sent for me and asked me to take it. I considered it a very complimentary and a very handsome thing; but, as I have said, they were unable to give it to me, for it interfered with other places. I told the President that if it deranged any of their plans, I was perfectly willing to exonerate him from any promise; if the interest of the service required it, I was perfectly willing and ready to serve; and it was not my fault that I went home.

Question. To come back to the other subject. You have not stated yet what you supposed Johnston’s force at Winchester to be.

Answer. I desire my remark about his force at Falling Waters to apply to his force at Winchester. I had no reliable information upon which to base an opinion.

By the chairman:

Question. Had you any reason to believe that Johnston’s army was materially increased after he reached Winchester?

Answer. By general rumor it was said to have been greatly increased.

Question. From where was it supposed the troops came?

Answer. From the south; we did not know from where.

Question. From Manassas?

Answer. We did not know. It was just the sort of rumor that would be current among the people of the country, entirely unreliable.

By Mr. Gooch :

Question. Have you ever made any written statement of the force under Johnston at Winchester? If so, please state when and under what circumstances you did so.

Answer. I never made any official statement of any kind of the forces under Johnston at Winchester, having no knowledge of my own in regard to it. After many of our regiments had started on their march home, their term of service having expired while we were at Harper’s Ferry, a Mr. McDaniel, a civilian, came to me on the 23d of July, with a statement of some information which he said he had obtained in regard to the force under Johnston, at Winchester. I asked him to let me copy it, which I did as he read it to me. I put no date to it, merely writing down what he read. I was about leaving, but before I went I showed it to General Patterson, as something that might be of interest to him. I did not give it as information obtained by myself, or express any opinion in regard to its reliability, giving it merely as information which McDaniel said he had obtained—not as information of my own.  General Patterson asked me to allow him to take a copy of it, promising to return me the original. He, however, did not return me the original, but sent me a copy of it.

By the chairman :

Question. Did you attach any importance to the paper as containing reliable information?

Answer. Not the slightest; and if I had, it could not have influenced General Patterson in what he had done, for he had got back to Harper’s Ferry, and the troops had crossed the river on their way home, before either of us knew anything about this.

By Mr. Gooch:

Question. When you were at Bunker Hill, if it had been known that General McDowell was about to attack Manassas, and that it was expected that the army under General Patterson would detain Johnston so as to prevent his forming a junction with Beauregard and taking part in the action at Manassas, what should have been done by Patterson’s army to have accomplished that object?

Answer. I do not think he could have detained him in any other way than by attacking him. He could have prevented his taking the route by which he did go to Manassas, by taking up a position on his right flank, that is, to the eastward of Winchester. Johnston, however, would have had open to him the route by the way of Strasburg, which was the one they had always received and sent troops by. The way he actually did go was east, over the mountains to Piedmont, Strasburg lying west of south of him. If we had not attacked him, but had taken a position to the east of Winchester, Johnston could have gone by the way of Strasburg, but could not have gone the way he did go, over the mountains to Piedmont. Believing that we were not holding him where we then were, and that the object of any such instructions or suggestions, if any such existed, as I subsequently learned they did exist, could not be accomplished except by attacking Johnston, I advised that we should attack him, or if that was not done, that we should unite with the main body of our troops here in the attack upon Manassas. The expression used by General Scott, in one of his letters to General Patterson, which I saw afterwards, was “to consider the route by the way of Leesburg.” It is true that in the telegrams that came from General Scott it was indicated that General Patterson was to hold General Johnston if he did not attack him. But there was no possibility of holding him if we did not attack. To use General Johnston’s own expression in his report, he was merely waiting there looking at us.

By the chairman:

Question. Then if he was to hold him, and attacking him was the only way to hold him, it meant that he should attack him?

Answer. Attack him or consider the route by way of Leesburg.

By Mr. Gooch:

Question. Could Patterson have come down that route in time to have taken part in the battle here?

Answer. Yes, sir; if he had moved on Berryville, we would have been on Johnston’s flank all the way.

Question. And you could have reached Manassas before Johnston could?

Answer. Certainly, if we had moved in time. According to McDaniel’s memorandum, Johnston started from Winchester at one o’clock on the day we left Bunker Hill. It was more with a view to the time when Johnston started than for any other purpose that I showed that memorandum to General Patterson. We started from Bunker Hill at daylight, and if you take the official report of Johnston, recently published, you will see that on that very day he got his instructions to go to Manassas, and that at one o’clock on the day we left Bunker Hill for Charlestown, Johnston left Winchester for Manassas.

Question. And you should have gone from Bunker Hill to Berryville, so as to have prevented Johnston from going to Manassas by the route he did go?

Answer. If we had done that, we could have gone to Manassas also. We had but 10 miles further than Johnston to go if we had gone by the way of Winchester; and we had not much further to go if we had gone by the way of Berryville, for we were almost as near Berryville as he was.

Question. So that you could have prevented his going the route he did?

Answer. We could have attacked him, which I think would have prevented him. I think he knew that, because he would not fight us in the open ground. He showed that his object was to elude us, according to his own expression.

By the chairman:

Question. And General Scott’s idea was to detain him by fighting or in any other way?

Answer. Yes, sir.

By Mr. Gooch:

Question. Then Johnston could have been prevented from forming a junction with Beauregard, and the force under Patterson might have been ready to have taken part in the attack upon Manassas?

Answer. We might have attacked Johnston, and if we had been successful, which I think we would have been, we could have prevented the junction. And if we did not attack him, if we had marched in due time, we could certainly have been at Manassas in time to have taken part in the battle. The way was open to us, and the suggestion of General Scott was “to consider the route by way of Leesburg.” If I had had any discretion, I should have gone at once to Leesburg, which was half-way to Manassas, and on a good turnpike road directly there.

Question. Will you furnish the committee with the copies of the telegraphic despatches you received from General Scott?

Answer. I will.








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