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side. It is true, that General Burnside did not employ the engineer officer who was sent to him, for the simple reason that he preferred his own judgment.

The fourth point which the court made, in regard to the alleged neglect in executing General Meade's orders, to push forward General Ledlie's troops from the crater to the crest, is not supported by any testimony that was offered. On the contrary, Surgeon Chubb testified, that General Ledlie received orders in his hearing, "to move his troops forward from where they were then lying," and that General Ledlie "frequently sent up aides to have them moved forward." Surely it could not have been expected, that General Burnside should assume in person the direction of General Ledlie's division. In fact, the court in censuring General Ledlie based its condemnation of that officer upon his neglect to report the condition of affairs to his commander. Thus General Burnside was censured for not sending General Ledlie's troops forward, and General Ledlie was censured for failing to give the information upon which General Burnside was expected to act. Again, General Burnside was considered answerable for the failure, because he did not withdraw General Ledlie's troops in order to give place to others. But it was manifestly impossible to withdraw the troops, while General Meade was continually ordering them forward. The opinion of the court, therefore, so far as General Burnside was concerned, fails in every point to correspond with the testimony.

General Ledlie was undoubtedly in fault for not accompanying his division, and pushing it forward according to orders. He declares, that at the time he was suffering from illness. But, if such were the case he should have asked to be relieved, that some other more efficient officer might direct his troops. No objection, therefore, can be made to the opinion of the court in his case. It is but fair, however, that General Ledlie should be heard in his own defence. In a letter to the Army and Navy Journal of March 18, 1865-after reciting Lieutenant Colonel Loring's evidence before the Committee of Congress, to

the effect that the first division moved with promptness, but that the troops in going into the crater could not maintain their organization, and that he reported the fact to the division commander-General Ledlie proceeds: "On receiving the report from Colonel Loring, I immediately issued the proper orders, and took the necessary steps for relieving the confused condition of the division. I am perfectly willing that the record of my conduct should stand upon this sworn statement made by Colonel Loring, with the simple addition of the fact that my life was saved on that occasion only because the ball which struck my person had not force enough to penetrate my watch. I was stunned and temporarily injured by the force of the ball, and then, for the first time, retired to regimental headquarters, which were being used as a hospital. I stayed there but a few minutes, and then returned to my post, where I remained until we received orders to withdraw."

General Ferrero absolutely denied the declaration of the court, that he was in a bomb-proof during the action. Surgeon Chubb's testimony was, that General Ferrero went out of the bomb-proof after he received the order to move his troops forward, and that he returned to it subsequently to their repulse. Surgeon Smith's testimony was, that General Ferrero was in front of the bomb-proof at the time his division charged, that he accompanied his troops to the front when they left, and returned at the time they came back. After the opinion of the court was made public, General Ferrero procured affidavits from Brevet Major Hicks, Captains F. R. Warner, W.W. Tyson and A. F. Walcott and Lieutenant Mowry, members of his staff, who positively swore that General Ferrero was not in a bombproof at any time during the action of July 30th, but was on the field, and within ten paces of his command. Lieutenant Colonel Loring, who delivered to General Ferrero the order to advance and who saw him frequently through the day, deposed that he was standing in the front line at the time of the delivery of the order; that he did not see General Ferrero in a bombproof at any time, and did not believe that he was in one.

Captain Pell, who was sent by General Burnside to General Ferrero, did not upon any occasion find him in a bomb-proof, and Lieutenant Colonel Ross of the 31st colored troops spoke to General Ferrero on the field and saw him cheering on his men. Surgeon Prince of the 36th Massachusetts and Captain Dimock deposed to the same effect. Whether these affidavits are to be believed, in contradiction to the opinion of the court, must be left to the judgment of the reader. There was but one witness in regard to the conduct of Colonel Bliss, and his testimony was, as expressed in his own words, that "Colonel Bliss remained with the last regiment of his brigade and did not go forward at all to" his "knowledge." The testimony in regard to General Willcox's want of promptness was of the most general character and related to the crowded condition of all the troops in and about the crater-no mention being made of any neglect on the part of General Willcox himself.

From a careful examination of the testimony and a consideration of its ex parte character, from the partial constitution of the court, and the circumstances connected with the subject of its inquiry, the fairest conclusion to be reached is, that its "opinion" is of little authority. On one point, indeed, the court may be considered to have formed an equitable judgment. That is its intimation of the want of a competent head upon the immediate scene of action. General Burnside was not permitted to exercise the "prerogative" of the commanding general of the army-had even been rebuked upon the mere suspicion that he had any design to do so-and General Meade fought the battle by telegraph, all the while, to use his own words, "groping in the dark from the commencement of the attack." He might as well have been twenty miles away. When it was suggested by General Warren, he refused to go forward where he could see and know what was doing in the front. His reason for declining was, that his position had been taken and was within telegraphic communication of all the corps, and therefore, there was no necessity for going to the front. Why not then have remained at his own headquarters instead of visiting

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those of the Ninth Corps? Such a reason could avail in no way to excuse his fighting a battle, without seeing a single soldier who was engaged. Did ever a great captain direct an action so?

The Committee on the Conduct of the War also made an investigation and report concerning this unfortunate transaction. The committee met, at different times, from December 17th, 1864, to January 16th, 1865. The principal witnesses who had been before the court of inquiry were also examined by the committee. Besides these, Lieutenant Colonels Loring and Van Buren, of General Burnside's staff, and Lieutenant Colonel Pleasants added their testimony. The evidence was more complete and clear than that offered before the court. The officers expressed their opinions with greater freedom, and the questions which were put by the committee were more thorough and searching in their character. General Meade's testimony, which has already been commented upon, was somewhat contradictory to itself in different parts. General Grant's evidence contained a very remarkable admission. He said, “I came to the south side of the river before the explosion took place, and remained with General Meade until probably a half or three-quarters of an hour after the springing of the mine. I then rode down to front; that is, I rode down as far as I could on horseback, and went through to the front on foot. I there found that we had lost the opportunity which had been given us." This statement deserves something more than a passing consideration. General Grant, by his own showing, must have been at the front as early as six o'clock. At that time, he considered that the opportunity had passed. He had the supreme control. The query now arises, Why did he not order the troops to be withdrawn? That would seem to have been his imperative duty. Yet the fact remains that the troops were permitted to go forward under General Meade's orders, to crowd into the crater, and to remain there at least three hours subsequent to the time when, in General Grant's judgment, the opportunity of victory was lost. General Grant was

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especially severe upon General Ledlie, whom he was disposed to consider mostly answerable for the failure. He blamed himself for allowing General Burnside to put General Ledlie in charge of the assaulting column. It is evident from his testimony and from that of General Meade, that the subject of employing the colored troops to lead the attack was not properly presented to his mind. In one breath he approves General Meade's order, and in another he declares that the attack would probably have succeeded, if made by the colored division.

General Warren gave it as his opinion that "there should have been two independent columns, to have rushed in immediately after the explosion of the mine, and to have swept down the enemy's lines right and left, clearing away all his artillery and infantry by attacking in the flank and rear. This would have allowed the main column to have followed on to the main crest rapidly and without molestation." The failure was caused by the delay of the attacking column to advance to the Cemetery hill. The testimony before the committee, as well as that before the court, was positive and clear in regard to General Burnside's repeated directions to his division commanders to send their troops forward to the crest. He evidently did all that could be done, except leading them in person beyond the crater. That was a task which he could hardly have been expected by any one to perform.

The committee, after a review of the testimony, and a careful recital of the facts, express their opinion in decisive terms. "In conclusion," they say, "the cause of the disastrous result of the assault of the 30th of July last is mainly attributable to the fact, that the plans and suggestions of the general who had devoted his attention for so long a time to the subject, who had carried out to so successful completion the project of mining the enemy's works, and who had carefully selected and drilled his troops, for the purpose of securing whatever advantages might be attainable from the explosion of the mine, should have been so entirely disregarded by a general who had evinced no faith in the successful prosecution of that work, had aided

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