Today in History:

44 Series I Volume XL-I Serial 80 - Richmond, Petersburg Part I

Page 44 OPERATIONS IN SE. VA. AND N. C. Chapter LII.

8. At 3.30 in the morning of the 30th Major-General Burnside will spring his mine and his assaulting columns will immediately move rapidly upon the breach, seize the crest in the rear, and effect a lodgment there. He will be followed by Major-General Ord, who will support him on the right, directing his movement to the crest indicated, and by Major-General Warren, who will support him on the left. Upon the explosion of the mine the artillery of all kinds in battery will open upon those points of the enemy's works whose fire covers the ground over which our columns must move, care being taken to avoid impeding the progress of our troops. Special instructions respecting the direction of fire will be issued through the chief of artillery.

9. Corps commanders will report to the commanding general when their preparations are complete and will advise him of every step in the progress of the operation and of everything important that occurs.

10. Promptitude, rapidity of execution, and cordial co-operation are essential to success, and the commanding general is confident that this indication of his expectations will insure the hearty efforts of the commanders and troops.

11. Headquarters during the operation will be at the headquarters of the Ninth Corps.

By command of Major-General Meade:


Assistant Adjutant-General.

Whereupon the Court directed the judge-advocate to notify all the officers named therein of the institution and design of the Court, so as to enable them to be present during its sessions, which was done by addressing the following circular to each:


August 6, 1864.

SIR: The Court of Inquiry instituted by War Department Special Orders, Numbers 258, of August 3, 1864, for the investigation of the facts and circumstances which attended the unsuccessful assault on the enemy's lines before Petersburg on the 30th ultimo, will meet here on the 8th instant, and the days following, at 10 a.m., and I am directed to acquaint you thereof, so that you may be present at the Court's sessions should you desire to do so. Please acknowledge the receipt of this communication to me at the headquarters of the Army of the Potomac.

Very respectfully, sir, your obedient servant,


Inspector-General, Judge-Advocate.

(Addressed to Major-General Meade, Burnside, Warren, Sheridan, and Ord, Brigadier-Generals White, Hunt, and Mott, and Major Duane.)

The Court then adjourned to meet at 10 a.m. on the 8th instant.



August 8-10 a. m.

The Court met pursuant to adjournment.

Present, Major-General Hancock, Brigadier-Generals Ayres and Miles, and Colonel Schriver, judge-advocate.

The proceedings of the first day were read and approved.

The judge-advocate stated that he had engaged Mr. Finley Anderson, a photographer, to record the proceedings so long as he should do so to the Court's satisfaction, and Mr. Anderson was sworn according to law.

It is here recorder, also, that all officers of rank whom, it is supposed, participated in the affair of the 30th ultimo have been informed that they could be present at the Court's sessions and made any statements they may regard important to themselves, should they see fit.

Major General G. G. MEADE, U. S. Volunteers, being duly sworn, says:

I propose, in the statement that I shall make to the Court (I presume the Court wants me to take a statement of facts in connection with this case), to give a slight preliminary history of certain events and operations which culminated in the assault on

Page 44 OPERATIONS IN SE. VA. AND N. C. Chapter LII.