|Chapter XXIV. GENERAL REPORTS.
ton and its dependencies was about 70,000 men, independent of the troops of General McDowell.
Question by the COURT. Will the letter to which you refer disclose what portion of the troops, 70,000 in number, were present and fit for duty; and, if it does not, state your knowledge on the subject.
Answer. No; the letter does not. My recollection is that the number stated in the letter were present with their regiments. I cannot answer the question without referring to the returns, which I will do.
Question by the COURT. Explain what you refer to as the dependencies of Washington.
Answer. I referred then to the approaches to Washington, both in the direction of the Orange and Alexandria Railroad and by the Shenandoah Valley. The instructions given in regard to the position of these troops contemplated posting the mass of them in the vicinity of Manassas, and on the line of the Manassas Gap Railroad near Front Royal, so that he whole force would be available on either approach to the city. On the 12th April, the date of the letter referred to, I wrote a letter of instruction to General Banks, for his guidance in posting troops in front of Washington, which letter would be a more full answer to the question than the general one I have given, which I will also submit to the court, if they desire it.
Question by the COURT. General McDowell having made known to the court that in his opinion it was safe and proper for him to proceed to co-operate with you against Richmond and having yielded his purpose so to do only in obedience to higher orders, you will state your judgment as to the soundness of that opinion and the military propriety of that purpose on the part of General McDowell, and to that end you will inform the court what, in your judgment, was the object of Jackson's movement against Banks on or about the 24th of May; what were the probabilities of the success of that movement if left unaided by the forces of the enemy at Richmond and if Richmond were at the time additionally threatened by McDowell's proposed co-operation with you; what forces had the enemy to spare at that time to aid Jackson or otherwise to threaten Washington; what were the probabilities of forces so disposed of reaching Washington and at what time and in what manner?
Answer. I think that General McDowell was correct in his opinion that it was safe and proper for him to unite with the Army of Potomac. I think that immediately after the occupation of hanover Court-House by a portion of the Army of the Potomac there was no rebel force of any consequence between Hanover Court-House and General McDowell. I think that the main object of Jackson's movement against General Banks was to prevent re-enforcements being sent to the Army of the Potomac, and expressed that opinion in a telegram to the President within a day or two from the time I received information of Jackson's movements. I think that if General McDowell had moved directly upon Hanover Court-House instead of in the direction of Front Royal Jackson would have rapidly retraced his steps to rejoin the main rebel army at Richmond. With a strong army of our own in the vicinity of Richmond and at Richmond. With a strong army of our own in the vicinity of Richmond and threatening it I do not think the rebels would ever detach a sufficient force to seriously endanger the safety of Washington.
Question by the COURT. Had General McDowell knowledge of your letter to the Secretary of War and what it contained, communicating information as to the strength and composition of the troops left to cover Washington?
Answer. I don't know that he had. I sent him no copy.
Question by the COURT. Had General McDowell knowledge of the facts disclosed in that communication, either derived from consultations with you or otherwise, especially in respect to the number of troops left to cover Washington?
|Chapter XXIV. GENERAL REPORTS.