Today in History:

827 Series I Volume XII-II (Supp.) Serial 17 - Second Manassas Part II (Supplemental)


your right in communication with General Reynolds. The enemy is massed in the woods in front of us, but can be shelled out as soon as your engage their flank. Keep heavy reserves, and use your batteries, keeping well closed to your right all the time. In case you are obliged to fall back, do so to your right and rear, so as to keep you in close communication with the right wing.


Major-General, Commanding-

Which said order the said Major-General Porter did then and there shamefully disobey, and did retreat from advancing forces of the enemy without any attempt to engage them, or to aid the troops who were already fighting greatly superior number, and were relying on the flank attack he was thus ordered to make to secure a decisive victory, and to capture the enemy's army, a result which must have followed from said flank attack, had it been made by the said General Porter in compliance with the said order, which he so shamefully disobeyed. This at or near Manassas, in the State of Virginia, on or about the 29th of August, 1862.

Specification 2nd.-In this, that the said Major General Fitz John Porter, being with his army corps, on Friday, the 29th August, 1862, between Manassas Station and the field of a battle them pending between the forces of the United States and those of their rebels, and within sound of the guns and in the presence of the enemy, and knowing that a severe action of great consequence was being fought, and that the aid of his corps was greatly needed, did fail all day to bring it on to the filed, and did shamefully fall back and retreat from the advance of the enemy, without any attempt to give them battle, and without knowing the forces from which he shamefully retreated. This near Manassas Station, in the State of Virginia, on the 29th of August, 1862.

Specification 3rd.-In that the said Major General Fitz John Porter, being with his army corps near the field of battle of Manassas, on the 29th August, 1862, while a severe action was being fought by the troops of Major-General Pope's command, and being in the belief that the troops of the said General Pope were sustaining defeat and retiring from the field, did shamefully fail to go to the aid of the said troops and general, and did shamefully retreat away and fall back with his army to the Manassas Junction, and leave to the disasters of a presumed defeat the said army, and did fail, by any attempt, to attack the enemy, to aid in averting the misfortunes of a disaster that would have endangered the safety of the capital of the country. This at or near, Manassas Station, in the State of Virginia, on the 29th day of August, 1862.

Specification 4th.-In this, that the said Major General Fitz John Porter, on the field of battle of Manassas, on Saturday, the 30th August, 1862, having received a lawful order from his superior officer and commanding general, Major General John Pope, to engage the enemy's lines and to carry a position near their center, and to take an annoying battery there posted, did proceed in the execution of that order with unnecessary slowness, and, by delays, give the enemy opportunities to watch and know his movements and to prepare to meet his attack; and did finally so feebly fall upon the enemy's lines as to make little or no impression on the same, and did fall back and draw away his forces unnecessarily, and without making any of the great personal efforts to rally his troops or to keep their lines, or to inspire his troops to meet the sacrifices and to make the resistance demanded by the importance of his position, nd the momentous consequences and disasters of a retreat at so critical a juncture of the day.


Brigadier-General Volunteers and Inspector-General Pope's Army.

After the reading of the foregoing charges and specifications was concluded, the judge-advocate said: The last specification (specification 4th, under charge 2nd) is withdrawn, as it is my purpose to offer no proof under it.

The accused asked if that specification was to be entered upon the record, the judge-advocate having notified the court of its withdrawal.

The JUDGE-ADVOCATE. It is necessarily a part of the record, because a copy was made out and served upon General Porter before i had consulted with the witnesses and decided that I should offer no testimony under it. I cannot now mutilate the record; but I enter upon the record a formal withdrawal, and that is an end to that specification. There is, therefore, no pleas necessary to it.