Today in History:

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

Page 834 OPERATIONS IN N. VA., W. VA., AND MD. Chapter XXIV.

Question. Did General Porter obey the order addressed to him and General McDowell?

Answer. I do not know whether he obeyed it; he did not obey it fully; how far he obeyed it, I am not able to say; he certainly did not obey the order fully.

Question. If he had obeyed it, would it not have brought him up with the enemy before half-past 4 in the evening?

Answer. Yes, sir.

Question. On your arriving on the battle-field, where was he reported to you to be?

Answer. I arrived on the battle-field at 12 o'clock-about noon. At 4 1/2 o'clock nobody on the field knew where General Porter was at all.

Question. Did, or did not, General Porter obey the second order to which you refer, issued at 4.30 p. m. on the 29th of August, directing him to engage the enemy in flank, and, if possible, in rear?

Answer. He did not, so far as my knowledge of the fact goes.

Question. You have no knowledge of his having made any attack then?

Answer. I should have known it if he had attacked.

Question. Will you state to the court, and describe the condition of the battle-field at that hour, and the importance of his obedience of that order to the success of your troops?

Answer. Late in the afternoon of the 29th, perhaps toward half-past 5 or 6 o'clock-about the time that I hoped that General Porter would be in his position, and be assaulting the enemy on the flank, and when General McDowell had himself arrived with his corps on the field of battle-I directed an attack to be made on the left of the enemy's line, which was handsomely done by Heintzelman's corps and Reno's corps. The enemy was driven back in all directions, and left a large part of the ground with his dead and wounded upon it in our possession. Had General Porter fallen upon the flank of the enemy, as it was hoped, at any time up to 8 o'clock that night, it is my firm conviction that we should have destroyed the army of Jackson.

Question. You have stated that General McDowell obeyed that order, so far as to appear upon the battle-field with his command?

Answer. Yes, sir. He arrived on the battle-field, I think, about 5 o'clock, and immediately pushed forward his corps to the front; the division of General King having a very sharp engagement with the enemy along the Warrenton turnpike, in advance of the position that we had occupied during the day.

Question. To reach the battle-field, had, or had not, General McDowell as great a distance to march as General Porter?

Answer. Yes, sir; I should think fully as great.

Question. I believe you have stated the distance from Manassas Junction to the battle-field as about 4 or 5 miles?

Answer. Five or six miles; I am not quite sure; that is my impression.

Question. Is, or is not, that about the distance which the command of General Porter would have had to have marched to have obeyed your order?

Answer. It would have had to march less than that. Your refer, I suppose, to the order I issued about half-past 4 in the afternoon?

Question. Yes, sir.

Answer. General Porter was reported to me, by the aide-de-camp who delivered him that order, to be two miles or more from Manassas Junction, in the direction of the field of battle.

Page 834 OPERATIONS IN N. VA., W. VA., AND MD. Chapter XXIV.