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[130] enter upon a line of discussion which, if not directly forbidden by the Army Regulations,1 was unfavorable to discipline and tended to injure the relations between the commander-in-chief and his subordinates.

1 The following is the 26th Article of the Revised Regulations for the Army:--

Deliberations or discussions among any class of military men, having the object of conveying praise or censure or any mark of approbation toward their superiors or others in the military service, . . . are strictly prohibited.

Some of the officers examined seemed conscious of the difficult position in which they stood between their duty as subjects and their duty as officers. General Lander, for instance, was asked this question:--

“If you will give us your opinion as a military man on that subject [the plan of the campaign], I will be obliged to you.”

Ans.--“ It is against the Army Regulations and laws of Congress to discuss the views and plans of your superior officer. In answering this question,” &c.--Report on the Conduct of the War, Part I. p. 160.

General Fitz-John Porter was asked,--

“Should” the army “retire into winter quarters, or should it attempt an enterprise to dislodge the enemy?”

Ans.--“That is a question I cannot answer.”

Ques.--“ I merely ask your military opinion.”

Ans.--“I decline to give a military opinion on that point. I am in possession of information in regard to intended movements,--rather, a portion of General McClellan's plans, a small portion only; and I decline giving any information whatever in regard to future movements, or what they ought to be. I do not think it my business to do so, and we are forbidden by our regulations to discuss or express opinions on these matters.” --Report on the Conduct of the War, Part I. p. 171.

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Fitz-John Porter (1)
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