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The fact that Maj.-Gen. Fitz John Porter was arraigned and tried before a Court-Martial on a charge of culpable disobedience to the orders of Gen. Pope during the desperate and ultimately disastrous struggle around Gainesville ( “second Bull Run” ), though quite notorious, is not stated in the foregoing text. Though his impressions are unfavorable to Gen. Porter's conduct in that emergency, the author has not been able to give his case such a searching examination as would justify him in pronouncing a final judgment thereon. That Gen. P. was so intense a partisan of McClellan, and so offended at the virtual transfer of his army to Pope, that he cherished feelings and used language during that campaign incompatible with thorough loyalty to his commander, is scarcely denied; but good soldiers, who were with him throughout, testified on his trial that his acts were unexceptionable. The court, however, decided otherwise. The following dispatch from Gen. Pope, written the second morning after his defeat at Gainesvilie, refers unquestionably to Porter as “one commander of a corps,” and is here given only as proving Gen. Pope's convictions as to the causes of his disaster:

Centerville, Sept. 1--8:50 A. M.
Major-General Halleck, General-in-Chief:
All was quiet yesterday, and so far this morning. My men all resting. They need it much. Forage for our horses is being brought up. Our cavalry is completely broken down, so that there are not five horses to a company that can raise a trot. The consequence is, that I am forced to keep considerable infantry along the roads in my rear to make them secure; and even then it is difficult to keep the enemy's cavalry off the roads. I shall attack again to-morrow if I can; the next day certainly.

I think it my duty to call your attention to the unsoldierly and dangerous conduct of many brigade and some division commanders of the forces sent here from the Peninsula. Every word and act and intention is discouraging, and calculated to break down the spirits of the men, and to produce disaster. One commander of a corps, who was ordered to march from Manassas Junction to join me near Groveton, although he was only live miles distant, failed to get up at all; and, worse still, fell back to Manassas without a fight, and in plain hearing, at less than three miles' distance, of a furious battle, which raged all day. It was only in consequence of peremptory orders that lie joined me next day. One of his brigades, the brigadiergeneral of which professed to be looking for his division, absolutely remained all day at Centerville, in plain view of the battle, and made no attempt to join. What renders the whole matter worse, these are both officers of the regular army, who do not hold back from ignorance or fear. Their constant talk, indulged in publicly and in promiscuous company, is, that “the Army of the Potomac will not fight,” that they are demoralized by withdrawal from the Peninsula, &c. When such example is set by officers of high rank, the influence is very bad among those in subordinate stations.

You have hardly an idea of the demoralization among officers of high rank in the Potomac Army, arising in all instances from personal feeling in relation to changes of commander-in-chief and others. These men are mere tools or parasites; but their example is producing, and must necessarily produce, very disastrous results. You should know these things, as you alone can stop it. Its source is beyond my reach, though its effects are very perceptible and very dangerous. I am endeavoring to do all I can, and will most assuredly put them where they shall fight or run away. My advice to you (I give it with freedom, as I know you will not misunderstand it) is, that in view of any satisfactory results, you draw back this army to the intrenchments in front of Washington, and set to work in that secure place to reorganize and rearrange it. You may avoid great disaster by doing so. I do not consider the matter except in a purely military light; and it is bad enough and great enough to make some action very necessary. Where there is no heart in their leaders, and every disposition to hang back, much cannot be expected from the men.

Please hurry forward cavalry horses to me under strong escort. I need them badly; worse than I can tell you.


John Pope, Maj.-General. A true copy: T. C. H. Smith, Lt.-Colonel and A. D. C.


As many facts set forth in this work bear with just severity on the general loyalty of the Democratic party to the Government throughout its long, doubtful struggle with the Rebellion, it is proper to state here explicitly that very many Democrats promptly separated from their party and acted with the Republicans as Unionists from first to last; while others, who adhered to their party organization, nevertheless gave a hearty, efficient support to the Government in raising soldiers, subscribing to loans, and otherwise. There was, moreover, a very considerable and influential body, especially in the great cities, who had steadily opposed the Republican

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