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77 Series I Volume XL-I Serial 80 - Richmond, Petersburg Part I

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Page 77 Chapter LII. THE RICHMOND CAMPAIGN.

Answer. I did not see any. They opened on our batteries, but I did not see them open on the column. I did not see them open on the column, and do not think they did. They opened with 30-pounders on us.

Question. Although you did not think the mine, as a means of assault, promised much success, do you believe, from the circumstances that transpired, it would have been a success had the troops gone to the top of the crest?

Answer. I believe it would.

Question. Do you believe that there was any difficulty in the way of the troops going to the crest during the first fifteen minutes?

Answer. I do not think there was the slightest difficulty.

Question. Do you think that immediately after the explosion, had there been proper working parties at work, the parapet of the enemy could have been cleared of sufficient of the obstructions and abatis within the first fifteen minutes to have allowed a brigade front to have passed over?

Answer. Yes; I think there could.

Question. There was no other difficulty in crawling over the parapet except the fire?

Answer. No, sir; and the abatis was a loose abatis of limbs pitched over the parapet. In some places it was a rail abatis-rails inclined forward.

Question. What should the storming party have done when they reached the crest had they reached it; what should have been their first operation-to have proceeded to Petersburg or intrenched themselves?

Answer. I think they should have intrenched on the crest. I do not think they could have staid in Petersburg, as it was commanded.

Question. Had you ever been called upon for any gibbons or any material for making a parapet upon the enemy's intrenchments?

Answer. No, sir.

Question. Were any gibbons prepared in this army except by the engineer department for those works?

Answer. None.

Question. Nor any other material of that kind, fascines and so-forth, to assist in making a parapet?

Answer. No.

TESTIMONY OF GENERAL AYRES.

Brigadier General R. B. AYRES, U. S. Volunteers, sworn.

By the JUDGE-ADVOCATE:

Question. General, were you present at the assault on the 30th of July, and had you facilities for seeing the progress of affairs on that day?

Answer. My division was a part of the command of the Fifth Corps, massed upon the right of the Fifth Corps, and upon the left of the Ninth Corps in the railroad cut, for purposes indicated in the order of assault. I was directed by General Warren to make my headquarters with his at the five-gun battery in the corner of the woods in front of the Avery house. I was in that position when the mine was sprung and the assaulting columns went forward. The general directions of those columns, as they marched forward, were visible from this position. As the troops filed out we could see them distinctly. After quite a large force filed out there, they seemed to have formed a line of battle at one time along in or near the enemy's rifle-pits adjacent to the mine. A body of troops also filed behind that line to the left as we looked at them appar-


Page 77 Chapter LII. THE RICHMOND CAMPAIGN.

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