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gives it.” And, as was his wont, he assigns succintly, but clearly, the reasons for the rule. Having then, (that is when he is present on the spot,) knowledge of the state of things, he can listen to the objections, " and give the necessary explanations to him who should execute the order.” This, of course, he cannot do when he is not present. To enforce absolute obedience to an order given by a superior who is not present, and may not know the condition of the country, or the difficulties in the way of its execution, might at times lead to the most disastrous results-imperil a corps, frustrate the very purpose of the superior, and so far from aiding, lead to his utter defcat.
II. What authority, other than his own, is there for his statement, that the maxim “is understood to relate to the means and not the end of an order ?” He cites none. Would he not, if he had known of one ? And would he not have known if there be one ? He shows himself to be fond of military literature, and to have its leading points fastened in his memory. He graphically calls to the President's recollection, the stirring scenes of IIohen Linden—the great gallantry and matchless energy of Richpanse--the dashing onset of Ney, and unites his own tribute to that of the renowned bistorian of The Consulate and the Empire to the consumate skill of Moreau, as being illustrated more brilliantly than in any of his other battles in this, "the greatest in the present century."
Who can donbt that a mind which so evidently delights in military reading, and whose office of Judge Advocate General makes it his duty to do all that he can to master the science, as far, at least, as concerns obedience to orders, could have failed to discover in what authority, great or small, it is stated, that the quoted maxim of Napoleon was understood by him or any one else, military man or not, to relate “to the means and not the end of an order."
III. But conceding, for a moment, that such is its meaning, how does that meaning deprive Porter of the benefit of the maxim ?
I. It is said by the Judge Advocate, that “the end of the order was that Porter should be with his command at Bristow Station by daylight the following morning.”
II. That Porter did not decide to get there at that time, “in a different manner from that indicated by the order, but that he would not get there at all, at that time, and that as to get there at that time, was “the end of the order, he had no discretion upon the subject.” Was the end of the order as suggested? The end must be the olject to be accomplished by the order. The order stated that “ lIooker has had a very severe action with the enemy, with a loss of about three hundred men killed and wounded. The enemy has been driven back, but is retiring
along the railroad; we must drive him from Manassas, and clear the country between that place and Gainesville, where General McDowell is." To clear this portion of the country, then, was Pope's object. lle issued the order with that view. As a means to effect it he desired Porter's corps. In what condition? In fighting condition. In what way to get to him? By the best and shortest way. Time was important, but time was to yield to the object to be accomplished. Pope did not, and could not, know what would be the condition of Porter's command when the order would be received. He did not fully, if at all, know the condition of the roads, nor what would be the character of the night. In his designation of the time of arrival at Bristow's Station, did he mean to say, that no matter in what plight the troops should be,-how far they may have marched that day and evening-what meals they may have had-what rest—what the state of the roads—what the character of the night, and what the opinion of every officer of the command as to the practicability of getting to Bristow Station at daylight-did he mean that, regardless of all these considerations, the order was to be literally obeyed. He did not, and could not have been supposed by Porter to have so meant, except on the supposition, that he was an imbecile. The character for intelligence of Pope, therefore, should save him from the damaging effect of such a proposition. But in fact that was not his meaning. His conduct, the next day, when the troops did arrive at the designated place, which, he says, was 10.20 A. M., (Porter was, in fact, there about 8 A. M.,) (p. 19,) proves, that he was guilty of no such folly. IIis order, according to the view, adopted by the Court and by the Judge Advocate, had been shamelessly disobeyed. He had every reason, that view assumes, to know that it might have been obeyed. That Porter should be there at daylight with his command, was, it is said, the very end of the order.
That end had failed without justification or excuse, says the Judge Advocate. If so, how are we to account for the manner of Pope's reception of Porter at 8 o'clock that morning, or at any time after the command arrived. On cross-examination, Pope was asked “had you any conversation with him, (Porter) in relation to the order of the 27th, and his having obeyed or disobeyed, and if so, what.” He answered, “I do not remember any conversation with him in reference to obeying or disobeying the order, although I had much conversation with him.” In replying to another question, requesting him to try and refresh his recollection, he said “I should not be likely to complain to my subordinate officer of a disobedience to my orders, (why he does not explain, except that Porter was his subordinate,) I AM THEREFORE VERY SURE THAT I DID NOT COMPLAIN TO GENERAL PORTER.” He added, “I am not sure that he gave me any explanations. I have a general recollection that he spoke to me of his march, and the difficulties that he had in getting wagons out of the road, but the particulars I do not remember, for I was very much
orcupied, and the necessity which made his presence important had passed away.” (P. 18.) On his examination also, in chief by the Judge Advocate, he was asked, “ did he (Porter,) at that time, (the time of his arrival,) or at any time before," " explain to you the reason why he did net obey the order.” IIe answered, “IIe wrote me a note which I received I think in the morning of the 28th, very early in the morning, perhaps a little before daylight. I am not quite sure about the time. The note I have mislaid (as before stated, he said that he had mislaid all of Porter's notes to him, strange negligence this, and one that credulity itself could scarcely believe, if the witness' character for veracity, and his repugnance to exaggeration, either delicate or gorgeous, was not so universally acknowledged.) I can give the substance. I remember the reasons given by General Porter, if it is necessary to state them, I can do so." Porter enquired if the witness had looked for the note, and he said he had, “but had not been able to find it." The Judge Advocate then, although the enquiry was his own, and Porter said "I do not object” to the witness giving his recollection of the contents of the notes, said “I will not press the question." (P. 13.) It appears then, that Pope had received before daylight on the 28th, from Porter a written note, giving his reasons why he would not be able to execute his order literally. IIe sent answer reiterating the order, nor did he rebuke, or in any way find fault with the failure in its passive obedience. And when Porter and himself met face to face, at 8 A, M., and afterwards on that day, and also during the whole time, when Porter was under his command, and the whole subject was spoken of between them, and the dificulties of the actual march explained, did a single word, as Pope testifies, escape him, even faintly murmuriny regret, much less censure ? This of itself is conclusive of the groundlessness of the charge. The officer who gave the order, when he was made acquainted with all the circumstances attending its execution found no fault. Defeat had not then given his pride of command a sore wound. Ilis ambition he no doubt thought would yet be gratisied. He had at the time, Porter and his command with him, and he trusted as he well might to both, and by his own conduct at that time, it is demonstrable that he never intended to charge Porter with disobedience to that order. II is doing so was obviously an after thought. Defeat and not success was soon his fate.
Defeat, great, overwhelming defeat. The public were indignant. If the wesult could not be attributed to Pope, (and that it could be it is not necessary here to charge,) the getters up of the campaigu as well as Pope, impelled by natural mortification, looked for escape from the censure which they were certain to receive, to any victim that could with the slightest probability be found, and Porter was selected. His conduct, his disobedience, his meditated treachery were at once alleged to be the cause of the defeat. His telegrains were searched and critiscised, his conversations hunted up and examined, and each expression, howsoever made,
or to whomsoever made, evincing a want of confidence in Pope's skill and capacity for the conmand, were seized upon and pressed into the service. Whilst it is known that some desired his life, the Court satisfied itself by displacing him from the army, and idly assuming to disfranelise him from all places of honor and trust under the Government, And ytt, who in his senses concurs in the justice of that sentence, or fails to stamp it as a gross wrong to Porter and the country. For a time he may not again be permitted to honor his profession, and serve the nation by other deeds of skill and valor, but of the past, he is not deprived. The place in the hearts of his fellow-citizens, which he filled after his crowning achievement of Malvern, is bis still. And soon will the people order those, who, as they should do, will listen to the public voice, and be alive to the public honor, that he must be restored to their service, and afforded an opportunity of adding, if that be possible, to his own reputation, and to the military renown of the nation. But to return to the evidence. It is true that to a certain extent he critisized in his dispatches to Burnside, the plans of his chief. As he did it, was it a crime in any view, military or otherwise ? IIis critisims were for the eyes of Buruside only, and of those of the President and Commander-in-Chief, to whom he must have known, they would be communicated. If he really believed in their truth, so far from oflending, it was his duty to give the information, and instead of being punished, he should have been thanked by the Government. Not only was the honor of the flag involved, but the very safety of the capitol. Porter saw that both were in danger by what he believed to be the incompetency of Pope. Was he to keep this conviction in his own breast, regardless of the army and the nation? Or was he not on the contrary, bonnd to speak his fears to those who had the power to guard against the apprehended peril? Were his fears honestly entertained ? Was his motive for stating them patriotic ? Let his dispatch to McClellan of Ist September, 8.30 P. M., give the answer. After telling him of Bayard's report of the movements of the enemy, he says, I can see the dust and flags : columns evidently moving directly north: evidently towards Leesburg. If you can, I hope you will protect the fords into Maryland, and guard the Railroad to Baltimore. I think we will have a fight before night. The enemy are between us and Fairfax Court llouse, and shelled our trains last night. We will fight, or they will avoid us, and strike our rear first. We have been held on thirty-six hours too long, and we are bound to work our way to Alexandria. I only regret that we have not been distributed to forts, and to the fords over the Potomac into Maryland. GOD SPEED YOUR OPERATIONS, AND ENABLE YOU AND OTHERS IN AUTHORITY TO SAVE OUR COUNTRY." (P. 233.) His whole thoughts were evidently given to his country, its honor, and its safety." He apprehended, and as the result proved correctly, the marching of the enemy into Maryland, and perhaps further North. He was alarmed too, (it was the alarm of a brave and patriotic man,) for the safety of the capitol.
He ardently wished to avert both dangers, and in words of patriotism that evidently gushed from his heart, he invoked McClellan to be on the alert—to watch the foe, and guard the passes, and prayed God to “specd” his “operation, and enable him," and "others in authority to save the country." Alas, for our good name, this is the man who is charged with faithlessness to duty and treason to the nation. And as yet more dishonoring to it, this is the man whom a Court consisting of nine officers, have been induced to find guilty of the foul dishonoring crime, and whose sentence is supported by the highest military, legal officer, and in a moment of blindness to justice, the result of over confidence in others, a sentence which the President, whose mind is naturally honest, to the prejudice of his own good name, without taking time properly to investigate the subject for himself, promptly approved. But is criticism on a commander's capacity, or of his plans by a subordinate officer so criminal as to demand, or at all justify dismissal from service The wars of Europe furnish very many instances to the contrary. Even Napoleon, the strictest of disciplinarians as well as the greatest military man the world has ever known, not only did not punish, but encouraged it. He went further, he excused at times even a failure to obey orders. It is singular that this was not in the memory of the Judge Advocate, affluent as it would seem to be with such learning.
When Massena, in 1810, was, against his wish, placed by Napoleon in command of the Army of Portugal, and in spite of his criticisms to Napoleon himself on his plan of campaign, in obedience to orders, decided to lay seige to Ciudad Rodrigo, overruling in that respect the advice of his subordinates, Junot and Ney, who recommended an attack first upon that part of Wellington's Army encamped at Visen, Theirs tells us, that those two officers “spread abroad amongst their several corps, that it was Massena, who, grown old, and no longer the same man, preferred wearisome and murderous seiges to an active and “decisive campaign.” (Vol. 12, History of the Consulate and the Empire, London edition, p. 151.)
151.) To criticise Napoleon, to advise against his plan of campaign, was harmless in Massena, and to disparage Massena with his army, was harmless in Junot and Ney. But for Porter to question Pope's plans, to speak despairingly of his strategy, though only to the superiors of both, to evince for Pope as a commander, thongh only to the superiors of both, "contemptuous and unfriendly feelings," is not to be tolerated or excused. Pope should have been held sacred, because infallible, and Porter condemned for questioning it—whilst Ney and Junot and Massena were properly esteemed guiltless, because Massena and Napoleon possessed no title to infallibility.
II.-On the 12th of March, 1811, after the triumph of the French in the battle of Redinha, Massena, who was still in command, implored Ney "to resist to the utmost, as the nature of the ground would well enable him to