Owing to deficiency in transportation and the imperative nature of the order, as well as the authenticated presence of three or four brigades of the enemy in the valley, it was impracticable to bring away all of the Government property accumulated at the post. The four 32-pounders mounted on the works it was found impossible to remove with the requisite celerity, and they were, in consequence, spiked, the muzzles and sights battered, the trunnions strained, and balls wedged in the bores. The carriages were broken and burned. All of the ammunition which could be conveyed by rail was so removed, leaving about one-third in the main work, which was fired, and the work almost entirely destroyed by the explosion. The well was choked. Of quartermaster's stores some 70,000 pounds of forage were destroyed, and of the commissary stores some 60,000 rations, accumulated, by order, for the defense of the place. These, as well as the tools, &c., used in constructing the works, and the property of the several commands, which they were unable to transport, were burned. All the other guns, ammunition, and stores were safely brought to Harper's Ferry, thus leaving nothing by which the enemy could profit.
Information has been received of the arrival in the valley, by the way of Snicker's Gap, of a large force of the enemy, which is believed to be in the neighborhood of Charlestown and Smithfield. If the delay necessary to remove all of the Government property had been made, it is probable that but a much smaller portion, if any, could have been saved.
Private Wallace, of Hampton's Pittsburgh battery, was killed by the explosion of the magazine, he having approached it (in violation of his orders) to examine the trains after it had been fired. No other casualties occurred.
I am, sir, your very obedient servant,
Chief of Staff.
Numbers 2. Record of Military Commission.
PROCEEDINGS OF A MILITARY COMMISSION HELD AT WASHINGTON CITY, D. C., BY VIRTUE OF THE FOLLOWING ORDERS:
WAR DEPARTMENT, ADJT. General 'S OFFICE,
Washington, September 23, 1862.
* * * * * * *
XXII. A special commission will assemble in this city at 11 o'clock a. m., on Thursday, the 25th instant, for the trial of such cases as may be brought before it.*
Detail for the Commission: Major General D. Hunter, U. S. Volunteers; Major General G. Cadwalader, U. S. Volunteers; Brigadier General C. C. Augur, U.
*This Commission was organized to investigate and report upon the evacuation of Maryland Heights and surrender of Harper's Ferry, but on October 10, 1862, it was directed also to investigate and report upon the evacuation of Winchester by Brigadier General Julius White. Only so much of the record as relates to Winchester is printed in this volume. The remainder appears in Series I, Vol. XIX, Prt I, pr. 549, et seq.