War of the Rebellion: Serial 016 Page 0769 Chapter XXIV. EVACUATION OF WINCHESTER, VA.

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ence to the destruction of public property, and the artillery that may have been destroyed?

Answer. I do not know any other way than to commence and give a narrative to the court.

Question. Very well; do so briefly, beginning with the evacuation and the circumstances immediately preceding it.

Answer. During the day on which the evacuation took place, I heard from persons passing that the place was going to be evacuated, and I walked up to General White's headquarters. I found him outside, and went in with him into his tent. I was anxious to know if it was true that we were going to evacuate. After remaining there a half an hour, General White said to me that he had an order from the War Department to evacuate; to which I replied that he was very cool about it; that I had come there for the purpose of ascertaining whether the reports in circulation in camp were true. He then told me that he had sent a telegraphic dispatch to the War Department, and was waiting for an answer to that dispatch before he issued the order to evacuate. As I went up to his quarters, I noticed the men there working on the fort-not the fort in which he was encamped, but the other fort. And yes, sir, they were blasting rocks on the fort on which he was encamped. The men were continuing their work as usual, and that caused me to disbelieve the report, and was the reason that I did not immediately introduce the matter to him. About 6 or 7 o'clock that evening I was at his headquarters again, and there was a rebel brought in by the name of Zane, who claimed that he was an escort for some paroled prisoners. General White put the prisoner in my charge, and I took him to my headquarters. About 11 o'clock at night we evacuated. As to the destruction of public properly, I know nothing except from what I heard - the reports of exploding magazines, when we were 3 or 4 miles out in the country. I saw back at Winchester the flames of some burning building, and heard the explosions, but further then that, as to the destruction of public property, I know nothing.

Question. What hour in the day was it you had this interview with General White?

Answer. It is very difficult to fix the hour. I should think it was about 2 o'clock in the afternoon, but I may do injustice to say so.

Question. When did he state that he had received that order?

Answer. That morning.

Question. You observed no preparations going on at that time for the evacuation?

Answer. No, sir.

Question. The men were engaged at work as usual on the fortifications?

Answer. Yes, sir.

Question. Did the general tell you that it was his purpose to evacuate, or wait a reply from the Secretary of War, or General Halleck?

Answer. He told me that he sought to get a reply to his telegraphic dispatch, if possible. He did not tell me that he would not evacuate without that.

Question. Did he tell you the character of that dispatch - the difficulty he had in obeying the first order?

Answer. Yes, sir.

Question. What was it?

Answer. It was that the purpose was to take care of the public property; run some cars up from Harper's Ferry, and, as far as possible, take care of the property.

Question. Was there any telegraphic communication then between Harper's Ferry and Winchester?

Answer. The communication had been interrupted before that, a time or two, by bushwhackers, and an attack made upon the train; but whether it was open or not at that particular time, I cannot say, but I think it was.