War of the Rebellion: Serial 016 Page 0775 Chapter XXIV. EVACUATION OF WINCHESTER, VA.

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Question. They were not in sufficient force, or sufficiently near Winchester, to make an evacuation of it necessarily hurried and precipitate, were they?

Answer. That I cannot say. There were some there; but all that was there we could have held back. I think we could have held the position against all that menaced us for some time, at all events.

By General WHITE:

Question. Do you know anything of the condition of the horses, of what little cavalry there was there?

Answer. They were such that they were until for service, and almost disabled me to furnish them horses.

Question. Were you called upon repeatedly for the use of your battery horses for picket duty and scouting?

Answer. There was scarcely a day for ten days but they called me to furnish horses. They run me down until I kicked against it, and would not furnish them any longer, as they would have disabled my battery.

Question. Was their cavalry force there sufficient to make a reconnaissance to any distance; could they have gone any material distance from the position without being overwhelmed by a force of the enemy?

Answer. No, sir; that force was rather small.

Question. And the horses pretty well used up?

Answer. The horses were until for service.

The Commission then adjourned to 11 a. m. to-morrow.

WASHINGTON, D. C., October 18, 1862.

The Commission met pursuant to adjournment.

* * * * * * *

The Commission resumed the investigation in relation to the evacuation of Winchester by General White.

Captain BENJAMIN F. POTTS, called by General White, and sworn and examined as follows:

By General WHITE:

Question. What is your positioning the military service?

Answer. Commanding battery of light artillery.

Question. Were you at Winchester at the time of the evacuation of that post?

Answer. I was.

Question. Will you state, if you please, what was the character of that movement, whether it was precipitate or orderly?

Answer. All I saw of the movement was orderly. I moved out according to orders, and took my position in the line, and moved along very orderly from there to Harper's Ferry.

Question. Were there ample instructions and time given for the loading of the transportation and the securing everything that could be saved?

Answer. Yes, sir; between 2 and 3 o'clock I had notice of it; we did not leave until 8 or 9 o'clock in the evening.