War of the Rebellion: Serial 016 Page 0794 OPERATIONS IN N. VA., W. VA., AND MD. Chapter XXIV.

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service which we had at Culpeper Court-House, and subsequently at Front Royal, so that all the time that we were at Winchester our horses were in bad plight.

Question. After filling your daily detail for picket duty, were you able to get out more than a small squad of men that were at all fitly mounted for duty?

Answer. No, sir.

Question. I mean in addition to your daily detail for picket duty.

Answer. The company-the two companies I had, could get out usually from 40 to 50 men, I should think, after the picket detail had been made.

Question. With the artillery force we had there, in the condition it was in, was it practicable to do more than patrol the immediate vicinity of the post? Could any reconnaissance be made to any considerable distance without constantly meeting larger bodies of the enemy?

Answer. We could make no reconnaissance in force. We had no force there of cavalry. The horses of the Rhode Island cavalry were in worse plight than our own, I think.

Question. On the night of the evacuation, would it have been practicable to make a proper reconnaissance up the valley toward Front Royal, for instance, without a proper amount of infantry and artillery? Supposing one to be made with reference to discovering any large body of the enemy, could it have been done prudently or effectively without infantry and artillery? If you remember, there was a report of a large force besides the force around there constantly. The question has reference to them. You understand, I do not mean to inquire whether scouts could not have been sent out-they can always be sent out-but I want to know if a suitable force could have been sent out to discover the enemy, if there was any, prudently, without infantry?

Answer. A reconnaissance was made on the Strasburg [road] some miles. I suppose the same force might have been sent up the Front Royal road with the same prudence.

Question. There is no doubt of that. I did not, perhaps, put my question right. On the assumption that it was requisite to ascertain whether the enemy were near us in large force, had we cavalry that could make such a reconnaissance as would furnish any reliable information of that kind?

Answer. No, sir.

Question. Will you state to the court, if you please, whether the evacuation of Winchester was made in an orderly or disorderly manner; whether, in your judgment, it was conducted deliberately or otherwise?

Answer. I saw no disorder and no confusion whatever.

Question. Did you see any indecent haste or hurry about the movement at all, or was it systematically accomplished? I mean, were the orders issued from headquarters such as should, in your judgment, control such a movement properly?

Answer. There was a haste; whether it was an improper haste or not would depend altogether upon the orders that had been received.

Question. Suppose the order was for immediate evacuation?

Answer. If the order was for immediate evacuation, there was no improper haste. I was ordered out that evening, with Major Corliss, to reconnoiter the Strasburg road as fa as Middletown, if possible. We were to start by 4 o'clock, if possible, take two days' rations, and get back by midnight, finding out, if possible, what there was there. When I returned to camp, about 12 o'clock at night, the camps were all entirely broken up; the wagon-train was just leaving the camp ground, the region of the fort; everything was just on its way to the pike. I there received orders to report to Captain