War of the Rebellion: Serial 016 Page 0795 Chapter XXIV. EVACUATION OF WINCHESTER, VA.

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Powell. I reported to him, and he ordered me to go down to the quartermaster's depot. I took my command down to the depot, and Captain Powell or Captain Goodmand, I don't remember which, requested that my two companies should patrol the Front Royal turnpike until he could get the grain loaded and off.

Question. All that detail is unnecessary. I want merely the general facts of the evacuation.

Answer. So that I saw very little of the breaking up of the camp, and knew very little, except what I have heard. After the train was loaded and started, I was ordered down again to the fort, and remained near the fort until the explosion took place.

Question. You constituted a portion of the rear guard?

Answer. Yes, sir, for a was, under the orders of Captain Powell; afterward Captain Powell ordered me to the front. I went to the front, and we marched deliberately down to Bunker Hill, and though Charlestown and down to Harper's Ferry. We made an orderly march. There was no disorder whatever-no confusion.

The Commission then proceeded to deliberate with closed doors.

Subsequently the Commission adjourned to 11 a. m. on Thursday next.

WASHINGTON, D. C., October 23, 1862.

The Commission met pursuant to adjournment.

* * * * * * *

The Commission resumed the investigation in relation to the evacuation of Winchester by General White, and proceeded to the examination of witnesses.

THOMAS NOAKES, called by General White, and sworn and examined as follows:

By General WHITE:

Question. Were you at Winchester during the month of August last, and up to the time of its evacuation?

Answer. I was not there at the time of its evacuation.

Question. Were you there shortly prior, during the month of August?

Answer. Yes, sir; I left a short time before the evacuation.

Question. What sort of duty were you upon?

Answer. I was in service for General White and the Government, going to different places.

Question. As a scout?

Answer. Yes, sir; as a guide and scout.

Question. Were you, or not, familiar with the fact that the enemy were constantly in that vicinity?

Answer. Yes, sir.

Question. And in greater or less force?

Answer. Yes, sir; I was familiar with that all the time, and tried to keep you posted.

Question. Is it your opinion, or not, that there was a sufficient force of the enemy in the immediate vicinity to have taken possession of Winchester upon its evacuation, and whatever property might have been left there?

Answer. Yes, sir; they were at Newtown and White Post, or the springs west of there. The companies of cavalry at Newtown could come in there without anybody to oppose them at all after the evacuation, and take whatever was there.