War of the Rebellion: Serial 016 Page 0803 Chapter XXIV. EVACUATION OF WINCHESTER, VA.

Search Civil War Official Records

Question. Cooked rather than burned?

Answer. Yes, sir, or half cooked; it was not spoiled at all. It was salt meat that would put out fire rather than burn.

By General WHITE:

Question. Do you know how many barrels of port there were that you refer to in this connection?

Answer. Salt port and salt beef both. There were 190 to 200 barrels. I think somewhere from 190 to 200 barrels in the fort.

Testimony in this case closed. General White submitted a written statement in relation to the evacuation of Winchester, which he read and asked to have made part of this record, appended hereto.

* * * * * * *


The Commission, consisting of Major General D. Hunter, U. S. Volunteers, president; Major General G. Cadwalader, U. S. Volunteers; Brigadier General C. C. Augur, U. S. Volunteers; Captain Donn Piatt, assistant adjutant-general of volunteers; Captain F. Ball, jr., aide-de-camp, and Colonel J. Holt, Judge-Advocate-General, called by the Government to investigate the conduct of Brigadier General Julius White, U. S. Volunteers, in and the circumstances attending the evacuation of Winchester, have the honor to report:

That on September 2, 1862, General Julius White received from the General-in-Chief, Major-General Halleck, the following telegram:

You will immediately abandon the fortifications at Winchester, sending the heavy guns, under escort, by rail to Harper's Ferry. If this cannot be done, they should be rendered unserviceable. Having sent off your artillery, you will withdraw your whole force to Harper's Ferry.

That Brigadier-General White, having no cavalry with which to make the necessary reconnaissance, and find it possible that military exigencies of the move [sic], telegraphed to the Commander-in-Chief for an explanatory order; but, the lines being down, he could receive no response, and, accordingly, put in requisition all the means by rail and otherwise of transportation he possessed, having been advised, in response to his telegram to Harper's Ferry, that no more cars could be had; and after destroying what stores he could not carry away - the stores so destroyed not amounting to any considerable sum - and rendering unserviceable the four heavy siege guns that could not be removed, he fell back with his forces in good order to Harper's Ferry.

The Commission, therefore, holds that Brigadier-General White acted in accordance with the order given him by the General-in-Chief, and is absolved from all blame in evacuating, and in the manner of the evacuation, of the post at Winchester, it appearing from the evidence that he conducted the move as a cool and capable officer.


Major-General, President.




WASHINGTON, October 22, 1862.

GENERAL: I have the honor to submit the following summary of the evidence in the matter of the evacuation of Winchester, by the troops