War of the Rebellion: Serial 016 Page 0804 OPERATIONS IN N. VA., W. VA., AND MD. Chapter XXIV.

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under my command, on the 2nd day of September last, and respectfully ask that it may be laid before the Commission. The evidence clearly establishes the following facts, as I believe, viz:

That the immediate evacuation of that post was ordered by competent authority, with instructions to render the heavy guns, four in number, unserviceable if they could not be removed.

That notwithstanding the order for immediate evacuation, and having in view the saving and removal of all public property at that post, I asked by telegraph of the General-in-Chief if sufficient time might be taken for that purpose.

That the reply to that dispatch, though promptly forwarded by the Genera-in-Chief, allowing me discretionary authority to remain, was not received, owing to an interruption of the telegraphic communication between Washington and Harper's Ferry.

That I delayed the evacuation of Winchester, and kept the telegraph office at that post open as long as I could do, consistent with the order for the immediate evacuation, in the hope of receiving permission to take time to remove all public property, and issued orders to prepare for marching, but stating that the movement might not take place till the next day, dependent on the tenor of the instructions I expected to receive.

That all means of transportation which could be had, either by railroad or otherwise, were employed to their utmost capacity in the removal of public property, and that nothing was destroyed which could have been saved.

That the enemy was in sufficient force in the immediate vicinity to occupy Winchester immediately upon its evacuation, and seize and appropriate any property that might be left behind, and that therefore all such as could not be moved should have been, as it was, destroyed.

That the evacuation was conducted in an orderly, systematic manner, without confusion or indecent haste; that the destruction of such property as could not be removed was accomplished under the direction of an engineer detailed for that purpose.

That the four heavy guns could not be removed within a reasonable time, and were, in accordance with the orders received, rendered unserviceable.

Finally, that instead of indifference, a proper interest and zeal in the preservation of the public property was manifested, and that the loss sustained was unavoidable under the circumstances without violation of orders.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

JULIUS WHITE,

Brigadier-General, U. S. Volunteers.

Major General D. HUNTER,

President of the Commission.

GENERAL ORDERS,

WAR DEPARTMENT, ADJT. General 'S OFFICE,

Numbers 183.

Washington, November 8, 1862.

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III. The Commission having reported that Brigadier General Julius White, U. S. Volunteers, acted with decided capability and courage, and merits its approbation, and having found nothing in the conduct of the subor-