The enemy's advance entered martinsburg but about three hours after its evacuation, their force being some 15,000 or 18,000 men.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Colonel WILLIAM D. WHIPPLE,
Chief of Staff and Asst. Adjt. General, Eighth Army Corps.
ANNAPOLIS, MD., September 22, 1862.
COLONEL: I have the honor to report that on the 12th instant I arrived at Harper's Ferry, va., from Martinsburg, with the troops under my command at that place.
At the time of my arrival, skirmishing had already commenced upon the Maryland Heights, between our forces and those of the enemy.
I at once addressed the following note to Colonel D. S. Miles, commanding the post, viz:
HARPER'S FERRY, September 13, 1862.
Colonel DIXON S. MILES,
Commanding Harper's Ferry:
COLONEL: I have the honor to state that I arrived at this post last evening with my command, consisting of the following named troops: Twelfth Illinois Cavalry; Sixty-fifth Illinois Infantry; One hundred and twenty-fifth New York Infantry; Phillips' battery (four guns), Second Illinois Artillery.
On an occasion prior to this, I was ordered by Major General J. E. Wool, commanding, to repair to martinsburg and take command at that post, thus leaving you in command here, which I consider an indication that the general desires you to retain this command.
Your familiarity with the topography of the vicinity, the fact that the troops and the guns have been placed under your direction, coupled with the additional important fact that the enemy is in heavy force in the immediate vicinity, and skirmishing with their advance already commenced, render it improper, at least for the present, to deprive you of the command for the sole reason of superior rank, believing that the interests of the service would not be subserved thereby.
Meanwhile I respectfully tender my services and those of the officers of my staff to render any aid in our power in the defense of the position.
I am, colonel, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
The propositions extended in this letter were accepted by Colonel Miles by his order of the same day, of which the following is a copy, viz:
Numbers 42. Harper's Ferry, September 13, 1862.
Brigadier-General White, with a magnanimity aqua to his valor, proffers to the undersigned, commanding officer of the post, his services and those of the troops brought with him, for its defense in its present necessity. This act of high-toned chivalric generosity, of which there are but few percents in our army, overwhelms me with the deepest gratitude.
I cheerfully accept the invaluable assistance of the gallant general, and will assign his troops to important positions.
It is hereby ordered that, wherever present during the siege of this post, the troops will obey implicitly and with alacrity all orders given by General White.
D. S. MILES,
Colonel Second Infantry, Commanding.
At this time the Maryland Heights were held by a brigade commanded by Colonel Thomas H. Ford, of the Thirty-second Ohio, which consisted of the Thirty-second Ohio, three companies First maryland Potomac Hobe Brigade, the Seventh Squadron Rhode Island Cavalry, and two