out exception, admirable. Captains Rigby, Potts, McGrath, Graham, Phillips, and Von Sehlen, under their accomplished and efficient chief of artillery, major McIlvaine, acquitted themselves in the most honorable manner.
To Captain Heny Curtis, jr., adjutant, and Captain Randolph Botts, quartermaster,on my own staff, I was indebted for a prompt and fearless discharge of their duties at all times during the siege.
Of the staff of Colonel Miles, Lieutenant Reynolds, adjutant, and Lieutenants Binney and Willmon, aides, I can only say that each and all, so far as their duties brought them under my observation, were diligent and zealous, exhibiting a readiness to encounter whatever danger or toil their respective positions required.
I cannot close this report, general, without saying that the conduct as well as the words of the late Colonel Miles, who commanded during the siege, was that of a brave and loyal officer. The surrender was determined upon unanimously by a council of war when further resistance seemed useless, inasmuch as the commanding positions were held by the enemy in a force of not less than 40,000 of all arms in front,on both flanks, and in rear. I was prompted solely by a sense of duty in not assuming the command, and not from a desire to avoid responsibility. Of the obloquy, if any there be, which attaches to the surrender I expect to assume my share, and scorn to shelter myself behind the funeral pall of an officer who, whatever his military errors, died in defense of our country.
I have applied to the Adjutant-General for a court of inquiry to investigate the causes of the surrender and to determine whether it was justifiable or not, and trust the court will be ordered. The forces of the enemy were as follows: In front and on right flank the divisions of Generals jackson, A. P. Hill, and Lawton (Ewell's); on the left flank, Loudoun Heights, General Walker's division, and in rear, Maryland Heights, General McLaws-about 40,000 in all, under the chief command of General Jackson.
The topography of Harper's Ferry and its surroundings exhibits the fact that maryland, Loudoun, and Bolivar Heights are separated from each other by more than 2 miles of distance, with a great natural brier, either the Potomac or Shenandoah, separating each from the others. To properly defend it, requires a force sufficient to hold all these heights, and very much larger than we had. The separation of a command as small as ours, to hold all these heights, would insure its speedy destruction. It was necessary to choose one of the heights, and defend that; that was done. I append hereto a report of the killed and wounded, so far as any returns have been made.
I am, colonel, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Colonel WILLIAM D. WHIPPLE,
Chief of Staff and Assistant Adjutant-General.
HARPER'S FERRY, VA., September 15, 1862.
Terms of capitulation this day entered into between brig. General Julius White, of the United States Army, commissioner upon the part of the United States, and Major General A. P. Hill, of the Confederate
States Army, commissioner upon the part of the Confederate States:
I. The garrison of Harper's Ferry, including all the troops at present under command of Colonel D. S. Miles, with all munitions of war and
34 R R-VOL XIX, PT I