War of the Rebellion: Serial 027 Page 0558 OPERATIONS IN N. VA.,W. VA.,MD.,AND PA. Chapter XXXI.

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to the heights, they could have been maintained against any force, especially so if Solomon's Gap had been occupied.

By the COURT:

Question. From your being ordered to cover the retreat of Colonel Ford by Colonel Miles, would you or would you not infer that Colonel Miles had ordered Colonel Ford to retreat from Maryland Heights?

Answer. My impression immediately after the retreat was that the evacuation had been made by Colonel Miles' order, but this was merely an impression. His remark to me that he "feared Colonel Ford had abandoned the heights too soon," confirmed this impression.

Question. Did Colonel Miles, when he was in conversation with you, as the troops were retreating from Maryland Heights, express dissatisfaction at the abandonment of that position?

Answer. He did not, but simply, as stated, ordered me to cover the retreat. My recollection as to this point is not distinct, but it is strengthened by the fact, well remembered, that at the same time Colonel Miles directed me to destroy the pontoon bridge, and I asked how it should be done.

By General WHITE:

Question. When you say Maryland Heights might have been held by the force at Harper's Ferry, do you mean if they had been originally placed there, or that they might have reoccupied the heights after their evacuation in face of the enemy, successfully?

Answer. I mean if they had been originally placed there, or transferred there as the exigencies of the occasion required. Upon the question of reoccupation I give no opinion, but suppose, after the crest of the hill had been taken possession of by the enemy, its reoccupation would have been very difficult.

Question. Did you have an opportunity to observe the conduct of either the officers under arrest before this court, viz: Brigadier General Julius White. Colonel F. G. D'Utassy, Colonel Thomas H. Ford, and Colonel W. H. Trimble, during the siege of Harper's Ferry; and, if so, what was its character?

Answer. I had no opportunity, from my position, of personally observing the conduct of any of the officers except that of General White, and that on a single occasion, when he visited my position, and manifested the most active interest in the defense of the bridges of which I had charge. I was nothing in his conduct which did not give me satisfaction, and which did not excite my admiration.

The witness then said:

On Sunday night Colonel Miles gave me an order to take up about 100 feet of the pontoon bridge, and in a few moments afterward it was countermanded by him in person. Soon after this I saw his assistant adjutant-general, and asked him to see Colonel Miles, and ask him to state distinctly which of these conflicting orders was to be obeyed. I did this in my own defense, inasmuch as during my service under Colonel Miles I had frequently found his orders liable to be misunderstood, and I regarded the taking up the bridge as an important matter.

THOMAS NOAKES, introduced as a witness by General White, having been duly sworn, testified as follows:

By General WHITE:

Question. How have you been employed during the past six months, and under whose orders?

Answer. For the last six months I have been in the Government service as a guide; more recently under General White, formerly by General Banks.

Question. Did you guide the cavalry who escaped from Harper's Ferry; and, if so, was the same route feasible for infantry and artillery? If no, why not?