War of the Rebellion: Serial 027 Page 0566 OPERATIONS IN SE. VA. AND N. C. Chapter XXXI.

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Harper's Ferry. He said that on his return from Winchester he had been ordered to Martinsburg by General Wool, with a command less in number than that left with Colonel Miles, and that that would seem to indicate a disposition or intention on the part of General Wool to leave Colonel Miles as a permanent officer at Harper's Ferry. Under these circumstances he felt-I think he said he feared some difficulty, or that there might be some. At any rate, be wanted to know what my opinion was in regard to the matter.

Question. Do you recollect of my speaking of my ignorance of the place and the positions about it?

Answer. Yes, sir; General White said that he did not know the topography of the country, the number of troops, the batteries, the means of defense, &c. I told him that I should certainly deem it exceedingly hazardous to assume the command of Harper's Ferry. Said I, "General, the enemy are already attacking now; you can hear their guns as we sit here; you do not know the number of cannon; you do not know the troops; you do not know where they are located, and, if you should ask me, I should frankly say that if I were in your place I should offer my services and those of my whole command to Colonel Miles at once, and, when you have become acquainted with the place, you can assume the command if you find it necessary to do so."

Question. State what action I took immediately after that, if you remember.

Answer. Colonel Miles came in, and I believe General White wrote a letter, stating, substantially, as I understood it, these things, which letter he handed to Colonel Miles. Colonel Miles road it, expressed his gratification at being permitted to retain the command, and said General White's orders should be obeyed by all the officers and men at Harper's Ferry. I think he published an order on that subject, which I received afterward.

By the COURT:

Question. Were you consulted at all in reference to the surrender of Harper's Ferry?

Answer. Not at all. I was not consulted nor advised with. The first I knew of it was the raising of the white flag. I remained in position three-quarters of an hour after that.

Major S. M. HEWITT, called by the Government, sworn and examined as follows:


Question. State, if you please, your position in the military service of the United States.

Answer. I am major of the Thirty-second Ohio.

Question. Were you present at and immediately preceding the evacuation of Maryland Heights?

Answer. Yes, sir.

Question. State fully the circumstances that led to that evacuation.

Answer. I had better perhaps commence at the time I was ordered on the heights.

Question. Do so, and go rapidly over the events which bear on the surrender.

Answer. On Friday afternoon, about 4 o'clock, I received an order from Colonel Miles to proceed to the summit of Maryland Heights, with my regiment, and to support a company of the Thirty-second Ohio that was there on picket duty. At the same time this order directed me to take a bundle of combustibles and leave it upon the eastern slope, stating that the troops were withdrawn from Sandy Hook, leaving that point exposed; to take this bundle and place it upon the point of the eastern and southern portion of the mountain, and place a guard over it; and the orders were that, if we were pressed too hard, to fall back and ignite that combustible as a signal for the batteries on the Maryland and Bolivar Heights both to play upon the Maryland Heights, after the men were drawn out of the way under cover of these guns. [The witness indicated on the map the position of the batteries and the combustible.]