War of the Rebellion: Serial 027 Page 0568 OPERATIONS IN N. VA.,W. VA.,MD.,AND PA. Chapter XXXI.

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Question. On the northern slope of the hill?

Answer. Yes, sir; north of the lookout, in the direction of Solomon's Gap. A little before night I received an order from Colonel Miles to make an examination in regard to the enemy's cutting a road up the side of the mountain, and also to ascertain about the amount of force; that was the substance of the order. That, I think, was a verbal order, brought by some one of his men, I did not know who it was. I went on and ascertained all the facts that I could, and satisfied myself that there was a large force there, and that it was my duty to report the precise condition of things to my commander, and I went down for that purpose; that was after everything had become quiet, and after skirmishing had ceased. I reported these facts to Colonel Ford, and he ordered me to go over the river and lay the whole matter before Colonel Miles, and I did so.

Question. What occurred between you and Colonel Miles?

Answer. I informed him of the probable amount of force there, and that a general engagement might be expected in the morning at that point. "And," says I, "nothing short of a force sufficient to just shove them right off the mountain will save that place, and we want re-enforcements;" that was my language to him, as near as I can recollect. He had gone to bed when I called for him. He got up and came into his office, and I met him there. He asked some few questions in regard to the position of the enemy, the amount of the forces, and then assured me that there should he two regiments on the mountain by break of day, and two pieces of artillery, and also that he would send another regiment up on the west side of the mountain so as to come in on their right flank. He said that they should all be there by the break of day. I then returned to the mountain, and went on to the front of our lines. Colonel Sherrill, of the One hundred and twenty-sixth New York, was there with the men while I was absent. They all lay down there in line during the night until morning.

In the morning about sunrise, perhaps, Captain Russell, of the Maryland cavalry, reported with a part of his command; I should think not over a company; they were cavalry; they left their horses, and came up with their carbines. I placed them in position. As soon as it was light enough to see, skirmishing commenced, and, soon after, a general engagement. There were no re-enforcements that came until 9.30 o'clock, except this company of Russell's. Our men held thir ground there and fought well and did well. There were no re-enforcements until 9.30 o'clock, and then they came in scattering companies, or perhaps two or three companies together in two or three instances. The officers were all of them strangers to me. We held the position there with a little variation-sometimes we would be driven back a little, and then again we would drive the enemy back-until, I should judge, about 4 o'clock in the afternoon, or between 3 and 4 o'clock, we received orders from Colonel Ford to fall back in good order. I notified the officers to draw their men off in good order.

Previous to that, however, there was one time when we were almost entirely overwhelmed by their forces. They were on both of our flanks, firing a cross-fire. I think Colonel Downey came up with some re-enforcements. I do not know what number of men he brought. I communicated to him the situation of things, and told him to go forward and hold the position as long as possible, and, if he was compelled to fall back, to fall back gradually and in order, and to fall back from the west side of the mountain; that is, with a portion of the men. There was only one path on the slope that they could come down. They could fall back that way with less confusion and with more safety, I judged. We remained in that situation, fighting all the time, until this order came to fall back to Harper's Ferry. I was about the last man that left the ground. I saw that all the men were formed in proper order, and marched off in an orderly manner.

Question. State the number of killed and wounded before you fell back.

Answer. In the regiment I commanded there were 35 killed and wounded.

Question. How many killed and how many wounded?

Answer. I could not give you that item exactly. There were 10 killed, and the greater portion of the balance were severely wounded; some were wounded slightly. Our regiment, I think, suffered more than any other that was engaged there, as they were in the front and center.

Question. Was this beacon lighted as was directed?

Answer. No, sir.

Question. Do you know the reason why it was not?