Lieutenant HENRY M. BINNEY, called by the Government, and sworn and examined as follows:
By the JUDGE-ADVOCATE:
Question. What position do you occupy in the military service?
Answer. I am second lieutenant of the Tenth Maine. I have acted with Colonel Miles as an aide since February last.
Question. Were you acting as his aide during the recent events at Harper's Ferry which led to its surrender?
Answer. Yes, sir.
Question. Will you state those events, so far as you have knowledge of them; first, those in immediate connection with the evacuation of Maryland Heights?
Answer. I think the attack was made on Solomon's Gap, the extreme right of Maryland Heights, on Thursday, the 11th of the month, by infantry and artillery, the artillery shelling out the pickets which Colonel Ford had thrown down there. They then advanced up on the heights from that direction, and also from the eastern slope of Maryland Heights, from Pleasant Valley, during the latter part of the afternoon and during the night. On Friday, Colonel Ford's forces were engaged the principal part of the day. Early in the morning there was considerable infantry firing, the enemy working their way on the crest of the heights. In the afternoon of Friday, I think it was, Colonel Ford reported having had quite a sharp skirmish with the enemy near the lookout, on the crest of the heights, our forces driving the enemy back and retaining the lookout. During Friday night the enemy threw a large force on the heights, and on Saturday morning our forces were forced to fall back by degrees, Colonel Ford reporting as often an hour the state of affairs there. Colonel Miles visited the heights as often as twice a day on Thursday and Friday. On Saturday morning he was on the heights quite early, somewhere about 8 or 9 o'clock. On Saturday afternoon Colonel Miles and myself went on Bolivar Heights. While on Bolivar Heights, Colonel Miles was busily engaged looking for some demonstration of the enemy in front toward Charlestown. I observed that our troops were coming down Maryland Heights, toward the battery which was on the slope toward Harper's Ferry. I called Colonel Miles' attention to it. He immediately took his field-glass and looked over, and expressed himself indignant and highly incensed at the idea of leaving the heights. I asked him if I should go over there and give orders to stop it. He said he would go with me, and went down toward Camp Hill, and somebody reported to him that the guns were spiked and the troops were coming off the hill. The troops came down in good order across the pontoon bridge into Harper's Ferry.
Question. Do you know of any order given by Colonel Miles to Colonel Ford in reference to the contingency of the evacuation of the heights?
Answer. There never was any order given by Colonel Miles to that effect. At each visit of Colonel Miles to Colonel Ford, he set forth to him the importance of those heights, and Colonel Ford always represented that he could hold them against anything that was brought against him, on one occasion remarking that Colonel Miles would have to come over there for protection.
Question. You were present and heard those orders given by Colonel Miles to him?
Answer. Yes, sir.
Question. Were they or not to the effect that he was to hold the heights to the last extremity?
Answer. To the last extremity and at all hazards.
Question. You heard nothing from Colonel Miles indicating that any change had been made in those orders, or that Colonel Ford should, under any circumstances, surrender those heights?
Answer. No, sir; I was with Colonel Miles day and night, constantly by his side from the first attack, whenever he wa not in his bed. I was with him in every visit to every camp.
37 R R-VOL XIX, PT I