I had several times called for ammunition. On the 12th of September I received the following:
I have the honor to report your communication received. The reserve ammunition is on an island a short distance above here. Requisition for ordnance have to be approved by Colonel Miles. Lieutenant Thompson is ordnance officer.
I sent down three times, but I did not get one bit of ammunition. I even had not ammunition for my own men. When the first order came for eighty rounds of ammunition. I had to borrow it from the One hundred and eleventh and One hundred and fifteenth regiments, whose caliber was equal to that of mine.
The Commission adjourned to 11 a.m. to-morrow.
WASHINGTON, D. C., October 8, 1862.
The Commission met pursuant to adjournment.
* * * * * *
Major HUGO HILDEBRANDT, called by the Government, and sworn and examined as follows:
By the JUDGE-ADVOCATE:
Question. What is your position in the military service?
Answer. I am major of the Thirty-ninth Regiment New York State Volunteers, and its commander at the affair of Harper's Ferry.
Question. Will you state, so far as they came to your knowledge, all the circumstances connected with the evacuation of Maryland Heights?
Answer. On the 11th day of September, late in the evening, I received orders from my colonel to proceed the next morning early to Maryland Heights to report myself to Colonel Ford, in command there. I had two companies from my regiment absent, and therefore I begged the colonel to relieve my companies, or send me two other companies. He gave me two other companies of the One hundred and fifteenth New York Regiment. I started with eight companies, and reported at 5 o'clock on the morning of the 12th to Colonel Ford. After a little rest, Colonel Ford gave me orders to proceed with six companies as far as Solomon's Gap to make a reconnaissance. It was reported to him that there were two companies of rebels in the gap, exhausted, and he ordered me to take them prisoners, if possible. I went with four companies of my own regiment, and two companies of the Maryland Home Brigade to conduct me, as I had no knowledge of the road. When I went out of the picket line, the cavalry pickets who were posted there told me that they were driven in from their position by a heavy force, and that they were shelled out from the gap. They were there on the lookout for observations. I paid not much attention to them, because, as my orders were, I thought I would go up with my force. I sent out skirmishers immediately; but the woods are so thick there that it is not possible to skirmish in the regular way. It was a very narrow road, and we had to go only on the road, and it is nearly impossible to ride on a horse. When we came up near to the heights, the two companies of skirmishers which I sent out were received by a very heavy fire. There I lost by the skirmish 2 men from the Maryland brigade, and from my regiment 4 or 5, and 1 missing. Then I drew up my column very easy by the flank; but we could not resist, as it was such a large force; and therefore I withdrew my forces and took up a better position, so that if they should come after us we could stay there and fight them. But they remained there, and we halted on our position near to the picket line. After a little rest, we heard some firing on the ridge of the mountain. It was the pickets that I had posted out from the Maryland regiment. I posted them so that I could cover my flank. They were attacked. Then we went up with the whole force, and after a few hours I returned to the camp with the force, and reported to Colonel Ford the facts. In the evening I received orders from Colonel Ford to go up on the heights. I was stationed by his headquarters. I was ordered to go up on the heights and report myself to Major Hewitt. I did so. Two, companies of my regiment were ordered again, with other companies under the command of an officer from the Thirty-second Ohio whose name I do not recollect. I went up with only four companies to Major Hewitt. Major Hewitt ordered me back to the battery, and to stay the whole night under arms to protect the battery. The next morning I received orders again to go up with three companies on the heights to support Major Hewitt. My other three companies, which had returned in the night I left at the battery in the command of a captain. I went up to Major Hewitt and reported. I was posted with the three companies on the extreme right of the line. After the first fire, which was, I think, at 7 o'clock, the skirmish began.