Answer. My judgment is that we should not have evacuated the heights. We ought, perhaps, to have had more re-enforcements.
Question. How long do you think you could have held the heights with the force there?
Answer. I do not know, because it was a very great confusion among these new regiments. But if we had fresh troops there, to retake the line or make up our line again and advance with our two old regiments, the Thirty-second Ohio and my regiment, we could have retaken very easily the breastworks. The new regiments, after the second skedaddle, were very hard to manage.
By the COURT:
Question. If you had another regiment as good as your own, you could have held the position?
Answer. O, my God! yes; for it was a very good position. But the new troops were very raw troops; I had no confidence in them.
Question. Was there any fighting going on at the time you left the heights?
Answer. O, no.
Question. How long before had the last firing stopped?
Answer. It was at least one hour or two hours after the fighting before we all fell back.
Question. There was no fighting when you left?
Answer. Skirmish firing; no pressure.
Question. How many men did you lose altogether in your regiment on Maryland Heights?
Answer. We lost 15 or 16 killed and wounded. We fired our ammunition all out, and then I received from Colonel Ford ammunition for our regiment again. My men on the heights fired very near 50 rounds, every man; that was very big firing. But only those two regiments did their duty. The Thirty-second regiment fought very bravely.
Question. How many men were in your eight companies?
Answer. Very few.
Question. About how many?
Answer. Perhaps 280 men; I cannot tell exactly about that. I left the largest companies at home, because they were needed by the battery and to do picket duty.
By the JUDGE-ADVOCATE:
Question. Do you intend to say that, in your opinion, as matters stood, without any additional re-enforcements, you think that at the time the evacuation took place it ought not to have been made?
Answer. It ought not. We could hold it for a time until we could get re-enforcements. The enemy came in a heavy force, but they were not pressing. Only their skirmishers had disturbed our force.
Question. They were not pressing in large force?
Answer. Not at that time. They came up in a very large force, as you could see, but their main body was not there then.
Question. As our forces fell back, they did not press on and occupy the position you left?
Answer. No, sir: only their skirmishers occupied the position. We saw them, but very few of them in the position then. When I went up for my two companies and the two companies of the Thirty-second Ohio, under the command of Captain Crumbecker, we saw them there in heavy force, but only their advance was there.