Answer. That I do not know. Colonel Miles, you remember, ordered me to place in position the One hundred and fifteenth New York, Colonel Sammon's regiment, and it took me, I suppose, and hour, nearly, to get them in position, on the western side of the mountain.
Question. What do you know, if anything, about an effort being made to get axes, shovels, or anything like that, to do work on the mountain, to cut down trees, make breastworks, &c.?
Answer. I understood it to be said at your quarters that axes had been called for but they were not in the quartermaster's department at Harper's Ferry; I understood it to be said at your quarters; who it I do not remember.
Question. Taking into view the condition of these running troops, and the amount of the enemy in force about us there, was there a military necessity for evacuating Maryland Heights?
Answer. I believed so then; I believe so still.
Question. In your opinion, could be have held out much longer?
Answer. No, sir; we could not have done so.
Question. Do you remember of seeing Colonel Miles and myself in my quarters after your return from placing Colonel Sammon's regiment?
Answer. Yes, sir; or it was either just afterward or just before; I think it was just afterward.
Question. Relate to the court any conversation you may have heard between us.
Answer. I just came in at the moment when you were complaining of the breaking of certain troops that were on the mountain. Colonel Miles was about leaving. Says he, "Colonel Ford, then do the best you can; spike your guns and throw them down the mountain."
Question. Do you remember my sending men out time and again to try to stop us Solomon's Gap with trees?
Answer. Yes, sir.
Question. Do you remember an effort made by me to throw a big rock in there?
Answer. There were some heavy rocks thrown into that road on the western side, Sharpsburg side, of the mountain, and large timer cut down; at least that was reported by one of my officers who was sent out for the purpose, Lieutenant Beard.
By the JUDGE-ADVOCATE:
Question. At what hour in the day did this interview take place between Colonel Miles and Colonel Ford?
Answer. I could scarcely say what hour it was; I do not remember what hour Colonel Miles came over to the heights; I think it was about 9 or 10 o'clock; it may have been nearer 11. I do not remember distinctly.
Question. Did you understand the words which he used at parting from Colonel Ford to be an absolute order to evacuate, or only upon condition that he was overwhelmed?
Answer. I regarded it as an order for leaving the heights. I was a little surprised at it, but I so understood it. When I heard that remark I would say that my heart sank, but I thought we were to leave the heights. I so understood it.
Question. You did not feel then that there was any necessity for such an abandonment at that time?
Answer. I thought there was a necessity from the fact that Colonel Miles, in whom I had entire confidence, made use of that language, but previous to that I did not.
Question. Did the evacuation begin immediately after this interview?