War of the Rebellion: Serial 027 Page 0717 Chapter XXXI. THE MARYLAND CAMPAIGN.

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defended, except by holding Maryland Heights, and the best way to defend it was by holding Maryland Heights, and the abandonment of Maryland Heights, therefore, rendered it impossible to hold Harper's Ferry?

Answer. That is my judgment, and, in connection with that, I would like, if the court have no objection, for my own satisfaction to have put upon the record one other remark. I regard Harper's Ferry, although my opinion may be worthless, as a very weak position, instead of a strong one. The popular idea that it is a strong one is a fallacy. The three commanding positions about it, Maryland Heights, Loudoun Heights, and Bolivar Heights, either of them being above it, either of them being possessed by the enemy, Harper's Ferry is commanded by them, and each command on these positions necessary for the defense of Harper's Ferry is necessarily detached from the others, not within supporting distance of the others, on account of the great natural barriers offered by the Potomac and the Shenandoah; and during an engagement it is not practicable to support one position by the forces at another. Therefore, each is a separate command, and, therefore, each should have been fortified to make it properly defensible by such a force as we had there.

Question. And each should have been defended, should it not, by a suitable protecting force?

Answer. That is my judgment.

Question. Just state, if you please, if you had to [act] again in the matter, and you were in command there, whether you would not have held Maryland Heights to the last, and whenever you abandoned them you would have considered it an abandonment of the whole position against a large force attacking?

Answer. Substantially. I should have fortified the approach to Maryland Heights; that is, Solomon's Gap, and had another fortification on the summit of the mountain. that is what I should have done, as a last resort, I would have taken the entire command over there.

Question. Did you not look upon the want of water as a serious difficulty, in regard to occurrences that took place at the time the surrender occurred?

Answer Unquestionably. No preparation had been made to provide it. Preparation might have been made on Maryland Heights to have provided water, if time had been taken in advance to do so. I understand that in fortifying the place, necessarily, preparations for water must be made, among other things.

Question. You say you understood from conversation with Colonel Miles that he appreciated the importance of Maryland Heights?

Answer. I so understood it.

Question. And that he gave a discretionary power to Colonel Ford abandon those heights?

Answer. I gave the conversation that took place.

Question. What was the impression made upon your mind at that time:

Answer. My inference was that there was some discretionary power, from the fact that he told me he had ordered him, if he had to evacuate that position, that the guns must be spiked and pitched down the mountain.

Question. Had you any further conversation with Colonel Miles at the time, expressing any dissatisfaction at the abandonment of those heights, or the consequences that would follow?

Answer. I spoke, perhaps, somewhat warmly, when I spoke to him as to whether he had issued an order for the evacuation. When I learned that he had given the order to spike the guns and pitch them down the mountain, if necessary, I assumed that there must have been a necessity for the act. I had not been there; my duty led me in another part of the field entirely; I was not cognizant of what had transpired nor ow large a force the enemy had there, until subsequently, and, therefore, I was