War of the Rebellion: Serial 027 Page 0756 OPERATIONS IN N. VA., W. VA., MD., AND PA. Chapter XXXI.

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Colonel WILLIAM H. TRIMBLE, recalled at his own request, and examined as follows:

By the COURT:

Question. You wish to explain something in your former testimony, do you?

Answer. Yes, sir. It occurred to me after I left the room that I had not given a proper or special answer to one of the questions of the judge-advocate, in regard to the reasons for my opinion in reference to the military capacity of Colonel Miles. I have already stated that Colonel Miles declined to make some defensive works, and to clear out the forest in front of our position that interfered with the range of our artillery and furnished a cover for the enemy. In addition to that, he had said to me that the enemy could not plant artillery on Loudoun Heights; and that the ground in the ravines, on the left flanks running from the turnpike to the Shenandoah, was impassable. But these whigs, when the engagement came on, proved the incorrectness of Colonel Miles' military judgment; and then his not being on the battle-field to support the command by his presence, and to direct it by his military ability; his leaving me without instructions or any plan of defense, or any authority to call for re-enforcements; all these things combined compelled me to give up my faith in him as a commander. I wish the court to understand that it was that combination of circumstances that compelled me to come to a conclusion adverse to Colonel Miles.

Question. Did you notice during the siege that Colonel Miles was intoxicated?

Answer. I did not; and although I heard suggestions among officers about there doubting his being true to his trust, I replied promptly and decisively always to any such suggestion, that I would not permit myself to think such a thing of any superior officer, and that all the things that had been stated to me as evidences of his being untrue were only evidences to my mind of his being a weak man, wanting in decision and firmness and in good judgment.

By General WHITE:

Question. Did you see General "Stonewall" Jackson at Harper's Ferry?

Answer. Yes, sir; I did, and had a conversation with him. I made a point to see him, in order to make as issue with him that had not been made in the condition of surrender, as I understood. I understood and I satisfied that General Jackson was in chief command there.

Major General N. P. BANKS, called by the Government, and sworn and examined as follows:


Question. Will you state to the Commission whether you have, at any time, with your command, occupied the Maryland Heights; and, if so, when and with about what force?

Answer. In the month of July, 1861, I occupied Maryland Heights with a small force, a large part of my troops being at the base of the mountain, in the valley. My command consisted of about 5,000 men.

Question. How many were up on the heights?

Answer. He had two regiments there the most of the time, and one in the town of Harper's Ferry.

Question. What is your opinion as to the natural capabilities of defense which the heights furnish?

Answer. With provisions and water, Maryland Heights would be a very strong position; a small force could hold them against a large number of men, for a time.

Question. Is there difficulty there in regard to a proper supply of water?

Answer. At some seasons of the year there might be.