War of the Rebellion: Serial 027 Page 0757 Chapter XXXI. THE MARYLAND CAMPAIGN.

Search Civil War Official Records

Question. In the summer months?

Answer. Yes, sir; in the dry months; but there are several small springs on the mountain which could be made available for troops, but in the spring of the year there is plenty of water.

Question. They could be made available in the summer months for what force, do you suppose?

Answer. I could not say how many men could remain there for any length of time through the summer months.

Question. For a few days or weeks? You remained there long enough to become quite familiar with the mountain.

Answer. Yes, sir; but I am not able to answer that question explicitly. We supposed when I was there, that subject being much canvassed, that springs could be found that would supply a considerable force with water; but there being no exigency for our putting a large number of men on the heights, and they being better accommodated below in that respect, we never explored the heights so far al to enable me to state what length of time troops could remain there. An old man who lives at the base of the mountain, near Sharpsburg, said that there were several springs upon the heights which would furnish water if attended to, cleared out.

The Commission then adjourned to 11 a. m. to morrow.

WASHINGTON, D. C. October 17, 1862.

The Commission met pursuant to adjournment.

* * * * * * *

The investigation was then resumed in relation to the evacuation of Maryland Heights and the surrender of Harper's Ferry.

The judge-advocate submitted in evidence copies of the following papers, furnished by the War Department, which were read:


Washington, D. C., September 5, 1862.

Major-General WOOL, Baltimore, Md.:

I find it impossible to get this army into the field again in large force for a day or two. In the mean time Harper's Ferry may be attacked and overwhelmed. I leave the dispositions there to your experience and local knowledge.

I beg leave, however, to suggest the propriety of withdrawing all our forces in that vicinity to Maryland Heights. I have no personal knowledge of the ground, and merely make the suggestion to you.



WASHINGTON, D. C., September 7, 1862.

Colonel MILES, Harper's Ferry:

Our army is in motion. It is important that Harper's Ferry be held to the latest moment. The Government has the utmost confidence in you, and is ready to give you full credit for the defense it expects you to make.



HARPER'S FERRY, September 8, 1862.

Major-General HALLECK, General-in-Chief:

Thanks for confidence. Will do my best. Enemy advancing from Winchester.


Colonel Second Infantry.

HARPER'S FERRY, September 9, 1862.

Major-General HALLECK, General-in-Chief:

Information that Loring is Marching 15,000 to 20,000 of all arms, via Snicker's Ferry, from Leesburg. If he visits me I am ready; but believe his intention to march on Cumberland, via Romney.


Colonel Second Infantry.