War of the Rebellion: Serial 027 Page 0764 OPERATIONS IN N. VA., W. VA., MD., AND PA. Chapter XXXI.

Search Civil War Official Records

made the remark to him that he could hold that place against all hell. Then he continued his remark by saying, "Then what in hell does he want of more men?"

Question. Did he say anything about jeopardizing his force in front?

Answer. Yes, sir.

Question. What was it?

Answer. He said, "What in hell does he want of more men? I cannot jeopardize any force in front." At that time I do not think there was an attack.

Question. Where; in front?

Answer. Yes, sir; on Bolivar Heights.

By General WHITE:

Question. On our arrival at Harper's Ferry, at the time of the evacuation at Winchester, was there any conversation, that you remember, between myself and Colonel Miles relative to the fortification of Soudoun Heights and of Bolivar Heights?

Answer. Yes, sir.

Question. Will you state what it was, if you please?

Answer. It was proposed by yourself, and I think I also spoke of it, to fortify Loudoun Heights, because, in case the enemy should approach from that side, which there was a probability of their doing, they would then have command of Bolivar Heights and also Camp Hill. Colonel Miles made the remark, as near as I can remember, that the enemy would not attack that way, but would attack like they did in the spring, that is, from the front. It was also advised to cut down the timber on Bolivar Heights, and also on Maryland Heights.

Question. Clear it entirely?

Answer. Yes, sir; the timber around the siege guns could not possibly have been over 100 yards, 300 feet, from the siege guns. The consequence was that infantry approaching there could get right up on the gunners and pick them off - their sharpshooters would.

Question. This conversation occurred before I was ordered to Martinsburg?

Answer. Yes, sir.

Question. Were any of these things done which were then recommended?

Answer. No, sir; I spoke of it several times to Colonel Miles, but he said there was no necessity for doing so. I even wanted to have the woods cleared off Bollivar Heights, but he said it was unnecessary; that we wanted to keep the woods there to mask what we were doing. I had got my orders from him, and proceed immediately to putting up the works there. The object of retaining the trees there was to prevent the enemy from seeing what we were doing; whereas instead of that it was a shelter for an attack on their part. The woods that were cut down on the left of Bolivar Heights was done by the consent of Colonel Miles, after a great deal of persuasion from me and others. If it had not been for that woods being cut down, I think they would have taken that battery when they made their attack on the left flank. General Hill and Colonel Walker, or General Walker, I think, said he never found anything more difficult to march men through than that abatis there.

By the COURT:

Question. Do you know anything in regard to orders having been sent to Colonel Ford in regard to the abandonment of Maryland Heights?

Answer. I only know that Colonel Miles made the remark in his office, as he was in the habit of doing every evening to me when I returned from Bolivar Heights, that he had given orders to Colonel Ford that if he wa too hard pressed he should fall back on the Virginia side - that is, to Harper's Ferry - and disable the guns. Whether those orders were written ones or verbal I cannot say. It was during this conversation that it was spoken about the woods being cut down. I advised him to cut down