War of the Rebellion: Serial 027 Page 0772 OPERATIONS IN N. VA., W. VA., MD., AND PA. Chapter XXXI.

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Question. Did you have an interview with Colonel Sherrill and Major Hewitt shortly before the evacuation of the heights?

Answer. I went after Colonel Sherrill between 9 and 10 o'clock, I should judge, at night. I had difficulty in finding him, for it was very dark, and I dare not speak. The enemy and our folks were lying within 100 yards of each other. I found him, and fetched him back to Major Hewitt at the lookout, a high point of the mountain, where there was a pen built up, probably 15 feet high, where we could go up on it, and see into both valleys. I was consulted by them, and they came to the conclusion -

By Mr. JOLIFFE:

Question. State the words which passed; what one said, and what the other said.

Answer. I will do that as near as I can. Major Hewitt thought about two regiments, and Colonel Sherrill thought about one regiment would do. Says Major Hewitt, "There are men to spare down in the valley, and we haven't got three regiments." He was putting it down on a paper, to send it by an orderly down to Colonel Ford. They cam to the conclusion that they would send for three regiments and two mountain howitzers, to start as soon as the moon rose, and to be there by daylight in the morning, so that we could operate them. We concluded that if we could not operate by that time, the enemy had been there time enough to be prepared, and they would have that advantage of us. He quit writing, and concluded he would go down and see Colonel Ford himself.

By Mr. JOHNSTON:

Question. Who would go down?

Answer. Major Hewitt. The colonel of the One hundred and twenty-sixth sent him down. He returned between 12 and 1 o'clock in the morning, I should judge; probably 1 o'clock.

Question. What did he say upon his return?

Answer. He said Colonel Miles told him he would send a force there as soon after sun-up as convenient. At 9.30 o'clock in the morning we got three companies.

By Mr. JOLIFFE:

Question. Not three regiments?

Answer. No, sir; three companies. I think that probably was Colonel Downey.

Question. Had you with these three companies a sufficient force to hold Maryland Heights?

Answer. Let me go back a little and state the case. They commenced firing on us early in the morning on Saturday. We had skirmishing on Friday, but it didn't amount to a great deal. The general attack was not made until Saturday morning, and then not generally until about 9 o'clock. It commenced firing and skirmishing. They then formed a solid column across the mountain. I supposed they had a flank out at the time, but I didn't know it; but before the firing was over I went on the lookout, probably not to exceed every twenty minutes, and could see every movement made in each valley toward a flank. I reported that to Major Hewitt, and Major Hewitt to the colonel of the One hundred and twenty-sixth. That is the way we arranged the matter there. We had the One hundred and twenty-sixth Regiment, three companies, I think, of the Third Maryland Regiment, and I don't remember how many companies of our regiment; probably two or three. There were other companies of our regiment guarding other places on the mountain; easy places to ascend the mountain. After the first fire we hadn't, I don't think, at any time more than 350 or 400 fighting men on the mountain, because they ran, and it was an impossibility to get them back. A man couldn't do it, and we hadn't any other power.

By the COURT:

Question. To what regiment did the men belong who ran?

Answer. The One hundred and twenty-sixth New York. There was one company of the One hundred and twenty-sixth that did very well; as well as could be expected of new troops.

Question. Who was the captain of that company?

Answer. I can't tell; but it was Company F.