War of the Rebellion: Serial 027 Page 0793 Chapter XXXI. THE MARYLAND CAMPAIGN.

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Question. Does the Commission understand you to say that, after the loss of Maryland Heights, they should have held Bolivar Heights and Harper's Ferry until an assault was made?

Answer. Yes, sir; for this reason - the enemy had no guns on Maryland Heights that could reach our troops.

Question. Do you recollect whether requisitions were made on you for axes and other means to carry out those fortifications which you recommended there?

Answer. No, sir; I believe he did make a requisition on the quartermaster at Washington; that had been the practice; he had authority to do so.

Question. Such a requisition would not be made on you, but would be made direct to Washington?

Answer. It might have been either; he had authority to do either.

Question. Do you know why Colonel Miles did not have the block-house built on Maryland Heights, as you directed?

Answer. No, sir; I supposed it had been built until Major Rodgers returned and informed me that Colonel Miles would not countenance it.

Question. There was a telegram before the Commission from General Halleck to yourself, in which he suggested that Colonel Miles take his whole force to Maryland Heights. Was any suggestion of that kind ever made to Colonel Miles by you?

Answer. No, sir; I did not suppose, myself, that there could be any doubt about defending the place.

Question. This is the telegram to which I refer [handing it to witness].

The telegram is as follows:


Washington, D. S., 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 over whelmed. I leave all 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.



Answer. I do not recollect that dispatch. I will examine, however, and see I have it. Even if I had received it, I would not have approved of it, because I thought they could defend themselves where they were, and particularly after I had ordered the block-house to be built on Maryland Heights. There were plenty of materials on the heights to build a block-house; it could have been done in a very short time; no trouble about that. When I was up there in August and saw Colonel Miles, and told him to complete his intrenchments, I think he had not formed his embrasures. I told him to do it immediately, and to abatis Camp Hill. I did not suppose there was any want of tools. He made no requisitions on me for them; I was always very particular about that. When I was up there I told him that anything wanted would be furnished. He had abundance of ammunition; I examined myself; I supposed ample for any attack that might be made; but I should think from what I have learned here that they must have wasted their ammunition. Colonel Miles appeared to be extremely zealous and extremely anxious, and I thought he would make a good defense. I had no idea, after my instructions to him that he should defend Harper's Ferry to the last extremity, that he would give up without resistance; in fact, when no assault had been made. His men could have got out of the way of the enemy's long-range cannon, if they were enfilading his works. Indeed, I think that musketry would have kept them back if nothing else. Camp Hill is very steep, and the flanks are nearly perpendicular. Colonel Miles, himself, never seemed to doubt his ability to defend the place. His last dispatch to me was that he was ready for the enemy.