War of the Rebellion: Serial 028 Page 0021 Chapter XXXI. OPERATIONS AT BLUE'S GAP, W. VA, ETC.

Search Civil War Official Records

tion of their numbers (an overestimate, as it appears to have been), and it was two or three hours after he had this information before any enemy appeared in sight, giving him ample time and opportunity to retreat, if he did not intend to he did not intend to fifth.

The deposition of Private Spangler shows that the company was well prepared, ready and willing to fight, but was basely surrendered by the officer, without firing a gun.

Captain Hite, although in command, I have abundant reason to believe, has long been governed, in a great measure, by his second lieutenant, H. G. Baer, who, by reason of his social position at home, has made himself the master spirit in the company. Being the editor and propriety of a newspaper, he has allowed no opportunity to pass to vilify the administration, and the sentiments attributed to Captain Hite by Private Spangler are merely the echoes of what appears weekly in his paper.

The officers of Company B I have, until the 4th instant, regarded as amongst my personal friends. A sense of duty, nevertheless, compels me to request, which I now do through you, that Captain John H. Hite, First Lieutenant John Cole, and Second Lieutenant Harry G. Baer, all of Company B, Fifty-fourth Regiment Pennsylvania Volunteers, be dismissed from service, for cowardice in the face of the enemy, and sundering the company (93 men) prisoners of war, without firing a gun or endeavoring to retreat.*

I am, general, most respectfully, your obedient servant,


Colonel Fifty-fourth Regiment Pennsylvania Vols.

Major-General FRANKLIN,

Sixth Army Corps.



October 21, 1862.

Respectfully forwarded. I cordially indorse the recommendation of Colonel Campbell, and have ordered the arrest of the three officers, and that they be brought here if they can be found.


Major-General, Commanding Sixth Corps.

Numbers 4. Report of Asst. Surg. Andrew W. Mathews, Fifty-fourth Pennsylvania Infantry, of the capture of union forces at Paw Paw Tunnel, October 4.


October 10, 1862.

SIR: In answer request, viz, the particulars of the capture of Company B, Captain Hite, I would state that, on the morning of October 4, about 6.30 o'clock, I had seated myself in front of my marquee, when my ear was accosted with three volleys of rifle-shots, at


* Captain Hite and Lieutenant Bear resigned in 1864; and Cole (as captain) was mustered out on expiration of service in same year. The records of the Adjutant-Generals Office exhibit no charges against them.