War of the Rebellion: Serial 044 Page 0050 N. C., VA., W. VA., MD., PA., ETC. Chapter XXXIX.

Search Civil War Official Records

guns, surplus ammunition, and subsistence, retaining only such force and arms as will constitute what General Halleck designates as a lookout, which can readily and without inconvenience fall back to Harper's Ferry .

Donn Piatt,

Lieutenant-Colonel, and Chief of Staff.

I immediately telegraphed to Major-General Schenck as follows:

I have the place, and am well prepared to hold it, as General Tyler and Colonel Piatt will inform you, and I can and would hold it, if permitted to do so against any force the rebels can afford to bring against me, and I exceedingly regret the prospect of having to give it up. It will be cruel to abandon the loyal people in this country to the rebel fiends again .

R. H. Milroy,

Major-General .

Early on Friday morning, June 12, I received this telegram:

Baltimore, MD., June 12, 1863-1 a. m.

Major General R. H. Milroy:

Lieutenant -Colonel Piatt, as I learn by copy of dispatch sent me, which he forwarded to you from Harper's Ferry, misunderstood me, and somewhat exceeded his instructions. You will make all the required preparations for withdrawing, but hold your position in the meantime . Be ready for movement, but await further orders . I doubt the propriety of calling in Mcreynolds' brigade at once. If you should fall back to Harper's Ferry, he will be in part on the way and covering your flank ; but use your discretion as to any order to him. Below I give you a copy of the telegram of the General -in Chief. Nothing heard since. Give me constant information.

Robt. C. Schenck,

Major-General, Commanding.

[Copy of General Halleck's telegram.]

[Washington, June 11, 1863-12 p. m.]

Harper's Ferry is the important place. Winchester is of no importance other than as a lookout . The Winchester troops, excepting enough to serve as an outpost, should be withdrawn to Harper's Ferry. [The troops at Martinsburg should also be ready to fall back on Harper's Ferry.] No large amount of supplies should be left in any exposed position.]

H. W. Halleck.


Late on Friday evening I received a dispatch from General Schenck, which is lost, but which was in substance as follows: A dispatch just received from Colonel Donn Piatt says:" I read Halleck's last dispatch by the light of his of April 30, and considered it a positive order to fall back to Harper's Ferry, and I so ordered Milroy . I have been on the ground, and gave it advisedly. Milroy cannot move from his present position in presence of the enemy. He has not transportation enough to move in face of the enemy, and has not cavalry he can reply upon to scout beyond Strasburg . " What are your facilities for transportation?

This telegram I immediately answered as follows:

I can at any time, if not cut off from Martinsburg, have sufficient transportation to take all public stores from here in six hours.

R. H. Milroy,


Late on Friday night, June 12, perhaps about 10 o'clock, I sent Major-General Schenck this dispatch, to wit:

The twelfth Pennsylvania Cavalry had a slight skirmish with a rebel cavalry force of about 500, 12 miles from here, on the Front Royal road, this afternoon. The Thirteenth Pennsylvania Cavalry and Eighty-seventh Pennsylvania Infantry, with one section of artillery, had a splendid little skirmish with some 400 rebel cavalry