War of the Rebellion: Serial 044 Page 0097 Chapter XXXIX. The Gettysburg Campaign.

Search Civil War Official Records

Tenth day.

August 18, 1863.

The court met pursuant to adjournment. Present, all the members and the judge-advocate. The proceedings of the previous meeting were read and approved. Major-General Milroy made the following additional statement: I wish to call the attention of the court to the telegram from General Halleck to general Schenck, bearing date March 16, 1863. (Reads the telegram.) I wish to state that I never commanded near Harper's Ferry-no nearer to Harper's ferry than 20 miles. General Kelley was in command of Harper's ferry. I commanded the forces at Winchester. I had one brigade at Centerville. This telegram shows ill-felling toward me. Another telegrams, of May 2, from General halleck to General Schenck . (Reads the telegram.) I never in my life stampeded. I am not one of the stampeding kind. I don't know why that kind of language is pout in. Another of may 8, from the General-in-Chief to General Schenck, is before this court. in explanation of this one, I wish to state how matters stood. I always kept myself informed of the position and movements of the enemy in my front, and always knew of them within three days after they were formed. It was my duty to watch Imboden, Jones, and Jenkins. About this time, May 8, Hooker crossed the Rappahannock to attack Lee. At the same time, or a few days before, the rebel General Jones went on a raid into West Virginia, and took with him all his available cavalry. His force was mostly cavalry. He had infantry at Harrisonburg and one company at Strasburg. I learned that this force had all left the valley, and that Jones had left at Harrisonburg all his stores, broken-down horses, &c. I thought it would be a good chance to bring away or destroy what I could. I sent General Elliott out there. He was up there, between Harrisonburg and strasburg, at New Market. It permitted to go on, he could have captured all of Jones' stores, a large number of wagons, guns, and winter stores. I was well informed of what was there . It was not "utter madness. " General Elliott had 15 miles to go. There was a body of infantry and dismounted cavalry there, under a rebel colonel, numbering 600 or 799 men. General Elliott had some 3, 000 men. Their pickets retired before his advance. I call attention to another telegram, of June 14, 1863, from General-in-Chief to general Schenck . (Reads a telegram.) I never received ordered to withdraw from there . If I had left there without fighting, I would have disobeyed General Schenck's positive orders. If I had withdrawn without demonstrating the facts that I could not stay there, it would have been disobedience of my orders. I checked the advance of Lee's army three days . That was certainly doing something for the country. If they had been allowed to go on, they would have had three days longer for pillage and robbery in Pennsylvania, and probably ten times as much property as I lost would have been destroyed in that time. I call attention also to telegram of June 15, from the General-in-Chief and general Schenck. I do not see its relevancy to this case. " Do not give General Milroy the command Harper's Ferry . We have had enough of that sort of military genius. " This inquiry is in relation to the evacuation of Winchester. Has this telegram any relevancy to the case? Why is it introduced here? The judge-advocate remarked that "those were a series of telegrams from January 5 to the evacuation of winchester, indicating the orders of the General-in-Chief communicated to General Schenck, and in his opinion, General Milroy had nothing to do with them; that the court should judge-advocate of the evidence. " General Milroy resumed: I will explain why did not use the railroad from Winchester to Harper's Ferry. When I first arrived at Winchester, I wrote to General Kelley, commanding the forces, and stated the importance of repairing that road. Afterward i urged upon General Schenck its importance, to enable us to hold Winchester. I sent an agent to Major General R. C. Schenck, U. S. Volunteers, to impress the importance of the repair of this road upon him. I represented that I could repair it with my troops, without cost to Government, excepting a little iron and rolling-stock, and in twenty