War of the Rebellion: Serial 044 Page 0135 Chapter . XXXIX. THE GETTYSBURG CAMPAIGN.

Search Civil War Official Records

Question. After it became known there were movements of the enemy in your vicinity rather more active than usual, were any orders issued for more frequent or bolder reconnaissances? If so, what were they, and by whom issued?

Answer. After we learned that the enemy was becoming bolder, and really threatening us, the cavalry was kept out on the principal roads all the time, and some infantry and artillery were thrown out to operate with them and act as their reserve . I believe that every precaution was taken for the safety of the command to prevent surprise and obtain information .

Question. What was the strength of the reconnoitering party sent out from Winchester in the direction of Pughstown and romney on Sunday morning, 14th instant ; who gave the order for it, and what was it ordered to do?

Answer. At 9 a. m. General Milroy ordered me to have the Twelfth Pennsylvania Cavalry sent out on that reconnaissance ; that command was, I think, 4, 000 strong. I immediately delivered that order to Brigadier-General Elliott. I cannot say of my own knowledge that the reconnaissance was made at all. The order, as delivered to General Elliott, was for them to scour the country between Pughstown and Romney roads, and learn what they could of the enemy.

Question. If you had encountered the force you met on Monday within 1 or 2 miles of Winchester, could have escaped?

Answer. I think not, because we were so near the enemy's main force that they could have fallen upon us before we could have been disengaged from the others.

Question. Could you have escaped at all from Winchester without observing the utmost silence and the greatest caution?Could you have done so by any other route?

Answer. To the first part of the question, I answer that I do not think we could . At the time of evacuating our position, I believe the Martinsburg road to the only safe avenue of retreat . It was my opinion that all the other roads were held by the enemy.

Question. What is the latest time at which you think the command of Major-General Milroy could have retreated with its artillery and train?

Answer. I think that Friday night, the 12th of June, would have been the very latest . Colonel McReynolds came in on Saturday night from Berryville, but I do not think that General Milroy's command could have retreated at that tine without drawing on them the enemy, who were lying in the direction of Strasburg and Front Royal . The telegrams submitted by Lieutenant-Colonel Piatt, and offered in evidence by the judge-advocate, were then read to the court and attached to the record. (See Appendix D.) The court then adjourned to meet at 11 a. m. August 28, 1863 .


Court met pursuant to adjournment. Present, all the members and the judge-advocate. The testimony given yesterday by Major Cravens was read over to him and corrected. Captain Z. BAIRD, aide-de-camp, a witness called by the court, being duly sworn, answers:


Question. Were you on the staff of Major General R. H. Milroy during the retreat from Winchester, in June last?

Answer. I was. I was on his staff during the occupancy of that place, and his officer of outposts.