War of the Rebellion: Serial 044 Page 0146 N. C., VA., W. VA., MD., PA., ETC. Chapter XXXIX.

Search Civil War Official Records

Question. Without regard to any knowledge of the strength of the enemy at the time you were about retreating from Berryville, did you see a sufficient force of them to induce you to believe the direct road to Harper's Ferry would not have been comparatively a safe one to retreat upon .

Answer. I saw the dust rising from an apparently very heavy column in the direction of Milwoos whilst skirmishing in the enemy's advance. I did not with my own eyes see a sufficient force of them.

Question. From any information you received from scouts or others, what were the movements of the enemy near Berryville on Saturday morning?

Answer. My opinion of the intention of the enemy, from what I saw and what information I could get, was that they were endeavoring by a flank movement to cut off our retreat to Harper's Ferry, Winchester, and Martinsburg . Lieutenant E. D. SPOONER, Battery L, Fifth U. S. Artillery, called by the court, being duly sworn, answers:


Question. Were you with Battery L, Fifth U. S. Artillery, when it was captured at Winchester?

Answer. Yes, sir .

Question. State how and when your guns were captured .

Answer. On the morning of June 14, Lieutenant Randolph, who commanded the battery, received orders from General Milroy to proceed with his battery to the east works west of the main fort and south of Pughstown road, and there to take position, supported by the One hundred and tenth Ohio Volunteers, Colonel Keifer commanding-about 500 men. I think we remained unmolested there until about 5 p. m. when the enemy opened upon us west of the earthworks with sixteenth pieces of artillery, as I supposed then . My battery replied immediately, and was under fire about an hour and a half, the battery being so disabled in ten minutes after they opened upon us that it would have been impossible to have taken it away. We lost, I suppose, 60 horses, killed and wounded, one caisson and two limbers, blown up by shells from the enemy . About 6, 300 p. m. the enemy's infantry charged on us . I counted seven battle-flags, in deep column of attack, and not until the enemy had planted his colors on the breastworks did I receive orders to fall back . I received these orders from Lieutenant Randolph, who commanded the battery . I succeeded in getting away with 18 men, and, after arriving at the fortification, I received orders from General Elliott to relieve a detachment of the Fourteenth Massachusetts Artillery that was working the siege guns. Lieutenant Randolph was injured so that he could not walk, and was carried into the town .

Question. In your opinion, was your battery properly posted and supported <

Answer. The position was not a very good one . Only a portion of the timber in front of the work was cut away, and the enemy could come very near without being seen. The timber in some places was only 50 yards off. It would have been almost impossible to have withdrawn the guns in a hurry, on account of the hill, which was very steep, and, to get out on the Pughstown road, we could have to pass through a little lane, and, ravines were in the way, so that we could not cross with artillery off the road. The work had been commenced a few days before, and was incomplete. If our support had been larger, it would have been better, but we had all that could be spared. What men we had did all they could. Men never fought better than those men did . They did not fall back until ordered to do so by Colonel Keifer. This earthwork was about 1, 500 yards from the main forts.

By the COURT:

Question. During the hour and a half that you were under the fire of the overwhelming force you have mentioned, did you receive any orders from any person? If so, from whom, and what were the orders?

Answer. I received no orders during the engagement until ordered to fall back .