War of the Rebellion: Serial 044 Page 0149 Chapter XXXIX. THE GETTYSBURG CAMPAIGN.

Search Civil War Official Records

fight any longer, and wonder why Colonel McReynolds disobeyed my orders and did not come up. " We all thought we were fighting at that time simply to give Colonel McRrynolds' brigade time to come up or pass by.

Question. Did you inform General Milroy that re-enforcements to the enemy were coming up? If so, what orders did he give upon the receipt of your information?

Answer. I informed him that re-enforcements were coming up. He replied, " We must retreat ; and cautioned his men to fall back in good order, and not like damned cowards. We did retreat immediately, in good order until we reached the Martinsburg road. There were only three regiments under the general's immediate command. The court then adjourned to meet at 11 a. m. September 1, 1863.


The court met pursuant to above order . Present, all the members and the judge-advocate . The testimony given yesterday by Major Adams and Lieutenant Spooner was read over to them, and corrected. The testimony given yesterday by Captain F. A. Palmer was read over to him, and corrected, and his examination continued.

By the COURT:

Question. Could any more public property have been saved at Winchester than was saved ; if so, by what measure? Could any better route for retreat have been chosen than the one you took? Could the retreat have been made at a better time than it was made ; if so,, at what time could it have been conducted in a better manner than it was conducted ; if so, in what manner?

Answer. With reference to the public property, I answer Numbers As to the route, I am sure, from what I have learned since, that we could not have come out by any other. At the time I thought that to be only course we could pursue. As to the time of retreat, I do know or think that it could have been made at a better time . We moved out as soon as arrangements were completed after the council of war. As to the manner, I can say that the retreat was conducted in the most perfect manner, the column in good order, until the advance was fired upon . In my opinion, the retreat have been successful, and exactly as General Milroy designed, if Colonel McReynolds had obeyed orders, kept the Martinsburg road, and followed the head of the column, instead of turning to the right, which was a direct violation of orders . I think nearly the entire loss of our men was caused by his disobedience of orders . As the advance was fired upon when the general and staff were near the middle of the column, the general having heard the firing in the advance, started to move forward . Some member of staff remarked, "There is Colonel McReynolds; " some one else said it was not him. The general direct me to ascertain if it was . I found that it was him, and so reported to the general. He replied, "He ought not to be here, " and started toward him. On reaching him, the general said to him, in my presence, "You ought to be at the head of your brigade; come right on up the road ; advance as soon and as fast possible, " or something of that nature. The general then galloped forward, and in about five minutes was engaging the enemy. The engagement lasted nearly an hour, during which time no information was received from Colonel McReynolds by General Milroy, excepting what was brought by a member of the general's staff, who reported him separated from his command, and half a mile from the Martinsburg road.

Question. Could not the retreat have been made on the 12th or 13th much better, and with more safety to the command and public property than when it was made?

Answer. I think it might.

Question. Were orders of Major-General Milroy for the retreat implicitly obeyed by the commanders of the First and Second bri-