Major General R. C. Schenck, U. S. Volunteers, was called as a witness by the court . Before being sworn, he submitted the following request, viz:
" The modification which has been made of the order convening and instructing this court, a copy of which has been furnished me by the judge-advocate, requires that the court shall `inquire into, and report the facts and circumstances in regard to the evacuation of Winchester, 'thus, having only to return to the President, for his consideration, the testimony taken . "As Winchester, and the troops there stationed under Major-General Milroy, were, at the time of the evacuation, within my department and command, I am necessarily one of the parties especially concerned in so broad and comprehensive an investigation . " I therefore respectfully request, and ask the court now to decide, that besides testifying myself, I shall be permitted, as my right, to have such other witnesses as I may indicate summoned and examined, and especially Major General H. W. Halleck, General-in-Chief. of the Army, and Major General Joseph Hooker, and that I have the right also to cross-examine any of the witnesses .
"ROBT. C. SCHENCK,
"Major-General, U. S. Volunteers .
"The court was then closed for deliberation on this communication, and, on being again opened, the following answer was made to General Schenck:"The court will summon such witnesses as it may deem necessary, but it cannot say, at this time, what a witnesses will be required . "While all question of`right' is denied, the court sees no objection to granting Major General Schenck the same privileges that were accorded to Major-General Milroy . " The decision of the court in reference to General Milroy, as recorded on page 7 of these proceedings, was read to General Schenck by the judge-advocate.
Major General R. C. SCHENCK, U. S. Volunteers, was then duly sworn, and answered as follows, viz:
By the JUDGE-ADVOCATE:
Question. Were the troops at Winchester under your command at the time that place was evacuated, in June last?
Answer. They were within my command.
Question. How long had those troops been under your command?
Answer. Since 22nd of December, 1862 .
Question. What orders or instructions did you receive from the General-in-Chief. in reference to the holding or evacuation of Winchester?
Answer. The question of occupying Winchester with any considerable force had been frequently a subject of conversation between the General-in-Chief. and myself, and we differed somewhat in opinion in regard to such occupation . He appeared to think that nothing but a small force for picket duty, or as an outpost, should be kept at Winchester . I was of opinion that any such small force, in so advanced a position, would always be liable to be cut off, even by such rebel force, or a detachment from it, as we knew to be always in the Shenandoah Valley. One of the principal duties assigned to me was protection of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, not only within the limits of my department proper, but all the way to the Ohio River. My policy was not to permit the railroad to lie along or to constitute the front, toward the enemy, of the country to be guarded, but to keep it in the rear of a strip of country in advance of it, in direction of the enemy. Thus I would cover and secure my means for the transfer and concentration of troops, and for the trans-