War of the Rebellion: Serial 044 Page 0189 Chapter XXXIX. THE GETTYSBURG CAMPAIGN.

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orders . I doubt propriety of calling in McReynolds' brigade at once. If you should fall back to Harper's Ferry, he will be in part on the way and covering your flank ; but use your discretion as to any order to him . Below I give you a copy of the telegram of the General-in-Chief. . Then follows the telegram of General Halleck of June 11, which has been above set forth . This order of General Schenck, conflicting with and in terms correcting the former order sent by Colonel Piatt, was viewed by General Milroy as directly countermanding the former order, and imposing upon him a renewed obligation to remain at his post. Under these circumstances, as he says in his testimony, if he had withdrawn without fighting, without demonstrating that he could not safely stay, it would have been, in his opinion, a case of disobedience of orders. His second in command, Brigadier-General Elliott, commanding his First Brigade, agreed with him in this view, and advised him to wait for a positive order to evacuate, saying that he did not think him justified in leaving without such order . Lieutenant-Colonel Piatt himself says in his testimony that - This order entirely deprived general Milroy of all discretionary authority to retire without reference to the force that might attack him ; that he had no discretion but to remain there till further orders . This was, indeed, the construction given to the order by all the officers of General Milroy's command who were made acquainted with it. It was viewed as countermanding the former order, and rendering the movements of the command dependent upon the further instructions of General Schenck . It is be remarked that thigh the telegram of General Halleck, dated June 11, was annexed to the order of General Schenck, it could hardly be held in such connection to convey a meaning inconsistent with the order . It would rather properly have been deemed to express merely a suggestion of the Commander-in-Chief ; whereas if it had stood alone its purport would have been more nearly that of an order to direct instruction . This order of General Schenck was the last one that was received by General Milroy before the evacuation. On the night of the 12th, he telegraphed to General Schenck the particulars of a reconnaissance which he had sent out on that day, expressing the opinion that the enemy were approaching in some force, and asking it to be stated specifically whether he was to abandon Winchester or not . To this communication no reply was received . On the 13th, the wires between Winchester and Martinsburg were cut by the enemy, and a positive order from General Schenck, sent on the evening of that day, directing General Milroy to fall back upon Harper's Ferry at once, was never received by the latter. This peremptory order was dispatched by General Schenck on first receiving the intelligence that it was Lee's army that had attacked Winchester . It is proper to remark in this place that in refraining until the last moment from ordering an evacuation of Winchester, General Schenck was, no doubt, somewhat influenced by the strong representations that were made to him by General Milroy himself of his ability to hold the place against a large force-representations which were confirmed in part by Lieutenant-Colonel Piatt and by General Tyler. In a letter from General Milroy, of June 12, to General Schenck, he sets forth

at length the reasons for a continued occupation of the post, expressing somewhat the same view as that held by the latter general in his conflict with the General-in-Chief., before alluded to