Frazer's tent after the surrender, when General Burnside rode up and dismounted. During a conversation between General Frazer and General Burnside, I heard General Frazer ask General Burnside what was the number of men under his command, to whom he had surrendered. General Burnside remarked that he could not answer that question, but would state it was over six times the number which he (General F[razer]) had surrendered to him (General B[urnside]), and that he still had a large force coming on to re-enforce him. This force we met after our surrender.
Having stated all the facts which came under my own observation respecting the surrender of Cumberland Gap, Tenn.,
I am, captain, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
RUSH VAN LEER,
Captain C. W. FRAZER,
Report of Lieutenant Hamilton Wilkins, C. S. Artillery, Acting Assistant Engineer Officer.
UNITED STATES MILITARY PRISON,
Johnson's Island, October 12, 1864.
GENERAL: You being about to leave this prison, with the probability of not again having with you the officers who were acting on you staff at the time of the surrender of Cumberland Gap (September 9, 1863), I feel it my duty to make this statement to you of some things which happened at that time coming under my own observation, and tending in a measure to make necessary a surrender of the place. I had been stationed at Cumberland Gap as engineer officer when you were assigned to the command of that district. Allow me to say a few words in relation to some of the troops in your command. At that time there was a garrison at Cumberland Gap of two battalions of Colonel Thorington's Alabama Legion (General Gracie's brigade), and the Sixty-second North Carolina Regiment, the post commanded by Lieutenant-Colonel Sanford, Alabama Legion, On your arrival the two Alabama battalions were relieved and joined their brigade (General Gracie's), leaving the Sixty-second North Carolina to join your brigade. Though this regiment (Sixty-second North Carolina) was numerically strong, the discipline and organization were utterly worthless. This regiment furnished fatigue details to the engineer corps for some time, and I thus became intimately acquainted with their discipline and soldierly qualifications. The men were disaffected, and the greater part of the officers totally unfitted for command. I have often heard such expressions as "I have never fired a gun at a Federal, and I never will,k" or, "You may conscript a man, but I be damned if you can make him fight," made in the presence of their officers without meeting with any reprimand.
There were numerous desertions-in fact, not a week passed, I think, without several desertions, and several times while on picket they deserted in squads. The field officers, with whom I was acquainted, viz, Colonel Love and Major McDowell, I do not think were qualified to command, and my opinion is they thought more of