Brigadier-General Frazer replied, asking the number of his forces, which De Courcy refused to give, stating that it was from motives entirely disconnected with the attack on the gap that he did so. Thereupon Brigadier-General Frazer refused to surrender, and we all hoped that the fight would be made. Every man was at his post and the most perfect determination seemed to exist on the part of the troops to conquer or die. It was understood that the fight was to open at 12 m.
During these negotiations the enemy had not been idle in making their preparations for the pending attack. They had during the time planted a battery about 1,400 yards in front of your works on the north side the mountain; but not fearing these batteries, we anxiously awaited the hour of battle to arrive.
At about 12 o'clock another dispatch came in from the south side the mountain purporting, as I understood, to be from General Burnside, demanding for the fourth time the unconditional surrender of the garrison.
At about 4 p. m., when all was waiting with the most intense anxiety for the ball to open, we received with sadness the order to take down our battle-flags and hoist the white flag. We were then informed that we were prisoners of war. We understood the surrender to have been made to Burnside. What the number of the forces were to which we were surrendered I am not at all prepared to state, though am of opinion that their number has been much exaggerated. Our number of men inside the garrison was 2,100. Of this number I suppose we had 1,800 effective men. After the surrender a great many made their escape. In addition to prisoners we lost eight pieces of artillery and all small-arms inside the garrison. During all this not a shot was fired from us save picket firing and four shots that were fired by Lieutenant O'Conner, commanding Kain's battery. We had on hand 160 head beef cattle, 12,000 pounds of bacon, 1,800 bushels of wheat, and about 15 days' rations of flour.
I am, major, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
B. G. McDOWELL,
Major Sixty-second North Carolina Regiment.
SEPTEMBER 24, 1863.
This report presents a shameful abandonment of duty, and is so extraordinary as to suggest that more than was known to the major must have existed to cause such a result.
Report of Captain Augustus B. Cowan, Sixty-second North Carolina Infantry.
ABINGDON, VA., September 15, 1863.
SIR: In compliance with you request, I make the following statement concerning the fall of Cumberland Gap:
On Saturday, 5th instant, Colonel Carter met the enemy at Powell's River and skirmished with them brilliantly until they resorted to shelling, when he fell back in order up the Virginia Valley.