War of the Rebellion: Serial 095 Page 0430 N. AND SE. VA., N. C., W. V., MD., AND PA. Chapter LVIII.

Search Civil War Official Records

was all said to me by Major Hill in presence of General Whiting. He said if there was any connection with the magazine he did not know of it; had there been, he should have been likely to have known of it.

First Lieutenant GEORGE F. QUIMBY, Fourth New Hampshire Volunteers, being duly sworn, deposed as follows:

On the night of the 15th instant my regiment was inside the fort. About daylight I was walking around the fort. I came near the magazine, and saw several soldiers standing around the entrance, overhauling some old stuff that had been pulled out. One says, "Have you got all out?" The other replied, "I have-perhaps not; they-ve got a light in there now" (meaning inside the magazine). I then stepped to the entrance and inquired what it contained. Some one inside said, "Boxes of powder." I then ordered if they had a light to out, and cautioned them not to have any more, as it was very careless and dangerous. I then left the fort, and ten or fifteen minutes afterward the explosion took place. This was the main magazine.

By the COURT:

Question. Was there a guard stationed there?

Answer. There was not.

Question. Where was the entrance situated?

Answer. On the side of the magazine next the river.

Question. Did you see any other entrance?

Answer. I did not.

Question. Who were those men, and did they seem to work under orders?

Answer. They were white soldiers, and were not at work under orders.

Second Lieutenant THEODORE REIFLE, Thirteenth Indiana Volunteers, being duly sworn, deposits follows:

I was officer of the guard under Lieutenant-Colonel Zent, and posted the guards over the service magazines inside the fort. Did not see this main magazine, and consequently posted no guard there.

Captain FREDERICK G. MOSHER, One hundred and fifteenth New York Volunteers, being duly sworn,deposed as follows:

I saw soldiers, sailors, and marines running into bombproof and service magazines where guards were posted, and the guards made no effort to stop them, so far as I could see. Did not observe whether they had lights. This was on the same morning before the explosion.

The evidence in relation to the subject was here closed.

FINDINGS.

After mature deliberation upon the foregoing avoidance the court finds that the following are the main facts, viz:

I. Immediately after the capture of the Fort General Smes gave orders to Lieutenant Colonel Samuel M. Zent, Thirteenth Indiana Volunteers, through Captain George W. Huckins, Fourth New Hampshire Volunteers, acting assistant adjutant-general, Third Brigade, Second Division, to place guards on all the magazines and bombproof.

II. Lieutenant-Colonel Zent commenced on the northwest corner of the fort next the river, following the traverses round, and placed guards on thirty-one entrances under the traverses. The main magazine which afterward exploded, being in the rear of the traverses, escaped his notice, and consequently had not guns from his regiment or any other.