of the war; and, until my arrest, I have never asked for leave of absence, nor been one day off duty. It has been my greatest pleasure continuously and faithfully to perform a soldier's part in defence of my country. I confess the humiliation I feel, that the first period of rest allowed me has been one of implied censure, if not of disgrace. I am very confident that an impartial examination of the record of this Court will show nothing to justify the treatment I have received. But, at all events, I have the proud satisfaction of knowing that I have not failed, in any instance, to give my best energies of mind and body to the service. Even in the defence and final evacuation of Winchester, (although, with timely and correct information, I would have acted differently,) yet I am sure that the holding of that place, and the engagement there, gave us the information we could not otherwise have obtained, developed the plans and purposes of the enemy, checked and delayed his advance into Maryland for three days, and by these means enabled the army of the Potomac to follow with timely resistance, and to prevent the loss of millions of property, which would otherwise have fallen into his hands. The inconsiderable loss suffered at Winchester was a trifle compared with these advantages; and so far from feeling that I am chargeable with any error in judgment, or failure in duty, I shall ever, in my own bosom, enjoy a conscience without self-reproach, and wholly void of any just offence to my country. I have caused this letter to be printed for your convenience, and ask the privilege of publishing it, together with my official report made to Major-General Schenck, which has not yet been permitted to be made public. I have the honor to be, with great respect, your obedient servant,
Major-General Milroy requests the Court to summon, in his behalf, Major-General Joseph Hooker, who, at the time of the evacuation of Winchester, was in command of the army of the Potomac. The facts expected to be proved by this witness are: First, That he communicated information of the enemy's movements toward the valley of Virginia as early as the twenty-eighth May last to the General-in-chief, and suggested the propriety of sending General Stahl's cavalry to that valley. Secondly, The value and importance of the check given to the enemy by the holding of Winchester during the twelfth, thirteenth, and fourteenth of June, and its effect in saving Harrisburgh, and probably other important cities of the Union. It is believed that the testimony will clearly show that the aforesaid holding of Winchester was of far greater value than the amount of any losses incurred in the defence and evacuation of that post.
R. H. Milroy, Major-General U. S. V. August 22, 1863.
Indorsed: The Court does not feel authorized by the order under which it is acting to enter into the investigation suggested by the within communication.
Robert N. Scott, Captain Fourth U. S. Infantry, Judge-Advocate. April 29, 1863.
To Brig.-Gen. Barry, President of the Court of Inquiry, convened under Order No. 346.I have learned directly from Colonel Horn, and indirectly from Colonel Staunton, that neither of those officers received any orders from Colonel McReynolds at the time of the engagement, on the morning of the fifteenth June last. I respectfully ask that they may be examined, together with some officer of the Thirteenth Pennsylvania cavalry.
R. H. Milroy, Major-General U. S. Vols. September 7, 1863.
The Court is of the opinion that the testimony above alluded to is not requisite to enable it to comply fully with the orders under which it is now acting.
Robert N. Scott, Captain Fourth U. S. Infantry, Judge-Advocate. September 7, 1863.
To the Court of Inquiry convened by Order No. 346.Major-General Milroy supposing that the change of order under which the Court is acting may in some measure modify its views of the testimony to be received, again asks that Major-General Hooker may be summoned to give evidence upon the points already stated. He also asks that Major-General Halleck, General-in-Chief of the army, may be summoned for the purpose of explaining the telegrams introduced at the beginning of the examination, in which he suggests that Major-General Milroy is on “another stampede.” It is proper that the General-in-Chief should be required to say when and where Major-General Milroy was guilty of stampeding. Other similar insinuations are contained in the said telegrams, which a due regard to the military reputation of General Milroy requires should be explained. It is also desired that Major-General Halleck shall testify as to the failure to communicate information of the approach of Lee's army, with peremptory orders for the evacuation of Winchester.
R. H. Milroy, Major-General U. S. Vols. September 8, 1863.
Indorsed: Respectfully returned to Major-General Milroy. This Court of Inquiry does not consider that the order under which it is acting authorizes the investigation suggested by this communication.
Robert N. Scott, Captain Fourth U. S. Infantry, Judge-Advocate. September 8, 1863.