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The evidence thus introduced confirms the Commission in the opinion that Harper's Ferry, as well as Maryland Heights, was prematurely surrendered. The garrison should have been satisfied that relief, however long delayed, would come at last, and that a thousand men killed in Harper's Ferry would have made a small loss had the post been saved, and probably saved two thousand at Antietam. How important was this defence we can now appreciate. Of the ninety-seven thousand men composing at that time the whole of Lee's army, more than one third were attacking Harper's Ferry, and of this the main body was in Virginia. By reference to the evidence it will be seen that at the very moment Col. Ford abandoned Maryland Heights his little army was in reality relieved by Generals Franklin and Sumner's corps at Crampton's Gap, within seven miles of his position; and that after the surrender of Harper's Ferry no time was given to parole prisoners before twenty thousand troops were hurried from Virginia, and the entire force went off on the double-quick to relieve Lee, who was being attacked at Antietam. Had the garrison been slower to surrender, or the army of the Potomac swifter to march, the enemy would have been forced to raise the siege, or would have been taken in detail, with the Potomac dividing his force.

War Department order.

Adjutant-General's office, Washington, November 8.
General order No. 183.

1st. The Military Commission, of which Major-General David Hunter, United States volunteers, is President, appointed to meet in the city of Washington on the twenty-fifth of September, pursuant to Special Order No. 225, of September twenty-third, 1862, to investigate the circumstances of the abandonment of Maryland Heights and the surrender of Harper's Ferry, have reported that Col. Thomas H. Ford, of the Third Ohio volunteers, conducted the defence of Maryland Heights without ability, abandoned his position without sufficient cause, and has shown throughout such a lack of military capacity as to disqualify him, in the estimation of the Commission, for a command in the service. The said Colonel Thomas H. Ford is, by direction of the President, dismissed from the service of the United States.

2d. The Commission having reported that the behavior of the One Hundred and Twenty-sixth New-York infantry was disgraceful, and that Major William H. Baird, for his bad conduct, ought to be dismissed, the said Major Baird, of the One Hundred and Twenty-sixth New-York volunteers, is, by direction of the President, dismissed from the service of the United States.

3d. The Commission having reported that Brig.-General Julius White, United States volunteers, acted with decided capability and courage, and merits its approbation, and having found nothing in the conduct of the subordinate officers brought before the Commission, they are released from arrest and will report for duty.

4th. The Military Commission, of which Major-Gen. Hunter is President, is dissolved.

By order of the Secretary of War.

E. D. Townsend, Assistant Adjutant-General.

General Wool's letter.

headquarters middle Department, Eighth army corps, Baltimore, November 11, 1862.
To the Editors of the Baltimore American:
In the report, as published in the newspapers, of the Commission, consisting of the following officers, Major-Gen. D. Hunter, United States volunteers; Major-General G. Cadwalader, United States volunteers; Brig.-General C. C. Augur, United States volunteers; Major Donn Piatt, Assistant Adjutant-Gen. United States volunteers; Capt. F. Ball, Aid-de-Camp, United States volunteers, and Col. J. Holt, Judge-Advocate General, called by the Government to investigate the conduct of certain officers connected with, and the circumstances attending the abandonment of Maryland Heights and the surrender of Harper's Ferry, I find the following remarks applying to myself:

The Commission would not have dwelt upon this painful subject were it not for the fact that the officer who placed this incapable (Col. Miles) in command, should share in the responsibility, and in the opinion of the Commission, Major-General Wool is guilty to this extent of a grave disaster, and should be censured for his conduct.

If the report of the Commission in relation to the surrender of Harper's Ferry has no more truth for its foundation than is contained in the above paragraph, it can only be regarded as a fiction, without a shadow of proof for its foundation.

It is not true that I placed “this incapable (Col. Miles) in command of Harper's Ferry.” He was there in command at the time when I assumed control of this Department, and had been ordered to establish his headquarters there, on the twenty-ninth of March, by Major-Gen. McClellan, then General-in-Chief. On the thirtieth of April, the Secretary of War sent the following order to Col. Miles, at Harper's Ferry: “You will please make daily reports of the state of your command to this Department.”

I have not now time to notice further the “censure” of the Commission; when I am at leisure, it will receive the attention which it merits.

John E. Wool, Major-General United States Army.

Captain Binney's letter.

Somerville, mass., September 27, 1862.
To the Editor of the Boston Journal:
I have noticed with much pain and sorrow the many reflections and insinuations adverse to the character of Col. Dixon S. Miles, going the rounds in the papers, as well as the many ridiculous statements in regard to the surrender of Harper's Ferry, and cannot but feel it my duty to deny

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