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[445] Justice demands that the public await the official report, which will be given the world in a few days.

I am, sir, with great respect,

Henry M. Binney, Captain and Aid-de-Camp to Colonel D. S. Miles, Commanding Division.

New-York times narrative.

Another serious reverse has overtaken the National arms. Harper's Ferry, the Union strong-hold on the Upper Potomac, has been overwhelmed by the rebel hordes, and on Monday morning, September fifteenth, at eight o'clock, surrendered, after three days fighting.

About the commencement of the month, Col. Dixon H. Miles, of Bull Run memory, who succeeded General Sigel (Gen. Saxton's successor) to the command of the post, began to apprehend a forward movement by the enemy. On Monday, September first, the Eighty-seventh Ohio, Colonel Banning, was sent down with two howitzers to the vicinity of Noland's Ferry, to prevent their crossing. They took up a position on the Maryland side of the canal, which runs parallel with the river. The enemy appeared and succeeded in crossing, when Colonel Banning destroyed the canal-bridge, killed five of the enemy, and withdrew before the large force with no loss. From that time, it was known that the enemy had entered Maryland, and Colonel Miles began to strengthen his position at every point. His force consisted of the Twelfth New-York State militia, Col. Ward; Eighty-seventh Ohio, (three months regiment,) Colonel Banning; One Hundred and Twenty-sixth New-York, Col. Sherrill; One Hundred and Eleventh New-York, Col. Segoine; First Maryland home brigade, Colonel Halsby; Eighth New-York cavalry, Col. Davis; First Maryland cavalry, Colonel Russell; a detachment of First Maryland cavalry, (home brigade;) two companies of Fifth New-York artillery, commanded by Captains McGrath and Graham; Fifteenth Indiana, and one or two more Western batteries. All of the infantry, with the exception of the three months men, were raw troops. Gen. White retreated about this time to Martinsburgh, via Harper's Ferry, leaving a portion of his command here. On Thursday evening, being obliged to evacuate Martinsburgh, owing to the approach of Stonewall Jackson, the remainder of General White's brigade fell back to the Ferry.

The fight of Friday, September 12.

On the morning of this day, the enemy had begun to make their appearance, three miles away, on the Maryland Heights, near Solomon's Gap, having ascended from the rear. During the week we had advanced to the extreme top of the mountain, and constructed a barricade of trees four hundred yards in front of what is known as the “look-out,” and not far from an open clearing. Col. Ford, of the Thirty-second Ohio, appointed to guard the Heights, desired very much to make the fight at Solomon's Gap, through which they would have to enter, believing that he could hold it successfully. Being, however, overruled in his wish, he deployed on Friday afternoon portions of his own and the One Hundred and Twenty-sixth New.York as pickets, under Major Hewitt, Thirty-second Ohio, along the mountain this side of the gap. Skirmishing commenced at about half-past 3, continuing until sundown. Owing to the thick underbrush, the skirmish was of a bushwhacking character, as, indeed, was all the fighting on the Heights. The Garibaldi Guards, Thirty-ninth New-York, were in the mean time scouting still further to the left. Under cover of night Major Hewitt deployed his men as pickets from one side to the other of the mountain, and then went down to headquarters to ask for reinforcements, believing that the enemy would attack him in force on the morrow. He was promised two or three regiments as soon as they could come up in the morning.

Few slept that night. At daybreak the line of battle was formed about three hundred yards in front of our barricade, as follows: Companies K and B, First Maryland home brigade, held the extreme right, the One Hundred and Twenty-sixth New-York next in order, Thirty-second Ohio front and centre, Garibaldi Guard extreme left. The reenforcements were sent up late, eight companies of the Third Maryland home brigade not reaching the field until eight o'clock, and the One Hundred and Eleventh New-York not until near noon, too late to render any assistance to companies I and H of the First Maryland cavalry. “Russell's Roughs” advanced on foot with revolver and carbines in hand, in front of the line of battle near to the clearing. The enemy appearing on the other side, they fell back. The rebels then, about seven o'clock, opened with musketry on the front and right, and made two partial charges, in which they were handsomely repulsed. Fighting became general along the whole line, continuing one hour. At the end of this time the rebels received reinforcements and advanced with terrific yells, at the same time beating the long roll. The One Hundred and Twenty-sixth New-York then became disorganized, and the whole line fell back to the barricade, fighting as they receded. Having reached the barricade, a new stand was made, Col. Sherrill, of the One Hundred and Twenty-sixth, gallantly dismounting from his horse, and, with revolver in each hand, rallying his wavering troops. The balls fell thick and fast around him, but he never flinched, calling upon his boys to stay by him, until he was shot in the mouth by a musket-ball, and borne to the rear. Two thirds of the regiment rallied and fought well during the rest of the engagement. We maintained our position for several hours, company K, of the First Maryland home brigade, with its handful of men, preventing a flank movement on the right. But the enemy turning our left flank, we were obliged to fall back again for some distance. The Eighth company of the Maryland home brigade then coming to the support, we advanced, reoccupying the lookout. Again, however, the enemy succeeded

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Banning (6)
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