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Statement of Captain Milton Rouse in regard to the charge that he violated his parole.

In Volume XIX, Series I, Official Records of the War of the Rebellion, there is a report of a United States Military Commission appointed to enquire into the surrender of Harpers Ferry. In that report I am charged by several witnesses as having violated my parole. As this book is a government official publication, I desire the courtesy of the Southern Historical Society Papers to place on record my denial and refutation of the charge.

About the 5th September, 1862, I was wounded in a skirmish with some cavalry at Cooke's woods, near Charlestown, and was captured next day while in a buggy on my way to the residence of Mr. Paul Smith, near Summit Point. The capturing party were under command of a Colonel B. F. Davis, who claimed to be a Mississippian, and a relative of Hon. Jefferson Davis. Colonel Davis rode up to [36] me while sitting in my buggy, and learning that I was wounded, volunteered to send me to the hospital in Bolivar, and have my wounds dressed. He directed me to follow the surgeon, who rode up the hill ahead of me, the guard in the meantime having been dismissed. I determined at once to attempt my escape. I requested Mr. Robert Chew to flank the pickets and get home. The horse and buggy which I had was the property of his father. I left the horse fastened to a fence in Bolivar, flanked the pickets near the Potomac, and was recaptured about midnight near Halltown. On my return to Harpers Ferry Colonel Davis was furious, and after using very insulting language ordered me to be confined in the guard-house. He claimed that he had paroled me to go to the hospital. This was absolutely untrue; not a word had been said to me about a parole.

I was sent next day to the headquarters of Colonel Miles, the commanding officer, who, on a full understanding of the case, paroled me, and sent me through his pickets to Charlestown, returning me the horse and buggy. The night before the surrender of Harpers Ferry, my brother William and I were at Mr. Gardner's, and on the next morning we went together across the fields to see the battle which was generally expected.

As soon as we saw the white flag raised we proceeded to Bolivar Heights, then in possession of the Confederates, where we met several members of my company. One of these, Mr. John S. Easterday, offered me his horse, which I accepted, and rode down to Harpers Ferry alone and unarmed. I did not pass through Bolivar, but by way of the Shenandoah, and remained unarmed during the day. I applied to General T. J. Jackson for exchange, and he referred me to General Hill. My exchange came some time after from Richmond.

The whole story is false, as this plain statement will show.

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