Testimony of Alfred Spates
Report on the Conduct of the War, Vol. 2, pp. 224-225
WASHINGTON, February 24, 1862.
ALFRED SPATES sworn and examined.
By Mr. Chandler :
Question. You are president of the Chesapeake and Ohio canal?
Answer. Yes, sir.
Question. Were you along upon the line of the canal during the past summer?
Answer. Yes, sir; from May last up to the present time.
Question. Were you there, or in that vicinity, at the time General Patterson crossed the Potomac and went to Martinsburg?
Answer. I was in that vicinity.
Question. Have you any knowledge of the force of the enemy under Johnston at or about that time?
Answer. I have no personal knowledge. I have knowledge from information obtained from those constantly coming from the river—from the section at which this army was then stationed. I have that kind of knowledge.
Question. Please state it.
Answer. From the best information I could obtain—from those said to be familiar with the amount of force there—I should say it was between 8,000 and 10,000 men.
Question. Were you generally acquainted in that vicinity?
Answer. Yes, sir; intimately.
Question. Were you in frequent communication with persons on the Virginia side of the river?
Answer. I frequently saw men from the other side of the river. We were doing some work on the canal about that time, and for a part of our force the work was on the Virginia side, and within five or six miles of Williamsport, Patterson being then at Martinsburg.
Question. The general impression, in that vicinity, was that Johnston’s army was between 8,000 and 10,000 men?
Answer. Yes, sir. I never heard any man put it higher than 10,000 men.