heroic act of Mrs. Edwards, a noble woman, whose heart was wholly in the Union cause, although she had a son in each of the opposing armies. Well mounted, she passed the mountains by another path, and, by incredible efforts, reached my headquarters in time to enable me to send couriers at full speed with orders for Spears to fall back toward Barboursville, until his scouts should report that Smith had recrossed the mountains.
In order to succeed in the task committed to me it was necessary to compel Kirby Smith, who was at this time concentrating his whole army in my immediate front, to divide his forces. To this end I urged General Buell to direct General 0. M. Mitchel to threaten Chattanooga and thus draw the main force of the Confederates in that direction.
About four miles south of Cumberland Ford is a narrow defile formed by an abrupt mountain on one side, and the Cumberland River on the other, through which passes the State Road to Cumberland Gap, and on the edge of the defile was an abandoned cabin, known as "The Moss House," situated at the junction of the State Road and a pathway leading to Lambdin's on the main road to Big Creek Gap. On the morning of May 22d I sent forward the brigade of De Courcy, with a battery, with orders to occupy the defile, and, as a stratagem intended to puzzle Smith, to construct a fort at the junction of the pathway and road.
I threw forward a strong party of pioneers to widen the path leading to Lambdin's, so as to enable my artillery and train to move forward. The mountain was steep and rugged, and skill and toil were necessary to the accomplishment of the work. Twenty-two guns, 2 of them 30-pounder and 2 20-pounder Parrott's, had to be dragged over the Pine and Cumberland mountains, at times by means of block and tackle, at others by putting in as many horses as could be used, and again by men-200 at a single piece - hauling with drag-ropes. The pathway leading from the Moss House had been made the width of a wagon, but two teams could not pass each other there.
On the 6th and 7th of June Buell caused diversions to be made by an advance of part of Mitchel's command to the river opposite Chattanooga, and Smith, with two brigades, hastened to its rescue. The brigade of De Courcy had gone forward; Baird occupied the defile at the Moss House, and Carter was assigned to hold the defile till the last moment, and then