War of the Rebellion: Serial 007 Page 0417 Chapter XVII. SKIRMISH NEAR CUMBERLAND GAP, TENN.

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FEBRUARY 14, 1862.- Skirmish near Cumberland Gap, Tenn.

REPORTS.

Numbers 1.- Brigadier General S. P. Carter, U. S. Army.

Numbers 2.- Colonel James E. Rains, C. S. Army.

Numbers 1. Report of Brigadier General S. P. Carter, U. S. Army.

HEADQUARTERS TWELFTH BRIGADE,

Camp Cumberland, February 14, 1862.

CAPTAIN: A reconnaissance was made to-day by a company of First battalion Kentucky Cavalry, under the immediate command of Lieutenant-Colonel Munday. Lieutenant-Colonel Munday reports that he advanced quite close to the Gap; attacked the enemy's cavalry picket; killed 5, wounded 2, and took 2 prisoners, 8 horses, 7 sabers, and 5 double-barrel shot-guns. No one was injured in the colonel's command. Our party advanced so near the enemy's defenses that they got within range of their batteries, which opened on them, when they returned to camp.

Respectfully, &c.,

S. P. CARTER,

Acting Brigadier-General, Commanding Twelfth Brigade.

Captain J. B. FRY,

Assistant Adjutant-General, and Chief of Staff.

Numbers 2. Reports of Colonel James E. Rains, C. S. Army.

HEADQUARTERS CUMBERLAND GAP,

February 14, 1862.

SIR: I am convinced that the enemy will attack us at this place within a week. An attack to-morrow is probable. Their cavalry drove in our pickets to-day about 3 miles in advance of us. The force, seven regiments, are reported to be at Cumberland Ford, 15 miles in front.

The force we have cannot hold the place, being insufficient to man the works. The strength of the position has been greatly exaggerated. On the Kentucky side it is naturally very weak and difficult to defend. It has been our policy to give currency to a different opinion of the place, and hence the error. It will require two regiments, in addition to the two now here, to resist the force menacing us.

The position should never be abandoned. Its strategic importance cannot be exaggerated. On the Tennessee side it is naturally almost impregnable and art can make it completely so. If abandoned, it cannot be easily retaken.

Can re-enforcements be sent us?

Respectfully,

JAMES E. RAINS,

Colonel, Commanding Post.

General S. COOPER.

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