War of the Rebellion: Serial 010 Page 0033 Chapter XXII. ACTION AT POUND GAP, KY.

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MARCH 16, 1862.- Action at Pound Gap, Ky.


No. 1.-Brig. General James A. Garfield, U. S. Army.

No. 2.-Brig. General Humphrey Marshall, C. S. Army, with orders and circulars.

No. 3.-Major John B. Thompson, Twenty-first Virginia Battalion.

No. 1. Reports of Brig. General James A. Garfield, U. S. Army.

PIKETON, KY., March 17, 1862.

CAPTAIN: I have just returned from an expedition of four days to the Pound Gap. I took with me 600 infantry and 100 cavalry. On the 16th instant attacked 500 rebels under Major J. B. Thompson, intrenched at the Pound Gap, on the summit of the Cumberland Mountains. After a fight of less than twenty minutes the rebels were totally routed. They abandoned everything. We occupied their camp that night, and the next morning burned their quarters, consisting of 60 log huts and hospital. I have preserved their muster rolls and other official documents, together with a number of important letters. My cavalry pursued them 6 miles into Virginia. There were no casualties on our side. The enemy lost 7 killed and wounded.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Brigadier-General, Commanding.

Captain J. B. FRY,

A. A. G., Chief of Staff.


Piketon, Ky., March 18, 1862.

DEAR SIR: A few days ago I learned that General Marshall had ordered the militia of Wise, Scott, and Lee Counties to muster on the 15th instant, with six days' provisions, and aid in guarding the mountain passes at the Cumberland and Pound Gaps. In order to prevent a concentration of forces at the latter place I left here on the 14th instant, with a detachment of infantry from the Fortieth Ohio, under Colonel Cranor; the Forty-second, under Major Pardee; the Twenty-second Kentucky, under Major Cook, amounting in all to 600, and 100 cavalry, under Major McLaughlin, and, packing a few days' provisions on mules, proceeded up the Big Sandy, and reached the foot of the Cumberland Mountains a few miles below Pound Gap in the night of the 15th. A force of 500 Virginia troops, under the command of Major J. B. Thompson, held the Gap, and had built a strong breastwork on the summit of the mountain, and had also obstructed the road on the Kentucky side by felling heavy trees across it.

Early on the morning of the 16th I ordered Major McLaughlin to advance directly up the main road leading to the Gap and attack the enemy in front, while the infantry were led by an unfrequented path to the summit of the mountain, 1 mile to the left of the Gap. I had divided the infantry, into two columns, and ordered Colonel Cranor to lead one to the farther foot of the mountain, and thence ascend the Gap road from the other side, while the remaining column should advance