being increased by 50 cavalry, Foster's battery of eight 10 pounder rifled guns, the siege battery of two 30-pounders, and two 20-pounders, rifled. The enemy being supposed to have taken up a strong position at Thomas' farm, and my orders being to attack him before General Carter, who was marching on a parallel but longer line than the one I was operating on, could debouch, I moved with the amount of celerity which I deemed would enable me to attain the object in view. I reached the point indicated, but found the enemy had retreated early in the morning. After reposing the troops I moved on slowly, to enable the cavalry advance guard to examine the woods, which were constantly presenting themselves on my flanks, and from under whose cover I had been informed I might at any moment except an attack from the enemy posted in ambush. Finally, after a march of nearly 20 miles, I reached Cumberland Gap, which I found the enemy had evacuated during the previous night, its rear guard having left only three hours before the arrival of my advance guard. Before sunset the flags of the Twenty-sixth Brigade flaunted over the far-famed fortifications, and Foster's battery, firing a salute of thirty-four guns, told in loud tones to the persecuted people of East Tennessee that they were free, for once more the Stars and Stripes were near to protect and encourage them in their loyalty. Thus, by this able and daring strategic move, the chain of victory is now without solution of continuity on the Kentucky line from Columbus to Louisa.
In concluding this report it becomes my most pleasing duty to request you to mention to the general commanding that the many difficulties and fatigues of this march were met, endured, and overcome by the officers, non-commissioned officers, and privates under my command with a cheerful spirit and an energy of action which speaks well for their patriotism and soldierlike qualities.
The officers of my personal staff displayed great activity, perseverance, and intelligence in seeing my orders carried out, and it is a matter of satisfaction to me to find this opportunity of making prominent mention of Lieutenant Cushman Cunningham, Sixteenth Regiment Ohio Volunteers, acting assistant adjutant-general; Lieutenant George W. Stein, Sixteenth Regiment Ohio Volunteers, acting aide-de-camp; Lieutenant Joseph D. Stubbs, Forty-second Regiment Ohio Volunteers, acting brigade quartermaster, to whose untiring activity in bringing up subsistence, notwithstanding all difficulties, I feel I owe much of the power which enabled the Twenty-sixth Brigade to keep ahead of the division without at any moment causing hinderance to the brigades in rear. Lieutenant Stubbs appears to acquire additional strength with every increase of his labors and additional courage to overcome difficulties as they accumulate before him.
The duties of the cavalry advance guard were well performed, under the direction of Captain Roper, of Colonel Munday's regiment. Captain Roper possesses in an eminent degree the qualities which from a good light cavalry officer.
Colonel Daniel W. Lindsey, Twenty-second Regiment Kentucky Volunteers; Colonel Lionel A. Sheldon, Forty-second Regiment Ohio Volunteers; and Lieutenant. Colonel George W. Bailey, Sixteenth Regiment Ohio Volunteers, were at all times full of zeal and ever ready to execute any of my orders. I must regret that the sudden evacuation of the Gap should have deprived these officers of an opportunity which would ever have redounded to their honor.
Lieutenant. Colonel Don A. Pardee, Forty-second Regiment Ohio Volunteers, and Lieutenant. Colonel George W. Monroe, Twenty-second Regiment Kentucky