ther orders. With the remainder of my command I pressed on to Woodson's Gap, 6 miles beyond Fincastle, where I detached Lieutenant Gibbs, of my company, with 10 men, to guard the road coming into Woodson's Gap from the direction of Clinch River. I then pressed forward with the remnant of my command to watch some passes a few miles above.
In a short time a courier from Lieutenant Gibbs informed me that he had captured the advance guard of the tories, when I immediately changed direction and returned to Woodson's Gap. The tories had by this time come in full view, with an apparent force of from 700 to 800 men. I at once ordered Lieutenants Owens and Gibbs, of my company, to attack them in the rear with 25 men, while I charged them in front, thereby preventing their crossing to Cumberland Mountains. After an hour's fight I succeeded in capturing 423 prisoners, killing about 30 and wounding the same number.
Five members of my company were seriously wounded during the engagement; among the number Lieutenant Gibbs.
Captain Bradley's company was not engaged in the fight, having been left, as stated above, at Big Creek Gap.
Officers and men under my command behaved with great gallantry.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
H. M. ASHBY,
Captain Company C, Fourth Battalion Tennessee Cavalry.
Major General E. KIRBY SMITH.
HDQRS. DEPT. EAST TENNESSEE, April 27, 1862.
The energy and gallantry evinced on this occasion by Captain Ashby is consistent with his whole military career. He is commended to the notice of the Department as an efficient cavalry officer, worthy of advancement.
E. KIRBY SMITH,
APRIL 26-29, 1862.-Scout on Forked Deer River, Tenn.
Report of Captain J. G. Ballentine, C. S. Army.
CAVALRY CAMP, NEAR RIPLEY, TENN.,
April 29, 1862.
SIR: After returning to camp from a four days' scout on the Forked Deer River I have the honor to submit the following report:
According to orders received I proceeded by the most direct route to Key Corner, a small village situated on the banks of Forked Deer River, in Lauderdale County, State of Tennessee, distant from the Mississippi River about 15 miles, the road from this place (Ripley) being one of the finest natural roads I know of in this portion of the State, and at the present time in fine condition for the passing of any and all kinds of vehicles; the country slightly broken, plenty of water, and settled by small planters-forage and provisions of all kinds being scarce and difficult to obtain. After passing the junction of the Ashport and Key Corner roads, I found small quantities of cotton, from 10