War of the Rebellion: Serial 010 Page 0893 Chapter XXII. OCCUPATION OF ROGERSVILLE, ALA., ETC.

Search Civil War Official Records

Decatur, and failing in my efforts, I determined to organize a force strong enough to meet and defeat any force we might reasonably expect to encounter at Rogersville. The troops advanced in two columns-one body, under command of General Negley, from Pulaski; the other, under command of Colonel Lytle, from Athens. Colonel Lytle advanced upon the road from Florence to Athens, and expected the enemy to dispute the passage at Elk River, and while thus engaged General Negley was expected to enter Rogersville, attack the enemy in the rear, and cut off his retreat across the river; but in this region, inhabited by rebels, it was impossible to conceal our movements and intentions. General Negley entered Rogersville at the very hour that Colonel Lytle reached Elk River, but the enemy obtained a few hours' notice of the approach of Lytle's troops, and succeeded in withdrawing his guns and stores and baggage and most of his troops to the south side of the river. Negley surprised them in the act of passing over the last boat load and fired upon and dispersed them. From the best information some 4,000 of the enemy's cavalry, with several pieces of artillery, have crossed at different points-at Lamb's Ferry and the ferry just below the shoals. Of these, Morgan's cavalry have been already heard from. Helm's cavalry are on this side of the river, having penetrated toward Elkton. Scott's cavalry, in part, are on this side of the river, and some bodies of the Texan Rangers have not been able to recross.

On yesterday, while at Rogersville, I ordered an expedition to move at 12 o'clock, composed of troops of Negley's command, to seize the Shoal Creek Bridge. Happily accomplished. The doubt which for two weeks has been hanging over the force the enemy on this side of the river is now removed. Holding, as I shall do, the command of the river from Bridgeport to Florence. I have extemporized a gunboat, which will be ready for service this day. I hope to be able to move her upstream at the rate of 4 miles an hour, and by her assistance to prevent the enemy from realizing the boats we have destroyed. I will now give my personal attention to the mountain region east of the Nashville and Chattanooga Railway.

O. M. MITCHEL,

Major-General.

Major-General BUELL,

Camp near Corinth.

Abstract from "Record of Events," Third Division, Army of the Ohio.*

The Eighth Brigade left Huntsville May 6 for Athens, and marched from Athens on the 26th for Fayetteville, Tenn., arriving on the 28th. A detachment from this brigade proceeded to Elk River, under command of Colonel Lytle, on the 12th, and returned on the 14th. The Ninth Brigade has been encamped at Hunstville, Ala., since date of last monthly return. The different regiments have been constantly in motion on the line of the Memphis and Charleston Railroad. The Second Ohio is now in camp at Hunstville; Twenty-first Ohio is now in camp at Athens; Thirty-third Ohio is now in camp at Bellenfonte; Tenth Wisconsin is now in camp at Bellefonte Station. The Seventeenth Brigade left Bridgeport May 1, and returned to Hunstville, from which place,

---------------

*From division return for May.

---------------