War of the Rebellion: Serial 023 Page 0021 Chapter XXVIII. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.-UNION.

Search Civil War Official Records


Powell's Valley, East Tennessee, June 12, 1862.

(Received Washington, June 13-1.10 p. m.)

Honorable E. M. STANTON:

Below I have the honor to transmit to you the copy of my telegram to Major-General Buell. In response to my inquiry similar to your own General Buell immediately detached Colonel Ray from his regiment and ordered him to report for duty to General Dumont at Nashville. The spirit of the men of the men of the Forty-ninth Indiana at once seemed to rise as though relieved from a weight. Under the command of Lieutenant-Colonel Keigwin the regiment will soon regain its tone, morally and physically:


Colonel J. B. FRY,

Chief of Staff, Headquarters Major-General Buell, Booneville:

COLONEL: The condition of the Forty-ninth Indiana is deplorable, morally and physically. With an aggregate of 895 Colonel Ray reports 219 for duty. Assistant Surgeon Howard, U. S. Army, sent to inspect the hospitals, &c., of this division, attributes the sickness existing in the Forty-ninth Indiana to want of proper police. I attribute is to the probable desire of Colonel ray to become a Congressman. I regard him as totally unfit to command a regiment in time of war, though I do not impeach his courage. The lieutenant colonel would make a good regimental commander. The fault is not in the men, though they are now demoralized, nor in Indiana, for no State has furnished better soldiers. The Thirty-third Indiana, commanded by Colonel Coburn, is one of the best regiments in my division, and in no small degree is attributed to its colonel. The complaints as to supplies are unsoldier-like; they have seen hardships, but none of which a good soldier could complain. My column is on the march to attack the enemy; in a short time I will be at its head. On receiving your dispatch I at once ordered the Forty-ninth Indiana back to Barboursville to await further orders. On the 24th of April last I respectfully requested General Buell to send the Forty-ninth Indiana to Lexington and the Eighteenth Kentucky to take its place in my division. The request was refused.




Bowman, East Tennessee, June 13, 1862.

Colonel J. B. FRY:

On yesterday I received your telegram giving me authority to operate offensively or not according to my judgment. At the same moment I received a dispatch from Colonel De courcy, still at Rogers' Gap, saying that the enemy evacuated Cumberland Gap; that three regiments had arrived at Tazewell and that others were to follow. I telegraphed to Flat Lick and received confirmatory intelligence from that place. Soon after Mr. Kellinn, who resides within 8 miles of Cumberland Gap, arrived with information that the huts were burned and the tents taken down on the Kentucky front of the Gap.

Previous to receiving your telegrams of the 9th and 10th instant I had ordered General Spears to cross at Big Creek and join me at Rogers' Gap, but on receiving these telegrams I sent three successive couriers to him by different routes, directing him to fall back from Williambsburg.

On yesterday two of the couriers returned without having found General Spears, as he had already crossed the mountains. The third courier has not been heard from, but I have just received a dispatch from Colonel De Courcy saying that General Spears has fallen back upon Big Creek Gap, and the enemy was reported to be in position at Cedar Creek, near Fincastle.