E. M. STANTON, Secretary of War,
and Major-General BUELL:
At 1 o'clock this morning my command took up the line of march from our masked position in front of Rogers' Gap to attack Generals Stevenson and Barton at this place, but the enemy commenced retreat on yesterday afternoon and his rear guard left only four hours before our arrival.
I will take possession of Cumberland Gap to-day*. The enemy's forces outnumbered mine by one regiment of infantry, two of cavalry, four light pieces of cannon. Had I two regiments of cavalry I would cut up his rear guard, but I am powerless for pursuit after the march just made.
After two weeks of maneuvering we have taken the American Gibraltar without the loss of a single man. To do it I had to abandon the base of my supplies and depend upon foraging upon the enemy.
In no country and in no age were greater obstacles overcome by an army marching with cannon. We brought with us two 30 and two 20 pounder siege guns, which were drawn up over the precipitous sides of Pine and Cumberland Mountains by the aid of block and tackle and drag-ropes, 200 men being employed upon a single piece.
We had several trifling skirmishes, in all of which the enemy sustained loss and we not one. I fact the passage of Rogers' Gap and Big Creek Gap with cannon demoralized the enemy and gave a bloodless victory.
Pardon me for speaking of the heroic bearing and fortitude of the Seventh Division. A nobler band never marched beneath a conquering flag. I am especially indebted to Brigadier-Generals Spears, Carter, and Colonel De Courcy, brigade commanders, and Captain J. T. Foster, chief of artillery. I respectfully recommend that Colonel John De Courcy be made brigadier-general. He is an accomplished officer and is every inch a soldier.
High praise is also due to Captain Charles O. Line, assistant adjutant general; Captain S. S. Lyon, topographical engineer; Major-Garber, assistant quartermaster; Captain G. M. Adams, commissary of subsistence; Lieutenant E. D. Saunders, C. S. Medary, and Robert Montgomery, aides de-camp.
HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE OHIO,
Near Florence, June 19, 1862.
Colonel E. M. McCOOK,
Commanding Second Indiana Cavalry:
COLONEL: General Buell directs that you proceed to-morrow morning in charge of a wagon train to Reynolds' Station, a point on the Nashville and Decatur Railroad 10 miles north of Pulaski and about 23 miles south of Columbia. The object is to get rations and forage at that point and transport the same to Athens, Ala.
Captain Smith, assistant quartermaster, is directed to go as quartermaster of the train, and will report to you in that capacity.
The train will consist of about 200 wagons. It is understood that there are troublesome bodies of the enemy's cavalry in the country over which you will move; you must therefore take two of your battalions,
*See Series I, Vol. X, Part I, pp. 52-77.