War of the Rebellion: Serial 023 Page 0423 Chapter XXVIII. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.-UNION.

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when Houk retreated to the woods, and is, I believe, safe. The enemy is said to have sustained considerable loss from the nature of the attack. The enemy burned three of our trains at London. A prisoner of Polk's First Arkansas Regiment states that four brigades of infantry, commanded by General Cleburne, Smith, Churchill, and Cabell, passed through Rogers' Gap with 15,000 cavalry. Kirby Smith was with the command at Big Creek, but the soldier does not know whether he came into Kentucky. He estimates the average strength of the rebel regiments at 500. A scout just arrived announces that another column of the enemy had entered Kentucky by Rogers' Gap. To-night Colonel Garrard marches with eight companies of his regiment, mounted, and 200 of Munday's cavalry, to reach the enemy's rear and join the column marching to the relief of this line. It is said that the enemy is now bringing his cannon over the mountains.



CUMBERLAND GAP, August 25, 1862.

Brigadier General G. W. CULLUM,

Chief of Staff, Washington, D. C.:

GENERAL: Being aware of the anxiety of the general-in-chief to be promptly informed of everything relative to this post at this time I have the honor herewith to forward to you a copy of my communication in reply to a verbal message from Major-General Wallace, that he was en route to meet the enemy between Barboursville and Lexington.

I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Brigadier-General Volunteers, Commanding.


CUMBERLAND GAP, August 25, 1862.

Major General LEW. WALLACE:

GENERAL: Captain Roper reached here from Lexington last evening. He was evinced the most commendable zeal, but is unable to give me satisfactory information as to your strength. This I desire to know, as it must to some extent govern my own action.

On my south front General Stevenson has four brigades of infantry, say, 8,000 strong, four batteries of artillery, and one regiment of cavalry; and on my north front, at Cumberland Ford, General Churchill has two brigades of infantry, two batteries, and a force of cavalry reported to be 6,000 strong. Kirby Smith is advancing toward the blue-grass region with a force not less than 10,000 strong.

The enemy is in a state of destitution, and if prevented from reaching the blue-grass country must perish by starvation.

Kirby Smith is an officer of ability and great intrepidity, and is said to have twenty-one cannon. I have sent to you Colonel Garrard, of the Third Kentucky, with 200 cavalry and 400 mounted infantry. He is an officer of approved courage and sound judgment.

We have been on half rations for ten days, and though some articles, such as coffee, &c., will give out before you can reopen the road, we have sufficient beans and rice for at least two months, and we can get some cattle, despite the enemy.