HEADQUARTERS CAMP FINNELL, November 17, 1862.
GENERAL: I sent you a dispatch a few days ago of my whereabouts and success, so far as then able to report. The number of prisoners I have taken so far is 95, most of them rebel soldiers; paroled 60; some refused parole; preferred taking the oath or joining the Union Army. Some few bad rebel citizens I will have to send Camp Chase. Captured 4 of marshall's wagons, about 40 head of cattle, driving out of the State about 50 mules and horses, a large lot of tents, but the most of them worthless; about 200 guns of various make, but the most of them, as the rebels say, were captured of General Cox, at Princeton, in Mercer County, Virginia. Among the prisoners are 1 captain and lieutenants. I have visited in the vicinity of Pound Gap, on the Virginia line. The enemy have nearly all left for Abingdon, Va. Marshall's entire force, I learn, has been ordered to Richmound, va.; also all the available force they can spare are ordered that way, as I can learn from reliable source. I think I can hold this point at present, if I am only supplied with the right sort of arms. I must have Springfild or Enfield rifles. The guns at the mouth of Sandy for my men I cannot use in this service. I think I am a judge of this matter, and I cannot see any good reason why my wants in this particular are not supplied. I have some of the best men in the service, and best marksmen the Government can boast of; think nothing of marching 30 or 40 miles over the roads in these rough mountains, if necessity requires it, in twenty-four hours. Such men ought to be sustained. They have already routed and captured more men and property than all the forces ever up the Sandy Valey. We challenge investigation.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
JOHN DILS, JR.,
Colonel Thirty-ninth Kentucky Regiment.
General HORATIO G. WRIGHT.
P. S.-The Pound Gap of Cumberland is within 45 miles of Abingdon, Va.
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE OHIO, Cincinnati, Ohio, November 19, 1862.
Colonel J. DILS, JR.,
Comdg. 39th Regiment Kentucky Vols., Piketon, Pike County, Ky.:
COLONEL: Your report, dated Camp Finnell, November 10, 1862, of your pursuit of the enemy, in which your command captured 75 of the enemy, 150 guns, 3 wagons, &c., has been received.
The commanding general [H. G. Wright] directs me to express to you his lively satisfaction with the gallantry and endurance exhibited by yourself and your command; also with the general result of your operation, which, though accomplished without loss on your part, does you no less credit.
i am also instructed by the general commanding the department to inform you that Colonel Cranor, with a considerable force, is on the way up the Big Sandy Valley. You should, at once, put yourself in communication with Colonel Cranor and co-operate with him.
I am, colonel, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
C. W. FOSTER,