No. 3. Report of Colonel Charles J. Walker, Tenth Kentucky Cavalry, commanding Cavalry Brigade.
HEADQUARTERS CAVALRY BRIGADE,
Richmond, Ky., January 9, 1863.
CAPTAIN: I have the honor to state that, pursuant to instructions from Headquarters Forces in the Field, dated Lexington, Ky., December 19, 1862, I proceeded to Nicholasville on the 19th ultimo and assumed command of that portion of the cavalry brigade (Ninth Pennsylvania, 430 men, two battalions Second Michigan, 320 men) stationed at that place.
On the 20th this place marched from Nicholasville to Kirksville; on the 21st to Big Hill, and on the 22nd to McKee. Here we were delayed by the non-arrival of our provision train until about 10 a.m. on the 24th. This delay I do not hesitate to attribute to the incompetency and lack of energy in the officer in command of the escort. The delay was inexcusable. I regret that I am not able at present to furnish the name of the officer.
On the 24th we marched from McKee and encamped at Julius Robinson's, about 10 miles north of Manchester, and on the 25th to Metcalf's, on the Red Bird. We were joined during the day by one battalion of the Seventh Ohio Cavalry, under command of Major Reaney.
On the 26th we marched to Asher's, and again encamped on Red Bird. On the 27th, taking the road up Philips' Ford, of Red Bird, we crossed the Pine Mountains and encamped at Britton's on the south ford of the Cumberland River, 12 miles from Crank's Gap.
On the 28th we marched to the top of Cumberland Mountains through Crank's Gap, from which point we marched night and day until our return to this side of the mountains.
Leaving the gap on the night of the 28th by a road passing about 5 miles to the north of Jonesville, we crossed Waller's Ridge, passed through Stickleyville, Pattonsville, Estillville, and arrived at Blountsville, Tenn., on the morning of the 30th. Here Lieutenant-Colonel Campbell, Second Michigan Cavalry, was, by order to march at once on Union, now called Zollicoffer. The force at this place, about 150 strong, surrendered without firing a shot. Our entire force reached this place soon after Lieutenant-Colonel Campbell had taken possession of it, when we at once proceeded to destroy the wagon and railroad bridges over the Holston. We also destroyed the railroad depot, several cars, and a quantity of saltpeter and salt found here. I then proceeded, by General Carter's order, with six companies of the command, making in all 181 men, to Carter's Depot, 10 miles below this point. On the way down we captured a locomotive and tender and several rebel prisoners, including one colonel.
The credit of this capture is due entirely to Colonel Carter, Second Tennessee Infantry, who, throughout the whole expedition, rendered the most invaluable service.
We arrived at Carter's Depot a few minutes before sunset, and immediately attacked the place. The affair was short, but brisk. The enemy made a spirited resistance for a few minutes and then fled to the brush. Major Roper, Sixth Kentucky Cavalry, in command of two companies of the Ninth Pennsylvania, under Captain Jones, did good service, and by a well-timed charge completed the rout of the enemy.