War of the Rebellion: Serial 029 Page 0110 KY., MID. AND E. TENN., N. ALA., AND SW. VA.

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[CHAP. XXXII.

General MARSHALL:

Enemy reported within 3 miles of this place; have moved out to meet him. Send us re-enforcements and ammunition. Detachment is reported moving on Holston Bridge. Johnson's command is on the path.

T. W. W. DAVIES,

Commanding Post.

I was now most anxious, as I had at 12.15 p. m. received the following from Major General Samuel Jones, in reply to mine of the preceding night:

DUBLIN, TENN., December 30, 1862.

General MARSHALL:

Your telegram this instant received. Presume you have given the officers commanding troops in 4 miles of Bristol [notice?] of the movements of the enemy on that point, with the necessary directions for uniting them. If you have not done so, do it immediately. Send the battalion of infantry from Wytheville to Bristol, and go there yourself, assume command, and make the best disposition you can for the defense of the place. I will send you 500 or 600 of Jenkins' men (dismounted). Telegraph promptly all the information you get.

SAM. JONES,

Major-General.

Expecting the return of the train from Bristol every minute, I received the following from the telegraphic operator, I think:

BRISTOL, TENN., December 30, 1862.

G. KELLER:

Does General Marshall order trains? If so, answer at once, and say how many troops to come.

W. S. MINOR.

Now, for the first time in my life, did I know such a being existed as Mr. Minor. I learned he was the railroad agent at Bristol, having charge of the trains. This dispatch to Mr. Keller, who, I suppose, is the railroad agent at Abingdon, is evidently the answer to the first request I made to have the trains returned. It was of the first importance they should come at once, and then understanding that the man only wanted to know if it was my order they should come, I dispatched him as follows:

ABINGDON, VA., December 30, 1862.

W. S. MINOR, Agent, Bristol, Tenn.:

Send me cars immediately to transport 500 men and 8 horses.

H. MARSHALL,

Brigadier-General.

There was another long interval before a reply came, and then I received the following:

BRISTOL, TENN., December 30, 1862.

General MARSHALL:

Please communicate with general superintendent at Lynchburg in regard to the cars asked for.

W. S. MINOR.

And very shortly after I received this from Lynchburg:

LYNCHBURG, VA., December 30, 1862.

General MARSHALL:

You will please address orders to me for transportation. Subordinate agents have no authority to order the movements of trains. You can at once see the propriety of this; otherwise collisions might occur.

T. DODAMEAD.

Obedient, of course, to the railroad regulations, but intensely anxious to get to Bristol, I requested Mr. Dodamead to have the goodness to order the trains from Bristol, to which he courteously replied:

I have ordered a train at once from Bristol to take the men from Abingdon. Everything shall be done to aid the prompt movement of the troops.

T. DODAMEAD.