War of the Rebellion: Serial 029 Page 0117 Chapter XXXII. CARTER'S RAID INTO E. TENN. AND SW. VA.

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I waited until light. Before light, scouts came to me with the information that the enemy had crossed the Clinch Mountains and the river at War Gap, and were encamped at 9 p.m. 15 miles below Speer's Ferry. My conclusion was, then, that he would rest also until day, and that his course would not before be determined. It was quite plain he was at a center to travel the radius and I the are of a circle; that he had half a dozen ways to go out, and that, if I was not very watchful, I should not intercept him. I ordered my infantry and artillery forward.

On the morning of January 2, I moved to Pattonsville, where another road by which he could pass out crossed my path, and there I learned that 400 infantry and two companies of cavalry from Cumberland Gap had taken position at Jonesville, and that the forces from that quarter were co-operating to prevent egress. I thought the prize was nearly sure. I detached Captain Marshall's cavalry company, with orders to move down the North Fork of the Clinch as low as Blackwater; thence, if the enemy had gone into Hunter's Gap, to harass his rear, and so on to Jonesville. I sent forward Lieutenant Gibson with 10 men to Jonesville (now 20 miles), to inform the force there of my approach, and to procure rations for my men, if possible (Giltner's regiment had not eaten a morsel since the day before at 2 p.m.). The north side of Powell's Mountain was partially obstructed by a few trees cut across the road, but more so from being very hard frozen and becoming sleek under the horses' feet. We led down it, passed on, and at 8 miles from Jonesville I received a dispatch from Lieutenant Gibson that there was heavy and continuous firing in the direction of Huntner's Gap, on the direct road from Rogersville to Jonesville, and some 4 or 5 miles south of Jonesville. I ordered my force forward to Jonesville as rapidly as possible, all at a brisk trot and many in a gallop. Clay and Johnson were some 2 miles ahead of Giltner. I pressed on between them. At about 3 miles from town another dispatch from Lieutenant Gibson, written at 1 mile from town, announced the continuance of the firing, and that artillery was heard. I knew the enemy had none, and was certain it had come up from Cumberland Gap, and that a brave band from that garrison (which was only 33 miles off) were gallantly resisting the superior force of our enemy. I congratulated myself that our toil would be crowned with success at last and the insolence of our foe would be punished. At 1 mile from town I met Lieutenant Gibson with the information that the enemy had possession of Jonesville, and had a good number of prisoners with them. I asked for the force which had engaged them, what also of the artillery, where the Cumberland Gap men had gone to, but could get no satisfactory response. I ordered my attack on the town to open at once, for it was now near sundown. My Rifles (dismounted) went into action deployed on a hill east of the village, but within rifle range of the court-house. Giltner came up, and I deployed a part of his force on the south side of the village, at about 100 yards from the main street. The enemy was now plainly visible on the hill by the academy, on the northwest side of the village, formed in line some 400 strong. Villagers declared he was flanking me on both sides, and I made some detachments to ascertain the falsity of their apprehensions. I ordered both my lines forward, heard the enemy's bugle-call to the saddle, and my men under Giltner followed to the Harlan road. The enemy was mounted. Our horses were outside the village, some of them nearly a mile. The distance to be traversed to the gap was 4 miles. I learned that the front of the enemy had passed the village an hour or more when we arrived and commenced firing. It was now night, but moonlit partially. Beyond the town the clearings are small, the timber heavy, the