with turpentine. You will, if you find it practicable, proceed to or beyond Boston, via Barboursville, and ascertain the force and position of the enemy at Bit Creek Gap, or in the vicinity of Boston, Ky., or in Scott County, Tennessee. If, however, you find it practicable to do so with the forces you have, you may proceed to Strawberry Plains, about 15 miles from Knoxville, and destroy the big railroad bridge at that place. It is with the hope that you may find it practicable to accomplish this with safety that I have directed the turpentine to be procured. Should you reach the railroad, you will, of course, destroy the telegraph wires as soon as you get there. In my judgment, if you reach the railroad, it will be safe for you to return via Cumberland Gap, but in reference to the route you take, both going and returning, you will be governed by the best information you can obtain, and your operations throughout must necessarily be directed accordingly by your own good judgment and discretion. You will report from time to time to Colonel S. A. Gilbert, at Richmond, and on your return will report direct to him.
Very respectfully, &c.,
H. B. WILSON,
Numbers 2. Report of Major James L. Foley, Tenth Kentucky Cavalry.
HDQRS. SECOND BATT., TENTH KENTUCKY CAVALRY,
Danville, Ky., January 3, 1863.
I have the honor to report that, in accordance with instructions received from headquarters, I proceeded to London, Ky., on the morning of December 25, 1862, with the greater portion of my command, including the force reported to me under command of Captain Buchanan, of Munday's cavalry. Arriving at London, I learned that Major Brown had been ordered to Barboursville by Lieutenant-Colonel Wilson, who likewise ordered that the next morning I should proceed to Williamsburg, in Whitley County, Kentucky. This point was reached at 9 p.m. the following day, where I had made arrangements by my advance guard to select a camp, procure a sufficient quantity of forage, and also to picket all roads leading out of the town until my arrival.
My detachment rested here until the next evening, the 27th instant, during which time I spent in learning the location, numbers, and disposition of the rebel forces. My command was again in motion at 8 p.m., having been informed by scouts that a rebel force, 350 strong, had encamped at a point on Elk Fork, called Perkins' Mill, in Campbell County, Tennessee, 19 miles from Williamsburg. Proceeding cautiously in that direction, I came upon their pickets at 4 a.m. of the 28th instant, which were captured, 16 in number, by my advance guard, under command of Lieutenant Kerr, of Munday's cavalry, without the slightest noise or confusion; in fact, they were fast asleep. From them I learned the location of their camp, numbers, strength, &c., which was very accurate, as I afterward discovered.
Forming my line, I now awaited the approach of daylight, but so intense and heavy was the fog as to prevent anything being seen at the distance of 20 paces. I determined, however, to attack them, and detailed 40 men of Munday's cavalry, under Lieutenant Kerr, armed with carbines and the captured rifles. I deployed this force as skirmishers,