or 900 men, I organized two expeditions against him, namely: Colonel Walker's command from Mount Sterling, comprising two battalions of the Tenth Kentucky Cavalry and one of the Second Ohio, and one of the Fourteenth Kentucky, all small, and aggregating some 600 effective men, and detachment from Richmond, under Lieutenant-Colonel Wilson, Forty-fourth Ohio Volunteer Infantry, of from 400 to 600 mounted infantry, both to move on Hazle Green, and be under command of Colonel Walker.
Lieutenant-Colonel Wilson was ordered to report to Colonel Walker at Mount Sterling for detailed instructions, and to secure concert of action. The expeditions started in due time and in good condition.
On the night of the 20th, I received a dispatch from Colonel Walker, at Hazle Green, dated the 19th, that he had the rebels completely hemmed in, and that they had no other chance of getting out unless by way of Lexington. This dispatch came through Captain Ratcliffe, Tenth Kentucky Cavalry, commanding Colonel Walker's ineffective, left at Month Sterling. I at once moved forward the Seventh Ohio Cavalry to Winchester, and sent instructions to Captain Ratcliffe to that effect, and that he should "keep his scouts well to the front in the direction of Hazle Green, and to keep his entire command ready to move to Winchester," as he was "not strong enough to fight Cluke." Captain Ratcliffe did not come to Winchester as directed, but on the 22nd sent a request to Colonel Garrard at Winchester for re-enforcements, and said he could hold the enemy in check until they arrived. Colonel Garrard had no instructions to move beyond Winchester, but did so, arriving at Mount Sterling too late to be of any use. Captain Ratcliffe's entire squad of near 200 men have been either captured or dispersed, and a portion of the town burned. So much for disobedience of orders.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Q. A. GILLMORE,
Major General HORATIO G. WRIGHT,
Commanding Department of the Ohio.
P. S.-I have reliable information that Captain Ratcliffe could have saved his command, as he was strongly posted in the court-house, had not thee citizens importuned him to surrender to save the town.
A D D E N D A.
HDQRS. DEPARTMENT OF THE OHIO,
Cincinnati, Ohio, March 27, 1863.
Captain W. D. Ratcliffe, Company E, Tenth Regiment Kentucky Cavalry, for his disgraceful surrender of Mount Sterling, is, subject to the approval of the President, dishonorably dismissed from the military service of the United States. The manner in which his command was paroled being entirely irregular, and in direct violation of General Orders, Numbers 49, from the War Department, no duplicates being exchanged for the men, and other essentials being wanting, the parole is declared void, and the officers and men thus paroled will report at these headquarters for duty. The railroad companies and steamboats will furnish transportation.
By command of Major-General Burnside: