HDQRS. DEPARTMENT OF THE OHIO,
Cincinnati, Ohio, April 30, 1863.
Captain W. D. Ratcliffe, Tenth Kentucky Volunteer Cavalry, having ben honorably acquitted, by the court of inquiry, from the charges preferred against him for his surrender of Mount Sterling, he is cleared from all imputations upon his character as a soldier, and will report for duty to the commanding officer of his regiment. General Orders, Numbers 30, current series, from these headquarters, is hereby revoked.
By command of Major-General Burnside:
Numbers 2. Report of Colonel R. S. Cluke, Eighth Kentucky Cavalry (Confederate).
ROCKVILLE, ROWAN COUNTY, KY., March 24, 1863.
DEAR SIR: I reached the above place last evening, just from Mount Sterling. On the morning of the 21st, I moved with my command in the direction of Mount Sterling, where I learned there were between 300 and 400 of the enemy, guarding a large supply of commissary and quartermaster's stores, together with the good citizens of that place, my object being to surprise and capture the place. After crossing Licking River, I found the roads in such a condition that it was almost impossible to move my artillery. I placed three companies to assist and guard it, with directions to move on without delay to Mount Sterling. I then moved on with my command to Mount Sterling, which place I reached about daylight the next morning, where I found the enemy quartered in the court-house and the adjoining buildings. I immediately demanded a surrender of thee place, which request they refused to comply with. I then gave them twenty minutes to remove the women and children from town. That they refused to do also, and fired upon the flag of truce from the court-house and several other buildings immediately around the court-house. My artillery not coming up in time, I was compelled to fire the town to dislodge the enemy. After several houses had been burned, they surrendered the place; but before surrendering they kept up a continual fire from the buildings upon my men, who were protected by the fences, stables, and outbuildings around the town. I paroled 287 privates (Fourteenth Kentucky Cavalry) and 14 officers-I paroled them to report to you within thirty days, which I herewith send you-besides capturing between 450 and 500 horses and mules; 75 wagons loaded with arms, ammunition, and commissary stores, which I destroyed by burning; several buildings containing arms, ammunition, commissary stores, saddles, and bridles were also burned. The property destroyed, belonging to the enemy, I think will reach $500,000.
My loss was 1 man, belonging to Colonel [R. G.] Stoner's battalion, killed; Captain [R. C.] Terrill, wounded through the hip; Captain [V. M.] Pendleton (ball entered his left arm and lodged near the back bone)-I am afraid, mortally wounded; Lieutenant [G. W.] Maupin, of Captain Terrill's company, wounded in the groin, and Orderly Sergt. James Y. Scott, of Company I (my regiment), wounded in the thigh. The enemy's loss was 10 killed and some 8 or 10 burned to death in the houses. All of the Yankees were shot through the head, that being the only portion of their person they would expose.