War of the Rebellion: Serial 034 Page 0277 Chapter XXXV. EXPEDITION TO M'MINNVILLE, TENN.

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it to advantage. In this immediate vicinity I believe the enemy was plundering, and so the scouts report.

Very respectfully,

WILL. T. MARTIN,

Brigadier-General, Commanding.

Major D. G. REED, Assistant Adjutant-General.

HDQRS. MARTIN'S CAVALRY DIV., WHEELER'S CORPS,

April 27, 1863.

MAJOR: I have learned this morning the return of General [Joseph] Wheeler to McMinnville, and would report the facts of the late movement of the enemy through the lines as far as they have come to my knowledge.

Lieutenant-Colonel [R.] Thompson reports that the enemy passed through the lines on the 21st instant, to the right of my last picket in that direction, but was observed and fired upon; that the force was 1,500 cavalry, and came down the Woodbury road until at Daniel's Chapel it struck the Petty Gap road, and not far from this point encountered our patrols and those of Colonel [B. W.] Duke, who is on my right, and passed through the 3 1/2 miles from my farthest picket on the right. The advance was reported to me and General [St. J. R.] Liddell at Wartrace, who immediately sent a dispatch to General [W. J.] Hardee. At the same time that I received notice of this column I also received a dispatch from Adjutant [Kinloch] Falconer, advising me that General [B. H.] Helm had been ordered up from Manchester to check the advance.

Simultaneously with this movement the enemy advanced on the 21st upon Beech Grove through Hoover's Gap, upon Thompson's battalion, and for nearly twenty-four hours Lieutenant-Colonel Thompson, with all his available force of [Z.] Thomason's battalion and the Third Georgia, was skirmishing with the enemy, estimated to have four or five regiments of infantry and a small force of cavalry, and known to have had a battery of artillery, which was freely used. Lieutenant-Colonel Thompson made disposition of his force to guard against the column on his right, which he supposed was endeavoring to get in rear of him. The enemy retired from his front about noon of the 22nd instant.

On this pike and on the Middleton road on the 21st the enemy advanced, and had on each road a brigade of infantry, with cavalry and artillery, and threatened an attack upon my pickets.

On the 22nd, in larger force, another advance was made on each road. The full force of my command on each road was on both occasions moved to the front, and some unimportant skirmishing ensued. I was in front both days, and did not make a serious attack, as the force of the enemy was too great to render a forward movement prudent.

The line of Lieutenant-Colonel Thompson was established in accordance with the written directions received from General Wheeler, and dated March 31, 1863. It is, of course, impossible with the force in front of Pocahontas to prevent a recurrence of such attacks, and there was no force that could by any diligence have been brought to bear from my line upon the column which passed by the Petty Gap road. The country is all open in that section, and troops can move in any direction.

Very respectfully,

WILL. T. MARTIN,

Brigadier-General, Commanding Division.

Major E. S. BURFORD, Asst. Adjt. General, McMinnville.