War of the Rebellion: Serial 034 Page 0388 KY., MID. AND E. TENN., N. ALA., AND SW. VA. Chapter XXXV.

Search Civil War Official Records

miles below the town, and crossed the Holston River, so as to attack the bridge on the same side the enemy were. As soon as we came in sight they opened on the advance with four pieces of artillery. i dismounted the infantry and sent the Forty-fourth Ohio, under Major Moore, up the river, and the rest, under Colonel Byrd and Major Dow, to get in their rear. After about an hour's skirmishing, the enemy were driven off, and having a train and locomotive, with steam up, in waiting, a portion of them escaped, leaving all their guns (five in number), 137 enlisted men and 2 officers as prisoners, a vast amount of stores, ammunition, and provisions, including 600 sacks of salt, about 70 tents, and great quantity of camp equipage, in our possession. I remained at this place all night, and destroyed the splendid bridge over the Holston River, over 1,600 feet long, build on eleven piers. The trestle-work included, this bridge was 2,100 feet in length.

At daylight on the 21st [June] I started up the railroad for the Mossy Creek Bridge, destroying the road at all-convenient points. At Mossy Creek, New Market, and vicinity I captured 120 prisoners and destroyed several cars, a large quantity of stores, several hundred barrels of saltpeter, 200 barrels of sugar, and a large amount of other stores. The bridge burned at Mossy Creek was a fine one, over 300 feet in length. Near this place I also destroyed the machinery of a gun factory and a saltpeter factory.

I determined to leave the railroad here and endeavor to cross the mountains at Rogers' Gap, as I knew every exertion was being made on the part of the enemy to capture my command. I forded the Holston, at Hayworth's Bend, and started for the Powder Springs Gap, of Clinch Mountain. Here a large force was found directly in my front, and another strong force overtook and commenced skirmishing with my rear guard. By taking county roads, I got into the gap without trouble or loss,a nd had all this force in my rear. On arriving within a mile and a half of Roger's Gap, I found that it was blockaded by fallen timer, and strongly guarded by artillery and infantry, and that all the gaps practicable were obstructed and guarded by artillery and infantry, and that all the gaps practicable were obstructed and guarded in a similar manner. I then determined to abandon my artillery, and move by a wood parts to Smith's Gap, 3 miles from Roger's Gap. The guns, carriages, harness, and ammunition were completely destroyed, and left. I had now a large force both in front and rear, and could only avoid capture by getting into the mountains, and thus place all of them in my rear, which I succeeded in doing, after driving a regiment of cavalry from Smith's Gap. The road through this pass is only a bridle-path, and very rough. I did not get up the mountain until after night. About 170 of men and officers got on the wrong road, and did not rejoin the command until we reached Kentucky.

Owing to the continual march, many horses gave out and were left, and, although several hundred were captured on the march, they were not enough to supply all the men. We reached Boston, Ky., on the 24th. Our loss was 2 killed, 4 wounded, and 13 missing. I inclose an abstract of these.

I am much indebted for the success of the expedition to Colonel R. K. Byrd, for his valuable assistance and advice; also to Majors Moore and Dow, and to Captains Welch, Rankin, and Drye, of the cavalry, for the able manner in which they conducted the rear guard. Lieutenant Lloyd managed his section of artillery with great ability and judgment, and rendered great assistance to the expedition. Lieutenant G. H. Forsyth, acting assistant adjutant-general and aide-de-camp, rendered valuable service. To Sergeant Reynold, First East Tennessee Volunteers, and