War of the Rebellion: Serial 034 Page 0616 Chapter XXXV. KY., MID. AND E. TENN., N. ALA., AND SW. VA.

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HEADQUARTERS CAVALRY CORPS,

Railroad Crossing, Top of the Mountain, July 3, 1863.

GENERAL: Major [W. Y. C.] Humes has just reached me and delivered me your instructions. I very much fear we may have very much difficulty in holding this place until to-morrow night. The enemy came into Cowan this p. m. with quite a large force of infantry and cavalry. There are several roads ascending the mountain practicable for cavalry, by which the enemy might turn our position. We will do our best, and give you early notification of the approach of the enemy. The enemy commenced ascending the mountain about 3 p. m. I would respectfully suggest that I think it would not be well to make any unnecessary delay in crossing the Tennessee River, based upon the supposition that the enemy are not going to advance.

With great respect, your obedient servant,

JOS. WHEELER,

Major-General.

Lieutenant General LEONIDAS POLK,

Commanding Polk's Corps.

UNIVERSITY, July 3, [1863]-7.30 p. m.

GENERAL: I have called here to see Colonel [G. G.] Dibrell, who has orders to leave here to-morrow morning at 6 o'clock. Our horses will, I fear, suffer very much for want of forage before we can reach a point where forage can be obtained. I think if you should leave a sufficient number of axes to obstruct the road in descending the mountain, the enemy could be retarded to some extent in that manner. To-day, with all our exertions, we could only procure six axes. The work of obstructing the road ascending the mountain was, therefore, imperfectly done. Please send me orders if you make any change in your dispositions.

With great respect, your obedient servant,

JOS. WHEELER,

Major-General.

Lieutenant General LEONIDAS POLK,

Commanding Polk's Corps.

HEADQUARTERS CAVALRY CORPS,

Near University Place, July 4, 1863-2 a. m.

A scout sent by General Wharton to the top of the mountain reports that he found a regiment of cavalry in line of battle about 3 1\2 miles distant from this point, and evidences of infantry near by. We heard considerable firing of cannon, which we could not tell whether intended for shelling the woods or Fourth of July guns.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

JOS. WHEELER,

Major-General.

Lieutenant General LEONIDAS POLK.

HEADQUARTERS CAVALRY CORPS,

University Place, July 4, 1863.

GENERAL: I left two regiment at the top of the mountain on the Cowan road last night, but General Forrest's force being about to leave,