rear all night, came up in considerable force, but were repulsed and driven back a mile, with considerable loss. Knowing their object to be to delay until their forces could come up, we moved on, passing through Lancaster about 1 p. m. Lieutenant-Colonel Nixon was at that in the rear, with six companies of the First Louisiana, and about 1 1/2 miles from Lancaster, on the Stanford pike, was attacked by the enemy in force. He turned, and gave them battle, and, I fear, was capture, as I have heard nothing from him since. Colonel Goode and Lieutenant-Colonel Gillespie were both in supporting distance, but, instead of turning to his relief, came on, in disorder, to Dick's River, where I was preparing to make a stand, and assured me they could to nothing with their men. I passed them on, and took the rear with a squad of the Louisiana the advance of the enemy was checked.
At about 3.30 o'clock my advance reached Stanford, and found at that place a train of about 200 wagons, guarded by a battalion of infantry. Marshall's battery with the howitzers of Robinson's were run forward, and the town cleared. The wagons, with the exception of about 40, which we moved on to Hall's Gap, were destroyed.
Resting my utterly exhausted men and horses an hour or two at Hall's Gap, we pressed on toward Somerset, which place we reached about daylight the next morning. Finding the Cumberland River unfordable at the usual crossing_laces, and all boats destroyed we moved up the river to an obscure and dangerous ford in the mountains called Smith's Shoals, and commenced crossing the artillery and wagons. Here we were again attacked by the enemy, but held him in check until everything had crossed except one of the rifled guns of Robinson's battery, which capsized, and had to be spiked and abandoned. The mules of the wagon train were unable to draw it up the hill this side of the river, and we were compelled to burn the wagons. The enemy made an attempt, to cross, but were repulsed, and at this point gave up the pursuit.
Determined, after the gallant conduct of the batteries, to save them at all hazards, as such men and pieces are invaluable to the service, I sent forward the unarmed men and stragglers to cross the mountains by the shortest route, and with the remainder of my forces I fell back, taking the same route pursued by Colonel Sanders in his late raid into East Tennessee, and by easy marches reached this place on yesterday evening. The column sent across the mountain reached Jacksborough a day or two since, and is now in camp at this place, with the exception of many of the East Tennesseeans, who have scattered and gone to their homes.
We have here about 900 men, exclusive of those sent up the railroad, dismounted, and small parties are continually coming in I have little doubt that Colonel McKenzie has made his way outs, as the road was undoubt that Colonel McKenzie has made his way out, as the road was unobstructed, and whole force of the enemy (three or four brigades) followed my column. Both of my columns crossing the mountains were fired upon by bushwhackers several [times], but a prompt threat to burn before me on a repetition of the attack caused this to cease.
On the morning of the 29th, Captain captured about 650 mules between Winchester and Lexington, which I kept with me till near Lancaster, when I sent them with a strong guard, by way of Crab Orchard, toward the Cumberland River. When near the river the drives and quards became alarmed, and the mules were uselessly and shamefully abandoned. There was nothing to prevent their being safely driven out, as the guards and drives afterward joined my column.
Had this movement been made a few days, earlier, or the capture of