General Morgan, which released the large force in his pursuit, been delayed, we could have accomplished everything to be desired. It was with this hope I took the heavy pieces of artillery, and an unfortunate combination of circumstance alone prevented complete success.
My loss will not, I think, exceed 350 men, very few of whom were killed. The straggling of men to their homes, is however, very great as it was impossible for me to protect the rear and at the rear and at the same time guard company officers of the several commands.
To lieutenant-Colonel Nixon and those of the First Louisiana Cavalry who protected the rear too much praise cannot be awarded.
To Captains [W. M.] Ford and [W. P.] Owen, Lieutenant [Albert N.] Bradsaw, and Adjutant [R. M.] Bearden, of Ashby's cavalry; Captain [T. A.] Knight, and Lieutenant [J. F.] Bass, of Goode's regiment, and Captain Lusk, of the Fifth North Carolina Battalion, I have to return my thanks for most gallant conduct.
It is with great I learn the death of Adjutant [T. F.] Mitchell, of Colonel Goode's regiment. He was a gallant and efficient officer, a brave and fearless gentleman.
To the members of my staff I am indebted for untiring energy and perseverance in the execution of my orders, and to Mr. Thomas W. Bullock, of Kentucky, who volunteered with me for the trip, my special thanks are due.
The casualties are great, but very small when considering that fact that several times both front and rear were engaged, the front fighting a force almost equal to our whole command, and the rear pressed by one vastly overwhelming. For five days and nights the fight was incessant, not a half hour of rest at any time intervening. Nothing but the most indomitable bravery and perseverance, without food or rest, upon the part of a portion of the offices and men, saved the entire command.
I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
J. S. SCOTT,
Colonel, Commanding Cavalry Brigade.
Major V. VON SHELIHA, Chief of Staff.
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF EAST TENNESSEE,
Knoxville, August 8, 1863.
Respectfully forwarded. This expedition was sent to Kentucky at the earliest day possible. On account of the condition of the animals and the impossibility of providing corn for them, its departure was necessarily delayed. The object of the expedition were to cut the enemy's communications; to destroy their trains and supplies; to capture horses, mules, and arms; to send out cattle, if possible, and incidentally to make a diversion in favor General Morgan. As will be seen from with marked success, until the concentration by rail of the enemy's force in greatly superior numbers converted Colonel Scott's success into a partial disaster.
The conduct of some of the subordinate commanders seams to be reprehensible. I have directed a proper investigation of their cases. Examples are needed in such undiscipline cavalry, as is most of that in this department.
It was designed that Preston's cavalry, under Colonel [G. B.] Hodge,