others were left dead in the streets, and a number, which I have not been able to ascertain, were left wounded in and around the town. It was owing to these losses, doubtless-especially the loss of the two colonels-that, after burning eight or ten houses, and inflicting an injury upon the railroad, which was repaired in an hour`s time, they abandoned their undertaking, and retreated at 10 o`clock that night toward Tazewell Court-House, carrying of one of our 6-pounders, which had not been brought into action, and which they abandoned before they had gone 20 miles. I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
T. M. BOWYER,
Major, Commanding Expedition.
Major General SAMUEL JONES,
Commanding Department of Western Virginia. -
Numbers 6. Report of Brigadier General John S. WILLIAMS, C. S. Army, commanding Second Brigade.
HDQRS. SECOND BRIGADE, ARMY OF WESTERN VIRGINIA, Saltville, Va., July 24, 1863,
GENERAL: On the 17th instant, I started from Saltville on a visit to my outposts in Tazewell County, leaving Colonel George B. Crittenden in command of the camp. At 11 p. m. information reached me at Liberty Hill that a Yankee force of 1, 300 men were then encamped at Charles Taylor`s, 6 miles beyond Tazewell Court-House, on the Abb`s Valley road, having captured [J. E.] Stollings` company at Tug Ridge. This information I sent at once to Colonel Crittenden, with instructions to telegraph you and General Preston, and to learn from the latter the exact position of his cavalry in Russell County, and to ask their co-operation. I sent couriers at the same time to Russell, to hunt up Preston`s cavalry, and request the commanding officer to move at once to me at Liberty Hill. I ordered Colonel [W. E.] Peters, with his new troops, to move from his camp on the Holston, at the mouth of Laurel, in the direction of Liberty Hill. Majors [A. J.] May and [John D.] Morris, with 250 mounted men, reported to me at Liberty Hill about sunrise on the morning of the 18th. The remainder of their forces had two days before been sent to Pike County, Ky., on a scouting expedition. Scouts had been sent during the night to ascertain and report the movements of the enemy. They reported to me at sunrise that the enemy`s entire force was moving toward Jeffersonville. I ordered May and Morris to advance and check them at advantageous positions, and gradually fall back until they met Peters` dismounted men, when we would fight them, which I thought would be at Barnes` or Gillespie`s farm. About 7 o`clock, May informed me that the force moving toward Jeffersonville was only a party of 100 or 200, thrown out on that road to protect the flank of the main column, which was passing directly on the Wytheville turnpike. I directed May to follow and harass them, and send a courier to me every hour, which he did. I