War of the Rebellion: Serial 050 Page 0506 KY., SW. VA., TENN., MISS., N. ALA., AND N. GA. Chapter XLII

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fifth Illinois Infantry, commanded by Lieutenant-Colonel Kilgour (Colonel Bennett being at the time sick, though with the regiment), and the Fifty-ninth Regiment Illinois Infantry, commanded by Lieutenant-Colonel Winters, up the mountain and posted them so as to secure all the roads. The Seventy-fourth Regiment Illinois Infantry, commanded by Colonel Jason Marsh, remained in the valley guarding the trains and artillery of the division.

At 11 p.m. I received an order from Major-General McCook, Brigadier-General Davis having gone forward with the reconnoitering force, assigning to this brigade "the onerous and important duty of moving all the trains of this corps and the Cavalry Corps to the front."

Major-General Sheridan's ammunition train reached the top of the mountain about disk the evening of the 10th. I immediately commenced pushing forward the several trains in the order indicated by my letter of instructions. The night was very dark, but by detailing seven companies from my command to assistant them, the trains were kept steadily moving forward during the whole night. During the following day and night all the trains of the corps and cavalry cleared the ascent.

Learning from scouts and citizens, and also being warned by a communication from Major-General McCook, that a force of Confederate cavalry was near Lebanon threatening our communication and trains crossing Sand Mountain, I dispatched the Seventy-fifth Regiment of Illinois Infantry toward Stevenson to meet and escort a large cavalry supply train which I had learned was on the way to the front without a guard. This regiment returned on the 13th with the train for which it had been sent, having made, with much endurance and spirit, a march of 28 miles in less than twenty hours, half of the way in the night and over a rough road.

Having been temporarily assigned to the command of Brigadier-General Lytle, I communicated with him in person on the evening of the 15th, and was informed by him that he should leave his position at 3 o'clock the next morning for Dougherty's Gap. I immediately ordered the Fifty-ninth Regiment Illinois Infantry on the mountain to defend the approaches by the Alpine road, which position it reached, near the Falls of Little River, about 1 a.m. of the 16th.

As Brigadier-General Lytle had warned me that the enemy were in some force on the mountain, I moved the Seventy-fifth Regiment Illinois Infantry, now commanded by Colonel John E. Bennett, early in the morning to strengthen my force on Little River. During the time that I had been stationed at Valley Head the sick of this corps and of the Cavalry Corps had been constantly accumulating on my hands. Surg. C. N. Ellinwood, Seventy-fourth Regiment Illinois Infantry, acting as brigade surgeon for this brigade, did much to alleviate their condition. Under his supervision a temporary hospital was established, and everything done for their comfort possible under the circumstances. The efforts of Surgeon Ellinwood were such as humanity and professional skill dictate. As many as possible were loaded upon the only supply train which returned to Stevenson.

Having received orders from Major-General McCook to come on as soon as the road was clear, on the morning of the 18th I sent up the ammunition train left with me and the Fifth Wisconsin Battery, commanded by Captain G. Q. Gardner, leaving such of the sick as had