Report of Lieutenant Colonel George E. Ross, Forty-fifth Ohio (mounted) Infantry.
HDQRS. 45TH REGT. OHIO VOLS., MOUNTED INFTY.,
Near Loudon, Tenn., September 10, 1863.
CAPTAIN: I have the honor to make the following report:
In obedience to orders from division headquarters of September 5, I moved my command across the river, and, at sunset, started for Sweet Water, to take possession of all arms, stores, 7c., there, left by the enemy.
Arriving at Sweet Water about 10 p.m., I immediately threw out a strong picket on each road and dispatched for transportation, taking possession of railroad depot, the mill, &c.
Early in the morning a rebel scout of 52 men attacked my pickets on the Athens road, but were driven back and hotly pursued 4 miles, the enemy losing 1 man killed and 1 badly wounded in the arm, and throwing away nearly all their arms. About 7 o'clock I received a dispatch from division headquarters to be forwarded by a lieutenant and 20 men to Colonel Byrd, then supposed to be at Athens. After these had been gone an hour, fearing they might find the enemy too powerful, I sent a company to assist them.
About 6 miles out they found the enemy and attacked him, driving him about 2 miles, when they came upon the enemy about 200 strong at the top of a hill, behind which the inhabitants reported two regiments more waiting. Upon hearing this, I ordered my men to fall back slowly till within 3 miles of town, and there hold the enemy from advancing if he tried it, till I could load the train and start it for Loudon. The train arrived about 1 p.m. and was immediately loaded with the stores and started for Loudon, guarded by half the regiment, while I remained with the other half till dark. I loaded one freight car, left at the depot, with wheat very heavily, and the wagons, between 20 and 30 in number, with wheat, salt, wheat-sacks, Austrian rifles and bayonets (new), 1 box horse-shoes, clothing, shirts, drawers, blankets, &c., 1 large hogshead of bacon, also 2 boxes bacon, 1 hogshead shovel handles, 1 barrel soda, 1 keg powder, 1 large hogshead white lead, and several bales Osnaburg (sacking), &c.
Learning of some cattle abandoned by the enemy some 3 miles in direction of Kingston from Sweet Water, 20 in number, I sent Lieutenant Williams, with a sergeant and 10 men, to drive them to Loudon. In doing so, when within about 2 miles of Philadelphia, they were attacked by about a hundred rebels, surrounded, and captured, all save the lieutenant and 1 man.
Captured of Company D: Corpl. Emmanuel Zimmerman, Private Lewis Werts, Private Matthew Baggs, Private James Moffett, Private William C. Rogers, Private Robert Moore, Private John L. Neal; Private James Garber, Company I; Private Sheplar Fisher, Company I; Private Hamilton McFarland, Company I.
I also had 1 horse shot in the skirmish of the forenoon-a horse of Company H.
I have the honor to be, your obedient servant,,
G. E. ROSS,
Captain HENRY CURTIS,
Assistant Adjutant-General, Second Division.