vided my infantry and artillery were moved to Carter's Depot, and the cavalry, with a battery of artillery, under Brigadier-General Williams, to Jonesborough.
Under an urgent appeal from General Lee, I returned Corse's brigade to him. This so weakened my force that I was not able to press the enemy successfully. Numerous reports had reached me of movements of the enemy against my own department, and Major General R. Ransom, jr., having reported to me for duty, in obedience to orders from the War Department, I directed him to assume the immediate command of all the troops in the Department of East Tennessee and report directly to me. He was directed to move his infantry and artillery beyond Jonesborough, and push forward the cavalry as far as he could toward Bull's Gap, the chief object being to harass the enemy and break up the organizations of disloyal East Tennesseeans. As the salt-works and lead mines in Southwest Virginia were entirely unguarded against raids either from Kentucky or the Kanawha, he was directed to move Wharton's brigade of infantry back near Abingdon, and to make the move so as to produce the impression that he was moving to Cumberland Gap. I then returned to my own department.
For information as to the subsequent operations of Brigadier-General Williams, I refer you to his report, forwarded by me on the 25th ultimo. By October 13 he had been driven by superior forces back to Abingdon, where I joined him on the 15th.
Affairs at that time had again assumed a threatening aspect in that section of country. The battle of Chickamauga had not been as decisive as I had at first supposed, and I apprehended that the enemy had left in Northeast Tennessee a sufficient force to invade Southwest Virginia successfully. I called on the department for re-enforcements, and Corse's brigade was again sent to me, and I ordered forward one regiment and three battalions of my own cavalry. The enemy did not follow up their advantage, as I apprehended they would, but after coming within 5 or 6 miles of Abingdon fell back, destroying the railroad and committing other depredations, indicating that it was not their purpose to attempt to hold any part of Southwest Virginia.
The troops then at Abingdon were in no condition to enter immediately on offensive operations. The cavalry had been continuously and actively engaged for six or seven weeks, and had been twice driven by the enemy. Men and horses were without shoes and greatly exhausted. Wharton's brigade had been marching more than three months from Staunton to Winchester, and thence by Orange Court-House and Warm Springs, Va., to Jonesborough, Tenn., and back to Abingdon. His men were badly clad; scarcely onethird of them were shod. Corse's brigade was but little better provided for, and was without transportation. Every effort was made to procure clothing, shoes, and transportation, and as soon as the troops could march they were moved into East Tennessee, Major-General Ransom in immediate command.
On November 6, the cavalry, under Brigadier General W. E. Jones and Colonel Giltner, successfully attacked the enemy at Rogersville, Tenn., capturing between 700 and 800 of the enemy's cavalry, a field battery of 4 pieces, 60 wagons, and about 1,000 horses and mules.
While I was in East Tennessee I received information that the enemy was moving in force from the Kanawha and Beverly on Lewisburg, and I hurried to join my troops on that part of my line.