all the troops in garrison were under orders to leave, except Kain's battery of artillery and the Sixty-second North Carolina Infantry, which belonged to General Gracie's brigade, who had for some time been trying to get rid of it, as he stated to me.
About August 15, I received orders to send this regiment to Abingdon, Va. I replied that if they were sent away I should not have men enough for picket duty and to carry on the work that had been commenced. I was authorized to detain it temporarily. Colonel Carter's (First Tennessee) cavalry was operating in the neighboring districts and was ordered to report to me.
About August 27, Colonel Slemp's regiment reported to me. For its condition I refer to the statements of Captain Frazer and Lieutenant O'Conner.
About the same time Barnes' battery, from Georgia (two 6-pounder smooth-bores and two 12-pounder howitzers), joined me. These, with Kain's battery and two mountain howitzers and a rifled 6-pounder, constituted the whole artillery force of the fort, or, rather, position.
With all the dispatch that could be made, the engineer, Captain Van Leer, did not finish the block-house being constructed on a commanding point about 500 yards in advance of the other works, and on the approach of the enemy it was converted into an ordinary breastwork.
In speaking of the works constituting the defenses, it must not be understood that they could not at any part be scaled by an enemy or turned by passing between them; that they were mere rifle-pits and defended only by infantry, except the points defending the roads and the block-house work.
I now proceed to speak of the discipline and character of each regiment, remarking that they were just what circumstances at home and want of proper officers, discipline, or pride make all men in the beginning of a contest:
The Sixty-second North Carolina Regiment was very indifferent, being badly disciplined and badly drilled. The colonel was absent; soon after resigned, and became an open advocate of reunion in his county. One captain I found in arrest on my arrival for disseminating papers hostile to the Confederacy among the command, for which I sent him under guard to Knoxville. The major was in command of the regiment, which he had surrendered a few months before at East Tennessee to a gang of Yankee raiders, who had paroled officers and men. There were about 450 men for duty in the Sixty-second Regiment.
The Sixty-fourth North Carolina Regiment was small having been reduced by desertions; at one time 300 in a body. The colonel and lieutenant-colonel had left in disgrace for dishonorable conduct.
(See muster-rolls and officers of the regiment.) Major Garrett was left in command, but had been suspended by the examining board for incompetency. I afterward restored him to command temporarily, as I could find no one in the regiment any better qualified.
The Fifty-fifth Georgia Regiment was pretty full; about 500 for duty. They had been on provost-marshal duty at Knoxville. This I regarded as the best regiment for discipline and efficiency, though the men did ride their colonel on a rail, which he never resented, but on promise to them of better behavior was allowed to resume his command. He was, however, in suspension when I reached the gap, and did not join the regiment while under my command. The