rier sent to me by General Jones said he was at Jonesville, 36 miles distant. As I had great confidence in his judgment, military experience, and courage, my only inference was that the safety of his regiment required this hasty retreat. There was no forage in the gap, which was the cause of putting this regiment outside. For the same cause I had previously sent to a place of safety all the artillery horses.
September 7, General Shackelford, on the south side, demanded the surrender of the gap. (See correspondence.) The little mill on which I depended for flour-situated a half mile distant by the road, which I depended for flour-situated a half mile distant by the road, but not over 300 yards on an air line, passable for troops-was at 12 o'clock this night burned by the enemy. At dark I had posted around the mill 3 commissioned officers and 125 men, telling them I thought the enemy would attempt to burn it that night; to keep a sharp lookout and prevent them. This detail was made from the two North Carolina regiments. For the shameful way they abandoned their duty, see report of Lieutenant Van Leer and others.
On September 8, the enemy on the north (or Kentucky) side also demanded a surrender. (See correspondence with Colonel De Courcy.) In the afternoon I assembled the regimental commanders and some of my staff, not as a council, for I did not think I could get any reliable information or advice from them, and did not take their notes as to what should be done, but explained to them our situation, and asked one or two of them what they thought of it. From this interview I concluded that they were about equally divided in regard to the course to be pursued, and they were sent back to their respective positions, with the understanding that we were to make a determined stand, and that General Buckner would soon relieve us from our difficulty.
The same afternoon the picket line on the Harlan road, about 400 yards in front of the rifle-pits of the Sixty-second North Carolina Regiment, seeing a body of the enemy about a quarter of a mile off fired their pieces and ran in, leaving many of their accouterments and some muskets on the ground, as reported to me, and after the mill was burned and it was important to remove the sick to a more protected place, the detail squabbled as to who should lead the advance, when the surgeon said, "Follow me; I will be your advance guard;" and so he led them to the rear hospital. I perceived such a want of discipline and morale in the Sixty-second North Carolina Regiment whenever the enemy threatened an attack, that I ordered an officer an 17 picked men to join it, with a view to infuse some better spirit among the men.
On September 9, re-enforcements joined the enemy on the south (or Tennessee) side, and soon after we received a summons from General Burnside himself, then commander-in-chief of all East Tennessee troops in Federal army, to surrender. I had heard at this time that General Buckner, or our forces at Loudon Bridge, had burned the bridge and retreated toward Chattanooga. General Burnside's presence at the gap, so unexpected, I deemed as conclusive proof that he had nothing to apprehend from our troops farther south, and that I could not look for succor from General Buckner.
About 3 p. m. the same day I received a dispatch from General S. Jones, commanding at Abingdon, Va., to the effect that I should not give up without a stubborn resistance, and that he would send a force which he thought strong enough to relieve me, and that I could rely on anything his courier would communicate. I asked