nance and ordnance stores for removal to Abingdon, Va. This I did, but the order was subsequently countermanded, and I was then directed to remove all the stores from the foot of the mountain to the magazine at the top. This was also done. I think this occurred about the 5th day of the month.
On the day following the enemy made his appearance on the north side of the mountain, and on the 7th he sent a flag of truce, which was received by two of the commander's staff officers; but as to the propositions made, the replies thereto, or any other communications made up to the 9th, I know nothing.
On the 8th (I think), the enemy made his appearance on the south side, and Colonel Carter was sent out with his regiment on the Knoxville road to reconnoiter and meet the enemy at Powell's River, which is about 7 miles from the gap. Some skirmishing ensued, but the enemy proving too strong he was forced to retreat, and upon falling back to within 2 miles of the gap he took the road to Abingdon, and thus saved his command.
On the night of the 7th or 8th (I do not remember which), when the enemy appeared on the south side of the mountain, he attacked and drove in our pickets, following them to the very foot of the mountain and firing the mill, which was used both night and day in grinding for the troops. The mill, together with all the wheat and flour at the time on hand, was totally consumed, thus depriving us of all means to provide ourselves with breadstuffs. During the night some fighting took place between them and our pickets, which continued for about half an hour. It was quite spirited, but our troops, never having been under fire previously, soon gave way. The enemy opened on the gap with two pieces of artillery, firing over the heads of the pickets. Their artillery fire was replied to by two mountain howitzers, manned by some of the Leyden Artillery, and with considerable spirit. Some of our men were wounded, and 2 of the Yankees killed. I believe this was all which transpired during that night.
Next morning the commander of our batteries opened fire on the enemy as soon as he could see them, but after having fired two shots he was ordered to cease, so he told me. The day was passed in sending to and receiving flags of truce from the Yankees. The horses belonging to the two batteries having been sent away, and the Yankees being on both sides of us, the opinion of nearly every one was that we would very shortly be engaged in battle. All I met with, officers as well as men, were expecting a fight. Those who were not ready were preparing themselves. I issued 100 rounds of small-arms ammunition 200 rounds to each piece of artillery, by order. Those who were not provided with small-arms came and provided themselves.
At the time of surrender I was issuing arms to a regiment, in which there was a number of men recently returned from sick furlough. All of this regiment said, "We are anxious for the fight to commence, and hope there will be no more flags of truce." When information was received that the place had been surrendered some of the men broke their muskets, others burned their regimental flags, and others again clothing, books, and other articles which they thought might prove valuable or serviceable to the Yankees I have never witnessed greater disappointment and chagrin than the men evinced upon being informed of the surrender; many of them actually wept.