cavalry and mounted infantry, 2,700 strong. I had my cavalry brigade of only 1,500 men, most of them raw and undisciplined troops, and fragments of absent commands.
I received here a dispatch from you saying that the infantry had been ordered up. My orders were to meet the infantry at Jonesborough, so I encamped to await their arrival and shoe my horses.
On October 1, Major-General Ransom arrived, assumed command, and ordered me forward to cover a movement, which he informed me he was about to make upon Cumberland Gap, and directing me to move as if I was covering the advance of an army, but not to pass through Bull's Gap until further orders. I moved with my brigade, driving the enemy before me, killing a few and capturing some prisoners.
A courier from General Ransom overtook me at Greeneville, directing me to send an assistant adjutant-general or aide-de-camp of my staff to Bristol, for the purpose, as was supposed, of communicating with me through him. I sent Captain Stanton, my assistant adjutant-general.
Again on the morning of October 3, we came upon Carter's brigade at Blue Springs, when, feeling themselves in supporting distance of their infantry on Lick Creek and at Bull's Gap, they showed some disposition to fight.
On the evening of October 5, the enemy advanced upon us, but was repulsed in an hour or two and retired.
On the evening previous, Major Giles B. Cooke, inspector-general upon your staff, arrived to inspect the command, saying he had come from Major-General Ransom, who did not expect me to advance beyond Greeneville, and that the general would be disappointed on learning I had gone beyond that place. I was now 8 miles beyond Greeneville, and could not retire to that place without discovering to the enemy the weakness of my command and the diversion I was to make in favor of General Ransom.
I received at this point by courier from General Ransom a communication, from which the following is an extract:
By direction of General Jones, it is necessary for me, with a portion of the troops under my command, to make a move which will be in such a direction as to prevent my communicating with you. You will, therefore, assume command of the troops in East Tennessee for the present. The artillery, now under Colonel King, and General Wharton's brigade will not be under your orders. The rest you will use.
This induced me to believe that the expedition to Cumberland Gap was still progressing.
I remained at my camp in front of Blue Springs for several days, hourly expecting intelligence that Cumberland Gap had fallen into our hands, and congratulating myself on the success of my diversion in detaining so many of the enemy's forces in my front. Besides my own brigade I had no knowledge of there being any troops subject to my order in East Tennessee, with the exception of about 400 infantry and home guards under Brigadier General A. E. Jackson. I sent immediately to ascertain General Jackson's position and to order him up.
At 10 a. m. Saturday, 10th instant, the enemy in force moved upon my encampment, driving in my vedettes and pickets. The action soon became general, our men stubbornly resisting the attack, the right wing under command of Colonel Carter, of First Tennessee Cavalry, and the left under Colonel Giltner, of Fourth Kentucky