War of the Rebellion: Serial 057 Page 0046 KY., SW. VA., TENN., MISS., ALA., AND N. GA.

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pied the country south of the French Broad until the supplies were nearly exhausted, when the enemy, feeling the necessity of driving it away, made the effort with his cavalry on the 27th January. General Sturgis met the enemy's cavalry at Fair Garden and completely defeated it, with a loss of 150 killed and wounded, 75 prisoners, 2 rifled field pieces, and some wagons and horses. The enemy's cavalry was then re-enforced by several brigades of infantry which had succeeded in fording the river, and General Sturgis was in his turn forced to fall back toward Morristown. Previous to this Colonel Palmer with his regiment, the Fifteenth Pennsylvania Cavalry, had captured General Vance with his staff and 150 prisoners. Subsequently he sent an expedition against Colonel Thomas and his gang of whites and Indians at Quallatown, which succeeded in entirely breaking up the gang. All were killed or wounded except 50 that escaped into the mountains and 22 that were brought in as prisoners. The Governor of Kentucky having become anxious for the safety of the State from raids by the enemy, and having called on the Legislature to raise regiments for the defense of the State, I sent a division of dismounted cavalry to Mount Sterling, Ky., to be reorganized, remounted, and re-equipped for service, either against raids or in making them upon the flanks of the enemy's communication with Virginia. The remainder of the cavalry was ordered to the Little Tennessee River to forage.

Such was the military situation at the time I was relieved by General Schofield, on the 9th February, 1864. In Kentucky the detachments guarding railroads and posts had been reduced to the minimum. Cumberland Gap and the adjacent districts of the Clinch were under the command of Brigadier-General Garrard, who had an infantry and cavalry brigade under his command. In my opinion no offensive movement can be undertaken before the 1st of April, in East Tennessee, without running great risks of a disaster which may cause the loss of that section of the country. The reasons are, that the men and animals are worn down and need rest and recuperation; the country between the two armies is entirely exhausted of forage and all kinds of supplies,which it is impossible to haul from the rear in consequence of the bad roads of the winter and spring, and also of the lack of forage even at the rear. For lack of horses, caused by the want of forage, very little artillery can be taken on a march at this time. The green grass, with the green corn, wheat, &c., will by the 1st of April subsist the animals of an army on the march. The men will be recruited in strength, and the veteran regiments returned to their brigades, with, probably, filled ranks. The same reasons will keep General Longstreet inactive, unless forced to move. If, however, he should advance with his present force to attack Knoxville, the chances amount to almost certainty that he will meet with a great disaster. Knoxville, if properly defended, cannot be taken. It is naturally very strong, and I increased the strength of the defenses raised by General Burnside, and armed them with seventy pieces of artillery. As for supplies for a siege, they are ample. I had salted down over 500,000 rations of pork and collected 500 barrels of flour. If Longstreet attempts to march past Knoxville, for the purpose of destroying the communications with Chattanooga, resistance can be successfully made at the Little Tennessee or the Holston, as a line of defense, while re-enforcements are marching from Chattanooga. At the same time his communications will be open to flank attacks from Knoxville. If he should attempt to make