On the 16th March we tore up the Nashville and Chattanooga Railroad near Tullahoma and captured a train of freight cars heavily laden with supplies for the Federal army at Chattanooga. About 60 Yankee soldiers were captured and about 20 Yankee negroes killed. The train and supplies were burned and the engine destroyed.
On the morning of the 20th March we were, for the first and only time, surprised by the enemy while in camp and suffered a loss of 2 men killed and some captured, including some valuable papers of my own. The enemy in this affair lost 7 killed and 8 wound, according to their own report.
Soon after this I again attempted to return to my regiment. I started on the 2nd April with 95 officers and men, all that I could prevail on to come out with me. On arriving within about 20 miles of Morristown, East Tenn., I learned that our army had left that locality, and I was compelled to return to the section from which I came. On this trip 2 of my men were captured and 6 of the enemy were killed. Upon our return the jaded condition of our horses made some rest necessary and during that time a consultation was held, when it was decided to again attempt to get through to the army, but in small squads of from 20 to 30. Accordingly, on the 18th April, I started out with a small party, and after much difficulty succeeded in reaching the Army of Tennessee at Dalton, Ga., on the 26th April. I immediately reported to General Joseph E. Johnston, commanding, for instructions, and was directed by him to rejoin my brigade as soon as convenient. Some of my command came out about the same time under direction of Captain Gore, of the Eighth Tennessee Cavalry. Some have made their way out since and many refused to come o ut at all, preferring to remain and take the oath of allegiance to the United States Government.
During my operations the number of men under my command varied from 85 to 300; as, under the circumstances, proper discipline could not be enforced, the men came and went pretty much at will, though all mild means were used to maintain discipline.
Had I been properly authorized to organize a mounted command from such material as I could find there, I could easily have raised a full regiment of cavalry, as, besides, citizens who had never been in the service, there were numbers of deserters from the infantry in the country who would willingly have rejoined the service as cavalrymen.
During my stay in that section no time was spent in idleness. We were almost constantly in the saddle, and not a week passed but more or less fighting took place. Many engagements not mentioned in this report occurred with the enemy; something over 400 of them were killed, including a great many of the worst tories in the country; many were wounded and from 600 to 700 were captured and paroled, and I am confident that my command destroyed for the enemy over half a milition dollars' worth of Government stores, besides capturing and destroying 3,000 or 4,000 stands of small-arms. Our operations necessitated the presence of from 5,000 to 8,000 of the enemy's regular troops, who were held af different points to watch and guard against our movements; besides, our presence afforded protection to a large section of country against the depredations of the gangs of robbers and bushwhackers, who had become a scourge to the Southern citizens.
The nature of the service engaged in required rapid marches, and the country being extremely rough and hilly good horses lasted but a short time and many changes were necessary and it was only with