On the day previous Sturgis made a move on Kimbrough's Cross-Roads. He met but little opposition until he reached the cross-roads. There he found infantry in force, said to be a division. While this force was moving out to that road the enemy's cavalry came in on the Bend of Chucky road and drove Wolford into the infantry supports. On yesterday morning we found the enemy in line of battle 3 or 4 miles from town. During the day General Sheridan built a bridge of wagons at the bend below town and crossed Harker's brigade, but to his mortification he found at dark that he was on an island, and that it would require four more hours to complete this bridge. While the bridge was being constructed and scarcely finished, they made a firm assault on our whole line, both columns and lines of infantry being invisible. Our loss was severe, considering the short duration of the affair.
We have prisoners from Hampton Legion, Hood's division. One of our men, taken prisoner during the siege of Knoxville, escaped from them three days ago, at Morristown. He reports that all their infantry had left Morristown, and that he also saw them at Kimbrough's Cross-Roads at 2 o'clock yesterday. This attack, this force, and proximity to our position, taken in consideration with the unfinished state of the bridge, determined [me] to retire at once upon Strawberry Plains, and the movement is now in progress. I have had no definite report from General Willich, who commands the rear guard, but the general report is that the enemy is not pressing. They have their cavalry on our flanks. I have ordered the force at Mossy Creek to retire, and our cavalry is retiring with us to the plains. The ford of the French Broad was considered rather uncertain, and risks for night unknown.
I will probably go into the plains this evening. I will remain here until I hear definitely from the rear guard. Please send me orders at Strawberry Plains for disposition and movements of troops.
JOHN G. PARKE,
Numbers 2. Reports of Brigadier General Samuel D. Sturgis, U. S. Army, commanding Cavalry, Army of the Ohio.
HEADQUARTERS CAVALRY CORPS,
Dandridge, Tenn., January 16, 1864.-11 p.m.
GENERAL: I moved my cavalry forward this morning with the intention of occupying Kimbrough's Cross-Roads. Colonel Garrard's division moved on the Bull's G ap road, followed by General Elliott's division. Colonel Wolford's division advanced on the Bend of Chucky road. Four miles out Colonel Wolford encountered the mass of the enemy's cavalry. To relieve him we pressed the harder toward the cross-roads, where we encountered a division of the enemy's infantry (which was moved there last night), with artillery. It the mean time I had ordered Colonel Wolford to fall back on this place if hard pressed. It was impossible to aid Colonel Wolford from the main column without returning to within 2 or 3 miles of this place, which was done.