I regret most deeply our inability to secure these cross-roads, as I deem it the most important point in our front; but the enemy being also awake to its importance has occupied it with infantry, as I feared he would, and rendered it impossible for me to drive him out with cavalry.
Respectfully, your obedient servant,
S. D. STURGIS,
Brigadier-General, Commanding Cavalry Corps.
HEADQUARTERS CAVALRY CORPS,
Maryville, Tenn., February 4, 1864.
GENERAL: I have the honor to submit the following report of the operations of the cavalry of this department near Dandridge on the 16th and 17th of January, 1864:
My command, consisting of Colonels Wolford and Garrard's divisions, cavalry, Department of the Ohio, and Colonel McCook's cavalry division, Department of the Cumberland, was moved from Mossy Creek to Dandridge on the 14th of January for convenience of forage and subsistence, driving in the enemy's pickets then posted on the eastern skirts of the town. The troops being continually on the march and no previous opportunity offering to supply them, the 15th was devoted to issuing necessary clothing and boots. On the 16th of January, the enemy' cavalry being in close proximity, I ordered Colonel Wolford with his division to move forward on the Bend of Chucky road, to secure the country as far as Long Creek, while Colonels Garrard and McCook with their divisions advanced on the Bull's Gap road to Kimbrough's Cross-Roads, 9 miles from Dandridge. I soon found that the enemy had massed his entire cavalry force on the Chucky road, 5 miles from Dandridge, while Colonel Garrard encountered a division of infantry (moved down from Morristown the previous night) in position at the cross-roads. Colonel Wolford becoming heavily pressed, I ordered Colonel McCook with his division to move over to his assistance, and the enemy was repulsed from the position taken from Colonel Wolford.
The object of the reconnaissance being accomplished, Colonel Garrard was ordered to return, and also placed in position protecting the Bull's Gap road. Night coming on, Colonel Wolford was ordered to take the right of our line on the Hays' Ferry road, his right resting on the French Broad River, 2 miles above Dandridge, Colonel Garrard's division in the center covering the Chucky road, connecting with Colonel Wolford's left and Colonel McCook's right, whose division held the Bull's Gap and Mossy Creek roads.
Receiving information about noon on the 17th that the enemy was no doubt preparing for an attack, I ordered my command to form line of battle in the order above indicated and await his advance.
At 4 p.m. the enemy drove in one regiment of our infantry, picketing inside of my vedettes in one regiment right, and advanced with great fury on our left, attacking Colonel McCook's division. A battery was then pushed forward by the enemy, shelling our center, to cover the advance of his strong line of infantry.
My whole line was now engaged, and the regiment of our infantry in front of Colonel Garrard compelled to give way, so that the cav-