command was countermarched, and with First Brigade and Lilly's battery the enemy was attacked on our left (his right), driving him from a ridge which commanded the camps of my command. After about one and one-half hours' fighting darkness stopped the pursuit and we held the ridge.
The force of the enemy engaged consisted of cavalry (dismounted) with artillery.
On the 17th, the enemy in considerable force attacked a regiment of infantry on picket near my camp. The picket from the Second Brigade charged his advance, taking about 15 prisoners of Hampton Legion (infantry.).
The Second Brigade occupied the ridge taken on the 16th, but could not hold it entirely against the superior force of infantry, and after about two hours' fighting, darkness again left us in possession of part of the ridge, with our dismounted skirmishers confronting the infantry skirmishers of the enemy, supported, as I was informed by the prisoners, by four regiments of infantry in line of battle, with artillery and a division of infantry in reserve.
In accordance with orders my command marched about 10 p.m. for New Market, crossing Holston River at McKinney's Ford, thence via Knoxville to this place.
The Fifteenth Pennsylvania with detachment of Tenth Ohio Cavalry, Colonel Wm. J. Palmer commanding, had been detached from my command to the south side of the French Broad, where they captured Brigadier-General Vance and staff with 37 enlisted men, 150 saddle-horses, destroyed about 100 guns, and recaptured a train of 128 government wagons and trains and 23 enlisted men.
The First East Tennessee Cavalry, Lieutenant-Colonel Brownlow commanding, was also detached to re-enforce Colonel Palmer. Of its operations I have as yet no report. The officers men of my command behaved with their usual gallantry. Those of my personal staff and the staff of the cavalry command rendered me much assistance.
I am, captain, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
W. L. ELLIOTT,
Brigadier General and Chief of Cav., Department of the Cumberland.
Captain W. C. RAWOLLE,
Acting Assistant Adjutant-General.
HEADQUARTERS CHIEF OF CAVALRY,
DEPARTMENT OF THE CUMBERLAND,
Chattanooga, Tenn., February 2, 1864.
GENERAL: I have the honor to inclose copy of report of Colonel W. J. Palmer, Fifteenth Pennsylvania Cavalry of January 15, 1864, and of my letter transmitting the same; also copy of my report* of operations of my command on north side of French Broad River, near Dandridge, Tenn., on the 16th and 17th January, 1864.
Leaving Dandridge about 10 p.m. on the 17th, on the 19th I received at Knoxville, en route for Sevierville,a communication from Brigadier-General Sturgis stating that "some 4,000 of the rebel cavalry are reported to be on the south side of the river (French Broad) and
*See p. 81.