self, visiting night and day. On the road leading to Tazewell were posted 4 men one-fourth of a mile from camp.
On the 18th, a flag of truce from General Vaughan's command, escorted by 6 men, came to one of the picket-posts, and without my orders or knowledge were permitted to pass and come to my headquarters. They represented themselves as guarding 3 Union women through from Bull's Gap, where they had had their houses burnt and other property destroyed. After making inquiries of the women sufficiently to convince me of their honest intentions I permitted them to pass on. Immediately I sent the flag of truce and the escort, guarded by 9 men and 1 non-commissioned officer, back through the lines to the river a distance of 3 miles, with orders not to permit any conversation whatever by them with any citizen. After this I sent a note to the colonel commanding post stating the circumstances of a flag of truce coming to the lines, and that I had sent them back to the river, but received no reply. Late in the afternoon the same day a citizen reported to me that some 15 home guards had come across the river 10 miles above, but upon inquiring of the citizen I learned the greater portion of them lived on this side and had frequently come over to their homes; but not being able to spare any men from camp, the horses not being in a condition to go on a scout, I did not think it advisable to go after them. But to guard against any danger, about 8 o'clock at night I moved the position of the picket-posts. After giving strict orders to the men on camp guard to be on their watch and alert, and to communicate any alarm to me, I lay down at a late hour.
About 5 a.m. on the morning of the 19th, I was awakened by the firing and yells of the rebels, who had completely surrounded the camp. I ordered the men to get to their arms, but the only response I met with was for me to surrender, and that my men were already in their hands. Seeing the condition of affairs, and knowing it was impossible to get my men to do anything, through their fire I succeeded in getting to my horse, which I got on and went to the hospital to order the hospital steward to get the sick and medical stores away as soon as possible, and report the affair at Tazewell to the commandant of post. While putting on my bridle and saddle preparatory to going back to my quarters if I could possibly get there, and learn the condition of my command (which I knew must be captured), I was again fired at by several rebels, which rendered it impossible for me to return. From the hospital I cam directly to the headquarters of the commandant of post at Tazewell and made known what had happened. Upon going back with the detachment in the morning which was sent in pursuit, I learned that 21 men of Company I had been taken or were missing, and 24 of Company G, all to 53 head.
From good evidence I learned the rebel force had crossed at Evans' Ford and directed their course in a westerly direction, capturing in their route 1 officer and 14 men, purporting to be of the First Tennessee Regiment. Getting within a short distance of my camp, a portion of them were dismounted and sent over the mountain, evading the pickets on the Walker's Ferry road and Shelton's Ferry road. None of the pickets were disturbed until after the attack was made on the camp, all of them escaping except 5, who were captured as the enemy left, on the Evans' Ferry road. The only way I can account