This force came through Altamont, about 10 a.m. of that day, and 2 mounted men dressed in Union uniforms rode rapidly up to the house of Captain S. P. Tipton, then absent from his command and at his home in Altamont, and cried out, " Captain, the rebels are coming." As soon as he emerged form his house he was shot and instantly killed by the men that called to him. This force also killed at Altamont a private in Captain Tipton's company by the name of David Franklin. They arrived at Tracy City about 1 p.m. The picket on the road over which they passed was from Captain Tipton's men. The sentinel discharged his piece, but so rapid was the movement of the force that no alarm reached the camp until the whole force rode in. The point of entry was from the rear of Howard and Benham's store, and immediately, as the head of the column passed to the front of the store, they fired on the sentinel then on duty, mortally wounding David B. Powell, of Company B, Twentieth Connecticut Volunteers, who was sitting near the sentinel. Many shots were fired by the sentinel and those in and about the store. Repulsed here, the force rapidly moved to the railroad depot, some 40 rods distant, where Captain Upson then was with a guard of three men. This placed the whole rebel force between Captain Upson and his command. He at first attempted to join his command, but seeing his position, he threw down his pistol and surrendered, and as he did so was several times shot at, two balls taking effect and seriously wounding him, one having passed through his left lung. While this movement was being enacted, Lieutenant Jepson formed his command in the stockade near the store. The rebels formed in line of battle, under cover of an elevation of ground on the right of the stockade, and also under like cover in rear of the railroad depot, and still another portion farther to the left and in rear of the engine-house. In these positions they were completely sheltered, so as to render our fire from the stockade quite ineffectual, while they, from their concealed positions and behind trees, continued to fire at our forces in the stockade without damage. Lieutenant Jepson deemed it inexpedient to advance any portion of his force from the stockade, as by so doing he would be exposed to a cross-fire from the rebels and endanger the capture of his whole force. In this position the officer in command of the rebel forces dispatched a flag of truce by a citizen with the following proposition for surrender:
TRACY CITY, TENN.,
January 20, 1864.
SIR: Captain Upson, with 10 of your men, are now in my possession. If the remainder of your command will surrender at once, without further, bloodshed, the entire command shall be at once paroled and permitted to retain all their personal effects.
By order of General Wharton:
W. S. BLEDSOE,
Major, Fourth Tennessee Cavalry.
This proposition was promptly declined by Lieutenant Jepson. Soon another proposition was sent in like manner of the first, offering to leave the command unmolested provided they could be permitted to take the goods from the store near the stockade. This too, was rejected. Two other propositions for surrender, having in view the possession of the store (the evident object of their raid),