Numbers 3. Report of Captain John F. George, Second Massachusetts Infantry.
HDQRS. DETACHMENT SECOND MASSACHUSETTS INFANTRY, Cowan, Teen., January 21, 1864.
SIR: I have the honor to submit to you the following report of the expedition sent by your order under my command to Tracy City on the evening of the 20th instant;
The expedition, consisting of details from the Third Maryland, Fifth Connecticut, and Second Massachusetts (in all about 100 men and 1 commissioned officer, Lieutenant Clary, third Maryland), under myself, proceeded about 8 p. m. up the railroad, where we found a train awaiting us. The men were immediately put upon the car, and we proceeded toward Tracy City till within about 4 miles of the town, when we slackened the speed of the train. When within three-fourths of a mile from the trestle bridge which crosses Gizzard Creek, about a mile from the town, and which is somewhat over 150 feet long, the men were disembarked and skirmishers thrown out about 60 paces in advance of the main body,a nd the command was cautiously advanced toward the bridge. Having learned front he inhabitants of a cottage near by that no firing had been heard and no enemy seen in that vicinity, and that our pickets were posted on their farther side of the bridge, I left a corporal and 10 men in an unoccupied stockade, near the southern end of the bridge, and proceeded across, but found no pickets on the other side. Thus we were in fear that the enemy had captured them, as well as the troops in the down. I then proceeded cautiously, keeping the skirmishers well advanced, till we reached a small trestle bridge about 300 yards form Tracy City depot, when I halted and sent 10 men across to ascertain who were in possession of the town, and by whom was the stockade then occupied. These men soon returned, reporting that the town and stockade were in our possession; and I thereupon advanced into the town and occupied the stockade, in which latter I found about 40 men and a lieutenant of the Twentieth Connecticut Infantry, it then being about 1 a. m. I found, on investigation, that about 3 p. m. a body of guerrillas, about 100 in number, had made a dash into the town, coming in form two opposite directions so suddenly as completely to surprise the pickets and outposts. The captain (Upson) of the Twentieth Connecticut commanding, who was within the depot at the time, having with him about 15 unarmed men, immediately started for the stockade (about 200 yards distance), but being cut off before reaching it was shot, after throwing down his revolver in token of surrender, and taken prisoner, together with about 15 of his men. Close tot he stockade was a log building occupied as a store by a certain Benham. The rebels made a dash for this, and shot 1 of the men of the Twentieth Connecticut who was standing in the door-way, seriously wounding him. The store-keeper, who was within, immediately closed the door and fired with his revolver upon them form the window, wounding 2 of the band.
Upon this they returned toward the railroad, thus giving our men an opportunity to enter the stockade, which they then immediately occupied under the command of Lieutenant [Jepson
, of the Twen-