Accompanying please find reports of General Ferrero and Lieutenant Gittings.
Our casualties were as follows:*
I have the honor to be, captain, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
O. B. WILLCOX,
Captain SAMUEL WRIGHT,
Numbers 3. Report of Lieutenant Erskine Gittings, Batteries L and M, Third U. S. Artillery.
ERIN'S STATION, January 30, 1864.
SIR: I have the honor to forward a report of the operations of Batteries L and M, Third Artillery, during the 21st and 22nd of January, 1864:
On the morning of the 19th, I was ordered to take a position near the block house, overlooking the bridge crossing the Holston. I assumed this position but did not place any guns in the house, as the thickness of the timber was very slight and covered with dirt only partially, rendering it somewhat dangerous rom splinters caused by solid shot, but still affording sufficient protection from shells. This, together with the limited field of fire, made me think it best to place the guns outside of the fort.
No signs of the enemy were apparent until between 10 and 11 o'clock of the 21st, when small parties were seen reconnoitering the approaches to the bridge. In half an hour after the first parties of the enemy were seen they brought a field battery into position near the seminary on the opposite side of the river, but as the fire from the enemy's sharpshooters was sufficiently heavy to show that if all the pieces were maintained on the ridge the loss would be disproportionate to the probable gain, I retired three of them to the next ridge, covering them as well as the stumpy nature of the ground admitted. I left orders with the officer remaining whit the gun near the house that I would send him directions to hold his position or withdraw as soon as I was able. He, however, withdrew to the position I had assumed before I had sent him orders, assigning as his reason, which was no doubt a good one, "that the slope oaf the hill on which he fired was so great as to make the recoil of the gun take it to the bottom of the hill, and as the gun could not be run tot he extreme crest on account of he sharpshooters, the position appeared to be untenable." The fire of the enemy upon me in my new position was quite sharp, but as most of their shells burst too far to my rear I sustained no injury. The fire brought upon them by my three pieces appeared to do them some injury, as shortly afterward they ceased firing from all but one gun, and finally moved this gun some 800 yards to my left and front, and reopened their fire from this piece. Only a few shots were fired by them in this new position. The enemy, later in the day,s showed quite a strong force of mounted infantry, or else the manner in which they moved it led us to believe it to be strong. The
*Nominal list (omitted) shows 1 officer killed, 2 wounded, 26 privates missing; total, 29.