FEBRUARY 1-7, 1864.- Scout in White and Putnam Counties, Tenn.
Report of Colonel William B. Stokes, Fifth Tennessee Cavalry.
HEADQUARTERS FIFTH TENNESSEE VOLUNTEER CAVALRY,
Alexandria, De Kalb County, Tenn., February 7, 1864.
SIR: I have the honor to state that, in obedience to orders from the major-commanding the district, I proceed with 150 of my command from Nashville on the 29th ultimo, and arrived at this place on the 30th ultimo, meeting a courier from General Paine, with a dispatch stating that the expedition up the county was a failure, but requested me to meet him at Carthage on the 31st.
On my arrival at Carthage I found that General Paine had gone up the river with about 300 men under Colonel McConnell, and was to form a junction with Lieutenant-Colonel Johnson, Fifty-second Kentucky Mounted Infantry, who drove the rebels across the river at Flynn's Lick. I immediately sent Captain Brandon in command of 30 men with a dispatch to General Paine and Colonel McConnell, stating that I would move my command of 200 men (Captains Blackburn and Waters having joined me near Liberty) at once toward Sparta.
I moved out at 7 a. m. on the 1st of February, crossed Caney Fork at Pin Hook above Slogo, and encamped for the night.
Moved out at daylight the next morning. Upon arriving at Sparta, my advance ran a few rebels out, about 30 in number, some going north, others south from that place. I then turned the command toward Cookville and up Calfkiller River, near Yankeetown. I came up with a squad and killed 3. Bivouacked for the night 8 miles from Cookville.
On the 3rd, at 10 a. m., arrived at cookville, and found that Colonel McConnell had left, going in the direction of Livingston. I immediately proceed over on the Calfkiller, and encamped near the notorious Champ Ferguson's. I found there some 20 or 30 rebels, who fled as usual at first sight.
From Ferguson's we moved down the river to yankeetown, dividing the command into three squads, one taking the road through Sparta and Rock Island, another on the Nashville road, and the third on the right through Bunker Hill and Falling Waters to Lancaster. I arrived here to-day. The scout was successful.
We killed 17 of the worst men in the country, to wit, Captain James Davis (chief of Confederate scouts, brother of A. L. Davis, of Nashville), who had on his person a pass with the oath indorsed; Captain Conley, Jack Coger, Bill Allcorn, Milt. Hawkins, Neely, Dyer, Melton, and others. Most of these men are known to have been engaged in number, robbery, and rape; in fact, all were accessory to the outrages committed through this country. We took 12 prisoners, and captured about 20 horses and mules.
The people were very much excited, with very few sings of loyalty, yet I wax assured be a few good citizens that on my guaranty to the citizens of protection they would submit, take the oath, and hence-forth prove loyal. They also stated that a number of rebel deserters would lay down their arms and quit, if permitted to do so.
Forage will be very hard to obtain near Sparta, it being very scarce and scattered. I will reach that point in a few days. It will take some time and continued scouting to break up these bands, but you may be assured no time will be lost and no effort spared to