(20 miles); from thence (5 miles) easterly to Charles Colter's house on the old Alabama road, where I arrived at 11 p. m., with intention of capturing the rebel pickets (posted at Smith's and Mattock's Gaps through Taylor's Ridge) in the following mane, to wit: By sending two detachments of 25 men each to approach, at daybreak, either of the gaps, while the command, having accomplished the ascent of the ridge by a bridge-path midway between the gaps, would be divided, and each detachment proceed to the rear, and surrounding the reserves simultaneously with the advance of the detachment in front, drive the vedette to the rear. In this manner I hopped to be successful, but, having arrived at Colter's, soon learned that at the day of the capturing of our picket guard at Nickajack Gap the rebel pickets from said gap southerly had been withdrawn 3 miles to Dick's Ridge, their posts being connected by a cordon of vedettes.
Not having time to become acquainted with the county beyond Taylor's Ridge and get into rear of their line before daylight, I returned to this camp by the Alabama road, arriving at 5 a. m. this morning, distance 18 miles.
I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
CHAS. C. SMITH,
Colonel Tenth Ohio Volunteer Cavalry, Commanding Brigade.
[Captain EDWARD W. WARD,
Acting Assistant Adjutant-General, Third Cavalry Div.
APRIL 25-27, 1864.-Expedition from Bull's Gap to Watauga River, Tenn.
Report of Major General John M. Schofield, U. S. Army, commanding Department of the Ohio.
KNOXVILLE, April 27, 1864.
I have intelligence from the Watauga expedition. As was anticipated the rebels destroyed the brigade after being driven across it by our cavalry. The river was too high to be forded. Our loss in the fight was 3 killed and 18 wounded; that of the enemy not yet reported. The troops will reach Lick Creek to-night. They have destroyed all the bridges from Bull's Gap to the Watauga and about 20 miles of track. Considering the time allowed them think they have done remarkably well and all that could be desired.
J. M. SCHOFIELD,
APRIL 27, 1864.-Skirmish near Decatur, Ala.
Report of Brigadier General James C. Veatch, U. S. Army, commanding Fourth Division, Sixteenth Army Corps.
HEADQUARTERS FOURTH DIVISION,
Decatur, Ala., April 28, 1864.
The rebels, about 300 strong, made a dash on our picket-lines on the Courtland and Moulton road about sundown yesterday. They were repulsed with loss of 2 killed and 1 wounded and captured. Our loss 2 missing. All quiet since.