HEADQUARTERS FOURTH ARMY CORPS,
Blain's Cross-Roads, January 5, 1864-6.40 p.m.
GENERAL: General Grant passed here this afternoon, on his way to Kentucky. From all that I could learn, we are to move camp to somewhere on the railroad between Strawberry Plains and Knoxville. You will therefore suspend all movements for crossing the river. I will be glad to have you meet me at Strawberry Plains at 11 a.m. to-morrow.
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January 5, 1864.
Brigadier General S. P. CARTER:
SIR: I have the honor herewith to report a series of outrages committed by the rebels in Cocke County:
There is a company of cavalry under a Captain Rumbough, numbering about 100 men. They seem not to be subject to any command calling themselves, "freebooters," and are continually scouring the country, robbing loyal citizens of their horses, cattle, grain, clothing, bedding, and every other species of household furniture. In a number of instances they have set fire to the dwellings of Union men to force them to tell where their money wa, to force them to deliver it; failing in this, they have taken them to trees and hanged them.
At another time they laid violent hands on a Mr. Kelley, minister in the M. E. Church, and after severing his ears from his head, beat him to death with their guns. They afterward arrested Robert Cody, and drove him some 300 or 400 yards from his house, and, refusing to let him pray, shot him down.
On last Wednesday, finding 2 paroled prisoners from the Federal army (John Benner and Christopher Blazer, Eighth Tennessee Infantry), shot them down and left them in the woods. The day following they went to the house of David Hamed, who has 2 sons in the Federal army, and robbed him of every bushel of corn, every piece of meat, every horse, cow, hog, and sheep; also stripped him of his own clothing, robbed his house of all manner of furniture, and then outraged his daughters in his presence. Passing on to his daughter who was sick upon her bed, with an infant four hours old, they stripped the covering off her, and left her exposed until she died.
The above is only a shadow of their real conduct, and under it all the people of Cocke County are stern and defiant, holding true faith and allegiance to the United States.
Longstreet's headquarters are about Russellville. His wagon trains are continually passing to and for through the country gathering very particle of provision and forage. The guard is generally infantry and not numbering over 100 men. They seem much demoralized, being half-clad and always hungry. They say Longstreet is going into winter quarters and has not over 25,000 men.
There is no force of any consequence between Cocke County and North Carolina.
Above statement is made by Rev. Henry M. Sneed, of Parrottsville, Cocke County, Tenn.