Numbers 29. Report of Colonel William L. Jackson, Nineteenth Virginia Cavalry, of operations May 5-13.
Newport, Giles County, Va., May 14, 1864.
MAJOR: On the morning of the 5th instant that portion of my command stationed at Jackson River Depot was ordered to Callaghan's, in compliance with a command from General Echols. Making every preparation for the concentration of my command and for the close observation of my right and front, I reached Callaghan's in person on the morning of the 6th instant.
On the 7th instant I received an order from General A. G. Jenkins to move my command (except a force to watch my old front, guards on the Virginia Central Railroad, and a force to defend the Cow Pasture River railroad bridge) to a point six miles east of Union, Monroe County, Va.
On the 9th instant before reaching the above point I received an order from General Jenkins, through Colonel William H. French, to proceed immediately and with dispatch to the Narrows of New River and co-operate with Colonel French. On that night I arrived in person at the Narrows, and the advance of my command reached there the next day at 2 p. m.
At 8 a. m. of the 11th instant Colonel French received an order from Colonel John McCausland, commanding Department of Western Virginia, directing his and my command to join him, if possible, at Christiansburg, taking the route through Blacksburg. Crossing New River twice, which occasioned some delay, and learning the advance of the enemy under General Crook, we made a push to obtain possession of Gap Mountain, but on the morning of the 12th instant we found that in possession of the enemy. Arriving near Newport we endeavored to resist the advance of the enemy, but were compelled to fall back before the overwhelming force endeavoring to surround us on all sides, and after considerable skirmishing we retired toward Brown's Ferry. Ascertaining that the enemy was passing over Salt Pond Mountain, and that two brigades of cavalry, under Generals Averell and Duffie, were yet behind, in connection with Colonel French 325 men were detached from our conjoint commands and sent by a near way to harass the enemy going over Salt Pond,and the residue of our force was pushed rapidly to Gap Mountain. This position we reached at 9 a. m. of the 13th instant. In half an hour afterward Averell and Duffie attacked the position and endeavored to cut their way through, but failed, and at 2.30 p. m. they rapidly retreated in confusion by way of the Catawba route. The commands of Colonel French and mine not being mounted, could not pursue any distance. The loss on either side was inconsiderable. Of my command I know of but 2 wounded. That of the enemy is not ascertained. several horses were found dead on the field. At 7 p. m. Colonel John McCausland, commanding the department, arrived on the field, and by his order I am now en route to Monroe County to harass the enemy.
The reason why my men were without their horses on this march is known to the colonel commanding the department and need not here be explained.
The officers and men all acquitted themselves well.
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