mounted infantry I have, one detachment being ordered as far as Woodbury. I directed all quartermaster's, commissary, and hospital stores to be removed to the fortifications for safety, all sick and wounded that required medical attendance to be removed to Hospital Numbers 1, that is in view from the fortress; all hospital patients that could handle arms to be held in readiness to go to the fortifications, there to be armed for its defense; all citizens who had taken the oath of allegiance and capable of bearing arms to be enrolled for that purpose, to teach them the definition of loyalty. Non-combatants were ordered to be in readiness to leave the town in case to shell the town. On the 30th my pickets at Woodbury were driven in by Wheeler's advance guard, and the above instructions were carried out and everything put in readiness to give him a proper reception. He avoided this post, keeping to the north, driving in my pickets that were on Lebanon road at the Jefferson crossing. On the 31st he commenced tearing up the railroad between this and Nashville. In a space of about fifteen miles a considerable portion of the rails were torn up ties and cord-wood burned. Only one bridge was destroyed, that at Stewart's Creek. The block-house at that point (Numbers 6), garrisoned by thirty men of the One hundred and fifteenth Ohio Volunteer Infantry, was attacked with artillery and was surrendered by Sergeant Flohr, Company B, after receiving the sixth shot. The block-house was burned with the bridge. I have been unable to get an exact and reliable account of this affair, as the entire garrison was captured. Block-house Numbers 5, near Smyrna, at Hart's Creek, garrisoned by a portion of Company B, commanded by Lieutenant John S. Orr, One hundred and fifteenth Ohio Volunteers, was also summoned to surrender, which was declined. After a gallant defense of several hours, during which time the block-house received sixty-hour shots from rifled cannon, many of which penetrated, several exploding inside, killing 3 and wounding 8, including Lieutenant Orr, the rebel army withdrew. On the 2nd instant the road was slightly injured near Christiana. Construction trains, with suitable escorts, and laborers detailed from quartermaster's and commissary departments, were started from this post to recommence repairs before the enemy had entirely left, and in twelve days from the time the rebels commenced their depredations cars were running regularly from Nashville to Chattanooga. I have made no mention of the re-enforcements brought by Generals Steedman and Milroy. Their movements were distinct from those of this command. On the 5th instant Colonel Thomas J. Jordan, Ninth Pennsylvania Cavalry, arrived with his regiment. That evening I learned of a rebel force moving from Lebanon to my right. I notified Colonel Jordan of the fact, and directed him to move out toward Woodbury to intercept them. Of his gallant attack of Dibrell's force, routing three times his numbers, capturing 130 prisoners, killing and wounding many, a report has already been made. I consider our system of block-houses for the protection of bridges a perfect success. That they can be held against overwhelming forces when garrisoned by brave hearts is proved in the instance of Lieutenant Orr and his little command. That they require brave men is shown in the case of Numbers 6, surrendered by Sergeant Flohr.
H. P. VAN CLEVE,
Brigadier-General, Commanding Post.
Major JOHN O. CRAVENS,