lery to report to the general commanding Fourth Division, Twenty-third Army Corps, at Loudon. On the 21st ultimo the advance of the enemy reached Maryville, surprised the detachment of the Second Tennessee, the commanding officer of which had neglected the orders sent him from these headquarters on the 17th ultimo, drove them into the court-house, where they resisted the enemy for several hours, until the arrival of a part of his artillery, when our forces were compelled to surrender. No one was injured on our side, and the lieutenant and most of his men soon after escaped; the balance have since been paroled and returned to camp. The other detachments of Second Tennessee at Sevierville, Maynardville, and Clinton were withdrawn in safety. The afternoon of the same day our communications with Loudon were cut, and scouts brought reports that the enemy were crossing the Holston near Louisville. Every preparation was made to resist an attack at this place. My force consisted of 362 officers and men of the First Ohio Volunteer Heavy Artilery, 526 light artillerymen, about 75 of the Tenth Michigan Cavalry, and 906 First U. S. Colored Artillery (heavy). During the night and next day we succeeded in organizing and arming some 500 convalescents and 200 quartermaster's employees. General Carter, at my request, also organized about 500 of the citizens.
On the 22nd I sent Captain Stevenson and twenty men of the Tenth Michigan Cavalry toward Loudon, with orders to ascertain, if possible, the movements and intentions of the enemy. He met them this side of the crossing, opposite Louisville, and returned, stating that from the best information he could obtain there were from 200 to 500 on this side of the river. The next morning I mounted 135 of the First Ohio Volunteer Heavy Artillery on artillery horses, which, with a party of armed and mounted citizens and a detachment of the Tenth Michigan Cavalry, numbered some 300 men, under Captain Stevenson, and sent them down the Loudon road, with orders to drive the enemy off and open our communications with Loudon, or compel him to develop his force and intentions. Late in the afternoon of the same day I learned from scouts that the enemy's whole force was moving in three columns, one along the Bowman Ferry road, one along the Tar Creek Valley road, and the other on the Maryville and Sevierville road, toward the French Broad, and that a portion was making for Strawberry Plains, which was garrisoned by Captain Standish and some sixty of the Tenth Michigan Cavalry. I immediately dispatched a train with Captain Colvin and a section of his battery and seventy of the First Ohio Volunteer Heavy Artillery to re-enforce the garrison. The train returned safely the same evening.
The morning of the 24th ultimo our communication with Strawberry Plains was cut. I sent Major Smith, my acting assistant inspector-general, and Lieutenant Neff, my aide-de-camp, with five officers and seventy-three enlisted men of the Tenth Michigan cavalry, out on the Strawberry Plains road to ascertain the strength and movements of the enemy. Seven miles out the enemy fired upon Major Smith's command from the woods and behind fence rails piled across the road. The major instantly charged, driving them from their position and running them back to and across Flat Creek bridge, which was on fire. Here he suddenly found himself in the presence of a whole brigade of rebel cavalry in line, with their flanks overlapping his, and three pieces of artillery in position. He retreated rapidly, the enemy pursuing him vigorously for five miles. We lost in killed 3 enlisted men; wounded, 1 officers and 3