approaching we then bivouacked in an old church for the night. We started next morning at daybreak in pursuit, and after traveling a distance of six miles we came to where they had encamped. We then found it much easier to follow them, as a heavy rain had fallen during the night and their footmarks were very plain. We then followed them up and down the gorgeous mountains as fast as our horses could travel, and, in fact, many of them fell by the roadside, being entirely run down, and their riders were compelled to follow on foot. About 11 o'clock our advance (about fifteen men in all) came up with the rebel forces and we attacked them. The first fire the rebels broke in confusion. We then had a running fight for a distance of one mile, killing 8 or 10 of their number, capturing 18 horses, 6 mules, and about 18 stand of arms, besides numerous articles of plunder which they had stolen from Union citizens. The only casualty that occurred in my command was an old citizen by the name of Rue; he was killed instantly by a ball passing near his heart. Many of the rebels left their horses and took to the mountains on foot. We then dismounted and threw out our men on either side of the road and advanced about one mile. We then found it necessary to turn back, as our horses were run down, having traveled a distance of sixty miles without any food, over as rough a road as there is in North Carolina. After getting together our stock and plunder we started for Athens, and were compelled to travel thirty miles before we could get anything to eat for our men or horses. Many of the horses being run down, we were compelled to leave them on the mountains, which were replaced by hose that were captured. We arrivedd found owners for all our captured stock expect three mules, which were banded "U. S. " I turned them over to Captain Holloc, acting in concert with the provost-marshal of Athens in raising and mounting a company of scouts for McMinn County. I let the Union citizens around Athens have the captured arms, as they seem very anxious to defend their homes, and are almost without arms.
While gone we traveled a distance of 120 miles, over as rough country as there is in North Carolina, in the short space of forty- eight hours, without food for our horses or men.
I am, colonel, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Captain, Commanding Scouts.
Colonel M. L. PATTERSON,
Commanding U. S. Forces, Loudon, Tenn.
AUGUST 1-5, 1864. - Scout from Strawberry Plains to Greeneville, Tenn., and skirmish (2d) at Morristown.
Report of Lieutenant Colonel Luther S. Trowbridge, Tenth Michigan Cavalry.
HEADQUARTERS TENTH MICHIGAN CAVALRY,
Strawberry Plains, East Tenn., August 6, 1864.
LIEUTENANT: I have the honor to submit the following report of my operations in attempting to carry out special instructions from headquarters Tenth Michigan Cavalry of date July 31 ultimo, regarding the destruction of the railroad bridges over the Holston and Watauga Rivers:
I left camp with 250 men and one mountain howitzer on Monday morning, the 1st instant.
24 R R - VOL XXXIX, PT I