War of the Rebellion: Serial 077 Page 0558 KY., SW. VA., TENN., MISS., ALA., AND N. GA. Chapter LI.

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Numbers 7. Report of Brigadier General Jacob Ammen, U. S. Army, of skirmishes at Rheatown, Jonesborough, the Watauga River, and Carter's Station.


Knoxville, Tenn., November 6, 1864.

CAPTAIN; September 19, 1864, I received the following telegram:

LOUISVILLE, KY., September 19, 1864.

Brigadier-General AMMEN,


Major-General Burbridge will start to-morrow on his expedition into Southwest Virginia. General Gillem is to co-operate with him. Support them by such force as you can make available, according to understanding we had at Chattanooga.


Major-General, Commanding.

The understanding was, that Major-General Burbridge would attack the enemy at Abingdon and the salt-works September 27; that General Gillem, with his force, was to attack the enemy at Jonesborough th same day, and that the troops under my command would hold Bull's Gap. Subsequently General Burbridge telegraphed to General Gillem to attack at Jonesborough September 29, and follow up the enemy the 30th, as General Burbridge could not be at Abingdon before that time.

In pursuance of these instructions I went to Bull's Gap by railroad with 300 of the First Ohio Volunteer Heavy Artillery, Colonel Hawley in command, September 21. Next day 200 more of the same regiment came on the train, and September 25 200 of the Tenth Michigan Cavalry mounted and 100 of the same regiment dismounted reached Bull's Gap. General Williams having united with the force commanded by General Vaughn in East Tennessee, General Gillem requested me to accompany him, as he had not troops enough to meet the enemy in our front. General Gillem's command, consisted of the Ninth and Thirteenth Tennessee Cavalry, Fifteenth Pennsylvania Cavalry, SIXTEENTH Kentucky Cavalry, and six pieces of artillery; total, 1,650; my command, First Ohio Heavy Artillery, 500, and 300 of the Tenth Michigan; total,800. Captain Kirk with his command and two companies of 100-days' men were left at Bull's Gap. September 27, we left Bull's Gap with the two commands (2,450); marched to Greeneville without seeing the enemy. September 28, near Rheatown, the advance met a small party of the enemy, wounded 3, and drove the rest back. September 29, the advance met a small force at Jonesborough drove it from the town; met more, and the Fifteenth Pennsylvania Cavalry drove them on the Duvall's Ferry road and across the Watauga River. A part of the enemy went on the Carter's Station road and were pursued by the Thirteenth Tennessee Cavalry. September 30, marched to Carter's Station, attacked the enemy, and drove most of his force across the river to a strong position, and as night came on before the artillery could be placed in a good position the enemy remained.

October 1, the artillery was placed advantageously did good work, and soon after 12 m. the enemy left his works and retreated, passing Zollicoffer, &c., A courier arrived bringing an order from Major General W. T. Sherman, recalling General Burbridge. I started two couriers on different routes to General Burbridge. At 12 m. started back with the First Ohio Volunteer Heavy Artillery and Tenth Michigan Cavalry and reached Knoxville October 5, 1864.