War of the Rebellion: Serial 077 Page 0888 KY., SW. VA., TENN., MISS., ALA., AND N. GA. Chapter LI.

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Numbers 3. Report of Brigadier General Alvan C. Gillem, U. S. Army.


Camp at Love's Station, November 16, 1864.

GOVERNOR: I have the honor to submit the following report of the operations of the Governor's Guard from the 9th to the 16th of November:

On the 8th of November I was at Henderson's Depot with my command and sent the Ninth Tennessee Cavalry to Greeneville to insure quiet and give confidence to the people to attend the Presidential election. On the evening of the 8th I learned that Major-General Breckinridge, commanding the Department (rebel) of Western Virginia and East Tennessee, was at Carter's Depot, and was advancing with a force much superior to mine; that he had avowed his intention of recovering the territory lost by General Vaughn. On the 9th I sent out a battalion of the Thirteenth Tennessee Cavalry on the Jonesborough road, under Lieutenant-Colonel Ingerton, as far as Limestone Depot, and one battalion of the Eighth Tennessee Cavalry, under Lieutenant-Colonel Brown, up the river road as far as Broylesville, and with the remainder of my command fell back to Greeneville. I then telegraphed Your Excellency that General Breckinridge was advancing; that I had fallen back to Greeneville; that the enemy would advance by the main road and also by the river road, and that in all probability I would be compelled to fall back to Bull's Gap. At the same time I telegraphed General Ammen all I knew of the enemy's movements, and asking him to assist me. Between 8 and 9 p. m. of the 9th Colonels Brown and Ingerton came in from their scouts and brought information that the enemy were advancing by the Jonesborough and river roads, and that they were at Leesburg at 1 p. m. of that day, and from prisoners captured from them I learned that it was their intention to attack me at Henderson's Depot at daylight the next morning. They were not aware that I had moved from that position. Knowing that they would follow me so soon as they learned that I had left henderson's, and the position at Greeneville being unfavorable for defense against superior numbers, I evacuated that place at 10 p. m. of the 9th and moved to Boll's Gap, where I arrived at 7 a. m of the 10th and posted my troops with a view to defense both from front and rear. During the 10th I strengthened my position as much as possible with the few axes at my disposal. During the day I learned that Vaughn's force had passed around by way of Warrensburg to attack me in rear whilst Breckinridge attacked me in front. This intelligence I telegraphed General Ammen and appealed to him to assist me in saving the railroad to Knoxville. At the same time I telegraphed Doctor Brownlow to use his influence with General Ammen to induce him to assist me. I am informed by Colonel R. R. Butler, who was present at the interview between Doctor Brownlow and General Ammen, that the general told them that he knew how many were advancing against me, and that there were just 1,200, and that I should be able to whip them, and decli circumstances.

I was not at all surprised when the enemy attacked me on the morning of the 10th [11th]. If all surprised it was at not being attacked in the rear, as well as front. The attack of the enemy was handsomely repulsed by 11 a. m., and though the artillery firing continued during the day the assault was not renewed. That night our troops lay upon