War of the Rebellion: Serial 077 Page 0890 KY., SW. VA., TENN., MISS., ALA., AND N. GA. Chapter LI.

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character of my movement. I therefore ordered my train and artillery, which for want of ammunition was reduced to mere carriages, to turn off to the right at Whitesburg and cross the Holston River at Cobb's Ford, four miles distant, intending to move with all my force to Russellville, where the rebels would probably strike the main road, and attack and hold them in check whilst my train crossed the river; and then, if compelled to do so, retire to the Holston River and across at Anderson's Ford, one mile below Cobb's Ford. At the same time I sent back orders to Colonel Miller that when he left the gap he would move by the same road that the train was on. I would place my force between the enemy and my train and artillery. This disposition of my force, I believe, would have enabled the train and artillery to have crossed the river unmolested. Just at this time I received a message from Colonel Crawford that a train had arrived at Morristown with ammunition, provisions, and a re-enforcement of 600 infantry and a battalion of cavalry. Believing that with this re-enforcement I would be able to repel any attack of the enemy, and knowing that it would be ungenerous to leave the battalion of cavalry (the infantry could have returned upon the train) to its fate, I sent orders for the re-enforcement and train to move forward to Russellville and form at the intersection of the road (upon which the enemy were traveling) with the Knoxville and Greeneville road, and that if they were attacked by the enemy to hold him in check and that I would attack both on his rear and flank. To enable me to do this I passed my force to the front of the train and moved on in this order toward Russellville. Arriving at that place, much to my surprise, I could hear nothing of the cavalry or infantry re- enforcements, and knowing that the enemy were in force upon my left flank I ordered Colonel patton, with two battalions of his regiment, to hold the intersection of the road until the entire train passed. I moved forward to Judge Bartow's, where a second road intersects the main road, and was in the act of placing the Ninth Tennessee Cavalry in position near that place when the rear of the train was attacked at Colonel Patton's position. I immediately sent Patton orders to hold his position at all hazards until the train had reached a place of safety. At the same time I placed Parsons' regiment in a position to check the enemy should he attempt a farther advance. Patton repulsed the enemy and the firing ceased. the enemy soon renewed the attack and with overwhelming numbers, and Patton's regiment fell back in disorder on Parsons' position, not, however, until the train had all passed to the rear. With the assistance of my staff and several other officers, and especially Captain Landon Carter, Thirteenth Tennessee Cavalry, attempted to rally them, but with all our endeavors but a fraction of the command could be gotten into line. The enemy soon after attacked and were met with great gallantry by Colonel Parsons with the Ninth Tennessee Cavalry, who held them in check for upward of an hour, until his ammunition was entirely exhausted. In the mean time as the re-enforcements, who were said to be in Morristown, did not arrive on the field, I sent several messengers urging them to come forward, among others Lieutenant D. M. Nelson, one of my aides, to whom the commanding officer, Major Smith, replied that he did not come there to fight but to protect the train. I rode back myself to Morristown and requested Major Smith to move forward and assist in holding the enemy in check. To my surprise he informed me that his entire force was 302 infantry and dismounted cavalry, and that he did not consider that he would be justifiable in moving the train forward or in separating his men from it, but