Croxton in pursuit. The major-general commanding directs me to say that he wishes you to be certain that Forrest is really across the river before you return to Athens, and that he wishes, you to communicate with General Rousseau, who was at Blue Water, on the old military road, eighteen miles north of Florence yesterday a. m., if possible. *
ROBT. H. RAMSEY,
OCTOBER 8, 1864 - 2. 30 p. m.
Commanding U. S. Forces, Florence:
GENERAL: I am out with my forces on the reserve road, or road to Colbert's Ferry, and am at Sampson's plantation, about eight miles from Florence.
L. H. ROUSSEAU,
LEXINGTON, KY., October 8, 1864 - 10. 30 p. m.
(Received 11 a. m. 9th.)
Hon. E. M. STANTON:
On my arrival in Kentucky I found General Burbridge absent in Virginia with his entire cavalry force, and the colored troops much scattered. I have designated six regiments to proceed to City Point, via Baltimore, which will make up 5,000 men. The movement by railroad will commence the 10th instant, and five regiments will start as fast as transportation can be procured. The sixth is at Camp Burnside, guarding stores undergoing removal, and it will not be able to move for eight or ten days. I shall send a staff officer with the first regiment, to see that the troops are properly supplied at Baltimore with what is necessary for field, and will follow in a day or two thereafter.
CATLETTSBURG, KY., October 8, 1864 - 10. 45 p. m.
Major J. A. CAMPBELL:
Forcing the enemy from Clinch Mountain and Laurel Gap after heavy skirmishing, we met the enemy three miles and a half from Saltville on the morning of the 2nd instant, and drove him to his works around the salt-works, where he was strongly intrenched on the bluffs in heavy force, under Echols, Williams, Vaughn, and, it is said, Breckinridge. We at once attacked him and drove him from his works on our left and center, and held him in check on the right, and finally, in spite of artillery and superior numbers, whipped him at every point and forced him back to his main works. In the evening our ammunition gave out, and, holding the position taken until night, I withdrew the command in excellent order and spirits. The occupation of the works themselves was only prevented by failure of ammunition. From prisoners I learn the enemy's force was between 6,000 and 8,000 and that Breckinridge was present with 4,000 from Lynchburg. My force amounted to 2,500 engaged.
*For version of this dispatch as received by Morgan, see Part I, p. 624.