From the best information we learned that about 200 guerrillas dashed into the place the day before about 1 p. m. and that they were in the public square before the garrison knew it; that they remained three hours and drew off at their leisure without doing any injury to the town. On the morning of the 30th the troops from Chattanooga returned. As I was then in command I moved my battalion into the town, quartering one company in the bank and three in the academy. Captain Roberts mounted his men the evening of the 29th and scoured the country in the direction of the mountains ten or twelve miles without finding any signs of the enemy. On the 30th I sent a detachment of the Seventh Tennessee to arrest three of the most noted rebel sympathizers in the county, to hold as hostages for Major McGaughey, who had been taken prisoners by the guerrillas. The officer in charge of the detachment found but two of the three, John Goldy and David Cobb. On Tuesday we were alarmed by several citizens dashing in with the report that 500 of the enemy were at Scarborough's Mills and moving toward Athens. As these men were vouched for as being loyal and reliable men, I made proper disposition of the forces and awaited the appearance of the enemy. At 3 p. m. I sent scouts out on several roads who returned at dark and reported all quiet. I allowed the men to return to their quarters with instructions to be ready to fall in at a moment's notice. At 2 a. m. February 1 the Tennessee vedettes, on the Columbus road, ran in past the pickets from the Second Ohio and reported they had been fired on, and that they returned the fire. The men were soon under arms and we waited patiently until daybreak for the enemy. As none appeared I sent Lieutenant Burrows, with twenty-six men of the Second Ohio Heavy Artillery, mounted, out with instructions to scour the country thoroughly and return by 2 p. m. He returned and reported he had visited Scarborough's Mills and other points where the enemy were reported to have been seen the day previous; that no enemy had been at any of the places; that none had been in the country since early Sunday morning, except fire of six, who were stealing horses, on Monday, the 30th. That evening I received orders to return with Companies A and B to this place.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
T. A. STEVENSON,
Captain Commanding First Battalion, Second Ohio Heavy Artillery.
Captain W. W. DEANE,
Asst. Adjt. General, Fourth Division, Twenty-third Army Corps.
JANUARY 28-31, 1865.-Expedition from Strawberry, Plains to Clinch Mountain, Tenn., with skirmish.
Numbers 1.- Major Daniel W. Hoffman, Second Ohio Heavy Artillery.
Numbers 2.-Lieutenant Don A. Dodge, Tenth Michigan Cavalry.
Numbers 1. Report of Major Daniel W. Hoffman, Second Ohio Heavy Artillery.
HEADQUARTERS U. S. FORCES,
Strawberry Plains, Tenn., January 31, 1865.
CAPTAIN: I have the honor to state that the expedition under Lieutenant Dodge has returned. A fight occurred at or near Stearns', and