our men retreated. They report killing several of the enemy in a ruining flag. We lost no men. According to your order, I sent Lieutenants Wiley and Smith with sixty men of Second Ohio Volunteers Heavy Artillery to report to Lieutenant Dodge. Leaving camp at 7.30 p. m. on Saturday they marched twenty miles before daylight. On account of the severity of the march a great many men gave out so that in the fight the infantry numbered only thirty men. I have ordered Lieutenant Dodge to make a report of the action, which I will forward as soon as received. If your order it, I will have Lieutenant Willey, in command of the infantry, make a report also, as there seems to be quite a difference of opinion as regards the necessity and management of the retreat.
DAN. W. HOFFMAN,
Major, Second Ohio Volunteer Heavy Artillery, Commanding Post.
Captain W. W. DEANE,
Assistant Adjutant-General, Knoxville, Tenn.
Numbers 2. Report of Lieutenant Don A. Dodge, Tenth Michigan Cavalry.
CAMP COMPANY, TENTH MICHIGAN CAVALRY,
Strawberry Plains, East Tennessee, January 31, 1865.
MAJOR: I have the honor to make the following report of my command on the 28th, 29th, and 30th to wit: I left Strawberry Plains at 1 p. m. January 28, with nineteen men of Company M, Tenth Michigan Cavalry, armed with sabers and Colt army revolvers, with instructions to proceed to the house of Pleasant Stearms, nearly opposite of Rutledge, living, on the north side of Clinch Mountain, and arrest him (Stearns) and bring him to Knoxville. On reaching Blain's Cross-Roads, I learned that a man by the name of Hepshire was at and in the vicinity of Stearn's with eighty men, and also of Lieutenant Colark with thirty-five of forty men, and a small squad with Popejoy and Beeler. I halted and sent courier too you, stating thefacts and requesting re-enforcements to proceed that night on the mountain path, and at 11 p. m. Lieutenants Wiley and Smith, of the Second Ohio Heavy Artillery, reported to me with sixty men. I immediately started to proceed over the mountain paths, and finding it impossible to reach the locality in which the rebels were reported, owing to the condition of the streams and defiles through which I had to pass in the night, I camped at 5 o'clock on the morning of the 29th five miles southeast of Powder Spring Gap, for rest and feed and at 7 a. m. the 29th I started by way of Powder Spring Gap. Arrived on the north side of the mountain, two miles from Pleasant Stearms' house, at 2 p. m. Learnig of rebels in close proximity to us I halted. Owing to the tediousness of the march some of my infantrymen had given out and straggled, leaving me at this place with nineteen cavalry and thirty infantry, forty-nine men in all. Here I placed my men under cover. Learning that Popejoy and Beeler had just passed in a southerly direction, I took seven cavalrymen and tracked them to the base of Clinch Mountain, two miles and a half, in a southwesterly direction. Failing to overtake them, as they took to the rocks and bushes in the mountain, I returned to my command and moved to the house of Pleasant Stearns. I learned from a lady in that.