No. 4. Report of Brigadier General Alvan C. Gillem, U. S. Army, commanding Cavalry Division, District of East Tennessee, of operations March 21-April 25.
HDQRS. CAVALRY DIVISION, DISTRICT OF EAST TENNESSEE,
Greenville, Tenn., April 25, 1865.
MAJOR: I have the honor to submit the following report of the operations of the cavalry, District of East Tennessee, from the 21st of March up to the present date. To prevent repetition I will merely say that from the time the division left Morristown, on the 23rd of March, until the 17th of April, Major-General Stoneman, commanding the District of East Tennessee, accompanied the division, and that its movements were made in compliance with his instructions.
On the 18th of March, in compliance with orders from headquarters of the District of East Tennessee, I assumed command of this division. At that time but one brigade (Miller's brigade, Third) was at Knoxville. On the 22nd the division was concentrated at Mossy Creek. On the 23rd the division moved to Morristown, Tenn., where five days' rations, one day's forage (corn), and four horseshoes and nails were issued to each man of the command. At daylight on the morning of the 24th Colonel Miller, with his brigade (Third), moved on the road toward Bristol, with orders to take the north or Snapp's Ferry road at Bull's Gap, and by a rapid march by Fall Branch to get on the railroad between Jonesborough and Carter's Station, and thus get in the rear of the portion of the enemy's forces reported in the vicinity of Jonesborough. Colonel Miller was accompanied by a telegraph operator. The other two brigades from Bull's Gap took the central or Babb's Mill road, whilst General Tillson, with the infantry and train, moved by the main or southern road, by way of Greeneville. Nothing of interest transpired on the 24th. On the 25th we encamped ten miles west of Jonesborough; the train came up, and the First and Second Brigades drew all the rations the men could carry conveniently. On the 26th the command moved, cutting loose from all encumbrances in the way of trains. One wagon, ten ambulances, and four guns, with their caissons, were the only carriages that accompanied the expedition. At 12 m. we passed through Jonesborough, and learned from Colonel Miller that he had complied with his instructions, but that in consequence of injuries to the railroad bridge over the Watauga there had been no trains south of the river for some days; that rebel General Jackson had fallen back the previous night in great haste, and that the country was full of rebel stragglers and deserters, and that he had killed and captured some of the former. In compliance with his instructions Colonel Miller then moved to Elizabethtown. On the 26th a portion of the command encamped on Buffalo Creek and the remainder at Doe River Cove, it being necessary to scatter the command in order to procure forage. On the 27th Colonel Miller was ordered to concentrate his brigade and follow the division on the following day. On the 27th the command moved up the Watauga River, and after halting for a short time near the mouth of Roan Creek to feed, marched until 12 p.m., when we bivouacked on the eastern slope of the Iron Mountain until daylight, when the march was resumed. About 10 a.m. on the 28th, when approaching the town of Boone, it was learned that there was a meeting of the home guard in that town to take place on that day. Major Keogh, aide-de-camp to Major-General Stoneman, went forward with a detachment of the Twelfth Kentucky Volunteer Cavalry, surprised and