War of the Rebellion: Serial 103 Page 0335 EXPEDITION INTO WESTERN NORTH CAROLINA.

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bridge as shelter could be found. The second shot from our artillery dismounted the rebel gun, a few more discharges drove them from their rifle-pits, when the dismounted battalion under Captain [Major] Denton, Eighth Tennessee, charged across the bridge on the sleepers and drove the rebels from the ford. The rebels lost several killed and we captured 1 piece of artillery about 50 prisoners. The broken axle of the piece was replaced from the caissons and the piece brought away. At Morganton large supplies of corn and bacon were found.

On the 19th I moved toward Asheville, by way of Swannanoa Gap, reaching the gap on the 20th. I found it to be effectually blockaded and defended by about 500 men with four pieces of artillery. Leaving Colonel Miller to deceive the enemy by feints, on 21st I moved to Rutherford, forty miles south of Swannanoa Gap, and by sundown on the 22nd I had passed the Blue Ridge at Howard's Gap with but slight resistance and was in the enemy's rear. At daylight on the 23rd the advance entered Hendersonville. Here I ascertained that the enemy had learned that I had left Swannanoa Gap and had been in Hendersonville the previous day with four pieces of artillery, but being able to hear nothing of us had returned toward Asheville late in the afternoon. I immediately ordered Colonel [Major] Slater, commanding the Eleventh Kentucky Cavalry, to pursue, attack, and capture this artillery at all hazards. The Eleventh Michigan was ordered to support the Eleventh Kentucky. At 12 m. the colonel reported he had overtaken the artillery twelve miles from Hendersonville, charged and captured the 4 pieces and 70 of its infantry guard. At Hendersonville about 300 stand of arms were captured. I also heard from Colonel Palmer that he had received my order to move to Rutherford; but after concentrating for the move had been informed by General Echols, of the rebel army, of the existence of the truce, and therefore has not moved. He was directed to comply with the previous order and establish his headquarters at Rutherford. I regarded the possession of one of the gaps of the Blue Ridge as being absolutely necessary to the safety of my command. At 12 m. I left Hendersonville, intending to attack Asheville the same evening. At 3 p.m. I received a flag of truce from General Martin at Asheville, stating that he had official notification of the truce. Later in the evening another flag of truce informed me that General Martin would meet me next morning. At 11 p.m. I received an official announcement from General Sherman of the existence of the truce. General Sherman's order to General Stoneman to come to the railroad at Durham's Station or Hillsborough was received at 11 p.m. Being thoroughly convinced that the order had been given by General Sherman in the belief that the Cavalry Division was at or near Salisbury, when in fact it would have required a march of about 200 miles to have reached Durham's Station, and but sixty to our base at Greenville, Tenn., after mature consideration I determined to march to the latter place, and accordingly when I met General Martin under flag of truce on the morning of the 24th I announced to him my decision to march to Greenville, and at the same time suggested to him that it would be a great relief to the people if he could supply me with three days' rations, and thus avoid the necessity of stripping the citizens of their scanty supplies. The general agreed to my proposition, and furnished three days' rations of meal and all the meat they had on hand. At this meeting General Martin demanded the restoration of the battery captured the preceding day, basing his claim on the fact that the capture had been made after the date of the agreement between Generals Sherman and Johnston, though the existence might have been unknown to