him and myself. Of course I declined restoring the battery, which with the piece captured at Morganton will arrive at this place on the 28th. But for the armistice it would have been easy to capture Asheville and its garrison. Colonel Palmer reports that after leaving Statesville he paroled over 2,000 prisoners.
On the 25th Brown's and Miller's brigades marched toward Greeneville, while orders were given for Palmer to proceed, by way of Waynesville, and Quallatown, down the Little Tennessee. I cannot close this report without remarking on the complete surprise of the rebels at every point at which we appeared. When the expedition crossed the Blue Ridge into North Carolina they were convinced that Salisbury was the point of intended attack. By turning due north from Jonesville the enemy were completely surprised and the Tennessee and Virginia Railroad at our mercy. By the destruction of that road the enemy lost three trains, and were compelled to destroy upward of 200 wagons and spike and abandon 21 pieces of artillery. The greater part of the troops thus cut off returned to Kentucky, under Generals Cosby and Giltner, and surrendered themselves to the Federal authorities. When marching south (the demonstration of Colonel Palmer) in the direction of Danville and Greensborough by Martinsville the enemy withdrew several thousand of their troops from Salisbury before they discovered the real point of attack. The road had been cut in five different place south of Danville, and despite their efforts to re-enforce it, Salisbury with its immense depots and magazines fell into our hands. A division of infantry and brigade of cavalry arrived at Salisbury the day after our departure. Whilst all their available force and artillery was at Swannanoa Gap a brigade was passed to their rear, surprising and capturing most of their force. Our captures amount to 25 pieces of artillery taken in action and 21 that they were forced to abandon in Southwest Virginia, total 46; about 6,000 prisoners and 17 battle-flags. In conclusion I beg to recommend the following officers to the especial consideration of the War Department: Colonel W. J. Palmer, for his uniform gallantry, zeal, and ability in the management of his brigade; Colonel J. K. Miller, the same, and especially for his gallantry at Salisbury, for which I respectfully and earnestly recommend him for the brevet of brigadier-general; Major Sawyers, for gallantry in the charge at Salisbury; Colonel L. S. Trowbridge, for gallantry and energy in his attack on High Point, where he was opposed by superior numbers; Lieutentant-Colonel [Major] Slater, for his distinguished gallantry in charging and capturing the enemy's battery near Asheville April 23; Major Wagner, Fifteen Pennsylvania Cavalry, for the gallantry and ability displayed by him in the management of his battalion whilst detached from his regiment and brigade in the direction of Lynchburg and Danville; Major Moderwell, Twelfth Ohio, for gallantry in capturing and destroying the bridge over Catawba when defended by a superior force and two pieces of artillery; Lieutentant-Colonel Stacy, Thirteenth Tennessee Cavalry, for his uniform gallantry, particularly at Salisbury. I beg to recommend to especial notice my staff: Lieutenant Colonel Israel C. Smith, acting assistant inspector-general, for his uniform gallantry and efficiency, particularly at Salisbury, I recommend for promotion to colonel by brevet. For the same reasons I recommend Major S. Hambright, Tenth Tennessee Cavalry, provost-marshal division, and Major G. F. Barnes, Twelfth Kentucky Cavalry; Captain W. J. Patterson, Battery E, First Tennessee Light Artillery, acting assistant adjutant-general, and Captain W. R. Tracy, commissary of subsistence, U. S. Volunteers; Lieutenant D. M. Nelson, aide-de-camp, Ninth Tennessee Cavalry; Lieutenants