Echols heard of Lee's surrender he disbanded his command, giving his men permission to return home. The following is copy of kind of papers given by Echols to his soldiers. I took the copy from paper in possession of one of the soldiers.
"'ARTILLERY, ENCAMPMENT, Christiansburg, Va., April 19, 1865.
"'Private James A. Fields, of Lynch's battery, has permission to go home and remain there a peaceable and quiet citizen.
"'By order of Brigadier-General Echols:
"'Lieutenant, Commanding Battery."'
Captain Hale reports that Echols had with at Christiansburgh sixteen pieces of artillery. The carriages were cut down, the guns spiked, and the ammunition destroyed. After Echold had disbanded his command Dreake [Duke], Colburn [Cosby], and Vaughn called for volunteers to follow them. They got about 400 each. It was understood Colburn [Cosby] was taking his command to Kentucky to surrender it. Drake [Duke] was trying to make his way to the Trans-Mississippi Department, but after starting, his men became dissatisfied; that he was understood to have promised to take them to Kentucky to surrender them. Vaughn started to North Carolina with his command, but promised his men not to try to take them to Johnston or to engage them in any more battles. His command was heard from a day or two after leaving Christiansburg and was said to be reduced by desertion to 200 men. Captain Hale says that the belief in Echols' command was that the rebellion was finished. If does seem the bottom is dropping out in a hurry in all quarters.
THOS. J. WOOD,
Major-General of Volunteers.
GEO. H. THOMAS,
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE CUMBERLAND,
Nashville, April 10, 1865.
Stoneman has already reached Jonesborough, and will be at Knoxville to-day. He will immediately arrange to relieve Wood's troops. Have your troops and transportation brought here as nearly intact as possible.
GEO. H. THOMAS,
Major-General, U. S. Army, Commanding.
KNOXVILLE, April 20, 1865.
Major General G. H. THOMAS:
The guerrillas threw a train off the track at midnight last night near Morristown, burn thirteen cars and injured the engine. The train was not guarded. The wreck is cleared and trains are all in motion. Trains hereafter will be guarded, and rebel citizens, of which there are none other from New Market to Morristown, held accountable for outrages.
D. S. STANLEY,
HEADQUARTERS THIRD DIVISION, FOURTH ARMY CORPS,
Greenville, East, Tenn., April 20, 1865.
Brigadier General SAMUEL BEATTY,
Commanding Third Brigade:
You will march with you command at once for this place, reaching here to-morrow. Leave a guard of fifty men under charge of an officer