HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE CUMBERLAND,
Nashville, April 23, 1865-10 a. m.
Your dispatch of 2.40 p. m. yesterday received. Perhaps Gillem may be able to effectually cover the region south of Knoxville by holding Asheville and scouting to the south and west of that place. If so, I shall prefer that he make his headquarters at Asheville. There is no necessity of pushing your troops along the railroad beyond the advance of the working parties.
GEO. H. THOMAS,
Major-General, U. S. Army, Commanding.
ASHEVILLER, April 23, 1865.
The following just received from General Gillem:
Commanding Department of East Tennessee:
On the 17th I advanced on Morganton, found the bridge over Catawba torn up and the ford defended by about 300 men, with one piece of artillery, under Major-General McCown, C. S. Army. Their artillery was dismounted by the second shot from ours. A few shells cleared their rifle-pits, when the bridge was charged by Eight Tennessee Cavalry. We captured the artillery. Jeff. Davis left Greensborough on 15th with 500 picked cavalry under General Dibrell, going west. All treasure has been removed from Charlotte. The railroad bridge, 1,125 feet long, over Catawba, between Charlotte and Chester, has been destroyed by a detachment Twelft Ohio Cavalry. Two pieces of artillery were captured at the bridge. Colonel Palmer, commanding brigade, reports he has paroled over 2,000 stranglers, from colonels to privates mostly from Johnston's army. Duke's and Vaughn's cavalry, probably 500 armed men, are east of Catawba River. Charlotte is held by two brigades of infantry and Ferguson's cavalry brigade. On the 20th I moved on Asheville, found Swannanoa Gap blockaded and defended by about 500 infantry and four pieces artillery under General Martin. Left Miller's brigade to make a feeing on the gap, and with Brown's brigade made a forced march of sixty-nine miles, turned their position, surprised them, captured their fourth pieces of artillery, and dispersed its supports, and would have entered Asheville in two hours had not General Martin notified me of a truce between Generals Sherman and Johnston. General Martin claims that the guns be returned, as they were captured after date of truce. They will arrive at Greenveille, Tenn., on 27th . There is no forage in the valley of French Broad and my division will enter East Tennessee by the different passes where forage is most likely to be found.
ALVAN C. GILLEM,
Major-General of Volunteers.
HEADQUARTERS FOURTH DIVISION,
DEPARTMENT OF THE CUMBERLAND, Numbers 19.
In the Field, Greeneville, Tenn., April 23, 1865.
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III. Colonel G. W. Kirk, Third North Carolina Mounted Infantry, will proceed at once on the road to Warm Springs and overtake the infantry and cavalry under the command of Major Johnson, First U. S. Colored Heavy Artillery, and Major Dyer, Thirteenth Tennessee Cavalry, and will assume command of all the forces and proceed immediately to