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[428] chosen position; and a charge on our rear by Col. Scott's Rebel cavalry, though it threw our forces into temporary confusion, was repelled with spirit by Wolford: when the Rebels renewed their flight, and were pursued 5 or 6 miles; and now they made another stand, and were not again attacked — night soon falling; under the shelter of which, they moved quietly off; crossing the Cumberland in squads, and making good their escape into Tennessee, with a loss of only about 1001 men and a large share of their plunder. Our loss was about half so many. It is plain that most of them might have been captured, but for the over-estimate of their strength by our officers.

Gen. Burnside, two months later, sent a cavalry force, under Col. H. S. Saunders, from Williamsburg, Ky., across the Cumberland mountains into East Tennessee; which struck the railroad at Lenoir, 40 miles below Knoxville, breaking it thence nearly up to Knoxville; then, passing around that city, struck it again near Strawberry Plains, burning the bridge, 1,600 feet long, across the Holston, and that across Mossy creek, above; capturing in all 3 guns, 500 prisoners, and 10,000 small arms, beside destroying large quantities of Confederate munitions and stores; making its way out with difficulty — the passes being all choked or guarded — to Boston,2 Ky. Its loss was trifling.

Gen. Burnside, having thoroughly organized and equipped his command, about 20,000 strong, at Camp Nelson, near Richmond, Ky., commenced,3 without awaiting the return of his old corps, his advance on Knoxville simultaneously with Rosecrans's movement on Chattanooga. Marching as light as possible — his men nearly all mounted; his munitions and stores mainly packed on mules — concentrating his forces at Crab Orchard, he pushed vigorously through Mount Vernon, London,4 Williamsburg, and thence due south into Tennessee at Chitwood, halting two days5 to rest; and then making a forced march over the mountains of 40 miles in two days, to Montgomery, and thence reaching Kingston, where the Holston and Clinch rivers unite to form the Tennessee; and where he was greeted by Rosecrans's pickets and communicated with Col. Minty's cavalry; while his army made another forced march oft two days to London, higher up; hoping, thus to save the railroad bridge, 2,000 feet long, over the Holston; which they reached6 just in time to see it in flames. Pushing as rapidly to Knoxville — which our cavalry advance had occupied on the 1st--Gen. Burnside was welcomed7 with such an outpouring of enthusiastic loyalty and gratitude as had rarely been equaled. But East Tennessee had been overwhelmingly and invincibly loyal throughout, while the sufferings of her Unionists, from Rebel conscription, persecution, and spoliation, had been terrible. Every able-bodied man having been conscripted into the Confederate armies, those who refused to serve were accounted deserters, worthy of death; and the penalty was freely enforced. But the dungeon, the bullet, and the rope, whereby it

1 Gillmore first reports their loss at “over 300;” and again says it “will not fall short of 500 men.” But the only account (by a newspaper correspondent) that gives precise details, makes the numbers “19 killed, 6 wounded, and 67 prisoners.”

2 June 23.

3 Aug. 16.

4 Aug. 24.

5 Aug. 27-8.

6 Sept. 1.

7 Sept. 3.

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