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[688] a petty post at Scottsboroa, where he was repulsed and his command scattered: getting over the Tennessee with a remnant of 200 men, but losing his last gun. Being still pursued, he fled to a place known as Red hill; where his bivouac was surprised1 by Col. W. J. Palmer, 15th Pa. cavalry, and 100 of his men taken. Lyon escaped, after surrendering, by seizing a pistol, shooting a sentinel, and vanishing in the darkness. This was the final blow given to Hood's army.

Thomas expected now to put his forces into well-earned Winter-quarters; but he soon received advices from Washington that this did not meet the views of Gen. Grant, who proposed to crush what was left of the Rebellion first and then rest. Accordingly, Gens. Smith's, Schofield's, and Wilson's corps were taken up by boats at Clifton, on the Tennessce, and conveyed to Eastport, Miss; and Gen. Wood's was directed to Huntsville, north Alabama, preparatory to a further Winter campaign.

Meantime, matters of decided interest had occurred in East Tennessee and south-western Virginia. Gen. Stoneman had been dispatched by Thomas from Louisville to Knoxville to take command there, while Burbridge, with all his disposable force, was sent thither from eastern Kentucky through Cumberland gap. Breckinridge, doubtless apprised of this movement, withdrew from this neighborhood quite as rapidly as he had advanced; while Gen. Ammen, just arrived with 1,500 men from Chattanooga, was pushed out to Strawberry plains on his track.

Stoneman, as directed by Thomas, started2 from Knoxville in pursuit of the now ever-matched and retreating foe: taking three mounted brigades, led by Burbridge and Gillem; at whose head, he swept3 rapidly eastward, skirmishing, to Bristol; while Gillem, on his right, struck Duke at Kingsport, capturing 300 prisoners, with several well-laden trains, and dispersing Duke's command. Pushing Burbridge on to Abingdon, Va., where he was rejoined4 by Gillem, Stoneman captured that place also; destroying there a large quantity of stores.

Vaughan, with the Rebel frontier force of cavalry, had been flanked by this rapid advance, but had moved parallel with our column to Marion; where Gillem now struck5 him and chased him 30 miles into Wytheville; capturing 200 men, 8 gans, and a large train. Vaughan was again attacked and driven at the lead mines, 15 miles farther east, which were captured, and all the works destroyed. At Max Meadows, near this point, Gillem destroyed the railroad and other valuable property.

Breckinridge had by this time concentrated what was left of his various subordinate commands, and had been following our advance on Wytheville. Stoneman now turned upon and met him near Marion, expecting to give battle next morning; but Breckinridge, deeming his force quite too slender, retreated across the mountains into North Carolina during the night; losing a few wagons and caissons by our pursuit, which was not long persisted in.

This retreat — doubtless, inevitably — abandoned to its fate Saltville,

1 Jan. 14.

2 Dec. 6.

3 Dec. 12.

4 Doc. 15.

5 Dec. 16.

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