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[188] of threatening Chattanooga and capturing or dispersing any of the rebel forces of cavalry hovering around that portion of the country. It was authoritatively reported that the rebels had made a preconcerted movement for the purpose of recapturing Nashville; but that object was frustrated by the energy and intrepidity of General Negley and his troops, as will be seen by the following statement:

General N. started from Columbia, on the day above named, with a sufficient force of troops.

General N. reached Fayetteville on Saturday, May thirty-first, remained there until Monday morning following, and then resumed his march and proceeded to Salem, where he arrived the same day.

The next day he reached Winchester. It had been reported that the rebels were in considerable force in that place, and the Seventh Pennsylvania cavalry made a dash into the town, but found the enemy had dispersed. They succeeded, however, in capturing Capt. Trimble and three of his men, belonging to Starn's cavalry. This Trimble is a clergyman, a bitter rebel, who has been emulating Morgan in capturing pickets and couriers, and denouncing Union men to the hangmen. He has been very enterprising in bringing up Union men, who were compelled to accept either one or the other of two alternatives, namely, to go into the confederate army or be hanged. He was also the principal of a large female seminary in Winchester, which seems to be still in full operation, educating the feminine youth of the locality in the arts, sciences, and philosophies of the heresy of secessionism. Trimble was subsequently sent to Gen. Mitchel, at Huntsville.

Passing through Winchester, Gen. Negley encamped his forces at a place called Cowan, on the Nashville and Chattanooga Railroad, and on a branch of a tributary of the Tennessee River. The trestle-work of the railroad bridge at this point was found to have been burned by the rebels, but the stream was easily fordable, and it was crossed on Wednesday morning, June fourth, and the line of march resumed toward Jasper, Marion County. Here Gen. Negley caused several of the most prominent secessionists to be arrested, and mulcted them in the sum of two hundred dollars each, which was appropriated to the relief of the Union people in Tennessee who had suffered injury at the hands of the rebels. This was the first practical illustration of the character and intention of Gov. Johnson's declaration that rich rebels should be made to pay for Union losses incurred by rebel predatory bands. Passing through Jasper, Gen. Negley encamped at the foot of the first ridge of the Cumberland mountains, early in the evening, at an old camping-ground of the rebels. The following morning he commenced crossing the mountain, over a steep and rocky road, one which most persons would pronounce impassable for artillery. Over this rugged road the artillery and provision-trains were passed with but trifling injury, owing to the efficiency of the equipments. Here Gen. Negley first obtained a glimpse of the enemy. After a very abrupt descent through a thick forest the road suddenly opened out into a beautiful cove, about six hundred yards wide, and stretching off in an easterly direction towards the Sequatchie valley. The road crosses to the south side of the cove, and skirts along the foot of the mountain about half a mile eastwardly; then crossing the valley towards the north side, then eastwardly again towards the valley. At this point General Negley's advance, consisting of the Fifth Kentucky cavalry, Col. Haggard, and two companies of the Seventy-ninth Pennsylvania infantry, under command of Capt. Klein, encountered the pickets of the rebel Gen. Adams's brigade of cavalry, which was encamped on the opposite side of the cove, at a point where the road turns to cross the valley again. After a brisk firing — the Union troops acting with the coolness of veterans all the while — the rebel pickets fell back, and the main body of the rebel force, learning there was a Union force near, came forward up the road in a body and let down the fences, preparatory to a charge. They were then at least eight hundred strong. By this time Gen. Negley had placed two six-pounder field-pieces in position, and commenced firing on them with Shenkle shell. This was evidently more than the enemy expected; for at the first fire they turned in confusion and fled with dismay, hotly pursued by our cavalry, led by company A, of the Fifth Kentucky, commanded by Lieut. Wharton. The enemy were pursued for two miles before they were reached, their horses being fresh and ours jaded by their rough march over the mountain. Our men at last succeeded in overtaking them, and dashed in among them with the sabre, when much execution was done. A number of the rebels were killed and wounded, and about twenty taken prisoners, among whom was a lieutenant, named Jones, commanding a company. The rebels, in their flight, threw away every think that could in the slightest degree impede their progress; the road for miles was strewn with sabres, pistols, shotguns, haversacks, any quantity of corn — bread, and all the other portions of the equipments of a rebel cavalry soldier. Some of the rebel cavalry were clothed in regulation uniforms, others in citizen's dress.

The panic was complete. Gen. Adams lost his hat, sword, and horse, as he had to borrow a horse from a negro to escape on, and a hat from a sympathizing rebel. He had no sword when he left the field, according to the reports of citizens who saw him in his flight towards Chattanooga. Many of the rebels did not stop until they reached Chattanooga, a distance of over thirty miles. Major Adams, a brother of the General, is reported to be severely, probably fatally, wounded, by a sabre-cut in the head. Thirteen rebels were found dead on the road as far as our forces proceeded at this time. The action and pursuit were gallantly conducted on the part of the Union forces. After pursuing the rebels some three miles, the Federals returned to Sweeden's Cove, where they encamped for the night. They were followed into camp by large numbers of

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J. S. Negley (7)
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