Doc. 92.-General Carter's expedition.
General Wright's report.
Major-General George G. Granger that the cavalry force about one thousand strong which he sent to East-Tennessee on the twenty-first ultimo, by my order, under Brigadier-General H. Carter, to destroy the East-Tennessee Railroad, bridges, etc., has been heard from. General Granger has just received a despatch from Gen. Carter at Manchester, Kentucky, stating that on the thirtieth ultimo, he entirely destroyed the Union and Watauga bridges, with ten miles of railroad. Five hundred and fifty rebels were killed, wounded and taken prisoners; seven hundred stand of arms, a large amount of salt and other rebel stores, also, a locomotive and several cars, were captured and destroyed. A brisk skirmish took place at the Watauga bridge and another at Jonesville. We lost but ten men. This expedition, as characterized by General Granger, has been one of the most hazardous and daring of the war, attended with great hardship and privation, owing to the almost impracticable nature of the country, the length of the route, (nearly two hundred miles each way,) and the inclement season. The importance and results of this expedition can hardly be overrated, severing as it does the main rebel artery of communication between Virginia and the South-West. General Carter, his officers and men deserve the thanks of the country. Great credit is also due to Major-General Granger, under whose immediate supervision the expedition was fitted out, and whose long cavalry experience was a guarantee that nothing tending to its success would be neglected or forgotten.
H. G. Wright, Major-General Commanding.
General Carter and his command are without a parallel in the history of the war, and deserve the thanks of the country. This expedition has proved the capacity of our cavalry for bold and dashing movements, which I doubt not will be imitated by others.
H. W. Halleck, General-in-Chief.
General Carter's Congratulatory order.
Headquarters cavalry force, in the field, Richmond, Ky., January 9, 1863.special order, No. 1. In taking leave of the officers and soldiers comprising the expeditionary force into East-Tennessee, the General Commanding desires to thank you in his own name and that of our common country, for the faithful manner in which you performed the difficult duties assigned you. In twenty days you marched four hundred and seventy miles, one hundred and seventy of which was in the enemy's country, without tents, and with only such rations as you could carry in your haversacks, in every instance. When you met the rebels you captured, destroyed, or put them to flight. You burned two most important railroad bridges at a time when it was taxed to its utmost capacity, took some four hundred prisoners, killed a number, destroyed six to seven hundred stand of arms, a locomotive, tender and cars, besides a considerable amount of valuable stores. You moved day and night, exposed to rain, snow,  and bitter cold, and much of the time with only such scanty rations as you could procure in your rapid march. You bore such hardships and privations as few of our soldiers have been called upon to encounter, without a murmur or a single word of complaint. You have acquitted yourselves like worthy soldiers of the Republic. “Through the Lord you have done valorously.” Your country is proud of your achievements. To your valor and endurance are due the success of our undertaking. With such men few things are impossible. We drop a tear to the memory of our brave comrades who sleep in the valley of East-Tennessee, and tender to their surviving friends our heartfelt sympathies. Let it be our pride to emulate their heroism and devotion to our most glorious and holy cause. In future let your conduct as soldiers be in keeping with your recent glorious deeds. Others will respect you all the more because you belonged to the expeditionary force to East-Tennessee. Soldiers, again the General Commanding thanks you.
Cincinnati commercial account.
Winchester, Ky., January 11, 1863.If your readers will for a moment lay before them their maps of Kentucky, Virginia, and Tennessee, I will endeavor to lay out to them the route pursued by General Carter in his expedition to East-Tennessee. The First battalion of the Seventh Ohio cavalry, under command of Major Reany, consisting of company A, Captain Green, First Lieutenant A. Hall; company B, Captain Lewis, First Lieutenant J. P. Santmyer, Second Lieutenant W. T. Burton; company C, Captain Simpson, Second Lieutenant M. Schuler; company D, Captain E. Lindsay, Second Lieutenant, Samuel Murphy; Acting Adjutant, D. Sayer; Acting Quartermaster, Second Lieutenant Rich--left this camp on the twentieth of December, under the guidance of Colonel Carter, of the Second Tennessee volunteers, and proceeded to Clarke's salt-works, at the head of the Kentucky River, where we were to meet a force of cavalry, under General Carter, to proceed somewhere, on some important business, no one knew where or what. We arrived at our destination on the twenty fourth ultimo, ahead of the rest of the force. Clarke's salt-works is situated near the mouth of Goose Creek, and has never yet been in the hands of the rebels. They attempted to take the place some six months ago, but the mountaineers, being nearly all strong Union men, met them, and drove them from the field ; killing four, and wounding eight. They have notified Mr. Brown, the Superintendent, several times, that they were coining to take it; but have, as yet, failed to do so. On Christmas-day, a courier arrived from Gen. Carter to move up Goose Creek to Hurd's, where he would join us. At noon General Carter came up with ten companies of the Ninth Pennsylvania cavalry, under command of Major Russell, two battalions Second Michigan cavalry, under Lieutenant-Colonel Campbell, our forces thus united making one thousand and five, rank and file, officers, servants, etc., all told. After feeding, here on secesh hay, we proceeded to the Red Bird Fork of the Kentucky River; following up said river to its head-waters, we crossed through War Gap to the Pine Mountain; crossed said mountain, and at its foot struck the Cumberland River; followed up this river to Mt. Pleasant, tie county-seat of Harlan County; this is one of the county-seats, and is certainly worth describing. It consists of a court-house, with the gable end out; a log jail, the logs so far apart that a man could crawl between them ; half a dozen log huts inhabited by white people, who refused a drink of water to a Union soldier. Leaving the Cumberland River here, we followed up Martin's Creek to the foot of Cumberland Mountain. At four o'clock P. M., Sunday, the twenty-eighth, we commenced the ascent of the Cumberland, and at half-past 10 P. M. we crossed the State line, and the Old Dominion was, from this side, for the first time polluted by “Lincoln hirelings.” We crossed the east corner of Lee County during the night, and halted for one hour for feeding. At ten o'clock Monday, twenty-ninth, we crossed Powell's Creek, and ascended Powell's Mountain, where we entered the State of Tennessee. Here we took eight bushwhackers and four horses. At five o'clock P. M. crossed Clinch River and fed our horses. Here our rations commenced to fail. We gave out only about half a cracker to a man. Rumors of plenty of bushwhackers ahead. The General here played a Yankee trick, by taking prisoners all the citizens and placing them at the head of the column. We then proceeded to cross the Clinch Mountain. We took some twenty prisoners during our trip across this mountain, one of them belonging to Floyd's body-guard, and one to the celebrated State Rights guards, the worst specimen of humanity I ever saw. We were again in the saddle all night, going at a brisk trot. On the top of the mountain the First Duty Sergeant of company D, Second Michigan, was killed by a bushwhacker, and the Orderly Sergeant of the same company taken prisoner. At eleven o'clock on Tuesday morning, we entered Blountsville, the county-seat of Sullivan County. As we entered the town, a lady ran to the door, throwing up her hands, exclaiming; “The Yankees! The Yankees! Great God, we are lost!” After stopping here a few minutes to feed our horses, we proceeded toward Zollicoffer, formerly called Union Station, on the Virginia and East-Tennessee Railroad. At this station were encamped about one hundred and fifty of the Sixty-second North-Carolina regiment, confederate soldiers, under command of Major McDowell. Colonel Carter, being in advance, met three citizens, and, after passing the salutations of the morning, inquired the news of the day,  when one of them replied that there was “a rumor that there was a lot of d-d Yankees within a few miles of Blountsville.” “Ah! Indeed,” says Colonel Carter; “who is in command at the station below?” “Major McDowell, sir, and he is now coming up to find out the truth of the report.” “Well, gentlemen, you are all my prisoners. Guards, take them to the rear,” said the Colonel. In a few minutes Major McDowell rode in sight, and four of our troops filed across the road in his rear, when Colonel Carter approached him, saying: “Major McDowell, I believe?” “Yes, sir, that is my name.” “You are my prisoner, sir.” “Pray, sir, who may you be?” “Colonel Carter, Second Tennessee regiment, Federal troops!” The Major looked very much down-hearted, but concluded that resistance was useless, when the Colonel informed him that he would impart to him, with the greatest pleasure in the world, the information he was seeking, namely, that there was a large Federal force in his rear; and, in order to prevent the effusion of blood, it would be policy to advise a surrender of the post. The Major agreed to this, and accordingly advised Lieutenant Inloes to surrender, which he did. We took at this post one hundred and fifty prisoners, with Lieutenants Inloes and Norton. We here destroyed the railroad bridge, seven hundred and twenty feet long, over the Holston River, the county bridge over the same stream, and captured a lot of flour, three car-loads of salt, sugar, coffee, bacon, meal, etc. ; also, about three thousand pounds nitre, and seven hundred stand of arms, all of which we destroyed, as well as the telegraph-wires, turn-table, etc. We also captured about thirty horses and mules, marked “C. S. A.” Twocompanies of the Seventh O. V. I., and two of the Ninth Tennessee cavalry, proceeded to Carter's Station, ten miles distant, destroying the road and telegraph, where company E, of the Sixty-second regiment N. C. V. was stationed. Here we had a fight, in which we lost one man killed, Leonda Archard, bugler of company D, Seventh O. V. I., and two men of the Ninth Pennsylvania, wounded, one severely, leg amputated; while the rebel loss was seven killed and fifteen wounded, and seventy-five prisoners. We here destroyed the bridge across the Watauga River, four hundred feet long, with a lot of commissary stores, and captured a locomotive and ten cars, a lumber train. We destroyed the locomotive, and burned the cars. The deed was done. The country was roused. Now for the return. Rumors rife! enemies in our front! enemies in our rear! enemies on our right flank! enemies on our left flank! Bushwhackers popping at us on all sides, while we “pursue the even tenor of our way.” On Wednesday night, while crossing Holston River at Kingsport, the bushwhackers under Colonel Johnson, of Kentucky notoriety, attacked our advance. A brisk skirmish was kept up for half an hour, without any loss on our side. On the first instant, we recrossed Clinch Mountain through Moccasin Gap. Here, again the bushwhackers commenced, and kept up the fire, until we reached Jonesville, county-seat of Lee County, Va., where we had another brisk skirmish for an hour or so, in which the rebels lost several in killed and wounded; we none. We recrossed Cumberland Mountain, at Hauk's Gap, at three o'clock, January second, safe and sound out of Dixie. The expedition was arranged by the Carter family, exiles from East-Tennessee, consisting of General Carter, Colonel Carter, Second Tennessee regiment of volunteers, and the Rev. Mr. Carter, who intended accompanying the expedition, but was unable to join us on account of ill-health. It was managed with great secrecy, and an eye to saving the lives of the men of the command, and they deserve well of their country. The hardships endured by the command may be inferred, when it is known they were for six days and nights only thirty-one hours out of the saddle, the men without any thing hardly to eat, except what they could pick up — generally half-baked corn-bread or corn-meal--all of which they bore without a murmur. As we commenced the ascent of Cumberland Mountain, on the return, our horses commenced giving out, and the road from there to this place is strewn with broken-down horses, saddles, and blankets, and men afoot, making their way to camp the best way they can. The thanks of the command is due to General Granger for the prompt manner in which he sent us rations and forage, which met us at the foot of Big Hill, and our boys hailed a cup of coffee and a hard cracker with great joy. The distance travelled was six hundred and ninety miles. The expedition was the greatest of the war. We lost but two killed, five wounded, and probably ten or fifteen prisoners, whilst the rebel loss was five hundred and fifty killed, wounded and prisoners, among which were Col. Love, of the Sixty-second North-Carolina, a major, two captains, and four lieutenants. The following officers accompanied the expedition: Colonel Garrett, Colonel Walker, Seventh Kentucky cavalry, Captain Watkins, chief of cavalry of General Granger's staff, all of whom rendered every aid in their power.
Richmond Examiner account.
Richmond, January 2, 1863.A body of Yankee cavalry numbering, it is reported, some four thousand men, made a raid on Monday upon the East-Tennessee and Virginia Railroad, and destroyed two important bridges--one across the Holston, and the other across the Watauga River. The bridge across the Holston, at Blountsville, was guarded by two hundred of our cavalry, who were completely surprised and made prisoners without any resistance. An account of the raid, which we find in yesterday's Lynchburgh Republican, says: The enemy advanced within six miles of Bristol, the terminus of the Virginia and Tennessee Railroad, but retired without coming to the place. They afterward advanced toward Jonesboro, and  burned the bridge across the Watauga. At this place a small scouting-party of citizens, hastily gotten together, came up with them, and a brisk skirmish occurred, in which one of the enemy was killed and two captured, who were brought into Bristol on Tuesday. They belong to a Pennsylvania regiment, and we learn, reported their forces at five thousand. The enemy first entered Virginia between Cumberland Gap and Pound Gap, and passing through Estilville, in Scott County, to Blountsville, fulfilled their mission of bridge-burning, and made a demonstration as if it was their intention to visit Bristol. This, as before stated, they failed to do, fearing, doubtless, to venture so far. They continued in the direction of Jonesboro, but it is stated by our scouts, who came into Bristol on Tuesday night, that they were retreating over nearly the same route they had advanced. The distance from the point at which they entered the State line to Jonesboro, is between ninety and one hundred miles, and the raid is certainly a most daring one, and argues an audacity in the enemy which they were not supposed to possess. They are reported to have been piloted by a militia colonel of Washington County, Tennessee, by the name of Ward, who left his home on Friday, and met them at the mountains. The damage to the railroad is serious, as, beside burning the bridges named, the track is torn up in many places, and the sills and iron burned. The distance between the Watauga and Holston Rivers is nine miles, and the burning of the bridges across these streams involves a loss of that distance in our railroad communications. It will take several weeks to repair the damages, and they come at a time when the road is taxed to its utmost capacity. But few of the citizens along their march were molested by the Yankees, nor have we heard of that destruction of private property usual in their raids. The citizens of Bristol, we learn, behaved nobly on this trying occasion. Old and young prepared with alacrity to meet the invaders of their homes, and to protect their firesides from pollution by their hireling foe.