Doc. 178.-battle at Blountville, Tenn.
Cincinnati Commercial account.
Carter's Station, Tenn., Sept. 25, 1863.this army has been continually on the move, and thus far have driven the rebel hordes out of East-Tennessee. The last remnant, under General  Sam Jones — Mudwall Jackson, who wears not the mantle of Stonewall — and Cerro Gordo Williams, fortified Zollicoffer and Carter's, in order, as they said, to make a stand, and drive the Yankee horde back. But, alas for poor rebs! they knew not the metal they were contending with. On the twelfth instant, Colonel Foster, Sixty-fifth Indiana Mounted infantry, commanding Second brigade of Shackelford's division, moved up toward Bristol, and got in the rear of the rebels, and burned two railroad bridges. The rebels moved out to meet him, but our forces drove them back and held possession of the town. Night coming on, the rebels retired within their works. Our loss in this engagement amounted to two killed, one mortally wounded, and four slightly wounded, while the rebels lost twenty killed and thirty-five wounded. On the fourteenth the Third brigade, Colonel Carter commanding, was ordered to the front, and proceeded as far as Jonesboro, where he learned that the rebels intended to make a stand. More or less skirmishing ensued for the two or three days following. General Shackelford arrived at Haynesville, (the residence of the rebel senator from this State, who, like all the chivalry, took to his heels,) on Monday morning at daylight, and took command of all the troops in the field. The rebels opened on our advance with their artillery, doing but little damage, our loss amounting to one man killed and one wounded. The rebels left four dead in our lines and two wounded, one of them a Captain. We captured about thirty prisoners. On the morning of the twenty-second, Tuesday, General Burnside arrived, and demanded the surrender of Carter. They refused. In the mean time Colonel Foster, who was still in the rear of the rebels, was ordered to attack them that afternoon. He did so. The rebels took their position in the town of Blountville. Colonel Foster sent a flag of truce, asking them to retire from the town, as he did not wish to destroy it. The citizens also remonstrated with their rebel friends, but without avail. They had sent the flower of their army to meet the fighting men of the fighting division--Georgia's gallant sons, who never ran. Colonel Foster opened fire at one o'clock, and the fight lasted until dusk, when Georgia's sons, who never ran, broke and retreated like a quarter-horse, leaving one piece of artillery, twenty-four pounder, and sixty-nine prisoners, in the hands of our boys. The rebel General Jones had picked the fresh troops, (he had Georgians,) for the purpose of driving back foster's brigade, but met with a sad and sure defeat. Our loss was five killed and twelve wounded, while the rebel loss was thirty killed and fifty-six wounded. Colonel Carter's Third brigade was closely pushing the rebels on the west of Carter's Station, and succeeded in driving them into their works at Carter's, which, under cover of the night, they evacuated, taking off their artillery, and leaving the gun-carriages and caissons in the fortifications. Most of the North-Carolina troops took to the mountains, while others returned to their homes, perfectly satisfied that they have been grossly humbugged and have at last found their rights! General Shackelford's division has been constantly on the move since their arrival in East-Tennessee, the Second and Third brigades being on the east end of the road, (East-Tennessee and Virginia Railroad;) Colonel Bird, with the First brigade, was on the west end supporting General Rosecrans. The men are subjected to a great deal of hard work, but do it most cheerfully. General Burnisde is daily gaining popularity with the people of East-Tennessee, as well as endearing himself to the soldiers. While he says but little, he knows who does the work. General Shackelford, one of the best officers in the service, always at his post late and early, is universally liked by both officers and men. I predict for the General ere long another star. Movements are now going on, and you will hear from this army ere long.
Indianapolis Journal account.
in camp near Knoxville, Tenn., September 29, 1863.Last Tuesday, the day of the battle, was clear and pleasant. The Second brigade, commanded by Colonel Foster, left camp early in the morning, to march fifteen miles and attack the enemy, who, it was reported, had made a stand at Bloutville, Tennessee. All ready and eager to hear the roaring of the cannon, the brigade gayly wound its way through the woods and over the rough and dusty roads of East-Tennessee. Near the middle of the forenoon, we came upon the enemy's pickets. These gentlemen, thinking prudence the better part of valor, took to their heels and made their escape. A little further on a small portion of the chivalrous Southern soldiers, like a set of barbarous savages, had concealed themselves behind logs and trees to dispute our way. The Fifth Indiana cavalry, ever ready to take the front if called upon, entered the timber on the right and left to hunt these brave soldiers and drive them from their dens. Bushwhacking seemed to be the order of the day. For ten miles we made our way through the corn-fields and woods, with a flanking party on each side to prevent surprise, expecting every moment to come upon the secreted foe in force. As fast as our brigade advanced the bushwhackers retreated, covering their retreat by firing upon the “Yankees” from behind every hill and wood. At two o'clock in the afternoon we came in sight of the town. Lieutenant Dumont, in command of the artillery, was ordered to the front. He took a position and opened upon the enemy with shells. The hills and woods echoed and reechoed with the sound of the roaring cannon, until the last shell in the caisson was shot. At four o'clock the Sixty-fifth Indiana was sent out on the right to act as sharp-shooters, and flank the  enemy. In half an hour the quick and continuous firing of their heavy rifles told plainly that they were hotly engaged. Lieutenant Colvin was then ordered forward with his battery, and did good execution. Company C, Captain Smith, and company I, Captain Morse, Fifth Indiana, were ordered by Colonel Foster to charge on a detachment of the enemy who were supporting their battery. The frightened rebs, seeing three columns moving upon them — the Sixth-fifth on the right, Colonel Butler leading the Fifth cavalry in the centre, the Eighth Tennessee on the left — gave up in despair, and, panic-stricken, left in hurried confusion. Our brave boys, seeing the enemy give way, raised a shout, put spurs to their horses and made chase. Colonel Butler charged on after them, capturing one twenty-four pound gun and one wagon. The gun was taken by Orderly St. John, company H, with a small squad of men. The charge through the town was perhaps the most exciting part of the battle. The sun had set far in the west, behind the column. The town in front was already on fire, and mostly consumed, from the rebel shells. The Sixty-fifth Indiana, on the right, was sharply engaging the enemy. Companies C and D, on the left, were driving the rebels out of the corn-field back to their guns, when our men dashed on through the smoky streets, with burning timbers and columns of blaze on both sides. The shout of victory was soon raised, and our never-flinching soldiers, who had been exposed from nine o'clock in the morning to the firing of a secreted enemy, now felt that they were reaping a full harvest in seeing the enemy completely whipped and themselves the victorious party. Great praise is due to each commander of the three regiments and two batteries engaged in the battle, and the men have the real Spartan metal in them. The result of the battle is as follows: Rebel loss fifteen killed, fifty wounded, and one hundred taken prisoners. Our loss was five killed and twenty-two wounded. Only one killed in the Fifth Indiana cavalry--John W. Johnson, saddler in company C. We camped on the ground occupied by the enemy that night and the next day, when we took up our line of march for this place. Since entering Knoxville, on the first of September, our regiment has been to Sevierville, nearly to the top of Smoky Mountains, N. C., to Greenville, to Bristol, Va., to Zollicoffer, where we had a sharp fight, killing fifty and wounding one hundred. We had a short skirmish also at Bristol, where we had five men wounded and none killed. We are now at Knoxville, waiting further orders. Our horses are jaded and our men tired, but at the sound of the bugle will all jump, give one whoop and start off to win new laurels, and hasten the time when we can all return to our homes again.