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[178]

In June, the rebels attempted a raid into Harrison County, Indiana, but were driven back with the loss of sixty-three prisoners.

About the same time, Colonel Sanders, with two pieces of artillery, the First Tennessee cavalry, and some detachments from General Carter's command, destroyed the railroad near Knoxville, and the bridges at Slate Creek, Strawberry Plains, and Massy Creek, captured ten pieces of artillery, one thousand stand of arms, and five hundred prisoners. Our loss was one killed and two wounded, and a few stragglers.

About the time of Lee's invasion of Pennsylvania, the rebel General John H. Morgan, with a large guerrilla band, attempted a raid into Indiana and Ohio, intending probably to recross the Ohio into West-Virginia or Pennsylvania, and join Lee's army. His force consisted of six pieces of artillery and some three thousand cavalry. This band of robbers and murderers destroyed much public property, and killed a number of the inhabitants of the country through which they passed, but were finally completely destroyed, nearly every man being killed or taken prisoner.

The detachment of the Ninth army corps, to reenforce General Grant before Vicksburgh, delayed somewhat General Burnside's preparations for an active campaign in East-Tennessee. The necessity, however, of cooperating with the movements of General Rosecrans compelled him to take the field without awaiting the return of this corps. His main column moved on three roads, making Kingston his objective point, which place was reached on the first of September. Knoxville was also occupied on the first by Colonel Foster, and General Shackleford moved forward to Loudon Bridge, which was burned by the retreating enemy. Another small column had marched from Kentucky directly on Cumberland Gap. By a rapid flank march from Knoxville upon that place General Burnside cut off the retreat of the garrison, and forced it to surrender September ninth. He captured fourteen pieces of artillery and two thousand prisoners. His infantry made this forced march of sixty miles in fifty-two hours. A column of cavalry at the same time ascended the valley to Bristol, driving the enemy across the Virginia line and destroying the railroad bridges over the Holston and Watauga Rivers, so as to prevent the enemy's retreat into Tennessee. The main body of General Burnside's army was now ordered to concentrate on the Tennessee River, from Loudon, west, so as to connect with General Rosecrans's army, which reached Chattanooga on the ninth. Point Rock Pass into North-Carolina was also occupied by a small force. The restoration of East-Tennessee to the Union was thus effected by skilful combinations, with scarcely any loss on our side. It was now hoped that there would be no further delay in effecting a junction between the two armies of Burnside and Rosecrans, as had been previously ordered. As the country between Dalton and the Little Tennessee was still open to the enemy, General Burnside was cautioned to move down by the north bank of the river, so as to secure its fords and cover his own and General Rosecrans's communications from rebel raids. With our forces concentrated near Chattanooga, the enemy would be compelled to either attack us in position or to retreat farther south into Georgia. If he should attempt a flank movement on Cleveland, his own communications would be cut off, and his own army destroyed. But, although repeatedly urged to effect this junction with the army of the Cumberland, General Burnside retained most of his command in the Upper Valley, which was still threatened, near the Virginia line, by a small force under Sam Jones. On the twenty-first September, Colonel Foster had a skirmish with the enemy near Bristol, on the Virginia line, and on the twenty-eighth and eleventh of October, another sharp engagement took place at Blue Springs.

The enemy was defeated with heavy loss in killed and wounded, and one hundred and fifty prisoners. Our loss was about one hundred. After the battle of Chickamauga, when General Rosecrans had fallen back to Chattanooga, the enemy pushed forward a column into East-Tennessee, to threaten Burnside's position at Loudon, and to cover a cavalry raid upon Rosecrans's communications. Unfortunately, General Burnside had occupied Philadelphia and other points on the south side of the river with small garrisons. The enemy surprised some of these forces, and captured six guns, fifty wagons, and some six hundred or seven hundred prisoners. The remainder retreated to Loudon, and succeeded in holding the crossing of the river. In the mean time Jones had moved down on the north side of the Holston River, to Rogersville, with some three thousand five hundred cavalry, and surprised our garrison at that place, capturing four pieces of artillery, thirty-six wagons, and six hundred and fifty men.

The Department of the Cumberland.

When General Rosecrans took command of the army in Kentucky, it was massed at Bowling Green and Glasgow.

The base of supplies was then at Louisville. A few days later it was advanced to Nashville, which was made a secondary base.

After the battle of Perryville, and our pursuit to Mount Vernon, as stated in my last report, the rebel army retreated across the Cumberland Mountains, leaving a force in Cumberland Gap; then moved down the Tennessee Valley to Chattanooga, and thence by Stevenson and Tullahoma to Murfreesboro, a distance of four hundred miles, while our army had marched to Nashville, a distance of only a little over two hundred miles.

On the twenty-sixth of December, General Rosecrans advanced against Bragg, whose forces were at that time somewhat dispersed along the road. On the thirtieth, our army, after heavy skirmishing en route, reached the vicinity of Murfreesboro, and took up a line of battle The left, under Crittenden, crossed next day to the


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