Doc. 198.-battle near Blountsville, Tenn.
Cincinnati Commercial account.
Bristol, Tenn., October 16, 1863.I wrote you a few days ago from Brabson's Hill, giving an account of the battle of Blue Springs, on the tenth instant, and the chase after them to that point. General Shackleford, after recruiting his nearly worn <*>ut horses for twenty-four  hours, moved his command forward toward Blountsville, on the evening of the thirteenth. A reconnoitring party of the Seventh Ohio volunteer cavalry, under Captain Copeland, drove the rebel pickets in, and had a brisk skirmish for half an hour, losing one man, private James Barnes, company E, who was shot in the head and instantly expired. Early on the morning of the fourteenth, the ball opened four miles from Blountsville, and the firing continued all day, the rebels making stands on all the hills, but they were driven from their positions and retreated through Blountsville at dark, toward Zollicoffer, on the East-Tennessee and Virginia railroad. Night coming on, we encamped near Blountsville for the night. The rebels becoming alarmed, evacuated their stronghold, Zollicoffer, during the night, and retreated toward Saltville, evidently thinking we were making for the Salt Works at that place. Our troops followed them up to within six miles of Abington, Va., when they returned to Bristol. We captured here three locomotives and thirty-four cars, all of which we destroyed, as well as five railroad bridges above Bristol. We also captured a large amount of salt, sugar, etc. The rebels had thrown down the fences in the vicinity of Blountsville, and thrown up breastworks, and boasted that they intended to give the Yanks a good thrashing, and drive them from East-Tennessee; but, as usual, instead of their doing it, they did the tallest kind of running. Our loss in this engagement was small, consisting as follows: Second Lieutenant Charles McBee, company G, Second East-Tennessee mounted infantry, wounded seriously in the head; private William G. Francis, company G, Second East-Tennessee mounted infantry, in the foot; Corporal John Little, company K, Fourteenth Illinois cavalry, in the foot; private Andrew Bishop, company H, Second Ohio volunteer cavalry, in the leg; Sergeant R. M. Bail, company O, Second Ohio volunteer cavalry, in the hip. The rebels admit a loss of eight killed and twenty-six wounded. We also took ten prisoners. Our boys, in the recent battles and skirmishes, have behaved most gallantly. They (General Shackleford's division) have been constantly on the move, and, in fact, have done all the work that has been done in East-Tennessee. Two brigades are in the neighborhood of Loudon, keeping the rebels, under Pegram, out of that section, while Colonels Foster's and Carter's brigades have been in the front here. The General is a working man, and will have none but that kind about him.