May 13-14, 1862.-occupation of Rogersville and skirmish at Lamb's Ferry, Ala.
Reports, etc.No. 1.-Maj. Gen. Ormsby M. Mitchel, U. S. Army, with abstract from the “Record of events” in his division for month of May. No. 2.-Brig. Gen. James S. Negley, U. S. Army. No. 3.-Col. John Adams, C. S. Army, including operations of his brigade May 9-30.
No. 1.-reports of Maj. Gen. Ormsby M. Mitchel, U. S. Army.
General Negley's expedition from Pulaski, supported by Colonel Lytle's expedition from Athens, entered Rogersville, driving the enemy across the Tennessee and destroying a portion of their ferry-boats. Having learned of the approach of Colonel Lytle's forces, the enemy succeeded in removing their artillery, baggage, and stores before the arrival of General Negley. I expected an obstinate defense at the passage of Elk River, and accompanied in person Colonel Lytle's expedition, but without crossing, the enemy, as usual, fled at our approach. I ordered on yesterday an expedition to move promptly from Rogersville to seize the bridge across Shoal Creek and the ferry below the mouth of same stream. This duty has been promptly executed, and the ferry and bridge are ours. No more troops will enter from that region, and we have now upon this side of the river 1,200 or 1,500 cavalry of the enemy in bands of 300 or 400, whom we will endeavor to hunt down and capture or destroy but we are hopelessly deficient in cavalry, and I fear the escape of these men, who are but plunderers and robbers. The gunboat which I have extemporized will be ready for service to-day, and I will soon be able to pay my respects to the enemy in the eastern side of this region under my command.
Elk River, principally cavalry. Their headquarters were at Rogersville, near Lamb's Ferry, and at Bainbridge Ferry, below the mouth of Shoal Creek. From these points Morgan's, Helm's, Scott's, and the Texan Cavalry have started upon their marauding expeditions. On the very day I received command of the troops posted between this point and Nashville I ordered an expedition against Rogersville, to be commanded by General Negley, which was to rendezvous at Pulaski. Colonel Lytle, of the Seventeenth Brigade, was placed in command of a force to move from Athens and engage the attention of the enemy at the mouth of Elk River. The expedition has proved a success. General Negley, with the troops under his command, moved with the utmost celerity, and has won my thanks and admiration by the rapidity of his movements. Colonel Lytle's force was thrown with great promptitude to the Elk River Ferry, and on yesterday morning, having accompanied Colonel Lytle's expedition as a volunteer, I had the pleasure of greeting the two commanders in Rogersville. v The enemy had received intelligence of the Lytle expedition, which was intended only as a feint, and were in the act of removing their baggage and train when attacked by General Negley, whose coming was entirely unanticipated. I supposed he would dispute the passage of Elk River, a most formidable barrier, but in this I was, mistaken. He had already fled from Rogersville, and was in the act of crossing his last boat load of troops to the south side of the Tennessee when attacked by General Negley. An expedition started at 12 meridian on yesterday from Rogersville, to capture Bainbridge Ferry and to destroy the boats. This has been accomplished with great promptitude and success. We have now possession of all the ferries below Decatur and the shoals, and shall prevent hereafter the passage of any troops to the north side of the river. The ferries from Florence down to Savannah I trust will be guarded by boats sent from the main army at Pittsburg Landing. I have converted a large fiat, seized on the opposite side of the river, into a gunboat. She will be ready for service this day, and will doubtless render most valuable assistance on the river in preventing the passage of marauding bands. Having, as I think, effectually cut off the enemy's means of crossing the river below Decatur, and knowing almost exactly the number of troops that have entered and now remain within the region under my command from that direction, after destroying these troops I will turn my attention promptly to the mountain regions bordering upon the Nashville and Chattanooga Railway. Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
893] Decatur, and failing in my efforts, I determined to organize a force strong enough to meet and defeat any force we might reasonably expect to encounter at Rogersville. The troops advanced in two columnsone body, under command of General Negley, from Pulaski; the other, under command of Colonel Lytle, from Athens. Colonel Lytle advanced upon the road from Florence to Athens, and expected the enemy to dispute the passage at Elk River, and while thus engaged General Negley was expected to enter Rogersville, attack the enemy in the rear, and cut off his retreat across the river; but in this region, inhabited by rebels, it was impossible to conceal our movements and intentions. General Negley entered Rogersville at the very hour that Colonel Lytle reached Elkl River, but the enemy obtained a few hours' notice of the approach of Lytle's troops, and succeeded in withdrawing his guns and stores and baggage and most of his troops to the south side of the river. Negley surprised them in the act of passing over the last boat load and fired upon and dispersed them. From the best information some 4,000 of the enemy's cavalry, with several pieces of artillery, have crossed at different points-at Lamb's Ferry and the ferry just below the shoals. Of these, Morgan's cavalry have been already heard from. Helm's cavalry are on this side of the river, having penetrated toward Elkton. Scott's cavalry, in part, are on this side of the river, and some bodies of the Texan Rangers have not been able to recross. On yesterday, while at Rogersville, I ordered an expedition to move at 12 o'clock, composed of troops of Negley's command, to seize the Shoal Creek Bridge. Happily accomplished. The doubt which for two weeks has been hanging over the force of the enemy on this side of the river.is now removed. Holding, as I shall do, the command of the river from Bridgeport to Florence, I venture to ask that you will protect me at points below Florence. I have extemporized a gunboat, which will be ready for service this day. I hope to be able to move her upstream at the rate of 4 miles an hour, and by her assistance to prevent the enemy from realizing the boats we have destroyed. I will now give my personal attention to the mountain region east of the Nashville and Chattanooga Railway.
Abstract from “record of events,” Third Division, Army of the Ohio.1The Eighth Brigade left Huntsville May 6 for Athens, and marched from Athens on the 26th for Fayetteville, Tenn., arriving on the 28th. A detachment from this brigade proceeded to Elk River, under command of Colonel Lytle, on the 12th, and returned on the 14th. The Ninth Brigade has been encamped at Huntsville, Ala., since date of last monthly return. The different regiments have been constantly in motion on the line of the Memphis and Charleston Railroad. The Second Ohio is now in camp at Huntsville; Twenty-first Ohio is now in camp at Athens; Thirty-third Ohio.is now in camp at Bellefonte; Tenth Wisconsin is now in camp at Bellefonte Station. The Seventeenth Brigade left Bridgeport May 1, and returned to Huntsville, from which place,  on the 12th, it proceeded, with the Third and Tenth Ohio and Fifteenth Kentucky Volunteers, and detachments from the Eighth Brigade, to EJk River, and formed a junction with General Negley on the morning of the 14th, returning to Huntsville on the evening of the 15th. On the 18th 300 men from the Ninth Brigade, under command of Colonel Lytle, marched for Winchester, and arrived there on the morn ing of the 24th. After a skirmish, dispersed a body of rebel cavalry, and occupied the town, and returned to Huntsville May 24.
No. 2.-report of Brig. Gen. James S. Negley, . S. Army.
headquarters United States forces, Rogersville, Ala., May 14, 1862.General: I have the honor to report the result of an expedition to this point. The command-consisting of the Seventy-ninth and a detachment of the Seventy-eighth Pennsylvania Volunteers, Lieutenant Sypher's section of artillery, from Standart's battery; Major Owsley's battalion of Kentucky, and Captain Jennings' battalion, of the Seventh Pennsylvania Cavalry, forming the advance brigade, commanded by Col. H. A. Hambright, acting as brigadier-general, and the First Wisconsin, the Thirty-fifth Indiana, a detachment from the Thirty-eighth Indiana, a battalion of the Fifth Kentucky Cavalry, and a section of Standart's battery, in command of Lieutenant Bennett, forming the rear brigade, commanded by Colonel Starkweather, of the First Wisconsin, acting as brigadier-general-left Pulaski yesterday at 3 p. m., via the Lamb's Ferry road; encamped a few hours 12 miles from Pulaski; made a forced march of 21 miles in six hours; drove in the enemy's pickets, who gave the alarm to the scattered forces in town, who fled in every direction. A portion of the cavalry marched on to Lamb's Ferry, and fired upon a ferry-boat load of the cavalry, which was crossing the river, killing several men and horses. A force on the opposite side of the river then opened a warm fire on our men, wounding 1 trooper, killing 2 horses, and wounding several, when a section of artillery, commanded by Lieutenant Sypher, and the Seventy-ninth Pennsylvania Regiment arrived at the river bank. The infantry compelled the rebels to seek shelter in some frame and log dwellings near the river bank. Lieutenant Sypher threw several shells, which exploded in the buildings and over them, dispersing those inside in terror, probably killing a number. He then threw several shells into their wagon train, which they were trying to move from danger. He also fired several shots at the ferry-boat. The ferry-boat, which was on this side, I directed to be burned. During the march a force of rebel cavalry, estimated at 300, made a demonstration against the train of Colonel Starkweather, who dispersed them with canister and shell. The advance captured 4 scouts, 2 of whom belonged to the First Kentucky. A portion of the enemy, estimated to be over 900, upon leaving here, took the Elk River road; between 200 and 300 took the road leading to Florence. The others fled in every direction. Scott's cavalry and transportation train crossed the river on the 12th. The rebel force which had been concentrated at this point consisted of seven regiments  and battalions of cavalry, under command of Colonel (Acting Brigadier-General) Adams, numbering between 2,000 and 3,000. I deem it a duty to refer in complimentary terms to the marked efficiency of Colonels Starkweather and Hambright, Major Owsley, Captain Jennings, and Lieutenant Sypher. The endurance and gentlemanly bearing of their respective commands deserve especial notice, a large portion of their troops having marched 75 miles in less than three days time. While we failed to chastise the enemy, as was expected, we have added another instance of disgraceful flight. With every consideration of respect, I am, yours very truly,
No. 3.-report of Col. John Adams C. S. Army, including the operations of his brigade, May 9-30.
Generals Smith and Evans were moving on Huntsville (and with your permission), I crossed the Tennessee River, with my command, at Lamb's Ferry, on the 9th instant. Obtaining reliable information that there were large wagon trains on the Pulaski and Elkton turnpike, I marched, on the evening of May 11th, with 850 men, toward Pulaski, but finding there were 2,500 men in Pulaski, I returned in the direction of my camps. At the forks of the roads, 9 miles from Rogersville, I found General Negley, U. S. Army, with two regiments of infantry, one battery of artillery, and a battalion of cavalry, in possession of the Lamb's Ferry road. His forces were posted in thick timber, infantry on the right, cavalry on the left, and artillery posted on each road. I fell back 2 miles to a good position, to await their attack. After remaining in position all night I ascertained that General Negley had moved rapidly to the river. My force there, about 900 strong, had in the mean time recrossed the river with the wagon train. I therefore fell back slowly to Winchestor,Gcausing General Mitchel to concentrate his forces in places which I threatened. In crossing the Fayetteville turnpike I captured some couriers. From their papers I ascertained that General Mitchel was concentrating his forces on the line of road from Pulaski to Athens, Elkton, and Huntsville, and contemplated the speedy completion of the railroad from Pulaski to connect with the Memphis and Charleston Railroad, at the same time holding the turnpike road through Elkton to Huntsville, and abandoning the upper line entirely. At Fayetteville, when I passed within 2 miles, there was one regiment of infantry, well fortified against cavalry or infantry. Having no artillery and but little ammunition, I passed without attacking them. After reaching Winchester, Col. John A. Wharton, commanding Texan Rangers, manifested an unwillingness to serve under my command, while at the same time he was unwilling to assume the responsibility of the entire command, but wished merely to co-operate. To  settle this matter, I proceeded to Chattanooga, and thence telegraphed you and the War Department relative to my rank and command, and also to you for orders relative to the movements of my force. I received no reply from Richmond, and in answer to dispatch to you received one from General Beauregard, saying, “Date of commission determines rank.” Upon communicating think to Colonel Wharton, on my return, he declined assuming command, but at the same time manifested a desire to withdraw his regiment from the brigade, to which I acceded. While absent from my command, at Chattanooga, a superior force of the enemy, composed of cavalry, infantry, and artillery, made a forced march from Huntsville, and occupied Winchester on the 20th instant. On the 22d Colonel Wharton sent a company to make a reconnaissance of their position, with a view to an attack. This party drove in their pickets, capturing 9, and made a charge into the center of the town. The force immediately there (some 200 or 300) took refuge in the court-house, a brick building, and from this sheltered position kept up a warm fire on the reconnoitering party, killing 2 and wounding 6. The loss of the enemy was the prisoners before mentioned and 9 or 10 killed. The reconnoitering party would have carried the court-house by assault had they not feared the enemy would commence shelling the town with their artillery. The following morning (May 23) the enemy hastily evacuated the place, retreating toward Salem. I have since been reliably informed that General Mitchel has moved from Huntsville toward Shelbyville, with a force of about 1,000 infantry, 300 cavalry, and a large wagon train, the latter loaded in part with baggage. It is supposed this movement indicates the evacuation of Huntsville. Reports from Huntsville, brought by citizens and also obtained from prisoners, agree that the Federals say they have been whipped at Corinth. If there is any truth in this report it explains General Mitchel's late movement. In compliance with General Beauregard's orders, which I received at Chattanooga, I moved my force over the mountain yesterday, intending to cross the Tennessee River to-day below Chattanooga, in the vicinity of Jasper. Colonel Wharton preceded me and has already crossed. After crossing the mountain I met a courier about 12 miles from Jasper, with a letter from General Leadbetter, inclosing a copy of General Beauregard's permission to remain in Middle Tennessee. I have therefore halted, and shall immediately recross the mountain. General Leadbetter also informs me that I am to be re-enforced by Colonels Starnes' and Davis' cavalry and Kain's artillery. Herewith I have the honor to inclose General Mitchel's report of the occupation of Lamb's Ferry, taken from a Nashville paper.2 I have sent an express to my force left with the wagon train, ordering it to come up here, cross the river, and join me. Since crossing the river I have killed about 25 and captured 60 of the enemy. I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,