Report of Col. J. V. Guthrie.
563] the undersigned took the cars on the Central Kentucky Railroad, from the depot in Covington, with about one hundred men for Cynthiana, Kentucky, at which place Lieut.-Col. Landrum, of the Eighteenth Kentucky, was in command. Receiving orders to move towards Paris, and distribute my force at the different stations, to guard bridges, I proceeded to Paris, which place was reached at two o'clock in the night. There were at this post detachments of companies, thirty-five from Capt. Whittlesey's camp, under the command of his Lieutenant, thirty men under command of Capt. Bugsby, of the Eighteenth Kentucky regiment, and the home guards of Paris, numbering sixty-seven men, infantry. There were also sixty men on horseback, under command of the Hon. Mr. Wadsworth, member of Congress from the Maysville district, making a total of forces in Paris, as reported to me, of two hundred and thirty-three men, rank and file. During the day, reenforcements to the number of sixty men, from Mt. Sterling, under Captain Evans, came in. These were home guard cavalry. Brig.-Gen. Ward ordered me to take command of this post. Upon assuming the command, I immediately proceeded to organize the forces for service, and appointed the Hon. Mr. Wadsworth, with the rank of Major, to the command of all the home guard cavalry. Pursuant to orders, he took command of forty men, and proceeded towards Lexington, on a scouting expedition. At eleven o'clock P. M. Major Wadsworth returned, and reported that John Morgan, with a force of from one thousand to one thousand two hundred men, was moving down the road to Cynthiana. I immediately telegraphed Lieut.-Col. Landrum, at Cynthiana, of Morgan's movements, and his advance on that place. I also sent a message to Capt. Ayres, commanding the brigade guards, between Paris and Cynthiana, to join me with his forces at Paris. I also telegraphed to Gen. Ward, at Lexington, the position of affairs, and asked for reinforcements to hold Paris. He answered that I should send to him at Lexington all the men I could spare. Satisfied that I could not weaken my force, I did not send any men to Lexington. About seven o'clock in the evening, Lieut.-Col. Landrum reported the fall of Cynthiana. Upon consultation, it was deemed advisable to fall back on Lexington. We moved at eleven o'clock that night, and proceeded fourteen miles on the Lexington road. About daylight we had reached Col. Metcalf's advance post from Lexington, where he had encamped. Col. Metcalf was ordered to move forward with all his force, on Paris, and started about four o'clock. I was again detailed to take command of all the infantry and support the batteries. Thirty-five of my men were reported as unable to travel, and by my order were sent by the Surgeon to the Lexington hospital. We moved on towards Paris, and at dark encamped five miles from the town. During the night our pickets were driven in three different times; and as the infantry, with the artillery, held the advance, I found them all in line of battle at the word. On the morning of the nineteenth we again took up our line of march, Brig.-Gen. Smith in command. Our advance continually drove in the rebel scouts, killing seven, and taking eight prisoners. Arriving at the entrance to Paris, our column was halted. The centre, composed of the Ohio troops and the artillery, was one mile from the town. We were informed that an attack was expected, and the men stood by their guns one hour and a half, when we learned to our chagrin that Morgan had retreated towards Winchester. It is but justice to the Ohio troops, to inform you that they were eager and ready for the fight. Two companies of the Cincinnati police took off their coats, and under their Chief, Col. Dudley, were anxious to meet the enemy. The detachment of Capt. Whittlesey's Cincinnati company deserve commendation for their gallantry, while the troops from Camp Dennison, under Captain Ayers, were prompt and efficient, and had opportunity offered, would have earned for themselves a creditable reputation. After the retreat of the enemy, we encamped for twenty-four hours. On the morning of the twentieth we were ordered to move, the rear-guard being assigned to my command. I found it impossible for the troops sent out with me to follow on to Winchester. I therefore left them at Paris, under command of Captain Ayres, with instructions to remain until further orders from me, after I had arrived at Winchester. Receiving orders from Gen. Smith to proceed to Lexington, I moved my command the next day, (the twenty-first,) and reached Lexington at night. I rode over with Dr. Bush to Paris that night, and found that the men left in charge of Capt. Ayres had gone to Cincinnati the morning previous. I returned to Lexington the same night, and found Col. McCook with your orders. After instructing the Lieutenant in charge of the sick at Lexington to report to Col. McCook the condition of the men, I obtained leave to return home, and arrived here this morning. I have been thus particular in explaining to you how I became detached from my particular command, which was entrusted to me by your orders, and to do justice, as near as I can, to the Ohio troops under my charge. I am, General, your obedient servant,
J. V. Guthrie, Commanding.