Doc. 35.-occupation of Rogersville, Ala.
General Mitchel's report.
headquarters Third division, Huntsville, Ala., camp Taylor, May 15.At six P. M. on the thirteenth instant, General Negley's expedition from Pulaski, supported by Col. Little's expedition from Athens, entered Rogersville, driving the enemy across the Tennessee and destroying a portion of the ferry-boats. Having learned of the approach of Col. Little's force, the enemy succeeded in removing their artillery, baggage and stores before the arrival of Gen. Negley. I expected an obstinate defence at the passage of the Elk River, and accompanied Col. Little in person, but without crossing. The enemy, as usual, fled at our approach. I ordered yesterday an expedition to move promptly from Rogersville to seize the bridge across Shad Creek, and the ferry below the mouth of the 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 twelve or fifteen hundred cavalry of the enemy, in bands of three or four hundred, whom we will endeavor to hunt down, destroy or capture. 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 the region under my command.
Hon. E. M. Stanton, Secretary of War:
Hon. E. M. Stanton, Secretary of War:
O. M. Mitchel, Major-General.
General Negley's report.
Lieut. Sypher's section of artillery from Standart's battery, Major Ousley's battalion of Kentucky, and Capt. Jennings's battalion of the Seventh Pennsylvania cavalry, formed the advance brigade, commanded by Col. H. A. Hambright, acting as Brigadier-General. 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 Lieut. Bennett, formed the rear brigade, commanded by Col. Starkweather, of the First Wisconsin, acting as Brigadier-General--left Pulaski yesterday at three o'clock P. M., via the Lambs' Ferry Road; encamped a few hours twelve miles from Pulaski, made a forced march of twenty-one 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 Lambs' Ferry and fired upon a ferryboat-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 one trooper, killing two horses, and wounding several, when a section of artillery, commanded by Lieut. 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. Lieut. 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 three hundred, made a demonstration against the train of Col. Starkweather, who dispersed them with canister and shell. The advance captured four scouts, two of whom belonged to the First Kentucky. A portion of the enemy, estimated to be over nine hundred, upon leaving here took the Elk River road; between two hundred and three hundred took the road leading to Florence. The others fled in every direction. Scott's cavalry and transportation train crossed the river on the twelfth. The rebel force which had been concentrated at this point, consisted of seven regiments and battalions of cavalry, under command of Colonel Acting Brig.-Gen. Adams, numbering between two and three thousand. I deem it a duty to refer in complimentary terms to the marked efficiency of Cols. Stark-weather and Hambright, Major Ousley, Captain Jennings and Lieut. Sypher. The endurance and gentlemanly bearing of their respective commands deserves especial notice, a large portion of their troops having marched seventy-five 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,
J. S. Negley, Brigadier-General Commanding,