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Doc. 64.-expedition to east-tennessee.

Despatch from General Negley.

our expedition into East-Tennessee has proved successful. We are returning with eighty prisoners, including a number of prominent officers; also captured a drove of cattle and a large quantity of horses intended for the rebel army. The defeat of Gen. Adams's rebel forces in Sweeden's Cove was much more complete than reported. He escaped without sword, hat, or horse. We silenced the enemy's batteries at Chattanooga on the evening of the seventh, after a fierce cannonading of three hours. We opened on the eighth at nine A. M., and continued six hours upon the town and rifle-pits, driving the enemy out and forcing him to abandon his works and evacuate the city. They burnt several railroad-bridges to prevent pursuit. The Union people in East-Tennessee are wild with joy. They meet us along the road by hundreds. I shall send you a number of their principal persecutors from Sequatchie Valley.

Yours, very truly,

James S. Negley, Brigadier-General.

Report of Colonel Hambright,

headquarters United States forces, before Chattanooga, Tenn., June 8, 1862.
Brig.-Gen. J. S. Negley, Commanding Division United States Forces:
sir: I have the honor to report that the forces under my command continued their march over the Cumberland mountains, arriving before Chattanooga on the seventh, after a long and tedious march.

After a short rest, in accordance with your order, my command was thrown forward to reconnoitre in ford. We found the enemy on the opposite side of the Tennessee River well intrenched behind earthworks close to the river-bank and on the top of the hill, preparing to dispute our crossing the river at this point.

The artillery under the command of Lieutenant Sypher, First Ohio, and Lieut. Nell, First Kentucky, was placed in position, also the Seventy-ninth regiment Pennsylvania volunteers, Major Melinger commanding, one company and a detachment of which were thrown forward to the river-bank, to act as sharp-shooters to pick off the enemy's gunners, the balance of the regiment being reserved for the support of the batteries.

The Fifth Kentucky cavalry, Col. Haggard, and the Seventh Pennsylvania cavalry, Major Wynkoop, were thrown to the rear under cover, and out of range of the enemy's guns, to cover the flanks and to protect the rear.

Our line being formed and our sharp-shooters being within four hundred yards of the enemy's intrenchments, but a very short time elapsed before the infantry of the enemy opened fire upon our advance ; immediately afterward their batteries opened upon us with one twenty — four-pounder, one eighteen-pounder, and four small pieces of ordnance.

Our batteries promptly returned their fire, and the cannonading was kept up briskly for five hours, silencing their batteries, causing them to beat a hasty retreat and to evacuate the town, taking With them their commissary stores, and destroying, in their flight, two railroad-bridges, etc.

From sources which appear reliable, the enemy's loss was one hundred killed and wounded, and eighteen prisoners taken on this side of the river.

Our shells did terrible execution in the town, completely destroying many buildings, among others their commissary depot.

I have to report one man wounded of the Seventy-ninth regiment Pennsylvania volunteers, as the only casualty that occurred.

We renewed the cannonading on the eighth, which was kept up for three hours, and not receiving a reply, I withdrew my forces.

The officers and men under my command behaved nobly, and I compliment them for their steadiness under a galling fire, and for the alacrity displayed in obeying every command.

The above is respectfully submitted.

H. A. Hambright, Colonel Seventy-ninth Pennsylvania Volunteers, Acting Brigadier-General Commanding. M. H. Locher, A. A.A. G.

A National account.

Nashville, Tenn., June 13, 1862.
On Thursday, May twenty-ninth, Gen. Negley, who has been in command of the Seventh brigade--formerly in Gen. McCook's division, but now having a separate command — started from Columbia, Tenn., for the purpose of making an expedition into East-Tennessee, with the intention [188] of threatening Chattanooga and capturing or dispersing any of the rebel forces of cavalry hovering around that portion of the country. It was authoritatively reported that the rebels had made a preconcerted movement for the purpose of recapturing Nashville; but that object was frustrated by the energy and intrepidity of General Negley and his troops, as will be seen by the following statement:

General N. started from Columbia, on the day above named, with a sufficient force of troops.

General N. reached Fayetteville on Saturday, May thirty-first, remained there until Monday morning following, and then resumed his march and proceeded to Salem, where he arrived the same day.

The next day he reached Winchester. It had been reported that the rebels were in considerable force in that place, and the Seventh Pennsylvania cavalry made a dash into the town, but found the enemy had dispersed. They succeeded, however, in capturing Capt. Trimble and three of his men, belonging to Starn's cavalry. This Trimble is a clergyman, a bitter rebel, who has been emulating Morgan in capturing pickets and couriers, and denouncing Union men to the hangmen. He has been very enterprising in bringing up Union men, who were compelled to accept either one or the other of two alternatives, namely, to go into the confederate army or be hanged. He was also the principal of a large female seminary in Winchester, which seems to be still in full operation, educating the feminine youth of the locality in the arts, sciences, and philosophies of the heresy of secessionism. Trimble was subsequently sent to Gen. Mitchel, at Huntsville.

Passing through Winchester, Gen. Negley encamped his forces at a place called Cowan, on the Nashville and Chattanooga Railroad, and on a branch of a tributary of the Tennessee River. The trestle-work of the railroad bridge at this point was found to have been burned by the rebels, but the stream was easily fordable, and it was crossed on Wednesday morning, June fourth, and the line of march resumed toward Jasper, Marion County. Here Gen. Negley caused several of the most prominent secessionists to be arrested, and mulcted them in the sum of two hundred dollars each, which was appropriated to the relief of the Union people in Tennessee who had suffered injury at the hands of the rebels. This was the first practical illustration of the character and intention of Gov. Johnson's declaration that rich rebels should be made to pay for Union losses incurred by rebel predatory bands. Passing through Jasper, Gen. Negley encamped at the foot of the first ridge of the Cumberland mountains, early in the evening, at an old camping-ground of the rebels. The following morning he commenced crossing the mountain, over a steep and rocky road, one which most persons would pronounce impassable for artillery. Over this rugged road the artillery and provision-trains were passed with but trifling injury, owing to the efficiency of the equipments. Here Gen. Negley first obtained a glimpse of the enemy. After a very abrupt descent through a thick forest the road suddenly opened out into a beautiful cove, about six hundred yards wide, and stretching off in an easterly direction towards the Sequatchie valley. The road crosses to the south side of the cove, and skirts along the foot of the mountain about half a mile eastwardly; then crossing the valley towards the north side, then eastwardly again towards the valley. At this point General Negley's advance, consisting of the Fifth Kentucky cavalry, Col. Haggard, and two companies of the Seventy-ninth Pennsylvania infantry, under command of Capt. Klein, encountered the pickets of the rebel Gen. Adams's brigade of cavalry, which was encamped on the opposite side of the cove, at a point where the road turns to cross the valley again. After a brisk firing — the Union troops acting with the coolness of veterans all the while — the rebel pickets fell back, and the main body of the rebel force, learning there was a Union force near, came forward up the road in a body and let down the fences, preparatory to a charge. They were then at least eight hundred strong. By this time Gen. Negley had placed two six-pounder field-pieces in position, and commenced firing on them with Shenkle shell. This was evidently more than the enemy expected; for at the first fire they turned in confusion and fled with dismay, hotly pursued by our cavalry, led by company A, of the Fifth Kentucky, commanded by Lieut. Wharton. The enemy were pursued for two miles before they were reached, their horses being fresh and ours jaded by their rough march over the mountain. Our men at last succeeded in overtaking them, and dashed in among them with the sabre, when much execution was done. A number of the rebels were killed and wounded, and about twenty taken prisoners, among whom was a lieutenant, named Jones, commanding a company. The rebels, in their flight, threw away every think that could in the slightest degree impede their progress; the road for miles was strewn with sabres, pistols, shotguns, haversacks, any quantity of corn — bread, and all the other portions of the equipments of a rebel cavalry soldier. Some of the rebel cavalry were clothed in regulation uniforms, others in citizen's dress.

The panic was complete. Gen. Adams lost his hat, sword, and horse, as he had to borrow a horse from a negro to escape on, and a hat from a sympathizing rebel. He had no sword when he left the field, according to the reports of citizens who saw him in his flight towards Chattanooga. Many of the rebels did not stop until they reached Chattanooga, a distance of over thirty miles. Major Adams, a brother of the General, is reported to be severely, probably fatally, wounded, by a sabre-cut in the head. Thirteen rebels were found dead on the road as far as our forces proceeded at this time. The action and pursuit were gallantly conducted on the part of the Union forces. After pursuing the rebels some three miles, the Federals returned to Sweeden's Cove, where they encamped for the night. They were followed into camp by large numbers of [189] Union people who had been driven from their homes by rebel tyranny, and were electrified by the first sound of Union guns echoing through the Sequatchie valley.

After a night's rest, Gen. Negley proceeded towards Chattanooga. He arrived opposite the place on the morning of the seventh of June, having in the mean time (the sixth) rested on the top of the Cumberland mountain. At two o'clock P. M., on the seventh, Gen. Negley, with a military force, proceeded to reconnoitre. He soon ascertained that there was a large force of the enemy on this (north) side of the river, having crossed evidently with the intention of attacking the Illinois regiment, Lieut.-Colonel Scott, which had arrived the day before the main body of Federals reached the point, they having crossed the mountains by a shorter route than the principal force. The rebels also showed a water-battery from the beach at the ferry-landing, near the town.

The Illinois regiment, deployed as skirmishers, was sent down the hill to feel the enemy. The latter, finding our forces ready to meet them, recrossed the river. Gen. Negley placed his artillery in position commanding the town, and waited to see what the enemy would do.

At a little after five P. M. the enemy's riflemen commenced firing on our skirmishers, and shortly after the rebels opened with shell on them from their water-battery, and from a battery on the mountain westward of the town. Then General Negley gave orders to his batteries to fire, and for two hours a brisk cannonading was kept up, during which time all of the enemy's guns were silenced, three of them having been dismantled. The accuracy of the Federal artillerymen drove the enemy entirely away from their pieces. Having silenced all the enemy's batteries, Gen. Negley retired to his camp for the night.

The next morning (Sunday, June eighth) it was ascertained that the enemy had been working all night; had increased the height of their water-battery; had thrown up new earthworks, and had evidently made extensive preparations of defence.

Information was received from a prisoner that the enemy's force had been increased during the night from three to five thousand.

At eight o'clock Gen. Negley resumed firing on the enemy, and continued for upwards of an hour and a half without receiving any response from their batteries; but their riflemen, protected by a stone wall and by their earthworks, kept up a continuous firing upon the Union skirmishers. There were no other indications of there being any persons in Chattanooga in warlike array except occasional knots of officers and men, who dispersed with alacrity as our shells fell among them. The town was evacuated by the inhabitants during the night.

Gen. Negley, having accomplished the object of his expedition, withdrew a portion of his force.

The loss on either side is not ascertained, but we have the assertions of prisoners that the loss of the enemy is large. The only flags displayed by the rebels in town were the hospital flags and a black flag. A man who displayed a black flag on the rebel intrenchments was killed by one of the Union sharp-shooters.

A rebel account.

Chattanooga, June 8, 1862.
The shelling of Chattanooga by the enemy's forces, commenced yesterday afternoon about half-past 5 P. M. It was known that a portion of Gen. Mitchel's forces, under Gen. Lytle, was approaching this point from Winchester, Tennessee, where they had been committing all kinds of robbery and outrage. On Wednesday, the fourth inst., Col. Adams, who is in command of all the cavalry forces here, allowed himself to be surprised with three hundred and fifty men of the First Kentucky regiment, at Sweden's Cove, about thirty miles north-west of this place, on the road leading from Winchester to Jasper.

He made his escape with the loss of only six men, instead of twenty, as reported. It is supposed that this force, estimated from one thousand five hundred to three thousand, under Gen. Lytle, came through Haley's Cut-off, a gorge in the mountain of Waldron's Ridge, already described, two miles this side of Kelly's Ferry, which is ten miles below this point, and reached the opposite side of the river yesterday morning. Their main body was concealed in the woods covering the ridges and heights, about one mile from the river.

On Saturday morning some small parties of the enemy were seen at the head of the lane running down to the ferry, and our scouts fired upon them, killing, it is said, one officer. The enemy showed no force at this time; neither did they make any demonstration. It appears, however, they were busy making reconnoissances, and getting their light field-pieces and mortars in battery, when our battery, having injudiciously sent a few round shots where some parties were supposed to be concealed, near an old barn at the head of the lane, the enemy opened fire, their sharp-shooters at the same time showing themselves in the woods near the bank of the river.

The frightful whizzing of the shell, as they fell rapidly near the dwellings of some families residing near the vicinity of the ferry, produced the greatest consternation among the women and children, who were seen running in every direction, from the river to the centre of the town in the wildest terror, while the most heart-rending cries and screams of others in the houses frantically illustrated some of the horrors of war.

Our batteries returned the enemy's fire, and one of the gunners of the Merrimac being here, did good execution at one of our guns, silencing two of the enemy's. Our sharp-shooters did good work at the same time, killing a number of the enemy. The firing ceased about half-past 8 o'clock P. M., and I have already sent you the only casualties that occurred, by telegraph. A few buildings were injured, but no accidents occurred.

This morning the enemy commenced shelling the town again about ten o'clock, and continued [190] the fire for about an hour and a half, a number of the shell exploding in the streets and in the ground, one building only being hit; no other damage done. Our batteries did not reply. All is now quiet, it being four P. M.

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