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Saturday, January 7.
General Wood advised, at an interview during the morning, that I should personally go to Larkinsville with all the troops for which transportation could be had. The condition of the troops, and the orders of General Steedman, etc., were explained to General Wood. In the emergency, however, I followed his advice. There could be but one train made up at Huntsville. On this Colonel Harrison's brigade was loaded at twelve M., and the train run to Paint Rock station. Here the railway managers kept the troops, until, say two A. M., waiting on westward bound trains, and for repairs of the bridge. A telegraphic instrument was put in operation and communication had with Brigadier-General Wood and Major-General Steedman. Here an order from General Wood reached me by telegraph, based upon instructions from the Department Commander, “to stop the return of Major-General Steedman's troops.” The telegraphic message directed me to disembark the forces that are on the cars immediately, scour the country thoroughly, and find out, if possible, where Lyon is, and get in pursuit of him. He must be found, and either captured or driven across the Tennessee river. General Thomas' orders on this subject are emphatic, and he says: “you must not go on your way until this work is finished.”

Here intelligence was received, that all the troops on trains following me--Colonels Thompson's, Morgan's, and Salm's brigades — had been stopped and unloaded at Brownsboro, by orders from Brigadier-General Wood ; that a portion of these were ordered to New Market by his direction, and that the arrangements for shipping Colonel Malloy's troops had not been carried out. The men were out of rations ; the weather now cold, rainy, and disagreeable, and the roads well nigh impassable for infantry. On reaching Larkinsville, a telegraphic message was sent to Colonel Krizzanowski, commanding at Stevenson, asking a supply of rations. He promptly promised them. Owing to delays on the railway, however, they did not reach the troops in time.

The garrison at Larkinsville consisted of company M, Eleventh Indiana cavalry (Captain Given,. commanding), numbering probably sixty men, and a sort of amateur gathering of mounted men, who styled themselves “Alabama scouts,” under Captain Sparks, say thirty or forty in number. At seven A. M. all the cavalry and the anomalous scouts were sent to patrol the roads in the direction of Winchester and New Nashville, Robinson's farm, &c., with instructions to keep [94] a strong vidette post at Colonel Province's. Infantry patrols were sent out to watch the approaches leading through the coves, in the direction of Bellefonte, Scottsboro, and Larkinsville. The intelligence which reached my headquarters from all these parties and from citizens during the day, showed that no enemy was in the vicinity, except the “bushwhacking gangs” of Russel, Hayes, Mende, and Wilson, which constantly invest the mountains in the vicinity. Lyon could not be heard of. At two fifty-five P. M. a dispatch was received from Colonel Krizzanowski, reciting a dispatch from Major-General Milroy, as follows: “General Lyon crossed the mountain last night, going towards Bellefonte. Has five hundred men — many of them dressed in Federal overcoats. He has one howitzer.” Colonel Harrison's brigade was immediately loaded on the only train at Larkinsville, and started, before four P. M., to Bellefonte, with instructions to patrol the road from there west to. Scottsboro, and place a battalion at Bellefonte landing-engage Lyon, if possible, and pursue him at all hazards. He was directed to inform the officer commanding at Scottsboro of the intelligence received — to direct him to make stalwart resistance, and to reinforce him, if he heard firing at Scottsboro. The garrison at Scottsboro consisted of two lieutenants (whose names have been mislaid), and say fifty-four colored soldiers of the One Hundred and Tenth unorganized United States colored volunteers--supposed to be in a substantial earthwork at the place. At about five and one-half P. M. a train arrived front the west — the last one bringing Colonel Malloy's brigade. This was immediately sent forward to Scottsboro by rail, at say eight o'clock P. M., as soon as the road was clear — with proper instructions. Shortly after Colonel Malloy left, a few single discharges of artillery were heard at long intervals, in, what citizens said, was the direction of Bellefonte. It seemed possible that Harrison had fallen in with Lyon, or that the gunboats were shelling his river detachment. However, as Colonel Malloy was rapidly nearing Scottsboro, and the firing soon ceased, it seemed to demand no special attention. The commanding officer at Scottsboro erred in leaving the earthworks, and betaking himself and command to the brick depot building. He made, however, from the latter place a sturdy resistance to the attack of the skirmishers, and held out well (as the enemy's prisoners admit), and forced Lyon to dismount and form line of battle, bring up his artillery and use it, thus consuming considerable time. In the meanwhile, the two sections preceding Colonel Malloy dashed past the troops on the trains, firing on the enemy, confusing him and stopping his attack on the garrison. In the confusion and cessation of the fire the garrison escaped and came to Colonel Malloy, who was unloading and forming his lines at the water tank in the edge of the town. A reinforcement from Colonel Harrison at Bellefonte arrived at this time, on the east of the place, and the enemy fan away rapidly. Colonel Malloy sent back one of his sections, with one of the lieutenants of the colored troops, to report — reaching headquarters about midnight. This lieutenant was badly stampeded. His statements were miserably incongruous, childish and improbable; a complete physical terror seemed to possess him, and nothing he stated could be relied on. Colonel Mitchell's brigade was immediately ordered from Larkinsville in the direction of the river, to try and intercept Lyon at Perry's house — the junction of the Larkins Ferry and Gunter's Landing roads. Colonel Mitchell moved at about two A. M. Colonel Thompson arriving from west with his brigade, was sent forward to join Colonel Malloy, and press on in pursuit. Colonel Salm's brigade — arriving in the night — was rationed, and soon after day left to follow up Colonel Mitchell, by a line more to the right. At daylight the troops were disposed as follows:

Colonel Malloy and Colonel Thompson in direct pursuit of Lyon and close on him; Colonel Harrison to his left pressing down the river and feeling into Bellefonte, Sublett's, McGuin's and Larkin's Landings, and preventing retreat up the river ; Colonels Mitchell and Salm trying to cut him off by shorter lines to the river, at Roman's and Law's Landings, and to strike the Gunter's Landing road below him. Colonel Mitchell pushed his column rapidly forward. Soon after dawn of day, he came upon a detachment of the enemy attempting to burn the bridge across Santa Creek, while the main portion of his forces had swam the creek, some three miles below, and were passing the junction of the roads at Perry's, say tour miles down the Gunter's Landing road. Colonel Mitchell drove off the enemy, extinguished the fire on the bridge, and pushed on after him. He was only about an hour behind him at Perry's Cross Roads. Colonel Malloy was compelled to delay his pursuit at the creek below for some three hours, to construct a crossing for his men. The streams were all flooded, the mud deep, the rain pouring down, and the men (except Colonels Mitchell's and Salm's commands) without rations. I accompanied Colonel Mitchell's columns; Colonel Malloy joined this during the afternoon. Pursuit was made vigorously till near nightfall, when the troops were so exhausted, that they were bivouacked as an act of humanity. I rode back to Larkinsville, and during evening informed Brigadier-General Wood and Major-General Steed-man, by telegraph, of the condition of affairs, and tried to get at Colonel Morgan's command, to send it from Woodville, to strike the Tennessee, at mouth of Paint Rock. It was impossible to reach Colonel Morgan, the telegraphic station having been removed from Brownsboro. He came up during the night with his own regiment, and Colonel Shafter. Colonel Morgan was unloaded at Larkinsville to get rations and rest, and Colonel Shafter sent on to Scottsboro to protect that place from guerillas, who were reported to have been firing at the small guard there during the afternoon. Efforts were again [95] made to have rations at Gunter's landing by transport, and a message was received from Major-General Steedman, announcing their shipment.

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