Today in History:

73 Series I Volume XXXII-III Serial 59 - Forrest's Expedition Part III


within their reach is being pressed into the service; that every blacksmith shop and forage in shoeing; that there is an expressed determination to invade Kentucky (and probably by several routes) from East Tennessee, and that Lee is determined to co-operate with Longstreet in the movement; that unless they can go where they can get supplies they are forced to abandon this section of the country and go where they can find subsistence. The above statements, coming from the source which did, have made, I admit, the impression on me that is some truth in them, and for that reason I send you the information. The informant thinks that Longstreet's entire force is in East Tennessee and near the lines.

Lieutenant-Colonel Davis, Eleventh Tennessee Cavalry, who was wounded and captured on the 22nd ultimo, made his escape and reached our lines to-day. He is still complaining, but fast improving.

On the 9th instant about 500 of the enemy's cavalry crossed Cumberland Mountains, 20 miles above this, for the purpose of capturing our pack trains on the road; but owing to the high water they were compelled to abandon their plan. They came within 12 miles of the gap on the north side on the mountains, but Cumberland River being unfordable there they returned. It is also probable that they heard of the Ninth New Hampshire Regiment coming up. The Ninth New Hampshire was there on their way from Camp Burnside to this place. From this place to Cumberland Ford is 14 miles. The enemy can come down Cumberland River and go from Cumberland to London,a nd be in the slightest danger.

If a force of 300 or 400 were at Cumberland Ford it would prevent a small force from making a raid in that direction unless that would go through the mountain and strike the road near Flat Lick, and that they would probably fear to do, not knowing but what they might be cut off in the mountain and forces to go back through Owsley. Breathitt, Perry, and Letcher Counties, &c. They being apprised, no doubt, of the presence of our force at Mount Sterling, might not undertake the latter route,a nd consequently not make the raid.

Respectfully inviting your attention t o my last tri-monthly reports, you will perceive I have no troops to send to Cumberland Ford.

I respectfully make the foregoing suggestions, in compliance with my duty to keep you as well informed as is possible for me to do.

In conclusion, allow me to say that I cannot but believe the statement in regard to the invasion of Kentucky, through it may turn out different.

I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,



Cumberland Gap, Tenn., March 15, 1864.


Assistant Adjutant-General to major-General Schofield:

MAJOR: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your communication of the 10th instant, which came to hand this day at 1 p. m. Inclosed please find a copy of a letter directed to Brigadier-General Potter, and forwarded this morning.* I beg leave to sug-


* See p. 72.