Today in History:

118 Series I Volume XX-I Serial 29 - Murfreesborough Part I

Page 118 KY., MID. AND E. TENN., N. ALA., AND SW. VA.


undergrowth thick of black-jack, scrubby oak, and chestnut; ground broken; two or three heavy ridges to be crossed and narrow vales. I had never seen it. Deployment would be impracticable at night and the situation most inviting for ambuscades. The enemy would in an hour be out of Virginia. He had the position on me, and I desisted from further pursuit, as I am sure I should have done, and with my present knowledge of the country should, under the same circumstances, do again. As I was returning from Jonesville, I received a dispatch from Major-General Jones and another from Lieutenant General E. Kirby Smith, asking me to make pursuit, the latter dated at Knoxville on the day after the enemy passed into Kentucky.

Thus I have at great length submitted all I have to represent touching the raid of the enemy into our country. I think, upon a review of my action, the President will find that if success in overtaking and punishing the enemy was not achieved, it was not for the want of effort upon my part or of the troops I command. My infantry marched 70 miles in some sixty hours over bad roads, mountains, and rivers, and my cavalry pressed night and day en the track of the foe, as I think has not frequently been done before in the war. I have felt that it was better to bear in silence the shafts of impotent and ill-natured criticism, when basing its attacks on false premises, than to make our combinations, forces, and views known to a vigilant enemy by dissertations and defenses before the tribunal of the press, which has no jurisdiction over the subject matter. When you call me forward, I make my report, abstaining from all that my feeling of indignation might dictate to me to say, but which your dignity and my own position alike forbid. Your own examination will find all the data here on which to form a correct opinion. If the enemy was jaded, it was before he rested after his incendiary effort. His travel daily afterward until he left Virginia proves he had full capacity to move when desiring to do so.




Honorable JAMES A. SEDDON,

Secretary of War.

Numbers 7. Report of Colonel H. L. Giltner, Fourth Kentucky Cavalry, of operations December 30-January 2.


January 26, 1863.

GENERAL: On the morning of December 30, 1862, about 3 o'clock, a dispatch from you was received at my camp, near Lebanon, Russell County, Virginia, informing me that a force of the enemy was reported in the neighborhood of Scott Court-House, and ordering me to throw out a picket to the Old Russell-House to guard the road from that place to Osborne's Ford; and also a picket to Hansonville, guarding the roads from that point to Saltville, via Poor Valley, and via Lebanon. Your order was promptly obeyed, a strong picket being sent to each of the above-named places.

At 11 p.m. of the same day I received an order from you to repair

Page 118 KY., MID. AND E. TENN., N. ALA., AND SW. VA.