Today in History:

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

Page 130 KY., MID. AND E. TENN., N. ALA., AND SW. VA.


eral Jenkins' men (1,000 strong) reached [there] by rail, two batteries (Davis' [Davidson's] and Jeffress', eight guns) having reached [there] the day before. In continued with General Marshall throughout Wednesday, and had provided him a map of the railroad and all the stations to Bull's Gap, and all the approaches to same, as well as Mr. Blair and myself could do, and he slept over our explanations in his chair as perfectly imbecile as you could imagine. Wednesday evening scouts reported Yankees returning from Watauga Bridge (which they had burned) to Blountsville or near by (9 miles from Bristol), where they had encamped. Not a man of the command of the command of General Marshall was moved in the direction of the enemy until after nightfall on Wednesday. General Marshall and staff had horses before the hotel at 4 p.m. on Wednesday, and did not get mounted until 1 a.m. Thursday, as I am informed. The cause I will not make known, as it is no purpose of mine to prefer charges.

Wednesday night Marshall moved Clay's battalion, Slemp's infantry regiment, and four pieces under Jeffress and Davis [Davidson] from Bristol in the direction of Moccasin Gap, while he had called in from Kingsport Colonel Johnson's command, and that also returned with the troops first stated.

On Thursday the Yankees encamped at Kingsport, 16 miles west of Blountsville, moving perfectly at their leisure, and, retracing their course, encamped at Kingsport (near by) without even posting a picket guard. Four of Captain W. W. Baldwin's cavalry scouts went up to Pierce's tavern, in the east end of Kingsport, when General [S. P.] Carter and staff were eating supper, called them out of the house and shot at them, wounding an aide of General Carter in the hand, and, report says, Carter also. The whole Yankee party retreated by the back way of the house and fled on foot, guided by one of Pierce's negroes, leaving their horses hitched to the rack, which were taken by Baldwin's men. Captain Baldwin had stopped to feed and rest his men 4 miles in rear of Kingsport.

Such is the character of the raid upon our country; it is useless to say disgraceful. The damage is small; nothing was interrupted except to take all the horses, watches, &c., of loyal citizens, to seize and parole all the prisoners they could find, and destroy two bridges (worth probably $50,000 to construct them), with small amount of stores at each place, and the injury to one "material" engine, run into the river at Watauga. The greatest injury is the confidence afforded to the Union sentiment in East Tennessee, for already they have commenced bushwhacking in Carter County, and several persons have been killed.

It is no part of my purpose in this letter to find fault with any management or lay blame in any quarter. My report is one of facts, known to myself and the country, and cannot be gainsaid. In conclusion, let us have at least a fighting man to lead our men and our people. No one here will fail to see then that, while nothing has been accomplished by our men for want of proper officers, much could have been effected with active and efficient generalship. General Jones, I learn, reached Abingdon, but made no move west of that point that I know of General Floyd, of Virginia State Line, was also at Abingdon, as I hear reported. The Yankees were four hours destroying the trestle-bridge at Union. It had been recently constructed of green timber, was uncovered, and they had to cut it down piece by piece, and let it fall into the river.

Please show this to the Secretary of War. You will see I had first directed it to him, but concluded it would look like anticipating Marshall's report, and I send it to you, that you may see how this thing

Page 130 KY., MID. AND E. TENN., N. ALA., AND SW. VA.