Today in History:

26 Series I Volume VII- Serial 7 - Ft. Henry-Ft. Donelson


ago with the force that retreated before General Nelson; and about ten days ago a regiment of troops from some neighboring State, probably Virginia, passed to Prestonburg, via Piketon, with a train of 55 wagons and four iron guns; one of large caliber, the others probably 6-pounders.

These two forces, amounting to from 2,000 to 2,500 men, increased by irregular bands of local rebels, mostly mounted, are now in Paintsville, and are throwing up works for defense, and sending out marauding parties in various directions, who are committing frequent murders, driving off cattle, and destroying the property of Union men. I inclose a map of the route from my camp to Paintsville.* I send a request by telegraph for at least four small howitzers.

Without a strong re-enforcement my command can hardly dislodge the enemy without the means of shelling their camp. I can furnish teams for hauling the guns, which can be sent here by the river. I earnestly hope you will be able to furnish them. I shall hope to strike a blow at an early day. I have not yet been able to send you consolidated morning reports in consequence of the separation of the parts of my command and the want of proper blanks. Requisitions have been made, but a supply has not yet been received.

I have not yet heard from the Fortieth Ohio Regiment, but have no doubt it has reached and is occupying McCormick's Gap.

Respectfully submitted.


Colonel, Commanding Brigade.

Captain J. B. FRY,

Assistant Adjutant-General.

Camp Pardee, January 4, 1862.

DEAR SIR: Shortly after the date of my last report to you, of December 26, I received intelligence that the enemy had retreated to a hill 3 miles from Paintsville, on the road to Prestonburg, where he is throwing up earthworks. About the same time 300 or 400 cavalry came in from West Liberty and encamped at the mouth of Jennie's Creek, where they still remain and are actively engaged in marauding and foraging expeditions. Judging from the position of the enemy that he intended to make a stand, I dispatched a messenger to Colonel Cranor, ordering him to proceed to Prestonburg via Hazel Geen and Burning Spring, sending a strong party of cavalry via West Liberty and Licking Station to drive in the rebel forces on the route and protect Colonel Cranor's flank, and join him again before he reached Prestonburg. He was then to move down the river and hold himself in easiness to attack the enemy's position or cut off his retreat. I herewith inclose a copy of my instructions to him.*

The messenger was expected to return on Monday evening, December 30, but did not reach me till Wednesday. On Tuesday, December 31, I moved up George's Creek 8 miles, with the Forty-second Ohio, five companies of the Fourteenth Kentucky, and McLaughlin's squadron of cavalry, and encamped at the foot of Brown's Hill. I there waited one day the arrival of Colonel Moor's [Cranor's?] train, part of which reached me January 1. Six of his wagons have not yet arrived. On the evening of


*See p.35.