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The Abingdon Virginian. [volume] (Abingdon [Va.]) 1849-1883, January 23, 1863, Image 1

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For the Virginian.
Tiae East Tennessee Raid.
I do'hot offer myself as the champion of
'any one, but realizing, as I do, the manner in
.which the great mass of public opinion is
'formed, l I 'feel it my bounden duty to say a
'few words'ih reply to the article promulgated
by the Editor of the Advocate, assisted by the
Post Commander at Bristol, relative to the re
cent Yankee'raid in E. Term. First: So far
as the editor is concerned, I would simply re
mark, that being no General myself, 1 feel a
delicacy in criticizing the proofs he has given
to the world of his genius in that line. But
unfortunately for a proper appreciation of his
merit in the minds of some, he demonstrates
himself after the difficulties he treats of have
passed away. He is evidently, though, a
great General, and if his fore-sight prove as
good as his hind-sight, he is no doubt a gun
that will drive the centre every shot. I can
only regret that such ability,is lying in "cold
obstruction," while our country needs it to
command her armies in tite field. Had Gen.
Marshall been aware cf his presence in our
midst, I don't suppose he would have presum
ed to have taken the command of his forces
in his recent effort to capture the enemy.—
And whilst I hesitate to offer any objections
to the Editor's conclusions, I do not fear ranc«
ing beside them a few truth", and I propose
doing so in as brief a manner as possible.—
When my own personal knowledge has been
at fault, I have appealed for facts to officers
competent to give them. I therefore speak
confidently as appertains to my own, and ad
visedly in regard to the statements of others.
The enemy entered the State of Ya., through
Crank's Gap, in the Cumberland Mountains,
on the night of the 28th of December, and as
was to be expected, their presence was not
discovered until the morning of the 29th, and
'information of their movements was not re
ceived by Gen. Marshall until about 10 o'clock
; the same night. Said information gave their
force as 4,000, and located them at Pattons
ville> fjoott Co., at 1 o'clock that day. The
dispatch containing it was received from Mor
ristown, within the military district of E.
!., aud it was reasonable to suppose that
uthorities of said district received iufor
m at the same time. I have not consulted
Gen. Marshall, and do not know what
eas were as to the intended movements
i enemy. I merely judge of him by how
ted in the premises. He immediately
aphed the information-to the Command
>f his various corps, and began the con
ition of his necessarily scattered forces.
they were scattered in this eaten-out and
provided country need not be explained
• one. The intention of the enemy, when
ews was received, was not known, and
was no means of conjecturing it. That
ne to do damage no one doubted, and
were two points at which, from his then
>n, he could strike a stunning blow—
alt-Works, in the district of Gen. Mar
aud the rail road bridges, in the district
Term. Now, where was Gen. Mar
first duty? According to the Editor
Post Commander/ he should have ad
l to the rescue of E. Term.
his be the case, and Gen. Marshall is
ed to protect the department of E.
he ought to be so instructed by the
Department, and have the force placed
disposal to do so. A regiment of his
j was posted only a short time since a
les within the precincts of said depart
ed directly in the line of approach
taken by the enemy in their recent raid.—
<Gen. Smith did not deem their presence of
any importance to its military defence, and
■ordered them out—when the hour of need ar
rived ithey were 50 miles away.
Gen. Marshall's first dispositions were made
by throwing a regiment of his cavalry forward
so as to cover the approach to the Salt Works
around which point a battalion of artillery '
was that night concentrated. A regiment of'
infantry and two battalions of cavalry were I
concentrated at Bristol, to protect that place I
and the line of rail road intervening between I
here and there. On the morning of the 30th,
and as soon as the probable intentions of the
enemy became known, Gen. xMarshall im
mediately began to rush preparations for
sending all his available force to Bristol
, which point the Post Commander and others.'
'telegraphed bim was hourly expected to be j
attacked. There was reported rolling stock j
sufficient at this point in the morning to have '
forwarded. CoL Hawkins' battalion of infant
ry at once* It was ordered- to tho depot, but 1
when the Col. arrived there, he reported to
the Gen. that the transportation upon which
he had relied, had disappeared in the direc
tion of Bristol. The Gen. telegraphed to the
agent at that place to have the cars/ immediate
ly returned, who permitted an hour and a
half to elapse before any reply was made at
all; he then dispatched to know whether G. n.
Marshall ordered them to return, and being
answered in the affirmative, quietly ropli.'d to
the Gen. that he must tivst get an order froai j
the Superintendent at Lynchburg, before he
could comply. After still furYlier delay, |he '■
order was procured from Lynchburg, but the
transportation did not arrive until about 71
o'clock in the evening—Col. I£avrkiftj»' c m
mand waiting at the depot for it from about
11 A. M. until that hoar. Col. Gilmer's re
giment of cavalry had iv the mean time been
ordered from its position iv the Deighb<»rlk»od
i>f Lebanon to join the main force at Bristol
with all possible dispatch. The cars *ot off
from this point about 8* oVock, but were do
layed by Incoming stalled on the wav from
arriving at Bristol untii between li aud 12
that night. The enemy had then burned the '
bridge at Zollieofier and Watauga, and the
last news received from him was that he was
proceeding westward from those nutate with
the probable intent* n of committing fari,,-r
depredation* in that direction, GeiTkafehatj
had with him at this time about 800 iuJauff v
and 300 cavalry, with two batteries of aili'l-
On the morning of the 31st, information was J
received that the enemyhadturnedLa.-ki.il
the direction of Blountviile, which made it
apparent that he had begun bis retreat.
To pursue Jiim with infant! v and arti!W\
was impossible; and to- pursue him f2*690 I
strong) with but 300 cavalry with any horteV
capturing him, was footfeh. Gen. JiareJ.aU
therefore, waited for Gi.'tt-r's cavalry to come'
SB, which did so about 2 o'clock in the .day
aving ridden a distance of 37 miles without
Vi'f f °' a m " ment - A " s, h»" as the horse,.
QOVld be fed, the etmamand was again put in
motion, together with Clay's and Julmwn's
battalions, m ail abut 800 men. The ene
my had about 12 hours the start—he w*s pur
sued, however, a distance of SO miles, and his
oT T Fuf oV9rt6ken a!,<,u ; wndoira on the
immediarely Segan, ha; DeTore
g"t possession of the town, night bad e&ged
m upon us, and the edraaee ga**kih« ene
my was pressing out at t;,e Gap by widen
rhey entered the Depenuent; In tbkpunaH
the major portion of the command had'travei
ed a distrr.ee of about 12',: miles, and the
whole with but a single mea! to eat. She
course of the enemy was not ohfrheted in
any way by the people of the country from
the time they entered until they left the State
and what is still more remarkable, not one
ijrcrtic,* of information v.aa received from the
'same source relative to their' mnv»aier*s- —
j General Marshall moved entirely by his own
judgment, and from inf.r!imti..aderiv«d iV,>m
hw own scouts. Much of the most maanxat
information he received even from Oris latter
powers that be" are not satisfied with his in
activity, all they will have to do will bo toVi
loose the shackles that are u.„n him, or place
turn in some situation where h;s talents
may have an ooportunitv to illustrate them
selves He has, from first to last, beeniam
pered down to a diminutive mountain district
and what General, either of thi* or aay other
country, ever distinguished htmkeU in' monn
tain warfare? Gen. Lee, the present cyno
sure of every eye, failed signally in his moun
tain campaign—add Gen. Rosencrans the
ablest of our foes, who was pitted agaiost him
fared no better. Gen. Marshall revived a
military education, and has had the military
experience of a former war. At the breaking
out of hostilities, no man enjoyed a higher re
putation than he; and now.* because he does
not rise superior almost to fate jtssif, lie must
needs to the petty criticism of eve- I
ry popinjay Post Commander, maudlin editor
or cross-roads critic, who chooses to appear in
print. J
enemy in and out of the State. I now
however, the same apology sufficient for his
false and contradictory abatements, since I
have been taught in moral philosophy, that
when a man makes an assertion as true, he
should first ascertain it to be such. I skill
be as brief in my extracts from his report as
circumstances will allow. Eftrfftrie says "I
learned on the morning of the 30th. that-'the
enemy, instead of coming from Estilivi'lle to
this place, had turned to the right in the di
rection of Blountville, which satisfied me they
were aiming for Hufeioo Bridge:''—Now if
the Post Commander really did get this in- |
formation, why did be not telegraph it imme- :
diately to his superior at Knoxville ? There j
was ample time to have ordered reinforce- !
did he not telegraph it to Goih Marshall at
portant information, he telegraphs as iol- '
Friday, January 23, 1863
Again,_ alter i ailing the result dfa consul
tation with Col, Momp relative to a dispatch
that he (0«L Sie| | ) had received from Col.
Clay, that the eamty were baying in the di
rwrtion oi Boiatai Bridge, and'whi-h was
veailv the first mnniation he (the Post Com-
Oepot hurrying in toe twins, son'e urn el t, .hie
cam* a and rep, rted the enemy
withni three rjil-< of tliis piace, when Col
Sleiftp Ui tr,e { ; . 0 f his dispatch from Lieut'
detachmeut was moving upon Holston Bridge.
travrfrooj a dispatch forwarded' bv'Yun/to !
Ueri. ■Marshal! a, the tiit.o, viz :—"We hive
u->0 infantry cavalry—can you send
u> two pieces of artillery wi;h canister and
shrapnel,?" A d»ior.onee between the tr«e
and b.ise statements-d'doO men. Again he
continued—-ILur Col. Slemp done his plain
duty, as I urged him, and gone to the Hoi
siou, we would nave saved the bridges and
probably captured the whole Federal°foree "
lliis amnion I m./dly know what to think
:>■ rt " '• l ; " i: •' tyaj 04 the very time h •
Hmt Commando? was «/•,//;•<,■ Col. Slemp Jo *o
to their protection; the bridges were hi the
possesion .»f the iotomy ami in process of de
-ruciion. To ue,..,.i,>t"rate thi»ooi>u bwtier,
l have only to raafce an extiaet from his own
writing, vjz:—-4 snort time after, one of my
couriers came i:? with dispatches that the
»>nlge (imird had been sm. rounded ; , a fie
mommy ot' rhe 3G& by I km Federal cavalry,
and had without firing a gun."
Here it .will be'eon by his own showing
that the bridges ##» captured on the morn
iny of toe 3(>th, auU yet he was wtgivf a gar
rison For their jtfotectioq betweeu 1 and 2
o clock .n the <. Again, he say* "On
rue morning of the olst, Gen. Marshall was
reinforced by * s,r,.ng remanent of cavalry.
numbering mime w>6 to 800 men." A brief
extract, but contains two falsehoods.
_ lue regnnent wis <J,l. Gilmer's, and con
sisted of about oOfJ men, and arrived about 2
o clock in the evehing. After detailing the
result of a recono, ;,>ance down the railroad
>n tie morning ,d and by which his
scouts returned witli tbe information that "the
enemy were then jll x. m.)enean>pedon Snapp's
lariu, fopr mites bej >w Blountville"—lie conti
nues: "I eoiutttmvieated to Gen. Marhsai! at j
Ui n l^° ca y alr 3 i".the direction of Biount
.Murshall at no time had more than Booeaval- j
»7, and af II A M . the time the Post Coin
to circumstances, was. unable to fill the Com' j
a statement in one of his most fbr
among the most gifted muste i .s°of the art of'
schooling, couple] with a moiety of experience |
liecesvaj-y, before even the greatest bound into 1
the arena where bale's are lost and won, hut !
IB this instaace, we have a full-fledged Gene- {
! ral suddenly appearing in our midst, who
I pounces with astonishing ferocity upon one of j
■m> tetiow associate.*, and with a few dashes j
j of the pen, when 'he events he would guide, j
, antagonist, and writes himself down one of
j the greatest Captains, of the age. For in
j stance—"Hud n , ;l plans of operations been :
i aaopted and carried out, the bridges would-;
j have been saved au'j the enemy captured."
Here we have a modest declaration of this !
h onderfuJ man's estimate of his own ability. j
,Us not given as a matter of opinion, but aY '
serted as a solemn "and much-to-be regretted '
leu.is and the Bjiofbnls—ever before stole the \
power which properly belongs to Divinity to |
assist them in their military movement*. An !
appreciative comoiry should, and I believe
in supreme ,• of our armies, this new- |
sucii men as Lee and Johnston, but a moral
certainty derived from a thorough knowledge
01 the great law of cause and effect. I for one
ainwilhng to yield bm the palm—but only
s i Far aa bia power ©f divining events is con
j fined, f o £ I -rind that he. like most mortals,
n«s been liable to be led astray in his state
" ■ >■■; of facts, and still farther, like other toOr
j :Is. when Ihey have been afflicted
oy an inordinate amount of self-conceit.) has
been prone to talk about things of which he
knew notmng more than the man in the moon
... . T VERITAS.
Abingdon, Jan. 11th. 1865.
Synopsis «5 me President's Mes
Richmond. January 14. The annual mes
sage of President Davis was read in Congress
It a view of the military posi
t.on of aflWirs, which are described as very
The fourth great army of invasion has been
defeated m Virginia, and General Burnside
has experienced the fate of his three predeces
sors, MelWeK, M.-.Clellan and Pope.
In the West the fortunes of war have been
vijv as. Battles have been fought with fear
ful SArnage on both sides, but the hopes of the
enemy of any decisive result Imve been baffl-
On the Atlantic coast the enemy are still
confined to the protecting cover of their fleets.
A review of our history shows that the war
has now entered its third and last stage. The
first effort was to restore the Union,°and has
been abandoned. The second vnu to conquer
the .South and govern it as dependency of the
North; this too has proven impossible and has
bee i abandoned. The third clesigu is to de
stroy and plunder what they could not sub
jugate. If we continue the same efforts as in
the past this design will likewise be defeated,
and we may confidently expect that-thia is the
closing year of the war. The enemy will pos
sess nether spirit nor resources for continu
ing it the fourth year in so exhaustive a scale.
We ttestre peace, but will continue the war at
any sacrifice until our rights to self-govern
ment and the sovereignty and independence
of tho States are vindicated and established.
Our foreign relations ;.re next reviewed.—
Our right to j 88 h own by reference
to the past history 0 f other States, some of
which were rewgnized ay independent by
Great Britian in the treaty of peace of 1783,
and had been previously allies in war with
I ranee. When onr commissioners demanded
recognition, they were told that foreign gov
ernments ■could not decide between the con
flicting statements made by our government
and that of the United States in respect to our
mutual relations, and that Europe could sim
ply recognize us as belligerents and preserve
a strict neutrality. This apparent refusal to
decide was in reality ago/hast us. because we
were then unjustly deprived of diplomatic in
tercourse on tho same footing as our enemies.
The question of the blockade is discussed at
length. Its invalidity is shown, as tested by
the principlesof the Congress of Paris in 1856.
The whole conduct of neutral nations is sum
med up so as to show that they have enforced
all neutral rights that effected us injuriously,
and refrained from asserting those that would
injure the United States.
The correspondence between the Courts of
France, Great Britain and Russia, is adverted
to. The language of the French dispatch is
construed as a formal admission of our ability
to maintain our independence, and justifies
the hope of early recognition.
The barbarities committed by the Northern
troops are referred to, and the action taken in
relation to the atr-.cities committed by Gene
rals Butler, McNeil Tnd Milroy explained.—
The (.pinion is expressed that the infamy of
their superiors, who have, in no one instance,
punished the perpetrators of these crimes.
In relation to Lincoln's proclamation, the
President says our detestation is tempered by
profound contempt for his impotent rage.
The action of the government will be confined]
to4«liverhprg up -ill commissioned officers here
after cuptured in the ten States named in the
proclamation, to be tried by the States under
the laws which punish those that excite ser
vile insurrection. The proclamation is treat
ed us possessing great significance in a politi
cal view. It proves what were the designs of
the republican party from the beginning, not
withstanding their efforts to conceal them by
false declarations. The proclamation is next
considered as a guarantee against the possi
bility of reconstruction. It is also treated as
a confession of incapability to subjugate the
South, which Europe will be bound to consid
er as justifying our immediate recognition or
an intimation to the people of the North, that
they must submit to a final separation of tho
The message, which is the longest yet issu
ed by the President, embraces a comprehen
sive review of the whole internal and external*
relations of the country. It is confident, even.
■ant in tone, and closes with a tribute'
omen, without whose sublime sacri
eclares that our success would have
The Confederate Finances.
Richmond, Jan. 15th.
The report of the Secretary' of the Treaso
ry show.* that from the commencement of the
permanent Government, to JUst December,
the receipts were $457, 855,000; expenditures
Estimated amount to. be raised by Con
gress, to Ist July, $4,000,000.-
The dc.br of tho Government on the Ist inst.
was 53aG,(K10#96 t including 88 bonds, 5G de
posit.:: cerioieauvs, 272 general currency and
ESQ et scvqq, thirty notes.
No. 4&;

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