Following the American Civil War Sesquicentennial with day by day writings of the time, currently 1863.

“On the march toward a camp of the enemy on Rockcastle River and Hills.”–Richard R. Hancock, Second Tennessee Cavalry.

October 16, 2011

Hancock’s Diary: or, A History of The Second Tennessee Cavalry.–Richard R. Hancock.,The American Civil War

Post image for “On the march toward a camp of the enemy on Rockcastle River and Hills.”–Richard R. Hancock, Second Tennessee Cavalry.

Wednesday, 16th.—According to orders of yesterday, about 5,400 of Zollicoffer’s Brigade, including six pieces of artillery, were put in motion along the London road.

The First Battalion struck tents and prepared to move, but as McNairy was ordered to bring up the rear, and as the infantry, artillery, and wagons (about two hundred of the latter) were nearly all day passing his camp, he camped for another night on Bald Hill. The head of the column bivouacked some six miles from Bald Hill and ten from Camp Buckner.

The following communication will explain Zollicoffer’s then contemplated movement:

Brigade Headquarters, Camp Ten Mile, Ky., October 16, 1861.

Colonel Murray, Camp Myers: 1

Sir: I am ten miles on the march toward a camp of the enemy on Rockcastle River and Hills, having left Cumberland Ford this evening with the greater part of my command. I learned that the enemy at Albany, Ky., has retired. My plan has been to fall in their rear and cut them off. Now that Colonel Stanton and our cavalry have left the neighborhood of Jamestown, Tenn., the enemy may return in force near the line. I have ordered stores of subsistence for my troops to be placed at Jamestown by the 25th instant, and have ordered the same cavalry companies to return to that neighborhood almost the same time, to prevent the enemy from seizing and appropriating the stores. Perhaps the cavalry from above would not be sufficient to prevent an incursion.

I expect to pass down by Sommerset and Monticello, Ky., or by Columbia and Burksville, Ky., in the hope of capturing any forces they may be threatening your position with.

As secrecy is the element of success, I must beg of you not to mention to any solitary person this enterprise.

My object in writing to you is to ask you about the 25th to move in such a way as to insure, by the aid of the cavalry, the safety of the stores until I can reach the neighborhood. Inform General Caswell at Knoxville what you can do and he will communicate with me. Very respectfully,


Brigadier- General.

Colonel Murray replied thus:

Camp Red Sulphur, October 22, 1861.

General F. K. Zollicoffer:

Dear Sir: I am in receipt of yours of 16th instant. I am much pleased to learn that you are moving in direction of the interior of Kentucky. We are to-day within thirty-two miles of Burksville, will reach and capture the Federal forces there by the 25th of this instant. We will then move to Albany by the 26th of this instant.

Will you inform me of your position at Albany, as I will wait at that point for orders from you? I have no fears of our success at Burksvilre. In the meantime our forces will prevent the Federal forces from capturing our supplies at Jamestown. Yours shall be strictly confidential. I am your obedient servant,

John P. Murray,
Colonel Twenty-eighth Regiment, Tennessee Volunteers


1 In Overton County, Tennessee.

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