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Re: October 2, 1864
In Response To: October 2, 1864 ()

My notes of this affair are:

10 02 1864 [Sunday]

As the battle [Saltville] ended, Confederate Generals John C. Breckinridge and John Echols arrived from Abingdon, where they had been coordinating the concentration of troops. Other reinforcements streamed in as well, including the cavalry brigades of General Basil Duke, George Cosby, and John Vaughn. (203, pp. 54/5)

Our forces have ben fighting the Feds all day--Killed a great many of the enemy--Many of the Negroes. The federals also killed a large no. of them I am informed endeavoring to make them charge our forces. Poor deluded wretches. Much better would it be for them to remain with their masters. [Ward, W. W., "For the Sake of my Country,: The Diary of Col. W.W. Ward, 9th Tennessee Cavalry, Morgan’s Brigade, C.S.A., R. B. Rosenburg, Editor, Confederate Nation Series, John McGlone, Editor, Southern Heritage Press, Murfreesboro, TN, 1992. p. 101]

Although the Federals under Burbriodge claimed a victory over Confederate forces under Echols, Williams, Vaughn, Jackson and Preston’s reserves, they failed to occupy the saltworks and suffered some 350 casualties. [ibid]

10 03 1865 [Monday]

After attempting to stop the massacre, Breckinridge organized a pursuit of the Federals. He ordered Giltner’s Brigade to prepare to follow them, then directed Williams to take his brigade and those of Duke, Crosby, Vaughn, Dibrell, and Robertson along a paralled route to Hayter’s Gap in order to cut off the Federal retreat. (203, pp. 60/1)

“Saw Gen.Breckenridge for the first time this morning” He had been ordered from the Shenandoah Valley to Southwest Virginia to assume command of the department, arriving on the field the day after the Battle of Saltville. [W W Ward, p. 102]

George Martin

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