Important from Big Creek Gap – Capture of a Large Number of Confederate Cavalry.
The Knoxville (Tenn.,) Register, of the 16th March, says: By a number of cavalry direct from Jacksboro’, we learn that on Friday morning, at daybreak, a regiment of infantry, assisted by cavalry, attacked our cavalry, in the neighborhood of Big Creek Gap, five miles east of Jacksboro’, and thirty miles west of Cumberland Gap. Our information is exceedingly confused, contradictory and meager. In our next issue we expect to give more detailed accounts; but from the best information we can gather, the enemy have captured and killed the larger portion of five companies of Colonel Rogers’ cavalry regiment. By some culpable negligence of our officers, no pickets were out; besides, our encampment was at least a mile from the Gap. – What better inducement for an attack by the enemy could have been held out by the cavalry cannot be well imagined. The surprise of our forces is consequently complete and successful.
When it comes that cavalry wukk permit themselves to be surrounded by infantry, we think good policy would dictate that they be disbanded altogether, or at least changed into infantry. We have not been able to ascertain the names of the five companies who were engaged. Lieut. Col. White, who was in command in the absence of Col. Rogers, is reported captured.
One report is that Fincastle, a village 5 miles above Big Creek, was burned by the Hessians – two of the companies having been stationed at that place, the other three being immediately at Big Creek.
William H. Malone, a lawyer of Jacksboro’, but who had recently removed his family to our city, is reported among the killed, altho’ only a private citizen.
The enemy had possession of Jacksboro’, having ridden down there on the horses captured from our men. They may constituted the vanguard of the Lincoln army into east Tennessee. If so, our forces will meet them at Phillippi. – Mark our predication.
– Published in the Burlington Weekly Hawk-Eye, Burlington, Iowa, Saturday, April 12, 1862, p. 2