April 30, 1862: Union forces attack Cumberland Gap

Kirby Smith
General Kirby Smith

Union forces under George Morgan attacked the Cumberland Gap, the main route connecting Virginia with the west. Here Confederate general Kirby Smith orders reinforcements to oppose them.

From the official record:

KNOXVILLE, TENN., April 30, 1862.

GENERAL: The enemy has attacked at Cumberland Gap. Move with all your disposable force toward Jacksborough. I will overtake you to-night or to-morrow morning. You will withdraw all the cavalry, except one company at Clinton and Cobb’s Ferry, respectively. Those remaining will be directed to keep up communication with this point, and also to communicate to you across the country any important intelligence. You will take with you, if practicable, six or seven days’ rations, but be careful to have the wagons in condition to travel lightly. The troops should be without impediments and in fighting order. If the steamboat is at Clinton you will keep it there.

Respectfully, you obedient servant,


Major-General, Commanding.

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