BY COALE & BARR
Friday, Sept. 25, 1863
On Saturday last, great excitement prevailed all over this county, in consequence of the apprehended approach of the Yankees from Kingsport, Tenn. in this direction. The particulars, as accurately as we can get them, from the mass of contradictory rumors and accounts, are these. Two companies of Col. Carter's 1st Tenn. Cavalry had been resting and recruiting their horses for a few days on Netherland Island, near Kingsport, after their successive skirmishes with the enemy near Cumberland Gap, when they were suddenly attacked by a Yankee Brigade under Gen. Ross. Carter threw his few men on this side of the river,and made stand at Vance's Ford of Reedy Creek, opposite the upper end of Kingsport. After holding them in check awhile, a very large force as seen crossing the river above the island, for the purpose of flanking him. Carter's men then fell back, taking the Holston Springs road one mile this side of Kingsport, and being separated from the balance of the command; they proceeded to Bristol on Saturday. The Yankees kept the Reedy Creek road to Morel's Mill, and thence to Bristol. A large portion of Col. Carter's men. from frequent skirmishing and falling back, became much scattered, but the small number, about 150, who were led by the Colonel in person, fought gallantly, and made a stand wherever and whenever there was a chance to held the enemy in check.
The enemy reached Bristol about the middle of the day Saturday, and committed some depredations, among which were the burning of the Commissary house with some say 100 and others 300 barrels of flour, a small amount of bacon and some dozen boxes of ammunition, rifled Gugginheimer's store, and despoiled the houses of a few citizens. This latter was done by a few stragglers who had been left behind and who were intoxicated.
The enemy then started in this direction, when Carter again gave them fight at Millard's Mill, one mile this side of Bristol, farther than which they did not come in force. Foraging parties scattered out as far as perhapsas Col. John Preston's, but no particular damage was done that we have heard of. They all then retired beyond Bristol, and on Sunday morning proceeded toward Zollicoffer, where they were met by Gen. Jones, and got more than they bargained for. The fight lasted several hours, with, it is said, a loss to the enemy of 9 killed and about 30 wounded, and to us of 2 killed and 7 or 8 wounded. -- Gen. Williams pursued the enemy to within 2 miles of Blountville and only returned when called back by a dispatch from Gen. Jones.
All day Saturday, most intense excitement prevailed in Abingdon. The Company recently organized in town was under arms all day, together with various, squads from the country, in support of Davidson's Battery, then stationed in this vicinity, with the Provost Guard, and also a portion of Col. Carter's cavalry, and Col. Chenneworth and his command. From the position of our forces, a fair view of the road towards Bristol was had for a mile or two, in which direction all eyes were constantly turned. Ever and aeon, when a cloud of dust produced by flying refugees, men, women, negroes, and stock, rose in the distance, Capt. Davidson could be seen to look sternly, and the fingers of the undrilled infantry pressed upon the triggers of their charged muskets. Had the Yankees approached,many a saddle would have been emptied, for determined resistance was depicted in every countenance.
Had it not been humiliating, it would have been amusing, to see citizens and strangers stampeding through town,with as much haste and excitement as if the Yankees had been at their heels, when the latter were quietly regaling themselves at Bristol, without a thought of proceeding another foot in this direction. As night approached, scouts brought the information that the enemy had gone in the opposite direction, when "quiet" once more '"reigned in Warsaw."