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Rout of Marshall's
Thomas' March to the
a rendezvous at Paintsville, in Johnson coun- pass infantry, artillery and trains over with ty, where he rapidly gathered a brigade com- freedom, and thus to provide for the continposed chiefly of Kentuckians, who, influenced gencies of a retreat as well as an advance in by his inflamatory appeals, cast their fortunes force. The delay, in all probability, was exwith his own. His friend John C. Brecken- tended in order to give time for Thomas' ridge, at the same time, was in command of movements, designed to make an end of Zola similar brigade at Bowling Green. Mar- licoffer's demonstration. shall was an “old line Whig"--Breckenridge This Tennessee leader
old line Democrat;" they struck palms had issued his proclamawhen the Southern Confederacy commanded. tion, dated from Beech Life-long political enemies fraternized with a Grove, December 16th, 1861, addressed to zeal indicative either of remarkable devotion the people of South-eastern Kentucky, and to the Southern idea, or of remarkable reck- designed especially to inflame the minds of lessness of consequences.
all against the Federal Government. It was Marshall was soon dis- his hope to excite a general uprising, offering
posed of by Colonel Gar- his camp as a rallying point. It accomplishBrigade.
land, who entered Paints- ed nothing save to gather in the rebel camp ville January 7th, with two regiments and a large number of vagabonds whom Kentucky tbree hundred cavalry. Hearing of this ap- had called citizens, but whose absence was a proach, the rebel commander beat a rapid source of congratulation, particularly to all setreat, leaving behind him a strongly en- property holders. trenched camp. He was pursued by the Thomas rendezvoused his Federal cavalry to the mouth of Jennis creek, division--the 4th of Buell's where a sharp skirmish took place, in which
army at Columbia, in the rebel rear guard was badly worsted. Adair county. The different brigade enGarland followed, January 9th, with eleven campments at Lebanon, Bardstown and Louhundred men, and came up with the enemy's don were deserted. He moved from Columpickets two miles below Prestonburg. Mar- bia via Jamestown to the Cumberland. The shall had made a stand at the forks of Mid- design was to engage Zollicoffer upon the dle creek. At noon of January 10th, Gar- front - Schepff co-operating by advancing land was in hot action with him. Marshall upon the enemy by way of Fishing Creekhad about two thousand five hundred men while a strong force was to pass over the and three guns, all well posted. The fight river to the rebel rear, reaching Monticello lasted until dark-the Federals being reen- in time to cut off his retreat from Mill Springs. forced by seven hundred infantry from Paints- The plan to bag the enemy en masse was well ville. In the night Humplirey fled, leaving arranged but failed owing chiefly to the rebel twenty-seven of his dead on the field. Gar-counter-movement. Without waiting for the field occupied the village of Prestonburg, threatened assault, Zollicoffer and Crittenden from which Nelson had but two months be moved forward from the camp at White Oak fore driven “ Cerro Gordo” Williams. This creek, and engaged the Federalists before was the last of Marshall for some weeks, and they were prepared for it.* This disconcert. Eastern Kentucky, for the second time, was pronounced “cleared."
* An account of the rebel movements written by These little affairs, though gallantly exe
one evidently in high command, and published in a cuted, served scarcely to arrest notice.
Richmond journal Feb. 4th, stated that the want of All attention was directed to the front and rations and forage was so great as to have compello
ed the Confederate abandonment of the cainpaiga flank movements of Buell's army. The gen
even if Thomas had not advanced. A council of eral movement upon and over the line of commanders was held on the evening of Jan. 18t!, Green river did not immediately follow the when the attack on Thomas was determined upon, skirmish at Munforsville, December 18th. against, it would appear, the judgment of several of Three weeks were spent in reconstructing the Colonels. Only two days rations were then is the bridge at that important point, so as to camp. The attack resulted in a defeat only because
OF THOMAS' REGIMENTS.
Movements of Fedo
ed Thomas' plans so far as to compel him to of the Twelfth Kentucky, use all his available force and a portion of the First and Second TenSchopff's command to repel the attack. nessee and Captain W. E.
On Thursday, Jan, 17th, Standart's battery-proceeded, on the CoThe Camp at Logan’s the Ninth Ohio, Colonel R. lumbia road, to Fishing creek, where they
L. McCook; the Second | awaited orders. They were soon directed to Minnesota, Colonel H. P. VanCleve; the report at Logan's place, and, wading the Tenth Indiana, Colonel M. D. Manson; the swollen stream, reached that camp at midnight Fourth Kentucky, Colonel S. S. Fry; a bat- in a wretched plight. The rest of Schopti's talion of the First Kentucky cavalry, Colonel force-comprising the Seventeenth, ThirtyWolford; and Kinney's battery, arrived at first and Thirty-fifth Ohio—marched to a Logan's cross roads about ten miles from the lower ford on Fishing creek-leaving the rebel camp at Beech Grove on the Cumber- Thirty-eighth Ohio in the camp at Somerset, land, at the mouth of White Oak creek. The to guard it. Attempting to cross, only one march was excessively wearisome, and the regiment had reached the western shore at troops arrived at Logan's place in an exhaust- nightfall when orders came from Thomas for ed condition. Thomas there pitched his the three regiments to return to their camp camp, to await the arrival of the rest of his near Somerset, where they could be rendered division, comprising the Fourth and Tenth quickly available in case of need. These Kentucky, the Fourteenth Ohio and Eigh- marches and counter marches it is supposed teenth United States regulars, with Wetmore's were designed to puzzle the enemy. They at battery. That evening he was visited by least had that. result. Being informed that General Schæpff, whose command was then the Federal forces were distributed in several near to Somerset, about eight miles from commands, the rebel council of war, held Logan's farm. On Friday the Fourteenth Saturday evening, resolved to advance upon Ohio, Colonel Steedman; the Tenth Ken- Logan's place, where they hoped to surprise tucky, Colonel Harlan ; a section of the First Thomas and his supposed small command. Michigan Engineers, Lieutenant-Colonel Hus- On the morning of Sunday the Federal regton, and a battery reached the camp in a iments were distributed as follows, at and greatly exhausted condition, having marched around the cross roads at Logan's farm, viz: in a direct line from Columbia, constructing the Ninth Ohio and Second Minnesota on the a road as they moved. The regulars failed right of the road to Hart's ford; on the left to come up in season to participate in the Carter's brigade; in advance of both and action or pursuit.
between them lay the Fourth Kentucky, the Early Saturday morning Tenth Indiana and Standart's and Wetmore's
the Fourteenth Ohio and batteries. A section (one hundred and twenral Troops.
Tenth Kentucky were dis-ty) of Wolford's Kentucky cavalry, also stood patched on a reconnoissance to the Cumber-on outpost duty in front of the Tenth Indialand river. They pushed on through a
The residue of the cavalry was out on drenching rain, close to the rebel camp at scout and picket duty. The Fourteenth Ohio White Oak creek, and returned late in the and the Tenth Kentucky lay away to the afternoon, almost exhausted with fatigue and north-east of the cross roads, about eight exposure, to report the enemy still in his old miles distance on detached duty. The force position. The same morning a portion of at Thomas' immediate call was, therefore, Schapff's force (Carter's brigade)-composed but seven regiments, three batteries and a
battalion of cavalry. of the death of Zollicoffur, was the writer's opinion. The rebel press, however, charged treachery upon
Upon these, the ConfedGeneral Crittenden as the cause of the unwelcome erates advanced, on the disaster. This charge was simply absurd. Critten- morning of Sunday, Januden may have been drunk as alleged, but he fought ary 19th. Under the command-in-chief of well aud retreated in good order considering the ex- General Crittenden, they left their entrench. tont of the disaster to his command.
ed camp Saturday night after dark; but,
Movements of Fede.
The Rebel Ad.
Battle of Mill
Battle of Mill
owing to the almost impassable condition of dered his right wing comthe roads, it was three o'clock Sunday morn- panies to fall back upon ing before the rebel advance (Zollicoffer's his left. At that moment brigade, composed of four regiments and a the Fourth Kentucky sprung into the field ut battery of four guns) arrived within one mile tering a shout which made the woods echo of the Federal pickets. There they halted, with one wild huzza. This regiment was com, awaiting, in a deluge of rain, the coming up posed of new troops, but hearts of fire buruer of the rest of their force under General Car- beneath every gray coat, and they fought with roll. It was nearly seven o'clock before the unflinching fury. Their Colonel passed along Federal pickets (Wolford's cavalry) were the lines inspiriting all by his example. driven in. The cavalry fell back to their These two regiments sustained the unequal lines, and reenforced to a battalion, ugain conflict alone for a half hour after the Kenrode forward to engage what was supposed tuckians came into the field on the Indianito be a foraging party. They advanced down ans' left wing; when Colonel Manson, comthe Mill Spring road to discover the enemy's manding the brigade, was forced to fall slowheavy columns coming on over the hills. ly back to escape being outflanked. Colonel The alarm was quickly given, and a half McCook's forces—the Ninth Ohio and Second
hour sufficed to dispose the Minnesota--were then thrown into the con
entire seven Federal regi- flict, the Minnesotians occupying the ground Spring.
ments in position to re- just vacated by the retiring troops; while ceive their not unwelcome assailants. The the Ninth Ohio, passing to the left, :checked Tenth Indiana, under command of Lieuten- the enemy's attempted flank movement. ant-Colonel W. C. Kise, moved forward to This regiment “McCook's own" the support of its two companies stationed composed almost wholly of Germans, and as pickets one mile in advance on the direct like all Teutonic regiments, knew better road to the Cumberland.* It arrived on the how to advance than to retreat. The Gerground to find the pickets hotly engaged. mans soon found tiremselves face to face with Colonel Kise quickly threw bis force into the their foe-a small field about eighty yards wide woods, five companies to the right of the intervening, while the rebels held a corn crib, road and five to the left. The battle then a log house and stable in the field, only titty opened in earnest. The Indianians hela yards away. In the woods beyond and their ground firmly and kept the infuriated along the fence bounding the field, the eneenemy at bay, but suffered severely. Four my found excellent cover, and used it with rebel regiments were held by their fire for spirit. The Minnesota men, holding what half an hour, when Colonel Kise observed then was tlie Federal right wing, fought with cavalry flanking him on the right. He or- astonishing intrepidity, not only holding in
check the three regiments on their front, but * This statement varies from General Thomas' offi- pressing back their lines to their first posicial report. He said : “Upon my arrival on the tion. McCook, in his report, said: field, I found the Tenth Indiana formed in front of
• Along the lines of each of the regiments, and their encampment, apparently awaiting orders, when from the enemy's front a hot and deadly fire was I ordered them forward to the support of the Fourth opened. On the right wing of the Minnesota regi. Kentucky, which was the only regiment then engaged.” | ment the contest was, at first, almost hand to hand Our statement, we believe, however, to be correct.
-the enemy and the Minnesota pen poking their The account of every correspondent on the field
guns through the same fence at each other.' How gives to the Indianians the honor of being first in the
ever, before the fight continued long in this way, field. Colonel Kise, in his report, explicitly nar.
that portion of the enemy contending with the Sec. rates the movements to the field, to the support of
ond Minnesota retired in good order to some rail his pickets, and he also explicitly states that he piles hastily thrown together—the point from which fouglit until his right wing was forced to retire they had first advanced upon the Fourth Kentucky. (about half an hour) before the Kentuckians came to this portion of the enemy obstinately maintaining his help. Thomas' report evidently was grounded its position, and the balance remaining as before apon partial information.
described, (in front of the Ninth Ohio.) A desper.
Battle of Mill
ate fire was continued for Thus we arrive at the
Battle of Mill about thirty minutes with seem last stages of the battle,
Spring. ingly doubtful result. The im. referred to by Thomas, in portance of possessing the log house, stable and his report : corn crib becoming apparent, companies A, B, C
“ Immediately after the regiments had gained and D of the Ninth Ohio were ordered to flank the their positions, the enemy opened a most determinenemy's extreme left and obtain possession of the ed and galling fire, which was returned by our house. This done, still the enemy stood firm to his troops in the same spirit, and for nearly half-an-hour position and cover.”
the contest was maintained, on both sides, in the The Fourth Kentucky and Tenth Indiana most obstinate manner. At this time, the Twelfth kept the field to the last. McCook's two Kentucky (Colonel W. A. Haskins) and the Tennes. regiments were about in the position first see brigade (Carter's) reached the field to the left held by the brigade of Colonel nson, and of the Second Minnesota, and opened their fire on from which it had been temporarily driven. the right flank of the enemy, who then began to fall But, it was only for a moment. The Ken-back. The Second Minnesota kept up a most gall
ing fire in front, and the Ninth Ohio charged the en: tuckians walked into the fight along with
emy on the right, with fixed bayonets, turned their McCook's men, taking position on their left. flank and drove them from the field-their whole The Tenth Indiana men were still divided, line giving way and retreating in the utmost concne half on each wing of the Kentuckians. fusion." The enemy appearing on the Kentucky left, That charge of the Germans settled the General Thomas (who was on the field order-strife. McCook gave the order to empty ing the entire battle) directed the regiment guns and fix bayonets. Then, moving along (Tenthi Indiana) to consolidate and move to in front, he cried : “My invincible Germans, that part of the field threatened. It passed charge !” With a shout, the regiment to a promptly to the line of battle and again be- man leaped from cover, and dashed over the came obstinately engaged. After a half field. The enemy stood but a moment. The hour's struggle, the rebels were forced from log house, barn, &c., were abandoned-only their rail fence defense back into the woods about a score of rebels standing to be bayobeyond the Indianians bayonetting some netted and crushed by the advancing host. of the most obstinate of the enemy through This shock caused tbe whole Confederate line the fence. This success was followed by the to waver. Then the rest of the Federal line, regiments again changing location, this time fairly blazing in its fire, burst from cover to the Kentucky right, where the conflict and advanced. In a moment the rout of was very stubborn.
their foe was complete, and the battle of This was the moment which decided the Mill Spring was won.* fortunes of the day. The roar of arms was an- The pursuit was unworswered by the lightning and thunder of Hea- thy of the gallant army. ven's artillery. The showers of balls went Confessing the enemy to have retreated “in hissing and cutting through limbs and under- disorder," Thomas yet gave no excuse for the growth like the deluge of rain which came inefficient pursuit made. Wolford's cavalry, clown as if to wipe out the blood-stains dismounting, had fought with efficiency in the everywhere marking the soil. The enemy's ranks of the Tenth Indiana ; their horses artillery (four guns) having a good position were, therefore, fresh. The Tennessee brigaile on a rise of ground beyond the field, played (Carter's) was quite freslı, having fought but rapidly but harmlessly into the woods—the little and having marched but a short disround shot and canister cutting the tree tops, tance. Nor were any of the regiments most 80 hadly were the guns served. A section engaged too exhausted for a vigorous and of Kinney's battery, stationed on the Fourth dashing assault upon the flying mass. ThoKentucky's left, during the second stage of
* This battle, like many others of the war, was the conflict, was worked with precision, and misnamed. It was not fought within eight miles of worried the enemy's ranks wherever they ap- Mill Spring. It should be called the Bullle of Lo. peared en masse,
The Rebel Force
mas stated that, as soon The wounded included thirteen commis
as the regiments could sioned officers. Only one commissioned be re-formed and their cartridge boxes officer (of Wolford's cavalry) was killed. refilled an advance" was ordered; but the Thomas also reported the rebei loss to be movement, executed evidently with great one hundred and ninety killed and left on military precision, was not rapid enough to do the field, including General Zollicoffer ; sixtythe disorganized enemy any harm, and he two wounded, left on the field, and eighty. escaped to his White Oak creek entrench- nine prisoners not wounded. As many of the ments with no loss from pursuit. The Fede- killed and wounded were borne off the field ral advance, early in the afternoon, came up by the enemy, the above does not correctly to the entrenched camp, and, deploying in represent the Confederate losses. The real formal line-of-battle a furious cannonade was casualties were not made public by the Con. kept up until dark, by Standart's, Wetmore's federate authorities. and Kinney's batteries. An instantaneous The rebel forces which assault would have secured the entire Con
marched out to assail
Engaged. federate force. When Monday morning came
Thomas were ascertained the Federal regiments — strengthened by to have been as follows: Schæpff's command, by the Fourteenth
Under Zollicoffer: the Fifteenth Mississippi, Ohio and the Tenth Kentucky-prepared for Colonel Walthall; Nineteenth Tennesser, the assault. At the word, a simultaneous Colonel Cummings; Twentieth Tennessee, rush was made along the entire Federal Captain Battle ; Twenty-fifth Tennessce, Capline; the hills were mounted, the trenches tain Stanton, and a battery of four guns, Cappassed, the embankments scaled, to find tain Rutledge. the camp property there but not a
Under General Carroll : Seventeenth Tenfor its defense. Twelve guns with caissons nessee, Colonel Newman; Twenty-eighth well filed, one battery wagon, two forges,
Tennessee, Colonel Munger; Twenty-ninili considerable ammunition and
Tennessee, Colonel Powell, with a battery of quantity of small arms and muskets; one
two guns, Captain McClung. thousand mules and horses, a considerable
The reserve consisted of the Sixteenth Alastock of rough commissary stores; the entire bama, Colonel Wood, and two battalions of camp and garrison equippage, fell into Fede- cavalry. Two battalions moved in Zollicoffer'e ral hands. Their destruction would have advance. Several independent companies of announced to the assailants the evacuation "rangers” and “ mountain boys" also held a going on; hence, all the property and mate- place in the advance column. All told in riel were left comparatively intact. The
numbers, the force under General Crittenden, enemy had escaped over the river by the use
which assailed Thomas' brigades, was about of a single steamer, which, having been de- ten thousand strong. stroyed after it had answered for the safety
Demoralized beyond hope of reorganization, of the entire rebel force, left Thomas no
the rebels quickly retreated from their fortifimeans of crossing for further pursuit. The cations at Mill Springs, leaving rebel force then retired at leisure.
work for Thomas, in that quarter, except to The losses in this battle push on into East Tennessee by Pound Gap,
were not as severe as might or Walker's Gap, or by the direct route to have been inferred from the obstinate nature Huntsville, Pissing Cumberland Gap to ilie of the tight. Thomas reported his casualties west. But, the exciting nature of the camas follows:
paign then progressing up the Cumberland
Killed. Wou ded. and Tennessee rivers, impelled Buell to Second Winnesota.....
divert the division from further progress Fourth Kentucky.
It soon reversed its
order of march by again co-operating with Welford's cavalry.
the advance against Bowling Green and Nashville,
9 10 3