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BATTLE OF PRESTONBURG.
regiments of infantry and a battery of six guns. The Nationals, though greatly outnumbered, and attacked chiefly by cavalry and artillery, repulsed the assailants with ball and bayonet, killing Terry and thirty-two others, wounding about fifty, and losing eight killed and ten wounded themselves. In this work they were aided by a battery on the north side of the river. Seeing re-enforcements crossing, the Confederates withdrew toward Bowling Green, slowly followed by the Nationals.
In the mean time, stirring scenes were in progress in the extreme eastern part of Kentucky, and move. ments there caused a brief diversion of a part of Buell's army from the business of pushing on in the direction of Tennessee. Humphry Marshall was again in the field, at the head of about twenty-five hundred insurgents, and at the beginning of January was intrenched in the neighborhood of Paintsville, in Johnston County, on the main branch of the Big Sandy River, that forms the boundary between Kentucky and Virginia. Colonel James A. Garfield, one of the most energetic young men of Ohio, was sent with the Forty-second Ohio and Fourteenth Kentucky regiments, and three hundred of the Second Virginia cavalry, to dislodge him. Garfield followed the course of the river in a march of greatest difficulty and danger, at an inclement season. When Marshall heard of his approach, he fled in alarm up the river toward Prestonburg. Garfield's cavalry pursued, and, in an encounter with
• Jan. 7, those of Marshall," at the mouth of Jennis's Creek, they killed some, and drove the others several iniles. On the following day, Garfield also set out with about eleven hundred of his force in pursuit, and overtaking Marshall in the forks of Middle Creek, three miles above Pres. tonburg, where he was strongly posted with three cannon on a hill, he gave battle, fought him from one o'clock in the afternoon until dark, and drove him from all his positions. Garfield, having been re-enforced by seven hundred men from Paintsville, was enabled to make the victory for the Unionists at the BATTLE OF PRESTONBURG, as it is called, complete. The National loss was two killed and twenty-five wounded. That of the insurgents was estimated at sixty killed, and about one hundred wounded or made prisoners. The ponderous Marshall was not heard of afterward as a military leader. Because of his services on this occasion, Garfield was commissioned a brigadier-general of volunteers.
1 Report of General Buell to General McClellan, December 18, 1861. General Hindman, in his report on the 19th, said General Terry and three of his regiment were killed, three others slightly wounded, and only six missing. As they left a much larger number dead on the field, Hindman's report must have been incorrect.
? Garfield, in his report, says that twenty-seven dead insurgents were found on the field the next morning. The Richmond papers reported the battle as a success for the insurgents, in which they lost only nine killed and the same number wounded; while the loss of the Nationals was “from 400 to 500 killed, and about the same number wounded !" Such was the usual character of the reports in the Confederate newspapers, under tho eye of the conspirators at Richmond. With the most absurd mendacity, they made the deceived people believe that in every fight the Confederates won a victory over vastly superior numbers, killing, wounding, and capturing the Nationals by hundreds and thousands. These false reports were made on purpose to deceive the people, so as to draw men into the army, and money from the pockets of the dupes of the conspirators.
FORCES OF ZOLLICOFFER AND BUELL.
This victory on the Big Sandy was soon followed by another of the greatest importance, on the borders of the Cumberland River, farther westward. Zollicoffer, as we have observed, had established himself in the
region of the upper waters of the Cumberland. At the close of
the year he was strongly intrenched at Beech Grove, on the north side of that river, opposite Mill Spring, in Pulaski County, at the bend of the stream where it receives the White Oak Creek. On a range of hills that rise several hundred feet above the river, and with water on three sides of him, he had constructed a series of fortifications; and on the opposite, or south side of the Cumberland he had also erected supporting works. There he had gathered a large part of his force, composed of infantry, cavalry, and 61862.
artillery; and there, early in January," he was joined by Major
General George B. Crittenden, already mentioned,' who had been discharged from the National army because of his intemperance, and had espoused the cause of the conspirators, while a brother was in the military service of the Government, in the same State. He ranked Zollicoffer, and
assumed the chief command. On the same day he inflicted a • Jan. 6.
long and bombastic proclamation on the “people of Kentucky, closing with the appeal, “Will you join in the moving columns of the South, or is the spirit of Kentucky dead ?”
At this time General Buell had under his command about one hundred and fourteen thousand men, composed chiefly of citizens of Ohio, Indiana,
Illinois, Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Pennsylvania, and loyalists of Kentucky and Tennessee, with about one hundred and twenty-six pieces of artillery. This large army was divided into four grand divisions, commanded respectively by Brigadier. Generals Alexander McDowell McCook, Ormsby M. Mitchel, George II. Thomas, and Thomas L. Crittenden, acting as major-generals, aided by twenty brigade commanders, . These divisions occupied a line across the State, nearly parallel to that held by the Confederates.
McCook's, as we have observed, was in the vicinity of Mumfordsville. Brigadier-General William Nelson was
DON CARLOS BUELL.
1 See page 185.
? The contributions of these States to Buell's army were ns follows: Obio, thirty regiments of infantry, two cad a half of cavalry, and eight batteries of artillery ; Indiana, twenty-seven regiments of infantry, one and a half regiment of cavalry, and five batteries of artillery; Illinois, three regiments of infantry; Kentucky, twenty-four regiments of infanry, four of cavalry, and two batteries of artillery ; Pennsylvania, three regiments of infantry, twn of cavalry, and one battery of artillery; Michigan, three regiments of infantry, and one battery of artillery: Wisconsin, three regiments of infantry; Minnesota, two regiments of infantry and one battery of artillery ; Tennessee, two regiments of infantry.
MILITARY MOVEMENTS IN EASTERN KENTUCKY.
about ten miles farther east, with a considerable force, and Mitchel's was held as a reserve to aid McCook in his contemplated attack on Hindman, at Cave City. General Thomas was at Columbia, midway between Bowling Green on the west, and Somerset on the east, and Crittenden was in the extreme eastern part of the State, in the direction of Cumberland Gap.
To General Thomas was assigned the duty of attacking the Confederates at Beech Grove and Mill Spring, where, at the middle of January, there were about ten thousand effective men, with nearly twenty pieces of artillery. If successful there, Thomas was to push on over the Cumberland Mountains into the great valley of East Tennessee, seize the railway that traversed that region, and afforded quick communication between the Confederate armies in the West and in Virginia, and liberate the East Tennesseeans from their terrible thrall. It was a great work to be performed, and Thomas was precisely the man for the task. He entered upon it with alacrity. He divided his force, giving a smaller portion to the care of General Schoepf at Somerset, while he led the remainder in person, in a flank movement from Columbia, by way of Jamestown. He reached Logan's Cross Roads, ten miles from Beech Grove, on the 17th,' where, during the prevalence of a heavy rain-storm,
a January, he gathered his troops and made disposition for an immediate attack. In the mean time the Confederates had left their intrenchments, and had marched to meet him. General Crittenden, satisfied that Zollicoffer's position was untenable against superior numbers,' had determined to take the offensive. The Fishing Creek, which lay between the forces of Thomas and Schoepf, was so swollen by the rain that he hoped to strike the Nationals before these divisions could unite. He called a council of war on the evening of the 18th, when it was unanimously agreed to make the attack.' Zollicoffer was immediately ordered to lead the column. He started at midnight, Carroll's Brigade following his. Following these as a reserve were the Sixteenth Alabama, Colonel Wood, and Branner's and McClellan's battalions of cavalry. The whole force was between four and five thousand strong. At carly dawn, Zollicoffer's advance met the Union pickets.
General Thomas had been advised of this movement. He had made dispositions accordingly, and the pickets, encountered by the Confederate vanguard, were of Woolford's cavalry. These fell slowly back, and Woolford reported to Colonel M. D. Manson, of the Tenth Indiana, who was in command of the Second Brigade, stationed in advance of the main body. That officer formed his own and the Fourth Kentucky (Colonel S. S. Fry) in battle order, at the junction of the Somerset and Mill Spring Roads,
1 The line of intrenchments was so extensive that the force was not sufficient to defend it thoroughly. The face of the country was such that there was bad range for artillery. At the same time, the country around the post could not furnish adequate subsistence for the army. · At the time in question, tha troops were reduced to a single ration of beef and a half ration of corn a day, the latter being parched, and not issued as meal.
* Correspondence of the Louisrille Courier, by an eye-witness, January 25th, 1862.
3 Zollicoffer's Brigade was composed of the Fifteenth Mississippi, and the Tennessee regiments of Colonels Cummings, Battle, and Stanton, marching in the order here named, with four guns commanded by Captain Rutiedge, immediately in the rear of the Mississippians. Carroll's troops were composed of the Tennessee regiments of Colonels Newman, Murray, and Powell, with two guns commanded by Captain McClung, marching in the order named. Colonel Wooil's Sixteenth Alabama was reserve. Cavalry battalions in the rear; Colonel Branner on the right, and Colonel McClellan on the left. Independent companies in front of the advance regiments. Following the whole were ambulances, and ammunition and other wagons.
BATTLE OF MILL SPRING.
about five miles from the latter place, to await attack, and then sent a courier to inform Thomas of the situation. The commanding general hastened forward to view the position, when he found the Confederates advancing through a corn-field, to flank the Fourth Kentucky. He immediately ordered up the Tennessee brigade and a section of artillery, and sent orders for Colonel R. L. McCook to advance with his two regiments (Ninth Ohio, Major Kæmmerling, and Second Minnesota, Colonel H. P. Van Cleve) to the support of the vanguard.
The battle was opened at about six o'clock by the Kentucky and Ohio regiments, and Captain Kinney's Battery, stationed on the edge of the field, to the left of the Fourth Kentucky. It was becoming very warm when McCook’s reserves came up to the support of the Nationals. Then the Con
federates opened a most galling fire upon the little line, which made it
At that moment it was strengthened by the arrival of the Twelfth Kentucky, Colonel W. A. IIoskins, and the Tennessee Brigade, who joined in the fight. The conflict became very severe, and for a time it was doubtful which side would bear off the palm of victory. The Nationals had fallen back, and were hotly contesting the possession of a commanding hill, with Zollicofler's Brigade, when that General, who was at the head of his column, and near the crest with Colonel Battle's regiment, was killed. The Confederate General
Crittenden immediately took his 6,59
place, and, with the assistance of Carroll's Brigade, continued the struggle for the hill for almost two hours. But the galling fire of the Second Minnesota, and a heavy charge of the Ninth Ohio with bayo
nets on the Confederate flank, compelled the latter to give way, and they retreated toward their camp at Beech Grove, in great confusion, pursued by the victorious Nationals to the summit of Moulden's Ilill. From that commanding point Standart's and Wetmore's Batteries could sweep the Confederate works, while Kinney's Battery, stationed near Russell's house on the extreme left, opened fire upon the ferry, to prevent the Confederates from escaping across the Cumberland.
Such was the situation on Sunday evening,' at the close of the Jan, 19, battle, when Thomas was joined by the Fourteenth Ohio, Colonel
Stedman, and the Tenth Kentucky, Colonel Harlan; also by General
1 REFERENCE8.-The figures 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6. refer to the first and succeeding positions of the Tenth Indiana Regiment in the battle ; 8, denotes the second position of the Fourth Kentucky; 9, the second position of the Second Minnesota; 10, the third position of the same; and 11, the second position of the Ninth Ohio.
RESULT OF THE BATTLE OF MILL SPRING.
Schoepf, with the Seventeenth, Thirty-first, and Thirty-eighth Ohio. Disposition was made early the next morning to assault the Confederate intrenchments, when it was ascertained that the works were abandoned. The beleaguered troops had fled in silence across the river, under cover of the darkness, abandoning every thing in their camp, and destroying the steamer Noble Ellis (which had come up the river with supplies), and three flat-boats, which had carried them safely over the stream.' Destitute of provisions and forage, the sadly-smitten Confederates were partially dispersed among the hills on the borders of Kentucky and Tennessee, while seeking both. Crittenden retreated first to Monticello, and then continued his flight until he reached Livingston and Gainesborough, in the direction of Nashville, in order to be in open communication with head-quarters at the latter place, and to guard the Cumberland as far above it as possible.
Thus ended the BATTLE OF Mill Spring (which has been also called the Battle of Beech Grove, Fishing Creek, and Somerset), with a loss to the Nationals of two hundred and forty-seven, of whom thirty-nine were kiile!, and two hundred and eight were wounded; and to the Confederates of three hundred and forty-nine, of whom one hundred and ninety-two were killed, sixty-two were wounded, and eighty-nine were made prisoners. Among the killed, as we have seen, was General Zollicoffer, whose loss, at that time, was irreparable.' The spoils of victory for Thomas were twelve pieces of artillery, with three caissons packed, two army forges, one battery wagon, a large amount of ammunition and small arms, more than a thousand horses and mules, wagons, commissary stores, intrenching tools,
1 Some nccounts say that the Ellis was set on öre by the shells of the Nationals, but the preponderance of testimony is in favor of the statement in the text. The Confederates hoped to prevent immediate pursuit by leaving nothing on which their foe could cross the river.
The Confederates suffered terribly in their retreat. “Since Saturday night," wrote one of their officers, "we had but an hour of sleep, and scarcely a morsel of food. For a whole week we have been marching under a bare subsistence, and I have at length approached that point in a soldier's career when a handful of parched corn may be considered a first-class dinner. We marched the first few days through a barren region, where supplies could not be obtained. I have more than once seen the men kill a porker with their guns, cut and quarter it, and broil it on the coals, and then eat it without bread or salt. The suffering of the men from the want of the necessaries of life, of clothing, and of repose, has been most intense, and a more melancholy spectacle than this solemn, hungry, and weary procession, could scarcely be imagined."
? Zollicoffer was killed by Colonel Fry, of the Fourth Kentucky. That officer, according to his own statement in a letter to his wife, was leading his regiment in a charge upon the Mississippians, when he was mistaken for a Confederate officer by Zollicoffer. The latter rode up to Fry, saying, as he pointed toward the Mississi' pians, “ You are not going to fight your friends, are you?" At that instant Zollicoffer's aid, Major Henry M. Fock. of Nashville, fired at Fry, wounding his horse. Fry turned and fired, killing Zollicoffer, not knowing at the time his person or his rank. Ile was covered in a white rubber coat, and on the previous evening had his beard shaved off, so as not to be easily recognized. The aid of Zollicoffer was mortally wounded at the same time. Zolicoffer's body was taken to Mumfordsville, and sent by a flag of truce to General Hindman. It was honored with a funeral salute at the National camp when it was carried over Green River:
3 The army forge is a part of the equipment of a corps of artillery or cavalry in the field, and is portable. It consists of a four-wheeled carriage, with compartments in which a blacksmith's outfit of fuel and implements may be carried, and may be made really for use in the course of half an hour. The fore and the hind wheels of the carriage may be separated—"unlimbered "—the same as those of a cannon. Attached to the fore wheels are