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projects of invasion were resumed, and the angry and elated Unionism of East Tennessee broke into open revolt. Zollicoffer, in accordance with orders from General Johnston, October 28th and November 7th, having left about 2,000 men at Cumberland Gap, moved eastward, and finally took position guarding the Jamestown and Jacksboro roads, in defense of which line he carried on his subsequent operations. From this point he advanced, slowly feeling his way, until he established himself at Mill Spring on the Cumberland. On November 24th Major-General George B. Crittenden assumed command of this military district, having been assigned thereto by the War Department. A general attack along the whole Federal line was attempted early in November, in concert with an insurrection in East Tennessee. Although the various combats and enterprises of this movement are recorded by the Federal annalists, their simultaneous and concerted character is not alluded to, if it was observed, by any o
ent operations. sketch of Felix K. Zollicoffer. his character. his movements in the autumn. Mill Springs. General Johnston's warnings disregarded. sketch of George B. Crittenden. A. Schoepf. skirmishing. Thomas's advance. his force. Mill Spring. Fishing Creek. Confederate strength. Crittenden's night-march. attack. Walthall and battle. curious incident. strenuous combat. Zollicoffer's death. the retreat. the Federals follow,. Crittenden gets across the River. deplorable p-lines of the Cumberland and Tennessee, with their defenses at Forts Donelson and Henry. Buell's right wing also menaced Donelson and Henry, while his centre was directed against Bowling Green, and his left was advancing against Zollicoffer at Mill Spring on the Upper Cumberland. If this last-named position could be forced, the way seemed open to East Tennessee by either the Jacksboro or the Jamestown routes, on the one hand, and to Nashville on the other. At the northeastern corner of Kentuc
ck pretty accurate information of the numbers there. Grant felt safe at Shiloh, because he knew he was numerically stronger than his adversary. His numbers and his equipment were superior to those of his antagonist, and the discipline and morale of Map. his army ought to have been so. The only infantry of the Confederate army which had ever seen a combat were some of Polk's men, who were at Belmont; Hindman's brigade, which was in the skirmish at Woodsonville; and the fugitives of Mill Spring. In the Federal army were the soldiers who had fought at Belmont, Fort Henry, and Donelson- 30,000 of the last. There were many raw troops on both sides. Some of the Confederates received their arms for the first time that week. Unless these things were so, and unless Grant's army was, in whole or in part, an army of invasion, intended for the offensive, of course it was out of place on that south bank. But Sherman has distinctly asserted that it was in prosecution of an offensive
the key; and it was necessary to break down the stubborn defense that maintained it. It was for this that Breckinridge's reserves, the only brigades which had not been engaged, were brought forward. General Johnston's purpose was to destroy Grant's army that day. The afternoon was upon him. The final blow must be struck. Statham's brigade was sent in about noon. It was made up of six fine regiments: two of them were raw, four of them knew nothing of war, except the miserable defeat at Mill Spring. The brigade now found itself welcomed by a fearful blaze of musketry and artillery; and, in getting into line, suffered enough to fall into some confusion. The Federals were posted in a double line of battle, protected by the crest of a wooded hill, and the men seemed to be lying down and firing. Opposite this strong position, one or two hundred yards distant, was another ridge, swept by the Federal fire. Behind it, Statham's troops were comparatively secure; but, to assail the e
had but little influence in the management. Our troops had been almost in a starving condition for some time, and had but scant rations for several months. Crittenden was fully informed of the Federal advance at Columbia and Somerset, but did little to prepare for the attack. In fact, it is said that he was incapable of commanding, from social failings, and did not heed the many warnings of friends, who foresaw that the enemy were bent on surrounding him. On learning that Thomas was at Mill Spring, Crittenden set out to meet Rim, thinking it possible to drive him from his fortified camps. On the morning of the nineteenth of January, (Sunday,) Zollicoffer's advance exchanged shots with the enemy, and the battle opened with great fury. Zollicoffer's brigade pushed ahead, and drove the Federals some distance through the woods, and Were endeavoring to force their way to the summit of a hill which fully commanded the whole field. The Federals fought desperately for this position, but
November, 1862. November, 9 In camp at Sinking Spring, Kentucky. Thomas commands the Fourteenth Army Corps, consisting of Rousseau's, Palmer's, Dumont's, Negley's, and Fry's divisions; say 40,000 men. McCook has Sill's, Jeff C. Davis', and Granger's; say 24,000. Crittenden has three divisions, say 24,000. A large army, which ought to sweep to Mobile without difficulty. Sinking Spring, as it is called by some, Mill Spring by others, and by still others Lost river, is quite a large stream. It rises from the ground, runs forty rods or more, enters a cave, and is lost. The wreck of an old mill stands on its banks. Bowling Green is three miles southward. When we get a little further south, we shall find at this season of the year persimmons and opossums in abundance. Jack says: Possum am better dan chicken. In de fall we hunt de possum ebbery night ‘cept Sunday. He am mitey good an‘ fat, sah; sometimes he too fat. We move at ten o'clock to-morrow. November, 1
The Annals of the Civil War Written by Leading Participants North and South (ed. Alexander Kelly McClure), Characteristics of the armies (search)
ablished after a most desperate and bloody contest; but such were regarded as men made melancholy by a cross in love, or an absent sweetheart, far, far away, or the dyspepsia, or constitutional melancholy. In fine, such gloomy persons were laughed at. All the talk about the ability of one Southern man to make away with five of the enemy, and all the prophecies about the war as only a frolic, was ended, in the part of the country where I was, by the crushing Confederate defeat at Mill Spring, Kentucky, January 19th, 1862. Here the idol of the Tennesseeans, General Felix K. Zollicoffer, was killed, and his command put to utter rout. I was living fully one hundred and fifty miles south of this battlefield; yet it is a fact that some of the panic-stricken soldiers stampeded that distance before they got over their fright! I saw some of them on horses without saddles, both men and animals having a wild look in the eyes, as if awakened from a terrible dream. At Knoxville, the fugit
ton. He was an officer of the rebel army, and had, not long before, crossed from Virginia into Maryland, where his family resided. There were found in his possession numerous letters directed to parties both in the North and South, and also bundles of clothing, which doubtless, he intended to transfer across the Potomac to Virginia.--N. Y. Commercial, January 8. Major-General George B. Crittenden, commanding the Confederate forces in Southeastern Kentucky, issued an order, dated at Mill Spring, in which he strongly appeals to all Kentuckians who have not yet taken up arms, to join immediately the rebel ranks, and fight for the cause, not only of the Confederate government, but of their own State. He affirms that the object of the war, on the part of the North, is the extinction of slavery and the subjugation of the South ; and urges the men of Kentucky, by all obligations of interest, honor, and duty, not to remain inactive, but to join hands and hearts with those who are stri
Benson J. Lossing, Pictorial Field Book of the Civil War. Volume 2., Chapter 7: military operations in Missouri, New Mexico, and Eastern Kentucky--capture of Fort Henry. (search)
At the close of the year 1861. 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 serection 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., and to deliver the country from danger ; and concluded by saying, In the prompt and spirited movements and daring at Mill Spring, the nation will realize its hopes, and delight to honor its brave soldiers. The defeat was severely felt by the CoBuell in a grand forward movement against the main bodies and fortifications of the Confederates. Thomas's victory at Mill Spring had so paralyzed that line eastward of Bowling Green, that it was practically shortened at least one-half. Crittenden
4. Message of President Buchanan, of Jan. 8, 1861, 1.218. Mexico, invasion of by the French, 3.47. Michigan, attitude of in relation to secession, 1.212. Middletown, battle of, 3.371. miles, Col. D. H., bad conduct of at the battle of Bull's Run, 1.606; his surrender of Harper's Ferry, and death. 2.473. Militia, seventy-five thousand called for to suppress the rebellion, 1.336. Millen, Ga., arrival of Sherman's forces at, 3.410. Milliken's Bend, battle at, 2.623. Mill Spring, Ky., battle of, 2.194. Milroy, Gen., operations of in Western Virginia, 2.103; compelled to evacuate Winchester, by Ewell, 3.51. Mine at Petersburg, explosion of, 3.351; its disastrous failure, 3.353. Mine Run, Meade's movement against Lee at, 3.108; the retreat of the Nationals from, 3.111. Mines, explosion of at Vicksburg, 2.625. Ministers, American, abroad, instructions to, 1.566. Minnesota, loyalty of the people of, 1.214; troubles with Sioux Indians in, 3.224. M
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