The courage that encountered and vanquished the greatly superior numbers of the rebel force, pursued and attacked them in their intrenchments, and paused not until the enemy was completely routed, merits and receives commendation. The purpose of this war is to attack, pursue, and destroy a rebellious enemy, and to deliver the country from danger menaced by traitors. Alacrity, daring, courageous spirit, and patriotic zeal, on all occasions and under every circumstance, are expected from the army of the United States. In the prompt and spirited movements and daring battle of Mill Springs, the nation will realize its hopes, and the people of the United States will rejoice to honor every soldier and officer who proves his courage by charging with the bayonet and storming intrenchments, or in the blaze of the enemy's fire. By order of the President.Edwin M. Stanton, Secretary of War.
A National account.A correspondent gives the following detailed account of this battle:
Zollicoffer's (late) encampment, Jan. 20, 1862.Here I sit in a cedar log cabin, inside the intrenchments of the wonderful position of old “Zolly,” to write you a letter on contraband paper, with a contraband pen and contraband ink. Where shall I begin — what shall I write first? There are incidents enough, if all recounted, to fill a volume; things that took place in this, the most complete victory, and most over-whelming, total overthrow the secession army has yet met with in this rebellion. To begin at the beginning and tell the story straight: Just at daybreak on Sunday morning, the nineteenth of January, sharp firing commenced with the pickets in the same spot where the firing was last Friday night; the long roll beat in the Indiana Tenth, and they formed instantly and marched to the support of their pickets. The Tenth and Kinney's battery were close together, and half a mile in advance of every thing. The battery got ready for action on the instant, and awaited orders. By the way, Standart's battery and Wetmore's four-gun battery were both in park, one on each side of Kinney's battery. The First Tennessee was about a quarter of a mile in the rear of these batteries, in the Woods. The Fourth Kentucky, Col. Fry, was the next regiment on the road, half a mile in the rear of the batteries; it was forming as I ran past, getting to my own regiment, (for I slept in Kinney's battery ;) the Second Tennessee another quarter of a mile in the rear of the Fourth Kentucky. By this time the cavalry were running their horses all over the country, in every direction — except toward the firing, which still continued at intervals. The Second was just getting breakfast, and supposing it to be only a picket fight, kept on cooking and eating, though very few had eaten any thing when the column of our force appeared coming on in our rear. Lieut.-Col. Trewhit promptly got us into line and double-quicked us into the road ahead of the advancing column; the Fourth Kentucky had gone when we reached their encampment. The firing still continued, and very briskly; we kept on at double-quick, all hoping and believing that we would have a chance to smell burnt powder. But, when opposite the encampment of the Tenth Indiana, up rode the Colonel, and halted us for further orders; we all thought — if we didn't say it — d — n further orders. The Tenth Indiana went into the woods about a quarter of a mile in advance of their tents, to the support of their pickets; and bravely did they support them, too, for over half an hour, against the whole force led against them; and never retreated a step, nor gave an inch of ground, until nearly surrounded by overwhelming numbers; then, to save themselves from being entirely surrounded, they. unwillingly gave, way. Here was a crisis, and yell on yell went up from the lantern-jawed secessionists; they thought the day was all their own. But, happily, any disastrous consequence was prevented by the arrival of the Fourth Kentucky and Ninth Ohio, to the support of the gallant Tenth. Again our men made a stand; now there was fighting in good earnest, and the Second Minnesota joined in with the Tenth and the Fourth and Ninth Ohio. Volley after volley rattled in quick succession, and sometimes it seemed as though there was only one continuous volley, interrupted now and then by the growling of the “yellow pups,” which had been brought to bear on the enemy; and when they once commenced they distributed their favors freely in all directions, in the shape of shot and shell; and, gentlemen, excuse me from being the recipient of any such favors. There were only two or three shots from cannon fired by the enemy, and they were either badly aimed or the pieces were out of range, for the shot did not disturb any body. Once they threw a shell into the air, which burst when some four or five hundred feet high. No damage was done by it, and their artillery seemed to be of no use to them whatever, while, on the contrary, ours seemed to be of immense use to us, and it was most ably and effectively handled. After a little more than two hours of hard fighting, a most tremendous volley of musketry, followed by a ringing shout from our side, seemed to have decided the battle in our favor, for from that time, although firing was kept up at intervals, the secessionists, whipped and cowed, began their retreat, which, in about twenty minutes more, became a total rout, and from the indications along the road which we afterward passed over, the fight appeared to have been a regular race from that point back to their intrenchments, to see who could get there first, and the devil take the hindmost. All the credit and honor of this battle is due to the Tenth Indiana, the Ninth Ohio, the Fourth Kentucky, and Second Minnesota; for they did all the fighting, as it were, single-handed, with