Doc. 172.-the death of General McCook.
Order of General Thomas.
headquarters First Division of the Ohio, camp near Dechard, August 7, 1862.General orders, No. 8. the Major-General Commanding announces with deep regret, to the troops of this Division, the death of Brig.-Gen. Robert L. McCook, who departed this life at twelve o'clock M. on the sixth inst., from wounds received from a party of guerrillas, who attacked him while proceeding in an ambulance en route from Athens, Ala., to this place. Gen. McCook entered the volunteer service at the commencement of the rebellion, won a name for himself and command by his daring exploits in Western Virginia, and added greatly to his fame at the battle of Mill Spring, where he was severely wounded whilst conducting a charge with his gallant regiment. He was affable in his manners, and a courteous gentleman. A brave officer and congenial friend is lost to this division, and the country has been deprived of a General who was firm and devoted to its interests. Whilst we deplore his loss, let us be steady in our efforts to maintain such discipline as will insure to our arms a just retribution upon the dastardly foe who could take advantage of his defenceless condition. In respect for his memory, the usual badge of mourning will be worn for thirty days. By command of Major-Gen. Geo. H. Thomas.
Geo. E. Flynt, A. A.G., Chief of Staff.
Official report of Colonel Vanderveer.
headquarters Third brigade, army of the Ohio, camp near Dechard, Tenn., August 9, 1862.sir: It becomes my melancholy duty to report that, while a portion of the Third brigade, composing the Ninth Ohio volunteers, the Second Minnesota volunteers, and the Thirty-fifth Ohio volunteers, under the command of Brig.-Gen. Robert L. McCook, were on their march from Athens, Ala., to this point, at a point near the southern line of Tennessee, Gen. McCook, who was sick, and riding in an open carriage upon his bed, about three miles in advance of the troops, accompanied by Capt. Hunter Brooke of his staff, and Major Boynton of the Thirty-fifth Ohio, together with nine members of his escort, was suddenly attacked by a band of mounted guerrillas, numbering between one and two hundred men, about noon on the fourth inst. Major Boynton, with one of the escort, and a citizen as a guide, mounted upon the horse of another, had been sent a half-mile to the rear; and three members of the escort, including the sergeant, a like distance to the front, in search of suitable camping-grounds for the brigade, thus leaving but four of the escort with Gen. McCook--one of whom was dismounted, and Capt. Brooke, who was unarmed and in the carriage attending upon the General when the attack began. The General succeeded in turning his carriage, but not until the guerrillas were within range, and firing. He was soon overtaken and surrounded, although his horses were running at the top of their speed. In reply to the oft-repeated cry of “Stop! Stop!” the General arose in his bed and exclaimed: “Don't shoot, the horses are unmanageable; we will stop as soon as possible.” Notwithstanding this surrender, those riding within a few feet, by the side of the carriage, fired, one ball passing through his hat, and one inflicting a mortal wound in the abdomen, which produced death about twenty-four hours after, at noon of August sixth. The alarm having reached the column, it was hurried up at double-quick, and almost immediately encountered the advance of the band; but a few shots from the head of the Thirty-fifth scattered them instantly. Gen. McCook was found in a house near where he was shot, whither he had been carried by Capt. Brooke and the driver of the carriage. Of those in advance, Capt. Brooke, two members of the escort, and two teamsters of the Ninth Ohio, were captured, and one member of the Ninth Ohio band was wounded by a sabre-cut on the head. Gen. McCook's wagons were fired, but not greatly damaged. The three horses attached to this team, and the mules of one other brigade team were taken. The condition of Gen. McCook could not but have been known to the attacking party, as he was on his bed divested of all outer clothing, except a hat used as a shade, and the curtains of the carriage being raised on all sides. There are good reasons for supposing that the attack was planned solely for Gen. McCook's capture or murder. Infuriated by this cowardly assassination, many of the soldiers of the brigade spread themselves over the country before any measures could be taken to check them, and burned nearly all the property of rebels in the vicinity, and shot a rebel lieutenant who was on furlough and supposed to be connected with the gang. I have the honor to be very respectfully your obedient servant,
Major George E. Flynt, A. A. G., Chief of Staff:
Major George E. Flynt, A. A. G., Chief of Staff:
F. Vanderveer, Colonel Thirty-fifth Ohio Volunteers, Commanding Third Brigade.