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[16] and Marshall seven miles, where he remained two days, then slowly pursued his retreat. He stated his loss at ten killed and fourteen wounded, and that of the enemy to have been severe.

The battle of Fishing Creek has been the subject of harsh criticism, and I think it will be seen by the report herein inserted that great injustice has been done to General George B. Crittenden, who commanded on that occasion.

In July, 1880, I wrote to him requesting a statement of the affair at Fishing Creek, and a short time before his decease he complied with my request by writing as follows:

In November, 1862, I assumed, by assignment, the command of a portion of East Tennessee and southeastern Kentucky, which embraced the troops stationed at Mill Springs, on the Cumberland River, and under the command of General Zollicoffer, who, as I understood the matter, had been stationed there by General Johnston to prevent the enemy under Schopf, and confronting him on the opposite side of the river, from crossing and penetrating into Tennessee, Schopf's camp was at Somerset, on Fishing Creek, a tributary of the Cumberland, emptying into it a mile above Mill Springs. He was several miles away from the bank of the Cumberland, so that both the river and creek intervened between him and General Zollicoffer. While I was detained in Knoxville, on business connected with my command, I received an official communication from General Zollicoffer, informing me that he had crossed the Cumberland by fording, and was fortifying a camp on the right bank, etc. By the messenger who bore me this communication I ordered him to recross the river and resume his original position on the left bank. Early in January, I reached Mill Springs, and found, to my surprise, General Zollicoffer still on the right bank. He called on me immediately, and informed me that his messenger who bore back my order had lost several days in returning and that when it was received he supposed that I would arrive almost immediately; and, hoping to be able to convince me that it would be better to remain on the right bank, he had postponed crossing until, by a rise in the river, it had become impossible to do so; that all his artillery and a large portion of his wagons were on the right bank, and his only means of transferring them to the other bank were a small ferry-boat and a very small stern-wheel steamer, entirely inadequate to the purpose. I was dissatisfied, but, as I knew that the General had been actuated by pure motives, I accepted his excuse. Details were promptly placed in the woods, to prepare timber for flat-boats to transport the artillery and wagons to the left bank of the river. The weather was execrable, and the men unskilled, so that the work progressed slowly.

Such was the posture of affairs, when, on the 18th of January, I was informed that General Thomas was approaching with a large force of all arms, and would encamp that night within a few miles of us. Here was thrust upon me the very contingency which my order to General Zollicoffer was intended to obviate. It rained violently throughout this day until late in the afternoon. It occurred to me that Fishing Creek must so rise as to render it impossible for Schopf to connect with Thomas. Acting upon this idea, I summoned a council of superior officers, and, laying before them the circumstances of the case, asked their advice. There

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