Official report of General Thomas.
headquarters Department of the Ohio, Louisville, Ky., Jan. 28, 1862.General orders, no. 40. The General commanding has the gratification of announcing the achievement of an important victory, on the nineteenth inst, at Mill Springs, by the troops under Gen. Thomas, over the rebel forces, some twelve thousand strong, under Gen. George B. Crittenden and Gen. Zollicoffer. The defeat of the enemy was thorough and complete, and his loss in killed and wounded was great. Night alone, under cover of which his troops crossed the river from his intrenched camp and dispersed, prevented the capture of his entire force. Fourteen or more pieces of artillery, some fifteen hundred horses and mules, his entire camp equipage, together with wagons, arms, am munition, and other stores to a large amount, fell into our hands. The General has been charged by the General-in-chief  to convey his thanks to Gen. Thomas and his troops for their brilliant victory. No task could be more grateful to him, seconded as it is by his own cordial approbation of their conduct. By command of Brig.-Gen. Buell.
James B. Fry, A. A. G., Chief of Staff.
General Thomas's report to General Buell.
headquarters First division, Department of the Ohio, Somerset, Ky., Jan. 31, 1862.Captain: I have the honor to report that in carrying out the instructions of the General commanding the department, contained in his communications of the twenty-ninth of December, I reached Logan's Cross Roads, about ten miles north of the intrenched camp of the enemy, on the Cumberland River, on the seventeenth inst., with a portion of the Second and Third brigades, Kinney's battery of artillery, and a battalion of Wolford's cavalry. The Fourth and Tenth Kentucky, Fourteenth Ohio, and the Eighteenth United States Infantry, being still in the rear, detained by the almost impassable condition of the roads, I determined to halt at this point to await their arrival, and to communicate with Gen. Schoepf. The Tenth Indiana, Wolford's cavalry, and Kinney's battery took position on the road leading to the enemy's camp. The Ninth Ohio and Second Minnesota (part of Col. McCook's brigade) encamped three fourths of a mile to the right, on the Robertsport road. Strong pickets were thrown out in the direction of the enemy, beyond where the Somerset and Mill Springs road comes into the main road from my camp to Mill Springs, and a picket of cavalry some distance in advance of the infantry. General Schoepf visited me on the day of my arrival, and, after consultation, I directed him to send to my camp Standart's battery, the Twelfth Kentucky and the First and Second Tennessee regiments, to remain until the arrival of the regiments in the rear. Having received information, on the evening of the seventeenth, that a large train of wagons, with its escort, was encamped on the Robertsport and Danville road, about six miles from Colonel Stedman's camp, I sent an order to him to send his wagons forward, under a strong guard, and to march with his regiment, (the Fourteenth Ohio,) and the Tenth Kentucky, (Col. Harlan,) with one day's rations in their haversacks, to the point where the enemy were said to be encamped, and either capture or disperse them. Nothing of importance occurred, from the time of my arrival until the morning of the 19th, except a picket skirmish on the 17th. The Fourth Kentucky, the battalion of Michigan engineers, and Wetmore's battery, joined on the 18th. About five and a half o'clock, on the morning of the 19th, the pickets from Wolford's cavalry, encountered the enemy advancing on our camp; retired slowly, and reported their advance to Col. M. D. Manson, commanding the Second brigade. He immediately formed his regiment, (the Tenth Indiana,) and took a position on the road, to await the attack, ordering the Fourth Kentucky, (Col. S. S. Fry,) to support him, and then informed me in person that the enemy were advancing in force, and what disposition he had made to resist them. I directed him to join his brigade immediately, and hold the enemy in check until I could order up the other troops, which were ordered to form immediately, and were marching to the field in ten minutes afterward. The battalion of Michigan engineers, and Company A, (Thirty-eighth Ohio,) Capt. Greenwood, were ordered to remain as guard to the camp. Upon my arrival in the field soon afterward, I found the Tenth Indiana formed in front of their encampment, apparently awaiting orders, and ordered them forward to the support of the Fourth Kentucky, which was the only whole regiment then engaged. I then rode forward myself to see the enemy's position, so that I could determine what disposition to make of my troops as they arrived. On reaching the position held by the Fourth Kentucky, Tenth Indiana, and Wolford's cavalry, at a point where the roads fork, leading to Somerset, I found the enemy advancing through a cornfield, and evidently endeavoring to gain the left of the Fourth Kentucky regiment, which was maintaining its position in a most determined manner. I directed one of my aids to ride back, and order up a section of artillery, and the Tennessee brigade to advance on the enemy's right, and sent orders for Col. McCook to advance, with his two regiments, (the Ninth Ohio and Second Minnesota,) to the support of the Fourth Kentucky and Tenth Indiana. A section of Kinney's battery took a position on the edge of the field, to the left of the Fourth Kentucky, and opened an efficient fire on a regiment of Alabamians, which was advancing on the Fourth Kentucky. Soon afterward, the Second Minnesota, (H. P. Van Cleve,) the Colonel reporting to me for instructions, I directed him to take the position of the Fourth Kentucky and Tenth Indiana, which regiments were nearly out of ammunition. The Ninth Ohio, under the immediate command of Major Kaemmerling, came into position, on the right of the road, at the same time. Immediately after the regiments had gained their position, the enemy opened a most determined and galling fire, which was returned by our troops, in the same spirit, and, for nearly half-an-hour, the contest was maintained, on both sides, in the most obstinate manner. At this time, the Twelfth Kentucky, (Col. W. A. Hoskins,) and the Tennessee brigade, reached the field, to the left of the Minnesota regiment, and opened fire on the right flank of the enemy, who then began to fall back. The Second Minnesota kept up a most galling fire in front, and the Ninth Ohio charged the enemy on the right, with bayonets fixed, turned their flank, and drove them from the field, 
Captain James B. Fry, A. A. G., Chief of Staff, Headquarters Department of the Ohio, Louisville, Ky.:
Captain James B. Fry, A. A. G., Chief of Staff, Headquarters Department of the Ohio, Louisville, Ky.:
|Plan of the battle of Mill Spring, Ky.2 B--Capt. Wetmore's (Union) Battery. C — Place where Baillie Peyton was killed. D — Logan's house. E--Gen. Crittenden and Staff. F — Position of Gen. Carroll. G--Capt. McClarg's (Rebel) Battery. H — Pickets of (Rebel) Cavalry. I — Fences.|
|Commissioned Officers.||Non-Commissioned Officers and Privates.|
|First Kentucky Cavalry,||1||2|
|Commissioned Officers.||Non-Commissioned Officers and Privates.|
|First Kentucky Cavalry,||0||19|
Gen. Geo. H. Thomas, Brigadier-General U. S.V., Commanding.
circular showing the forces which marched out of the intrenchments of the enemy on the night of the 18th of January, 1862:
headquarters, Beech Grove, Ky., January 18, 1862.circular. The following will be the orders of march: General Zollicoffer. Fifteenth Mississippi in advance, Colonel Walthall. Battery of four guns, Captain Rutledge.  Nineteenth Tennessee, Colonel Cummings. Twentieth Tennessee, Captain Battle. Twenty-fifth Tennessee, Captain Stanton. General Carroll. Seventeenth Tennessee, Colonel Newman. Twenty-eighth Tennessee, Colonel Murray. Twenty-ninth Tennessee, Colonel Powell. Two guns in rear of infantry, Captain McClung. Sixteenth Alabama, Colonel Wood, (in reserve.) Cavalry battalions in rear. Colonel Brawner on the right. Colonel McClellan on the left. Independent companies in front of the advance regiments. Ambulances and ammunition. Wagons in rear of the whole, and in the order of their regiment. By order of
Colonel McCook's report.
headquarters Third brigade, First division, Department of the Ohio, Somerset, January 27, 1862.sir: I have the honor respectfully to submit the following report of the part which my brigade took in the battle of the Cumberland on the 19th instant. Shortly before seven A. M. Colonel Mason informed me that the enemy had driven in his pickets and were approaching in force. That portion of my brigade with me, the Ninth Ohio and the Second Minnesota regiments, were formed and marched to a point near the junction of the Mill Spring and Columbia roads, and immediately in rear of Whitman's battery, the Ninth Ohio on the right, the Second Minnesota on the left of the Mill Spring road. From this point I ordered a company of the Ninth Ohio to skirmish the woods on the right to prevent any flank movement of the enemy. Shortly after this Colonel. Manson, commanding the Second brigade in person, informed me that the enemy were in force and in position on the top of the next hill beyond the woods, and that they forced him to retire. I ordered my brigade forward through the woods in line of battle, skirting the Mill Spring road. The march of the Second Minnesota regiment was soon obstructed by the Tenth Indiana, which was scattered through the woods waiting for ammunition. In front of them I saw the Fourth Kentucky engaging the enemy, but evidently retiring. At this moment the enemy, with shouts, advanced on them about one hundred yards, and took position within the field on the hill-top, near the second fence from the woods. At this time I received your order to advance as rapidly as possible to the hill-top. I ordered the Second Minnesota regiment to move by the flank until it had passed the Tenth Indiana and Fourth Kentucky, and then deploy to the left of the road. I ordered the Ninth Ohio to move through the first corn-field on the right of the road, and take a position at the further fence, selecting the best cover possible. The position of the Second Minnesota covered the ground formerly occupied by the Fourth Kentucky and Tenth Indiana, which brought their right flank within about ten feet of the enemy, where he had advanced upon the Fourth Kentucky. The position of the Ninth Ohio checked an attempt on the part of the enemy to flank the position taken by the Second Minnesota, and consequently brought the left wing almost against the enemy, where he was stationed immediately in front of the Ninth Ohio, well covered by a fence and some woods, a small field not more than eighty yards wide intervening between the positions. The enemy also had possession of a small log-house, stable and corn-crib, about fifty yards in front of the Ninth Ohio. Along the lines of each of the regiments and from the enemy's front a hot and deadly fire was opened. On the right wing of the Minnesota regiment the contest at first was almost hand to hand, the enemy and the Second Minnesota were poking their guns through the same fence at each other. However, before the fight continued long in this way, that portion of the enemy contending with the Second Minnesota retired in good order to some rail piles hastily thrown together, the point from which they had advanced upon the Fourth Kentucky. This portion of the enemy obstinately maintaining its position, and the balance remaining as before described, a desperate fire was continued for about thirty minutes, with seemingly doubtful result. The importance of possessing the log house, stable, and corn-crib be. coming apparent, companies A, B, C, and D of the Ninth Ohio were ordered to flank the enemy upon the extreme left and obtain possession of the house. This done, still the enemy stood firm to his position and cover. During this time the artillery of the enemy constantly overshot my brigade. Seeing the superior number of the enemy and their bravery, I concluded the best mode of settling the contest was to order the Ninth Ohio to charge the enemy's position with the bayonet and turn his left flank. The order was given the regiment to empty their guns and fix bayonets. This done, it was ordered to charge. Every man sprang to it with alacrity and vociferous cheering. The enemy seemingly prepared to resist it, but before the regiment reached him the lines commenced to give way-but few of them stood, perhaps ten or twelve. This broke the enemy's flank, and the whole line gave way in great confusion, and the whole turned into a perfect rout. As soon as I could form the regiments of my brigade, I pursued the enemy to the hospital, when we joined the advance. I then moved my command forward, under orders, in line of battle, to the foot of Moulden's Hill, passing on the way one abandoned cannon. The next morning we marched into the breast-works of the enemy, and on the following day marched to our camp. At the time of the first advance of the Ninth Ohio my horse was shot, and at the same time I received a ball through my overcoat. After this, I was compelled to go  on foot until I got to the hospital of the enemy. About the same time I was shot in the leg; my aid-de-camp, Andrew S. Burt, was wounded in the side. Too much praise cannot be awarded to the company officers, non-commissioned officers, and the soldiers of the two regiments. Notwithstanding they had been called out before break-fast, and had not tasted food all day, they conducted themselves throughout like veterans, obeying each command and executing every movement as though they were upon parade. Although all the officers of the command evinced the greatest courage, and deported themselves under fire in a proper soldierly manner, were I to fail to specify some of them it would be great injustice. Lieutenant Andrew S. Burt, (aid-decamp,) of the Eighteenth United States Infantry; Haxter Brooke, private in the Second Minnesota regiment and volunteer aid-de-camp; Major Gustavus Kaemmerling, commanding the Ninth Ohio; Capt. Charles Joseph, Company A, Capt. Frederick Schroeder, Company D, George H. Harris, Adjutant, of the Ninth Ohio regiment; Col. H. P. Van Cleve, James George, Lieut.-Col., Alexander Wilkins, Major, of the Second Minnesota, each displayed great valor and judgment in the discharge of their respective duties-so much so, in my judgment, as to place their country and every honest friend thereof under obligations to them. In conclusion, permit me, sir, to congratulate you on the victory achieved, and allow me to express the hope that your future efforts will be crowned with the same success. Attached you will find the number of the force of my brigade engaged, and also a list of the killed and wounded. I am, respectfully, yours,
Brigadier-General G. H. Thomas, commanding First Division:
Brigadier-General G. H. Thomas, commanding First Division:
Lieut.-Col. Kise's report.
camp opposite Mill Springs, Wayne County, Ky., Jan. 23, 1862.Sir: I have the honor to report to you the part taken by the Tenth Indiana regiment of volunteers under my command, in the battle fought on the nineteenth inst., at Logan's Farm, Pulaski County, Ky. On the evening of the eighteenth inst, in accordance with your order, I sent out as pickets Companies K and I, Capts. Shorter and Perkins, and had them posted on the road leading to the fortifications of the enemy on Cumberland River, distance about twelve miles. Major A. O. Miller, who posted the pickets, stationed Company I one mile from our camp, and Company K three hundred yards beyond. The latter company received instructions to fall back to Capt. Perkins if attacked. At about half-past 6 o'clock, on the morning of the nineteenth inst., a courier came to our quarters with information that the enemy was advancing upon our camp, and almost immediately afterward the firing of our pickets was heard. The long roll quickly brought the Tenth regiment into ranks, and I gave orders to Major Miller to go forward with Company A, Capt. Hamilton, to the support of the picket companies, which order was promptly executed. I soon proceeded, by your order, with the remaining seven companies of my regiment, down the road in the direction of the picket-firing. When I got within seventy-five yards of these companies there hotly engaged, I formed the regiment in line of battle, and rapidly disposed it for fighting. Five companies extended through the woods on the right of the road and the remaining companies on the left. A regiment of rebels were advancing in line of battle, and their treasonable colors were seen flaunting in the breeze. Having selected as good a position as practicable, I took a stand, and ordered the regiment to fire, which order was instantly obeyed. The firing continued, without cessation, for more than an hour, during which time we engaged three of the enemy's regiments, and held them at bay. The battle was at its hottest, and our ranks were gradually becoming thinned and mutilated, when I perceived a regiment of rebel cavalry attempting to flank me on the right, and an infantry regiment on the left. I commanded Capt. Gregory's company to take position to meet the cavalry on the right, which it did, and opened a galling fire upon them; but they were fast closing in upon us, and I saw myself completely outflanked on the right, and that reinforcements must soon come to my relief or I would be compelled to fall back. I was eventually forced to order my right wing to retire, when, just as my order was being executed, the Fourth Kentucky regiment, commanded by Colonel Fry, came up and took position on the left of my left wing, and opened a deadly fire on the ranks of the enemy. I now rallied the right wing, the men, with the exception of those who had been detailed to carry off the dead and wounded, quietly taking their places in the line. Just at this time a heavy force appeared to be advancing on the extreme left of the Fourth Kentucky regiment, and a portion of Col. McCook's brigade, which had arrived, engaging the enemy on my right, I was ordered by Gen. Thomas to the extreme left of the Fourth Kentucky regiment. I moved the regiment through the brush and over logs to the place designated, and coming to a fence parallel with my line, we hotly engaged the enemy, and after a hard struggle of half an hour's duration, drove him before us, and put him to flight with great loss. A part of my left wing still engaged on the right of the Fourth Kentucky, against great odds, being strongly opposed, I was again ordered by Gen. Thomas to their support. I forthwith obeyed this command, and in doing so, brought my right wing upon the identical ground it had been forced to abandon during the earlier part of the engagement. I then moved forward the whole right wing and two companies of the left, and soon got into a fierce contest with  the enemy in front. The whole regiment, from right to left, was now warmly engaged, and slowly but surely driving the enemy before them, when I ordered a “charge bayonets!” which was promptly executed along the whole line. We soon drove the enemy from his place of concealment in the woods into an open field, two hundred yards from where I ordered the charge. When we arrived at the fence in our front, many of the enemy were found lingering in the corners, and were bayoneted by my men between the rails. I pressed onward, and soon beheld, with satisfaction, that the enemy were moving in retreat across the field; but I suddenly saw them halt in the south-east corner of the field, on a piece of high ground, where they received considerable reenforcements, and made a last and desperate effort to repulse our troops. In the mean time the gallant Col. McCook, with his invincible Ninth Ohio regiment, came to our support, and for twenty or thirty minutes a terrific struggle ensued between the opposing forces. I never, in all my military career, saw a harder fight. Finally the enemy began to waver and give back before the shower of lead and glittering steel brought to bear on his shattered ranks, and he commenced a precipitate retreat, under a storm of bullets from our advancing forces, until his retreat became a perfect rout. I ordered enough men to be left to attend to our dead and wounded, and receiving a new supply of cartridges, (the most of our boxes being entirely empty,) the men refilled their boxes, and, according to your order, I put the regiment in motion after the retreating enemy. Pursuing them the same evening a distance of ten miles, we arrived near the enemy's fortifications at this place. The way by which the enemy had retreated, gave evidence that they had been in haste to reach their den. Wagons, cannon, muskets, swords, blankets, etc., were strewn all along the roads from the battle-field, to within a mile of this place, where I halted the regiment, and the men slept on their arms in the open field. The men at this time were powder-besmeared, tired and hungry, having had nothing to eat since the previous night. On the following morning, the twentieth inst., after our artillery had shelled the enemy's works, by your orders, I moved my regiment to his breastworks, and into his deserted intrenchments, where I have since remained. It may be interesting to state here that our regimental colors, which were those presented by the ladies of Lafayette, and borne in triumph at the battle of Rich Mountain, were completely torn into shreds by the bullets of the enemy. I have had its scattered fragments gathered, and intend preserving them. Three stand of rebel colors were captured by my regiment. I cannot speak in terms of sufficient praise of the noble and gallant conduct of some of the officers of my regiment. They did their duty, and fought like true veterans. Major A. O. Miller was wherever duty called him, and in the thickest of the fight, cheering on the men. Aiding-Adjutant W. E. Ludlow did his whole duty, and rendered me valuable assistance during the day. Assistant-Surgeon C. S. Perkins, and the Rev. Dr. Dougherty, Chaplain of the Tenth regiment, rendered valuable service in their unrelenting attention to the wounded. Quartermaster Oliver S. Rankins, and Nelson B. Smith, of the same department, are entitled to great credit for the prompt manner in which they brought up and supplied the men with cartridges. Commissary-Sergeant David B. Hart, our Rich Mountain guide in the three months service, was present and in the line of his duty. Fife and Drum-Majors Daniel and James Conklin, shouldered muskets and fought valiantly during the early part of the engagement, after which they were of great service in carrying off and attending to the wounded. Capts. Hamilton, Boyle, J. F. Taylor, Carroll and Shorter, the three young tigers, were through the entire battle, where none but the brave and gallant go, and continually pressed forward with their men when the battle raged the hottest, and rebels were found most plenty. Capt. Vanarsdall, of Co. B, was present, and discharged his duty faithfully, until the right wing was drawn off. Lieutenants Cobb, Coben, McAdams, Van Natts, Johnson, McCoy, Bush, Boswell, Shumate and Hunt, deserve the highest praise for their brave and gallant conduct. Lieut. McAdams fell while nobly leading on his men. Lieut. Bush commanded Company G, and quite distinguished himself. Second Lieuts. Rodman, Colwell, Merritt, Lutz, Miller, Stall, Simpson, Scott and Wilds, fully merit all that can be said in their praise, as do all the non-commissioned officers and privates that were present during the engagement. Many individual acts of bravery might be mentioned, such as those of Orderly-Sergeant Miller, of Company B, and my Orderly-Sergeant, Abraham A. Carter, who took a gun and fought manfully during the intervals that his services were not required by me in despatching orders. But nothing I can say, will add to the well-merited laurels already on the brows of both officers and men of the Tenth regiment of Indiana Volunteers. My regiment lost in killed, eleven men; in wounded, seventy-five--a complete list of whose names I herewith submit. Respectfully submitted,
Col. M. D. Manson, Commander 2d Brigade, 1st Division, Department of Ohio:
Col. M. D. Manson, Commander 2d Brigade, 1st Division, Department of Ohio:
Adjutant Harris's report.
The bugle called the Ninth regiment Ohio Volunteers together on the morning of the nineteenth inst., about seven o'clock. Led by Acting Lieut.-Col. Kaemmerling, the regiment was marched out of camp to meet the enemy, who was reported approaching against us on the road leading from the Cumberland River to Logan's farm. The regiment proceeded on line of battle to the scene of the action, about a mile and a half from the camp. At a point this side of the thick woods separating the enemy from us, Company K was ordered to take position on a side road, and to skirmish the bush for the purpose of protecting  us against any flank attack. The remaining eight companies (Company G was on guard on the other side of our camp and was left there) proceeded in quick-step through the woods to the place of battle, and no sooner had they reached the edge of the wood, when they were ordered to attack the enemy. The latter was posted in force on the edge of and in the woods opposite us, and was separated from us by two open cornfields, both of which were fenced. Our left wing touched the main road leading to the Cumberland, and was separated by the same from the right wing of the Second Minnesota Regiment. With loud hurrahs our boys, most gallantly led by Kaemmerling, advanced upon the enemy, extending themselves all over the first of said two corn-fields, and taking stand along and below the fence. Brisk and heavy firing at once began from both sides, and continued for about half an hour. At last companies A, B, C and D, from our right wing, made a flank movement by left wheel, and after opening a lively fire against the enemy's left wing, they, together with the remaining companies, made a bayonet charge, driving the enemy from his position with loud shouts. The enemy immediately fled precipitately, leaving their dead and wounded, and their knapsacks, blankets, provisions, etc., when our men hastily pursued, and made a large number prisoners. Company H, detached as stated above, had been ordered to join the main body, but failing to find it, fell in with the Second Minnesota, and participated in the action on the left wing of the said regiment. The strength of our regiment during this action was three staff officers, one staff bugler, twenty-one company and ninety-three non — commissioned officers, five hundred and five privates, and eight buglers.
Geo. H. Harris, Adjutant Ninth Reg. Ohio Volunteers.
Colonel Van Cleve's report.
Colonel Robert Me Cook, Ninth Ohio, commanding Third Brigade, First Division, Department of the Ohio:sir: I have the honor herewith to submit my report of the part taken by the Second Minnesota regiment in the action of the Cumberland, on the nineteenth inst. About seven o'clock on the morning of that day, and before breakfast, I was informed by Col. Manson, of the Tenth Indiana, commanding the Second brigade of our division, that the enemy were advancing in force, and that he was holding them in check, and that it was the order of Gen. Thomas that I should form my regiment and march immediately to the scene of action. Within ten minutes we had left our camp and were marching toward the enemy. Arriving at Logan's field, by your order, we halted in line of battle, supporting Standart's battery, which was returning the fire of the enemy's guns, whose balls and shells were falling near us. As soon as the Ninth Ohio came up and had taken its position on our right, we continued to march, and, after proceeding about half a mile, came upon the enemy, who were posted behind a fence, along a road beyond which was an open field, broken by ravines. The enemy, opening upon us a galling fire, fought desperately, and a hand-to-hand fight ensued, which lasted about thirty minutes. The enemy met with so warm a reception in front, and afterward being flanked on their left by the Ninth Ohio, and on their right by a portion of our left, who, by their well-directed fire, drove them from behind their hiding-places, gave way, leaving a large number of their dead and wounded on the field. We joined in the pursuit, which continued till near sunset, when we arrived within a mile of their intrenchments, where we rested upon our arms during the night. The next morning we marched into their works, which we found deserted. Six hundred of my regiment were in the engagement, twelve of whom were killed, and thirty-three wounded. I am well satisfied with the conduct of my entire command, during the severe and close engagement in which they took part. Where all behaved so well, I have no desire to make individual distinction. Very respectfully your obedient servant,
H. P. Van Cleve, Colonel Commanding Second Min. Volunteers.
Thanks to the Tenth Indiana.
Adjutant-General's office, Indiana Volunteers, Indianapolis, Jan. 27.General orders, No. 9. His Excellency O. P. Morton, Governor of In diana, in common with the people of said State, hails with pride and gratitude the news of the victory achieved over the rebels in the recent engagement near Somerset, Ky., in which the Tenth Regiment of Indiana volunteers, under Colonel Mahlon D. Manson, so gallantly distinguished themselves. In behalf of the people, he returns heartfelt thanks to the gallant officers and brave men of that regiment, for their alacrity, courage, and brave exertions in sustaining the fair fame of our arms, and especially the proud name of Indiana volunteers. By order of the Commander-in-chief,
Laz. Noble, Adjutant-General of Indiana.
President Lincoln's order.
Headquarters of the army, Adjutant-General's office, Washington, Jan. 22, 1862.The following orders, received from the War Department, are published to the army:
war Department, Jan. 22, 1862.The President, Commander-in-chief of the army and navy, has received information of a brilliant victory achieved by the United States forces over a large body of armed traitors and rebels at Mill Springs, in the State of Kentucky. He returns thanks to the gallant officers and soldiers who won that victory; and when the official reports shall be received, the military skill and personal valor displayed in battle will be acknowledged and rewarded in a fitting manner.  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  the exception of what support they received from the artillery. They all fought nobly, and judging from the sound of the musketry, they never wavered from a fixed determination to gain the victory, and they did gain it. The combatants were so near to each other at one time that the powder burned their faces in the discharge of their pieces; but the underbrush was so thick that bayonets were of but little use, and a charge could hardly have been made. The most important event of the day was the death of Zollicoffer. Col. Fry of the Fourth Kentucky charged up a hill by himself upon a group of mounted officers, and fired at the one he conceived to be the chief among them; he fired two shots; both of them took effect, and Zollicoffer, one of the master-spirits of the rebellion, fell off his horse, dead. Col. Fry was, luckily, unhurt; but his horse was shot through the body, the bullet entering only a few inches behind the Colonel's leg. This must have been a deadener to all the hopes the secessionists had for victory, as from this moment begun the retreat; and so closely did our forces push upon them that they were obliged to leave their illustrious leader where he fell, by the side of the road. What were the East-Tennesseeans doing during all this engagement, with their boasted bravery? The First regiment I know but little about, except that it marched toward the edge of the woods in which the firing was going on, and disappeared from sight. As a regiment they did not fire a gun. but Lieut.-Colonel Spears, who is a whole team and a horse to let, some way got in ahead of his men and where the fighting was; he shot a few times with his revolver, and turned round to see where his men were, when he perceived an officer in between him and where his regiment ought to be, evidently trying to cut him off. But the officer — who turned out to be Lieut.-Colonel Carter--waked up the wrong passenger when he got after Spears, and the tables were turned, for instead of cutting Colonel Spears off, the Colonel took him prisoner and brought him back into the regiment. The Second Tennessee went through various and sundry evolutions; they were marched and countermarched, right-obliqued and left-obliqued, right-faced and left-faced, and brought up all standing in a brier patch. Well, finally we were formed in a line of battle, out of all harm's way, and remained so until the firing was nearly all over, when we were double-quicked to the edge of the woods, and halted again, until the firing receded and died away entirely. It is needless to comment upon the conduct of the Tennesseeans; to say what they could have done or would have done under other circumstances. Here is the fact what they did do, and that was simply nothing. As to the rest, the future will decide. Our course was now steadily forward to the main road that led to Zollicoffer's encampment on the Cumberland. I shall not attempt to describe the battle-field, the dead or the dying. Of course, in all battles, somebody must be killed, and somebody body must be wounded; this was no exception to the general rule. I shall mention only one of the dead — that one Zollicoffer. He lay by the side of the road along which we all passed, and all had a fair view of what was once Zollicoffer. I saw the lifeless body as it lay in a fence-corner by the side of the road, but Zollicoffer himself is now in hell. Hell is a fitting abode for all such arch-traitors. May all the other chief conspirators in this rebellion soon share Zollicoffer's fate — shot dead through the instrumentality of an avenging God--their spirits sent straightway to hell, and their lifeless bodies lie in a fence-corner, their faces spattered with mud, and their garments divided up, and even the hair of their head cut off and pulled out by an unsympathizing soldiery of a conquering army, battling for the right. The march was now steadily but cautiously forward. Two pieces of artillery were taken; one was crippled in the woods near the battle-ground, and the other was found stuck in the mud about a mile in the rear; also two wagons with ammunition. No incident worth mentioning occurred on the march, which was deliberately but steadily forward, with the artillery well up, until a final halt was made, about half-past 4 o'clock, within a mile of the breastworks of the famous fortifications on the Cumberland, which have been reported impregnable. Here the artillery was again planted, and set to work shelling the wonderful fortifications; and a continuous fire was kept up for nearly an hour. Every shell that was thrown we could hear burst distinctly. There was only one cannon that answered us from the breastworks, and that one sounded more like a potato pop-gun than any thing else I can liken it to, and did us no damage, as the shot never reached us. This one piece was only fired four times. Night closed in and the firing ceased. We all lay down on the wet ground, in perfect security, to rest our weary limbs, the distance we had come being over ten miles on the direct road, let alone the bushes and underbrush we went through, to say nothing about two or three dress-parades of the Second for somebody's amusement, but not our own, I can assure you. And then the roads and fields were awfully cut up, and mud was plenty, as it had rained a good part of the forenoon. Our men lay down to rest without a mouthful to eat, many of whom had eaten no breakfast; but as Captain Cross said, “The man who could not fast two days over Zollicoffer's scalp, was no man at all;” and there was no grumbling, as there was necessity for it. However, the teams came up in the night with crackers and bacon. Now here is the summary, so far as I know, up to Sunday night: we are within a mile of Zollicoffer's encampment; Zollicoffer is killed and his forces have been whipped — some two hundred of them being killed and a great many wounded; one of Crittenden's aids, a lieutenant-colonel and three surgeons, are taken prisoners, but how many more I know not; two pieces of artillery and three wagons were left, and the road was strewed with guns, blankets, coats, haversacks, and every thing  else that impeded flight. On our side from twenty to thirty are killed, and from eighty to one hundred wounded, having no prisoners taken that we know of. On the morning of the twentieth, soon after daylight, several of the regiments were moved forward toward the breastworks, and a cannon-ball or two fired over into them; but no answer was made — all was quiet. The regiments moved steadily on and into their fortifications, it being ascertained that there was no one to oppose them. The enemy having crossed the river during the night, or early in the morning, the rout was complete. It seems as though there was a perfect panic among them, their tents having been left standing, and their blankets, clothes, cooking-utensils, letters, papers, etc., all left behind. The position is a pretty strong one, but not near so much so as we had been led to suppose. Huts were built, nicely chinked with mud, many of them having windows in them for comfortable winter-quarters. How much work the devils have done here, and how little it has profited them! I have been wandering around all day, seeing and hearing what I could. The Cumberland makes one side of the encampment safe by an abrupt bank two hundred and fifty feet high. I went down to the river bottom, to which there is a road on our side. Here were all or nearly all of their wagons, some twelve or fifteen hundred horses and mules, harness, saddles, sabres, guns; in fact, everything. It was a complete stampede, and by far the most disastrous defeat the Southern Confederacy has yet met with. Ten pieces of cannon, with caissons, are also here. To all appearances, they seem to have completely lost their senses, having only one object in view, and that was to run somewhere and hide themselves. Now, to account for the battle taking place as it did. There were eleven rebel regiments here, two being unarmed; and Zollicoffer, who was the presiding devil, although Crittenden had taken the command, thought the Tenth Indiana, and Kinney's battery, were just two regiments by themselves, and did not know that they were supported by the balance of the division, which was out of sight behind, on account of the timber; and he conceived the happy idea of rushing upon and capturing these two regiments, to get their arms to supply his own unarmed men. So he took all the available force he had — some eight thousand or nine thousand men — and made the attack; with what result has already been shown. Now this only goes to prove that, in order to put this rebellion down, we must do something. In this fight, four of our regiments whipped, and completely routed, the great army that was under Zollicoffer, killed the old devil himself,. and maybe Crittenden too, for he has not been heard of since the battle. The prisoners we have taken, estimate our force at twenty thousand; bah! we can take them any time, and in any place, and giving them the odds three to one, whip them every time. Their cause is a bad one; they know it; and the only way their men can be induced to fight at all, is by their leaders getting in the very front rank with them. The Second Minnesota captured a banner from the Mississippi regiment, which had on it the “Mississippi butchers.” They may be good butchers at home, but they make a mighty awkward fist at butchering Yankees. They had better go home and attend to their business. Nearly every man has a trophy of this victory; there are plenty to get, certain; and I sit writing this now with a Louisiana Zouave head-dress and tassel on my head. I give you a copy of two or three of the documents found in the camp. The following was found on a table, in one of the cabins:Col. Spears: We fought you bravely, and desperately but misguidedly. We leave here under pressing circumstances, but do not feel that we are whipped. We will yet succeed, and----Here the circumstances became so pressing, that the writer did not wait to finish the epistle. Col. Spears supposes the writer to be Major John W. Bridgman, of the Tennessee cavalry. The following was written on a piece of brown paper, with a pencil:At the bottom of this paper, upside down, is a name I cannot make out, and then “Polasky.” Here is another paper, which is evidently the result of a council of war, held before this force came across on the north side of the Cumberland:Jan. 19, 1861. Fishing Creek.The great battle, at Fishing Creek, took place. Our loss was great; supposed to be eight hundred killed and wounded, and a great many taken prisoners. We will try them again at our breast-work, if they come to us.Estill is a colonel, from Middle--Tennessee. Fulkerson is a major, and one of the big-heads of the secession party, in Tennessee. It seems that there was opposition in the camp, to the move on to this side of the river, but old Zollicoffer, the head devil of the army, ruled, and did come over. Some of these predictions proved to be strictly true; it did turn out to be a “Wild-Cat” disaster — only worse; and they did lose all their artillery; and, more than all, the old hedevil, Zollicoffer, lost his life. The rout has been complete and total. His whole force is entirely scattered, and if the victory is followed up across the river, they will never rally together again. It is now nearly three o'clock in the morning while I write, and with a few reflections, this already long letter — perhaps too long — shall be closed. What a lucky thing that Zollicoffer was bold enough to attack our force; had he not done so,  no battle would have been fought here for a long time. And this victory cannot be credited to the skill of a brigadier-general. The battle was entirely accidental; the position was entirely a chance position, and the men themselves, led by their colonels, fought the battle, and won it. The Tenth Indiana got into the fight supporting their pickets, the Fourth Kentucky and Ninth Ohio rushed in, without orders, to support the Tenth. Whether the Second Minnesota had orders to go in or not, I do not know. And these four regiments did all the fighting that was done; and that was enough to whip the eight regiments Zollicoffer had in the engagement. If these brigadier-generals must be paid big wages, by the Government, why, just pay it to them, and let them stay at home, for they are no earthly use among us. Let the men go ahead, and wind up this war; it can be done in two months. Secret--do something. Would that some abler pen could give you a full and complete account of this rout. I considered it my duty to do my best in an attempt to describe it, but it has been hurriedly written, with a willing but weary hand, so excuse the confused parts of the letter. The Ninth Ohio, which, some way, I came very near omitting, deserves especial praise. Colonel McCook rushed his men up just about the time the Tenth Indiana was giving ground. And the Indiana boys say the Ninth fought like tigers, and are just such backers as they would always like to have.The result of your crossing the river now, will be that you will be repulsed, and lose all the artillery taken over.Estill. Dec. 4, 1861.
Another “Wild-Cat” disaster is all we can look forward to.
We will cross over, and find that the enemy has retired to a place that we will not deem advisable to attack, and then we will return to this encampment.
Secession Narratives. Louisville (Nashville) courier account.
Livingston, Overton Co., Tenn., January 25, 1862.As every thing concerning the contest in Kentucky is of peculiar interest to you and to the readers of your paper, I propose giving you some account of the battle of Fishing Creek, fought in Wayne County, on the Upper Cumberland, on Sunday, the nineteenth day of this month. It will be remembered that some two months ago, Brig.-Gen. Zollicoffer moved with a portion of his command to Mill Springs, on the southern bank of the Cumberland River, and soon after advanced across .to Camp Beech Grove on the opposite bank, fortifying this camp with earth-works. At Beech Grove he placed five regiments of infantry, ten or twelve pieces of artillery, and several hundred cavalry, and at Mill Springs he had two regiments of infantry and several hundred cavalry. About the first of January, Maj.-Gen. Crittenden arrived and took the command. The enemy in front occupied Somerset with several regiments, and Columbia with an equal force. About the second week of this month two more regiments arrived from Knoxville, an artillery company with four guns, and Brig.-Gen. W. H. Carroll. On the seventeenth and eighteenth it rained so much that Fishing Creek could not be crossed, and so the Somerset force of several thousand could not join the force from Columbia before the twentieth. From the face of the country in front of Camp Beech Grove there was very bad range for artillery, and it could not be of very material benefit against an attacking infantry force, and from the extent of the front line and the number of works to be defended, there was within the camp an insufficient force. At the same time, for several weeks, bare existence in the camp was very precarious, from want of provisions and forage. Regiments frequently subsisted on one third rations, and this very frequently of bread alone. Wayne County, which was alone productive in this region of Kentucky, had been exhausted, and the neighboring counties of Tennessee could furnish nothing to the support of the army. The condition of the roads and the poverty of the intervening section rendered it impossible to transport from Knoxville, a distance of one hundred and thirty miles. The enemy from Columbia commanded the Cumberland River, and only one boat was enabled to come up with supplies from Nashville. With the channel of communication closed, the position became untenable without attack. Only corn could be obtained for the horses and mules, and this in such small quantities that often cavalry companies were sent out on unshod horses which. had eaten nothing for two days. The roads in every direction were extremely bad, and from the landing up either bank to the camp, difficult to employ wagons; and in addition to this, the crossing of the river was bad in the small ferry-boats used for that purpose. Description would fail in portraying the difficulties of this position to one who has not seen and suffered. By extraordinary exertions for several days, provisions enough had been gathered to ration the army with bread, meat, coffee, and sugar for two days--the nineteenth and twentieth. On the afternoon of the eighteenth, two cavalry companies which had been sent out by General Crittenden returned, reporting the position. of the enemy unchanged, and Fishing Creek so full that it could not be passed on the nineteenth. In view of this state of things, it seems Gen. Crittenden determined to march out and attack the force at the junction of the roads before the Somerset brigade could unite with it, and, if possible, before it could be joined by the reserve from Columbia. On the afternoon of the eighteenth, Gen. Zollicoffer remarked to the writer that the enemy ought to be attacked, and on that evening Gen. Crittenden called a council at his quarters, with Gens. Zollicoffer and Carroll and the colonels of regiments and captains of artillery and lieutenant-colonels of cavalry batallions, and it was there unanimously agreed to make the attack! In perfect silence, at midnight, the march began. In front moved the brigade of Gen. Zollicoffer, consisting of the Fifteenth Mississippi regiment, commanded by Lieut.-Col. Walthall, in advance, and the Tennessee regiments of Colonels Cummings, Battle, and Stanton, with four guns  commanded by Capt. Rutledge. Then moved the brigade of Gen. Carroll, consisting of the Tennessee regiments of Colonels Newman, Murray, and Powell, with two guns commanded by Capt. McClung. Then moved the Sixteenth Alabama regiment, Col. Wood, as a reserve, and Branner's and McClellan's battalions of cavalry. In advance of the column moved the independent cavalry companies of Capts. Bledsoe and Saunders. In the gray dawn, about six o'clock, two miles from their camp, the pickets of the enemy fired upon our advanced cavalry and wounded one in the arm. Then two companies of the Mississippi regiment were deployed on the right and left of the road as skirmishers, and advanced parallel with the road. On the left, in an open field, was a house near the road, and near by and behind this house was a skirt of woods. While the skirmishers were advancing towards this, the enemy in the house and woods were firing at the head of the column, where Generals Crittenden and Zollicoffer sat upon their horses about five hundred yards distant. When the skirmishers approached within one hundred yards of the house, the enemy ceased to fire upon the column and directed it upon them, but upon its quick return and several rounds, retreated into the woods. The Mississippi regiment then, in line of battle, was advanced, and the head of the column advanced near to the house. From this house the road runs straight for about half a mile, one third of this distance up a hill, one third down, and one third to the crest of another hill. On the right side of the road, up and down the first hill, was an open field, then a narrow strip of woods and again an old uneven field up to the crest. On the left side of the road up the first hill, was woods, and down it open field, and up the next to the crest a thick woods. Up the first hill and down it, on both sides of the road, the enemy was driven back before the impetuous charge of the brigade of Gen. Zollicoffer; and already he was ascending the last hill to the crest, when the heaviest firing told where the battle raged. He sent for reinforcements, and the brigade of Gen. Carroll was ordered up. When, in another moment, it was announced that he was killed, a sudden gloom pervaded the field and depressed the army. He had fallen on the crest of the hill — the stronghold of the enemy, which he had almost driven them from, and which once gained, the day was ours. It is said that the enemy in front of him in the woods, after a few moments' cessation of firing and some movement, was taken by him to be a regiment of his own command, and that he rode up to give them a command when he was coolly shot down, pierced by several balls. Immediately on the announcement of his death Gen. Crittenden in person rode up to the front of the fight, and directed the movement of the day with perfect coolness, in the very midst of the fire of the enemy, and where several were killed around him. His friends remonstrated against this recklessness, and entreated him to occupy a less exposed position, but he would not leave the front, and sat on his horse unmoved, except when a regiment would fall back under the heavy fire of superior numbers, when he would in person, under fife, speak to and rally the men. To gain this hill the fight raged for two hours. Charge after charge was made, regiment after regiment advanced, but we could not drive back the heavy forces of the enemy with our few gallant men. At last, when we could not drive., them, and our charges were unsuccessful, time and again, and they began to flank us, our little army began to retire, and checking pursuit by several stands they could not break, moved back to our entrenchments, at Camp Beech Grove. In the return one gun broke down and was left to the enemy. Upon the field we left about three hundred killed and wounded, and they got, perhaps, one hundred prisoners. Their loss in killed and wounded is thought by those in the battle, and is reported to us by those afterwards in their camp, to be about one thousand. We lost a brave and noble general, whose place cannot be easily filled. Lieut. Baillie Peyton, of Battle's regiment, was killed, and Lieut.-Col. Carter and Sergt.-Major Orville Ewing, of same regiment, were wounded and taken prisoners, and Adjutant Battle was wounded in the shoulder. Colonel Stanton was wounded in the arm while leading his regiment in a charge, and so was Col. Powell. The loss in the Mississippi regiment was heaviest. To this regiment is universally accorded the praise of the best fighting and most distinguished gallantry. Colonel Battle's regiment also covered itself with honor. While it is invidious to make separate mention of regiments, the notice of these two, at least, will meet with general approbation in this army. Major Fogg, Aid to Gen. Zollicoffer, and Lieut. Evan Shields, were dangerously wounded. They behaved in the action with approved gallantry. Thus with four thousand men we bravely attacked twenty thousand, and after a conflict of three hours and a half, unable to drive them from their position, retired without a hot pursuit to our camps, which we reached at one o'clock P. M. At three o'clock the enemy came and invested the place, and fired from two batteries into our intrenchments. Then arose the question whether to defend or evacuate the place. Suppose we could have held it against the superior force attacking? In a few days we would have been starved out; and if, with their battery which commanded the landing, they had injured the boat, escape would have been impossible, and surrender inevitable. Again, by taking Mill Spring in our rear, which could have been done with a small force, retreat at any time would have been cut off; and it would have been vain to think of cutting a way out in front, because, without rations, the army would have been precipitated into a barren country, unable to afford any subsistence whatever. To prevent these straits, an immediate crossing of the river during the night was necessary, and as time permitted only to cross the men, baggage, camp equipage, wagons, horses, and artillery had to be  left — a great sacrifice, but not to be estimated in the balance with saving the army. This bold and masterly movement was accomplished on this night, and the next morning saw our army on the south of the Cumberland, and the enemy in Camp Beech Grove. The crossing was effected during the night by the aid of the steamboat Noble Ellis, which had before ascended the river with supplies, and which was efficiently commanded on this occasion by Capt. Spiller, of the cavalry. The river crossed, it was necessary to move somewhere in search of provisions and forage. If no enemy had appeared, the quitting of this portion of Kentucky had been gravely considered and almost determined upon, and in a few days would have been compelled. It was impossible to move further into Kentucky, from the barrenness of the mountains between that point and the Blue Grass; and all the counties on the left and right, and the northern counties of East-Tennessee, were too poor to support the army one day. With a vastly superior force attacking, the movement to the Cumberland River, at Gainsboro, a point of supply, was precipitated, and to this Gen. Crittenden is moving with short days' marches. From this point, if the enemy should advance into East-Tennessee, an attack could be made on his flank and rear, while passing through the hilly and barren region of Kentucky, towards Knoxville and the railroad. I have thus briefly sketched our army movements for the last few days. Victory does not gleam upon our banners, and we may not receive the loud plaudits which it brings, but in view of an overwhelming force of the enemy, and the absolute want of army supplies, and the distressing poverty of the country, it must be conceded to Gen. Crittenden, that in the bold and gallant attack and masterly retreat, he has displayed the highest qualities of the military commander, and he deserves the admiration of the. country to which he has given his services, and in whose cause, at Fishing Creek, he so coolly exposed his life. Given a command most exposed and perilous, on the northern bank of the Cumberland River, he has saved it from the ablest generals, and an overwhelming army of the enemy. While they were confident of “bagging” this little army, it is ready yet to save East-Tennessee, and to “bag” any force venturesome enough to invade.
Another account.Gen. Crittenden, on hearing that the enemy, three thousand strong, had crossed Fishing Creek, ordered Gen. Zollicoffer to advance and give them battle. Gen. Zollicoffer, as we understand, protested against the movement, preferring, as he alleged, that the enemy should make an attack on our breastworks. Gen. Crittenden, however, insisting that his plan should be carried into execution, Gen. Zollicoffer, at the head of portions of Battle's, Newman's, Stanton's, Powell's, and Murray's Tennessee regiments, and the Fifteenth Mississippi regiment, under Col. Stratham, together with an Alabama regiment, (the Fourteenth, we believe,) proceeded immediately to meet the opposing forces, and after marching seven miles, found the enemy some twenty-five thousand strong. At eight o'clock in the morning of Sunday last, the nineteenth instant, the battle commenced, the enemy opening fire. The Mississippi regiment was ordered to the right, and Battle's to the left, and immediately afterward, riding up in front, Gen. Zollicoffer advanced to within a short distance of an Ohio regiment, which had taken a position at a point unknown to him, and which he supposed to be one of his own regiments. The first intimation he had of his dangerous position was received when it was too late. “There's old Zollicoffer,” cried out several of the regiment in front of him. “Kill him!” and in an instant their pieces were levelled at his person. At that moment Henry M. Fogg, aid to Gen. Zollicoffer, drew his revolver and fired, killing the person who first recognized Gen. Zollicoffer. With the most perfect coolness, Gen. Zollicoffer approached to the head of the enemy, and drawing his sabre, cut the head of the Lincoln colonel from his shoulders. As soon as this was done, twenty bullets pierced the body of our gallant leader, and Gen. Zollicoffer fell from his horse a mangled corpse. The fight continued until about eleven o'clock, Col. Battle's and Col. Stratham's regiments bearing the brunt of the battle. Before the engagement closed, at this point, however, Gen. Crittenden ordered the entire force, with the exceptio; of the two regiments above named, back to their breastworks. It was at this critical moment that our troops suffered the most. Side by side the gallant Mississippi and Tennessee regiments stood up against the overwhelming force of the enemy. Three times the Spartan band charged upon the united host of the vandals, and unawed by the lifeless forms and dying groans of their comrades, they continued to dispute their right to desecrate the sacred soil of our sunny land, until they were compelled to retreat or fall into the hands of the spoilers. At three o'clock in the evening our forces, who had gained their intrenchments, were again attacked, the enemy surrounding them on every side. From this hour the battle raged furiously until eleven o'clock at night, at which time the confederates were compelled to abandon their position, leaving upon the field a large lot of provisions, the splendid batteries commanded by Captains Rutledge and McClung, besides camp equipage, baggage, etc. Among those reported killed in addition to the commander of the brigade, are the following: Lieut.-Col. Carter, of Battle's regiment, from Williamson County; Tim Dodson, a well-known citizen of this county; the gallant Lieut. E. B. Shields, of this city; Lieut. Baillie Peyton, Jr., of Sumner County; James Patterson, of this county, color-bearer of Battle's regiment; James Gray, orderly-sergeant of Capt. Rice's company, Col. Battle's regiment.  Col. H. M. Fogg, Aid to Gen. Zollicoffer, was wounded early in the engagement. Our reports in regard to his condition are conflicting. A dispatch to Orville Ewing, Esq., states that Orville Ewing, son of the Hon. Edwin Ewing, of this city, is wounded and a prisoner. Two sons of John D. Goss, Esq., of this city, are among the wounded. Wm. Battle, son of the colonel of the regiment, is among the list. Colonel Stanton, slightly. It is impossible at this moment to sum up the extent of our loss. According to the Northern accounts, which we publish in our telegraphic columns this morning, our loss in killed and wounded is put down at two hundred and seventy-five, with no statement in regard to the number of prisoners taken. We hear that in addition to baggage, artillery, etc., left on the field, two thousand two hundred head of horses and mules were left behind, and probably captured by the Federals. We are inclined to think this statement an exaggeration.
--Tuscumbia (Ala.) Constitution, Jan. 29.
Opinions of the rebel press: another Arnold.If the following statement is true, which we find in a correspondence from Nashville to the Memphis Avalanche of the twenty-seventh, Gen. George B. Crittenden, the commander of our forces at Fishing Creek, is a traitor of the deepest dye, and deserves to be hung up to the nearest tree. We sincerely hope that the charges made against Crittenden are groundless, and that the deplorable catastrophe was caused not by treachery but by whisky, which he is said to drink to such excess that he has not drawn a sober breath for months. The following is said to be the statement of one of Capt. Duncan's men after the battle: He states that about eleven o'clock Saturday night week, Gen. Zollicoffer, ordered by Gen. Crittenden, went out with the regiments, Battle's, Stanton's, and Stratham's Fifteenth Mississippi, to meet the enemy at Fishing Creek, nine miles distant from our fortifications at Mill Spring. They met the enemy in a hollow place, about eighty feet wide, just on this side of Fishing Creek. Five regiments of the enemy were in sight, near at hand, who opened immediately with a heavy fire on Zollicoffer's brigade while forming a line of battle. In the mean time, two Federal regiments began a heavy cross-fire from ambuscade. Here the battle commenced in earnest. In a short while our men were repulsed, but they rallied and drove the enemy across Fishing Creek into their fortifications. The fight continued — the enemy in their fortifications for about an hour and a half, when the Federals were reenforced by three regiments, and our brigade was again repulsed, retreating to within two miles and a half of our fortifications at Mill Spring. Here the brigade was reinforced by Newman's and White's regiments. This was about eight o'clock A. M. With the assistance of the reinforcements, the brigade repulsed the enemy, driving them back to their fortifications. Here the fight lasted until about twelve o'clock, when the enemy receiving additional force, the brigade was again repulsed, retreating back to their fortifications at Mill Spring, in confusion. The fortifications were reached at about three o'clock. The enemy were then cannonaded for about three hours, when they retreated beyond the range of our guns. The firing ceased at about seven o'clock, the enemy being out of sight. Gen. Crittenden then ordered the command to “disperse, every man to look out for himself.” Eleven guns were spiked and thrown into the river, and our army left the fortifications, each Colonel taking his command. Col. Battle's regiment was thrown out as a picket guard in front of the fortifications, while the retreat of the other regiments was made. They were ordered by Crittenden to halt within four miles of Monticello, and form a line of battle, to draw on the enemy for another fight. The regiments halted at Mrs. Roberts', at the point designated, and a consultation was held by the officers. When the officers gathered for consultation, Col. Battle revealed the contents of the papers which had been extracted from the body of a negro man who was shot while attempting to cross the river to the enemy, on Saturday night, at about ten o'clock. Mr. Smith, our informant, was one of the persons who captured the negro. The story runs thus: A Captain West, a “Union man,” lives near the encampment. A number of the members of Duncan's company had been having their washing done at West's. On Saturday, prior to the battle, Gen. Crittenden dined with West. He gave to West some papers, which were to be transmitted across the river, by a negro, to the Northern army. A negro, Elizabeth, in the afternoon, told the negro-girl attached to Duncan's company that a certain negro (calling him by name) of her master was to go beyond the river that night, with papers, to the Northern army. The intelligence was conveyed to the members of Duncan's company, who at first disregarded the report, attaching no importance to it. But the report was emphasized by the two negroes (the girl of Capt. West and the negro of the company) visiting the camp together and repeating it, whereupon eight men (among them W. B. Smith) were sent towards the river by Captain Duncan, (Duncan going himself,) in search of the negro. These men had proceeded about four and a half miles, when they met a man driving cattle, who informed them of the direction in which he had seen the negro travelling. The men hastened on to within half a mile below Stagal's Ferry, reaching there at about seven o'clock P. M. They saw the negro in a canoe, about half-way across the river. They ca led to him to stop, but he went on, when four of the men fired upon him, killing him in the canoe. They then rolled a large log into the river, somewhat above, which was straddled by three, which with their hands they paddled into the middle of the river to the canoe. They extracted from  the person of the negro papers which, upon returning to the camp, they delivered to Colonel Battle. It was between ten and eleven o'clock when. the papers were delivered to Col. Battle, who had his command moving, under the order to march against the enemy. He was unable, consequently, to examine the papers until after the whole battle had occurred. The papers were examined early Monday morning, and were exposed before the officers in their consultation at Mrs. Roberts's, within four miles of Monticello, where they had been ordered by Crittenden to halt. When the consultation of the officers was being held, Crittenden rode off hastily to Monticello. Col. Battle told the brigade that they had been “sold.” The regiment then proceeded to Monticello, and upon their arrival Gen. Crittenden was found at the Houston Hotel, in his bed, deeply intoxicated. He was immediately arrested, and is now a prisoner of war, held by Cols. Stanton, Battle, Stratham, and Newman. The papers discovered are said to reveal the character of our fortifications at Mill Spring, the number of our troops, and the amount of provisions on hand, etc.
--Tuscumbia Alabamian, Jan. 31.
Letter from an officer in Crittenden's command.
on March, Jan. 27, 1862.editors patriot: You have heard long since of the recent fight on Fishing Creek, between our forces and the Federals; consequently, I shall not at this time attempt to give you any of the details, but will do so at my earliest convenience. My object in writing at this time is to defend an innocent and brave man against an unjust, unfounded, and inhuman prejudice, which many of our soldiers and some officers have created. They are, perhaps, honest in their reports, but they certainly have talked without knowing what they were saying. I allude to Major-General George B. Crittenden. He does not know or dream that I am going to write. In fact, I never spoke to him but a few times in my life. The idea of his being a traitor is certainly as unfounded as that error is truth. He was often in the thickest of the fight, and no man who saw him can doubt for one moment his being one of the bravest of the brave. Taking every thing into consideration, he managed our retreat with marked ability. On the night after the battle, many officers of our brigade, as well as some of the engineer corps and artillery service, were in council with him. The question of a retreat was discussed. All favored it. General Crittenden remarked: “Gentlemen, I am here to serve a cause, and wish to do the best I can for the Confederacy. Do you, then, think it would be honorable in me to cross the river?” All responded promptly: “Yes, indeed.” What else could we have expected? There were no supplies on that side, and none to be had. A battery had been planted so as to prevent our crossing the next day. The enemy were sufficiently strong to completely surround us and make a regular siege, so as to force us to an unconditional surrender. To retreat, then, was our only salvation. Away, therefore, with the foolish charge made against the General. Most of the men and officers who remained with him on the march, and witnessed his care and attention to his command, are now beginning to feel assured that they are as safe under him as any other man. They are so expressing themselves. I, for one am perfectly willing to go where he says go, or stay where he says stay. Men of sense and men of nerve with us, now all agree in one sentiment, that we have come off remarkably well, under the circumstances; and, although we have suffered immensely from cold, hunger, and fatigue, are nothing daunted, and, as soon as possible, are determined to make up our losses, and that under Major-General George B. Crittenden. Respectfully,
A man of justice.