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Doc. 9.-battle of Jennie Creek, Ky: fought January 7, 1862.

The following is a detailed account of the battle between Colonel Garfield and General Marshall, in which the latter was defeated and routed: [24]

camp Buell, near Paintsville, Johnson Co., Ky., January 20.
On the morning of the 7th of January the command, composed of the Forty-second Ohio and the Fourteenth Kentucky, and Major McLaughlin's squadron of Ohio cavalry, making an effective force of about fifteen hundred men, broke up their camp on the Muddy Creek, and moved into Paintsville, the county-seat of Johnson County, Kentucky. While on the march we were reenforced by a battalion of the First Virginia cavalry, under Colonel Bolles, and by three hundred of the Twenty-second Kentucky, raising our force to about twenty-two hundred men. The enemy, under Humphrey Marshall, numbering five thousand men, and having a battery of four pieces, learning of our approach, and also of that of the Fortieth Ohio and of four hundred of Colonel Wolford's cavalry by the way of Mount Sterling and the valley of the Paint Creek, had, two days previously, after burning large quantities of grain, broken up from his intrenched camp, three miles south of this point, and effected his retreat to the heights on Middle Creek, distant from here fifteen miles and from Prestonburg two miles, leaving a corps of observation at the mouth of Jennie Creek, three miles west from here, of three hundred cavalry, and a large force of infantry, about seven miles up Jennie Creek, to protect and facilitate the passage of his trains.

Immediately on our arrival Colonel Garfield, learning of the position of the aforesaid cavalry, but unaware of the whereabouts of the other divisions of the rebel force, immediately commenced the erection of a pontoon or floating bridge across the Paint, and at four P. M. crossed with eight companies of the Forty-second Ohio, and two companies of the Fourteenth Kentucky, with a view of making an armed reconnoissance, and if possible of cutting off and capturing the cavalry. At two P. M. he had despatched Colonel Bolles' cavalry and one company of the Forty-second, under the command of Captain S. M. Barber, with orders to give a good account of the aforesaid cavalry. But later in the day, on learning of the possibility of cutting them off, had sent orders to Colonel Bolles not to attack them until he had had time to get in their rear. Not receiving the last orders, and indeed before they were issued, Colonel Bolles, in obedience to the first orders, crossed the Paint by fording, and vigorously assaulting the enemy soon put them to an inglorious flight up the valley of Jennie. In their haste, followed as they were up the narrow road by the gallant cavalry, they strewed the road with their equipments, while here and there a dead body showed that they were losing men as well. The pursuit was kept up for seven miles, right into the infantry division guarding the train, who, stationed on either side of the road that did not permit more than two to ride abreast opened a heavy cross-fire on the cavalry, compelling them to fall back, and finally to retreat, which they did in good order, having inflicted a loss of twenty-five in killed and wounded, according to rebel account, and losing but two in killed, and one wounded. Meanwhile Colonel Garfield, with his command, having tarried a short time to fully explore the enemy's deserted fortifications, (consisting of lunettes, breastworks, riflepits and a fort situated on the top of a conical hill,) and wholly unaware of what had taken place, pressed forward to the hoped for consummation of the march. But few miles had been traversed, however, when the evidences of a hasty retreat became so apparent that all were convinced that the game had flown. The object of the march having been thus thwarted, an early return to our camp at Paintsville became our aim, and we accomplished it at the dawn. A harder march was, I venture say, never endured by troops in the same length of time. At nine A. M. on the eighth, the Fortieth and Wolford's cavalry joined us, raising our effective force to about twenty-four hundred, after deducting Ball's cavalry, which, in obedience to orders, returned to Guyandotte. On the 9th, Colonel Garfield determining on a pursuit of the enemy, detailed from the Forty-second and Fortieth Ohio, and Fourteenth Kentucky each three hundred men, and from the Twenty-second Kentucky two hundred men, and taking the immediate command, supported, however, by Colonel Craner of the Fortieth, and Major Burke of the Fourteenth, and detaching Colonel Wolford's and Major McLaughlin's cavalry up Jennie's Creek, marched up the river road leading to Prestonburg. Early on the morning of the tenth, Colonel Sheldon of the Forty-second Ohio, in command at the camp, received a dispatch from Colonel Garfield stating that he had found the enemy, and asking reenforcements. In compliance with the order, at six A. M. on the tenth, Colonel Sheldon marched with eight hundred men, and all the day they eagerly pressed their weary way. As Colonel Garfield had stated, he had found the enemy two miles from Prestonburg, on Middle Creek, in a chosen position among the hills, with between four and five thousand men and four pieces of artillery. The Fifth Virginia regiment, Colonel Trigg, armed with Mississippi rifles, Colonel John S. Williams's Kentucky regiment, Colonel Moore's Kentucky regiment, armed with Belgian rifles, Markham and Wicher's cavalry, and the Fourth Virginia infantry, lay in full strength on the hills at the forks of the creek, while their dogs of war seemed to forbid all approach. Nothing deterred by the formidable position and number of the enemy, Colonel Garfield not fully aware of their exact locality, sent forward a cloud of skirmishers, with a view of drawing the enemy's fire, and thus ascertaining his whereabouts. This not fully succeeding, at about twelve M. he sent forward his escort of cavalry, some twenty strong, in headlong charge. This accomplished the object, for the enemy, thinking our whole force upon them, now opened with musketry, shot and shell upon the cavalry, and a small party of the skirmishers under Adjutant Olds of the Forty-second, then in a corn-field immediately in front of the position of Colonel Williams's Kentucky regiment, and flanked on the left by the artillery and Trigg's Virginia regiment. The cavalry made a hasty [25] retreat, and the enemy concentrated their whole fire on Adjutant Olds and his party, but without effect. After replying with some fifteen rounds of musketry, and observing a large force thrown out on his right, with intent to cut him off, he fell back upon the main body. The position of the enemy thus disclosed was as follows: Colonel Williams's regiment was behind a ridge at the head of the gorge, and on the right of the road, so that his fire commanded the gorge and road for a half-mile. Colonel Trigg's regiment, the Fourth Virginia, on the crest of the crescent-shaped hill on the left of the road, and commanding it by their flanking fire. The artillery between the two at the forks of the creek, and the turn in the road and gorge. The evident design of the enemy was to draw us up the road on to the cannon, and between the cross-fire of the three regiments, and thus annihilate us, and it was not ill-planned, but failed in the execution, for their nervousness would not allow them to hold their fire for the approach of the main body. The remainder of their force lay in the rear of their cannon in a strong supporting position. Occupying Graveyard Point, the end of a high ridge on the right of the creek, north of his main body, Colonel Garfield despatched a force of about a hundred men across the creek, to ascend the horn of the crescent farthest up the gorge. The ascent was most difficult, the men having to crawl on their hands and knees a great part of the way. The summit attained, they were greeted with the whole fire of Trigg's regiment, stationed at the base of the crescent and deployed along the other horn; also by a fire from the artillery and the reserve in the rear. On the top of the ridge, and at distances nearly equi-distant from each other, were three piles of stone, the possession of which was eagerly sought by the contending parties. Reenforced by two hundred men, and assisted by a galling fire from our reserve stationed on Graveyard Point, poured on the deployed right flank of the enemy, our forces were enabled to succeed in driving the enemy from the first, and occupying it themselves. A force of two hundred was then thrown out by Colonel Garfield for the ascent of the lower horn of the crescent, and soon reaching the summit and reenforced by Colonel Crane of the Fortieth with three hundred men, captured the third pile of stone, and the rebels were confined to the second and central pile. The fire was now exceedingly heavy. The rebel style was adopted, and our men betook themselves to the shelter of rocks and trees, as though it was their favorite way of fighting. About half-past 4 P. M. loud cheering betokened the arrival of our reenforcements, and soon up they came, their faces reeking with perspiration, their coats off, breasts bared, and bespattered with mud from head to foot. They had marched fifteen miles through the mud without breakfast, the last two miles on the double-quick, and now fatigued and faint, they loudly demanded to be led into battle. After resting about half an hour, they were thrown across the creek to ascend the right horn of the crescent, but before half-way up they were ordered back, and darkness descending upon the face of the earth, by mutual consent the firing ceased. Resting upon their arms, determined to renew the battle in the morning, our troops spent the night; but when morning dawned, the enemy it was found, had vanished. Under cover of the darkness he had burned his heavy baggage and retreated. He left eighty-five dead on the field, and it is definitely ascertained had some one hundred and twenty-five wounded, of whom forty have since died. We lost one killed and thirteen wounded, of whom two have since died. We were immediately removed to and quartered in Prestonburg, and thus endeth the first lesson — to the rebels.

C. P. G.

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J. A. Garfield (9)
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John S. Williams (3)
Sheldon (2)
Olds (2)
D. McLaughlin (2)
Humphrey Marshall (2)
Wicher (1)
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S. M. Barber (1)
Ball (1)
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