previous next

Death of Zollicoffer.

Danville, Ky., Feb. 23, 1862.
To the Editors of the Louisville Journal:
Yesterday I had an interview, of two hours, with Colonel S. S. Fry, the hero of Mill Spring, henceforth forever to be associated in American history with the misguided Zollicoffer. He gave us a description of the battle of January nineteenth, in which he figured so conspicuously. It differs somewhat from the accounts given by the press. It was not Bailie Peyton who fired at Fry, but Lieut. Fogg, aid to Zollicoffer. Fogg was mortally wounded by Capt. Vaughn, of Fry's regiment, and has since died. Zollicoffer wore a light drab overcoat, buttoned to the chin, thus concealing his military rank. He doubtless intended to deceive Col. Fry, and succeeded. Fry was in undress uniform, and, of course, was at once recognised as a Federal officer. They rode side by side several paces, so near that their knees touched, Fry all the time supposing Zollicoffer to be a Federal officer — hence his reply: “I do not intend to fire upon our men.” The mistake was not discovered until Fogg fired upon Fry, killing his horse. At once, Fry drew his revolver upon Zollicoffer, shooting him through the breast. Instantly he threw up his arms, fell from his horse, and expired. Zollicoffer's horse was secured by the rebels. His sword is in possession of Col. Fry. He has no other trophies save a note, taken from the pocket of Zollicoffer, by which he recognised the rebel General.1 I send you a copy of the original. When he fell, a rebel threw down his gun, crept up to Zollicoffer, and was just in the act of taking him up to bear him from the field, when he was shot by Capt. Vaughn and instantly killed.

Col. Fry narrowly escaped death. With only three hundred and ninety men, he kept at bay two rebel regiments for more than an hour. One ball passed so near his left temple as to touch his hair. Another pierced his clothes, grazing the skin. After the battle, one of the prisoners said to him: “So many of us pointed our guns directly at you, I congratulate you that you are alive, but you must be mighty hard to shoot.” A Tennesseean from one of the rebel regiments managed to escape to our ranks. He took his stand among Fry's men, seized the gun of one who had fallen by his side, fired forty rounds, killing the very man he most hated, one who had pressed him into the rebel service.

Col. Fry does not drink or swear, but he did bawl most lustily to the rebels who were fighting his men guerrilla fashion: “You sneaking, cowardly, infernal scoundrels, why do you not come up and fight us like men?” And so, forsooth, his secession neighbors, not being able to find other fault, accuse him of swearing. Harper's Monthly makes him a giant, whereas he is but five feet nine inches. He is not at all egotistical, does not seem disposed to boast of his achievements. He is a brave, fearless man, a true patriot. A Southerner by birth, living in the heart of a rebellious region, he was one of the first in Kentucky to raise his voice in behalf of our national Government; striving to preserve his State loyal in spite of all the promises, protestations, and threatenings of the leaders of this fearful conspiracy to persuade, invoke, and force her out of the Union; using his time, influence, and purse for the overthrow and extinction of this great American rebellion. We may thank him for Camp Dick Robinson. He ought to be made a Brigadier-General. We all know his experience and bravery as a military man. The part he took in the battle of Buena Vista has not been forgotten. Col. Fry is a resident of Danville; an elder in the First Presbyterian Church; Superintendent of the Sabbath-school, and Treasurer of the Caldwell Institute.

F. C. B.


A Copy of the Note found.

We desire to pass over the river to-day. We have business with Dr. Woolsey, of Bledsoe's cavalry, and the quartermaster of Col. Stanton's regiment, and others. We are from Kentucky, and are Southern men. Yours,

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Places (automatically extracted)
hide People (automatically extracted)
Sort people alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a person to search for him/her in this document.
S. S. Fry (13)
Felix K. Zollicoffer (8)
Fogg (3)
Vaughn (2)
F. K. Zollicoffer (1)
Woolsey (1)
Edwin M. Stanton (1)
Bailie Peyton (1)
Pleasant Miller (1)
Ely F. Johns (1)
Alvin C. Huff (1)
Harper (1)
Bledsoe (1)
hide Dates (automatically extracted)
Sort dates alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a date to search for it in this document.
February 23rd, 1862 AD (1)
January 19th (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: