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Confederate Correspondence

The Official Records pertaining to the Battle of Mill Springs, KY, January 19, 1862

Including: Letters, Photographs and other significant documents

Compiled by COL Jerry McFarland, William Neikirk, David Gilbert and The Mill Springs Battlefield Association

 

 

BRIGADE HEADQUARTERS,

Kentucky Line near Albany, November 24, 1861

Lieutenant-Colonel MACKALL, Assistant Adjutant-General, Bowling Green, Ky.

SIR:  Colonel Stanton's regiment will probably camp at Monticello tonight; Colonel Murray's about 12 miles distant from Monticello, towards Albany.  They have with them five cavalry companies, with which they are ordered to seize the ferry-boats at the crossing of the Cumberland.  Captain Sheliha and Captain Estell, engineer officers, have accompanied the cavalry to make reconnaissances.  The command with which I left Jacksborough camps here tonight 8 miles from Albany, through which place we will pass tomorrow.  My information is that ferry-boats are used on the Cumberland River at Burkesville; at Creelsborough, 17 miles above Burkesville; at Rowena, 15 miles above Creelsborough; at Horse Shoe Bottom, 8 miles above Rowena; at Dorothea Landing, 16 miles (by land) above Horse Shoe Bottom; at Mill Springs, 8 miles above Dorothea Landing; and at three ferries within 4 1/2 miles below, and one just below Waitsborough.  I think the ferry at Horse Shoe Bottom is the one called Greene's Ferry, where it is rumored the enemy are probably concentrating.

 

The enemy have 1,300 men at Camp Goggin, on the north bank of the river, opposite Waitsborough.  My information leads me to suppose that there are now no forces of the enemy on this side of the river.  Captain Estell, who has made a rapid reconnaissance, reports six pieces of artillery at Camp Goggin.

 

I have no later information than that alluded to two days ago, of the 2,000 men at Campbellsville, the 1,200 at Columbia, and the regiment at Lebanon.  North of the river is to us yet as a terra incognito.  At Mill Springs and Dorothea Landing the southern bank is bluff and the northern flat and low.  At Creelsborough and Rowena this is reversed.  At Horse Shoe Bottom the north bank is higher than the south; is timbered; the south bank is cleared.  At Rowena the same as to timber.  At Creelsborough no timber on either side; same at Burkesville.  At Mill Springs no timber between the height on this side and the river.  This information Captain Sheliha communicates, and he learns that the surrounding country is fertile and well stocked, and that there is a grist and a saw mill at Mill Springs.  It is probable a good position may be found there for winter quarters.

 

We have the first snow-flakes for the season today; the weather cold and stormy for the last two days.  I wrote to Maj. V. K. Stevenson, assistant quartermaster-general, at Nashville, on the 10th, for 500 axes, 300 shovels, 200 picks, and other trenching tools; also for 200 pack-saddles, which are often needed to fit up in dashing movements in a mountainous country impassable to wagon trains; but have heard from neither.  I do not know how I can dispense with the tools, and fear I shall be seriously embarrassed for want of them.

Very respectfully,

F. K. ZOLLICOFFER, Brigadier-General

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WAR DEPARTMENT, C.S.A.,

Richmond, November 25, 1861

Col. W. B. WOOD,Knoxville, Tenn.

SIR:  Your report of the 20th instant (*) is received, and I proceed to give you the desired instructions in relation to the prisoners taken by you amongst the traitors in East Tennessee:

 

1st.  All such as can be identified as having been engaged in bridge-burning are to be tried summarily by drum-head-court-martial, and, if found guilty, executed on the spot by hanging.  It would be well to leave their bodies hanging in the vicinity of the burned bridges.

 

2nd.  All such as have not been so engaged are to be treated as prisoners of war, and sent with an armed guard to Tuscaloosa, Ala., there to be kept imprisoned at the depot selected by the Government for prisoners of war.  Wherever you can discover that arms are concealed by these traitors you will send out detachments, search for and seize the arms.  In no case is one of the men known to have been up in arms against the Government to be released on any pledge or oath of allegiance.  The time for such measures is past.  They are all to be held as prisoners of war, and held in jail till the end of the war.  Such as come in voluntarily, take the oath of allegiance, and surrender their arms are alone to be treated with leniency.

 

Your vigilant execution of these orders is earnestly urged by the Government.

Your obedient servant,

J. P. BENJAMIN, Secretary of War

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RICHMOND, November 26,1861

(Received Bowling Green, November 27, 1861)

General A. SIDNEY JOHNSTON:

The President desires you to suspend your order to muster out of service the twelve months' unarmed Mississippi troops until Mr. E. L. Acee, of Mississippi, can have a little time to collect and arm a portion of them.  Mr. Acee leaves here today for Mississippi for this purpose.

S. COOPER, Adjutant-General

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Abstract from return of troops at Cumberland Gap, Tenn., Col. William N. Churchwell, Fourth Tennessee Infantry, commanding, for November 26,1861.

O     Officers                                A     Aggregate present_________

M     Men                                     B     Aggregate present and absent

P     Present for duty______________________________________

___________________________________-----P-----____________

 

Commands                                                                                           O            M            A             B

4th Tennessee Infantry, Colonel Churchwell                                            39          567          731          836

11th Tennessee Infantry, Colonel Rains                                                  36          651          793          885

3rd East Tennessee Battalion Cavalry, Lieutenant-Colonel Brazelton          19          281          300          300

Grand Total                                                                                       94      1,499      1,824       2,021

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HEADQUARTERS WESTERN DEPARTMENT,

Bowling Green, Ky., November 27, 1861

Major-General CRITTENDEN,Commanding, Morristown, Tenn.:

General Johnston directs me to inform you that the territorial limits of your command are as follows: East and Middle Tennessee, bounded on the west by the railroad from Chattanooga to Nashville; thence up the Cumberland River to the Tennessee line, with such portion of Kentucky as you may any time hold.

 

Your forces will consist of those under the orders of General Zollicoffer and Carroll, the Georgia regiment lately sent into the department, and all volunteers arriving and being mustered in.

 

If you are satisfied that the late attack upon East Tennessee has failed and is now abandoned by the enemy, as it appears to us, and that his effort will now be made by this more direct route on Nashville, the general wishes you to detach and send to Nashville all the forces you can spare without endangering the safety of your district.  The force of the enemy in front far outnumbers us, and his intention to advance no longer admits of a doubt.

 

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

W. W. MACKALL, Assistant Adjutant-General

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BRIGADE HEADQUARTERS,

Thirteen miles west of Monticello, November 27, 1861

General S. COOPER, Adjutant and Inspector-General, Richmond, Va.

SIR:  Two regiments cross the river today at Mill Springs to endeavor to cut off 800 of the enemy at Waitsborough, 9 miles above.  A mail from Columbia to Monticello has been captured, by which we learn that there are two battalions of cavalry and two regiments of infantry at Columbia.  They had heard of my advance and heard my force was 9,000.  This they doubt, but think if it is true they will have to retreat for want of numbers.  I learn that General Thomas is at Crab Orchard, but have no reliable intelligence of forces other than those at Columbia and Waitsborough.  I have sent detachments of cavalry to examine the ferries at Burkesville and Creelsborough, 17 miles above Burkesville; also to get more particular information of the ferries and road crossing at Dorothea Landing and Horse Shoe Bottom.  It is now certain there is no enemy this side of the Cumberland.  We have here an abundance <ar7_707> of beef, pork, and corn, at low prices.  The better classes of citizens sympathize with us.

 

Very respectfully,

F. K. ZOLLICOFFER, Brigadier-General

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BRIGADE HEADQUARTERS,

Near Newbury, November 28, 1861

Lieutenant-Colonel MACKALL, Bowling Green, Ky.

SIR:  I occupy a position midway between Mill Springs and Burkesville for a day or two, to perfect my knowledge of the topography, resources, & etc., of the country, before selecting a position for quarters in severe weather and as a basis of action in mild weather this winter.  Mill Springs, 22 miles east, is in a fertile region, with grist and saw mill, wood, water, and capable of easy defense, commanding the ferry.  Geographically it is the best position on this side of the river for commanding the aproaches to Cumberland Gap and Jacksborough.  Burkesville or Creelsborough would better enable me to open the Cumberland and make secure our supply trains.  During the winter, when the wagon roads are so bad, it would be far preferable to draw indispensable supplies direct from Nashville instead of Knoxville.  Brought to Gainesborough, between 40 and 50 miles from here, on boats, 50 or 60 miles of wagoning over bad roads would be saved between here and Knoxville.  If the country north of the river between Burkesville and Gainesborough can be cleared of the enemy, they might subsequently be brought to the former place.  Pork, corn, beef, hay, or fodder, horses, & etc., are abundant and cheap here.  I think the supply of flour will be good.

 

This will be handed to you by Maj. Alex. Wynn, who visits you to obtain General Johnston's assent to this arrangement, and if obtained, to see the proper officers of the quartermaster and commissary departments at Nashville, and perfect the arrangements at as early a day as practicable.

 

Very respectfully,

F. K. ZOLLICOFFER, Brigadier-General

 

P.S.--I am not yet aware that Major-General Crittenden has assumed command in this district.

F. K. ZOLLICOFFER, Brigadier-General

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HEADQUARTERS,

Knoxville, November 29,1861

Hon. J. P. BENJAMIN,Secretary of War

SIR:  Herewith please find copy of letter received from Dr. Brownlow, and my reply.

I have the honor to be your obedient servant,

WM. H. CARROLL, Brigadier-General, Commanding

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BRIGADE HEADQUARTERS,

Mill Springs, November 30, 1861

Lieutenant-Colonel MACKALL, Bowling Green, Ky.

SIR:  I reached this point on the Cumberland River last evening.  Recent rains have much swollen the river.  Colonel Stanton, who was ordered forward from Camp McGinnis on the 20th, with his and Colonel Morroy's [Murray's] regiment and Lieutenant-Colonel McClellan's cavalry, to seize the ferry-boats at different crossings, failed to secure any of the boats.  I am now preparing to provide the means of crossing the river.  The lumber and the saw-mill here will materially aid in constructing boats. The enemy's camp, 9 miles above, on the right bank, appears to have been re-enforced, but to what extent I have not been able to ascertain.  Our pickets sent up on this side (opposite) today were fired on.  Colonel Stanton reported to me two days ago that he had secured two ferry-boats, but it appears they have got away.  He was ordered to cross the river to endeavor to cut off 800 of the enemy, then at Camp Goggin, 9 miles above.  He failed to cross for want of boats.  So soon as it is possible I will cross the river in force.

 

Very respectfully,

F. K. ZOLLICOFFER, Brigadier-General

 

P.S. The written report just received from the pickets fired on today up the river.  The fire was returned.  The enemy employed musketry and artillery--a 12 and a 6 pounder.  One of our men wounded; one of theirs killed.

 

Respectfully,

F. K. ZOLLICOFFER, Brigadier-General

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KNOXVILLE, December 5,1861

SECRETARY OF WAR:

I learn that there are 1,250 rifles at Columbus not in use.  Can I not get them?  I have here 1,700 men, only 400 armed.  Will report fully tonight.

WM. H. CARROLL, Brigadier-General, Commanding

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RICHMOND, December 5, 1861

General W. H. Carroll,Knoxville:

The rifles at Columbus are at the disposal of General A. S. Johnston.

J. P. BENJAMIN, Secretary of War

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KNOXVILLE, December 6, 1861

Hon. J. P. Benjamin, Secretary of War:

W. G. Brownlow arrested today for treason by a warrant issued by the Confederate States commissioner and drawn up by myself.  Will write you the facts in full that prompted his arrest in a day or two.  Hope you will postpone your decision until you hear them.

J. C. RAMSAY

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KNOXVILLE, December 6, 1861

Adjutant-General C. S. Army:

Will you please send me, without delay, the ten regiments promised by the President whilst I was in Richmond, and I will move into Kentucky at once?

G. B. CRITTENDEN

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BRIGADE HEADQUARTERS,

Beech Grove, Ky., December 10, 1861

Lieutenant-Colonel MACKALL, Bowling Green, Ky.

SIR:  Your two dispatches of the 4th reached me late last night.  Enclosed I send copy of letter addressed to you yesterday. (*) I infer from yours that I should not have crossed the river, but it is now too late.  My means of recrossing is so limited, I could hardly accomplish it in face of the enemy.  There are five infantry regiments, perhaps more, and one cavalry regiment at Somerset, 16 miles distant.  Their pickets were yesterday within 9 miles.  The precise force at Columbia I cannot ascertain.  Our cavalry detachments south of the river, at Rowena, were fired upon from this side yesterday and today.

 

This camp is immediately opposite to Mill Springs, 1 1/4 mile, distant.  The river protects our rear and flanks.  We have about 1,200 yards fighting front to defend, which we are entrenching as rapidly as our few tools will allow; but a supply ordered by Maj. V. K. Stevenson, assistant quartermaster-general at Nashville, on the 10th, have not been heard from.  Two hundred pack-saddles, ordered at same time, much needed have not been heard from.  I have relied on a reserve of one battalion of the Sixteenth Alabama Regiment, Colonel Powell's regiment, and Captain McClung's battery, left at Knoxville, and ordered forward soon after I started.  I have expected them constantly; have been able to get no intelligence until today, and now learn (unofficially) that they are not on the way.  This may very greatly endanger our position.  I will endeavor to prevent the forces at Columbia and Somerset from uniting.  The proximity of the terminus of the railroad at Lebanon would seem to give them the means of rapidly re-enforcing in my front.

 

The position I occupy north of the river is a fine basis for operations in front.  It is a much stronger natural position for defense than that on the south bank.  I think it should be held at all hazards, but I ought to have a stronger force.  Could any feint by possibility be made upon Columbia from the west, it would probably save me from concentration in front until I could be strengthened.  We will work day and night on the necessary defenses.  Major-General Crittenden has assumed command, and is, I think, now at Knoxville.

 

Very respectfully,

F. K. ZOLLICOFFER, Brigadier-General

-------------------------

BRIGADE HEADQUARTERS,

Knoxville, Tenn., December 13, 1861

Hon. J. P. BENJAMIN, Secretary of War, Richmond, Va.

SIR:  Your order to me of the 10th instant to join General Zollicoffer immediately with all my armed force reached me last night.  I immediately <ar7_765> set about making the necessary arrangements to carry the same into effect, as indeed I had been doing for some days previous, under instructions from General Zollicoffer himself.  A portion if not all of my command would now have been on the march for General Zollicoffer's present position but for the unsettled condition of affairs in East Tennessee, together with other obstacles that I have been utterly unable to overcome, though I have made every possible exertion to that effect, but as yet without success.

 

In justice to myself I feel that I may very properly lay before you the nature and extent of the embarrassments under which I have labored ever since I assumed my present command.  When the President did me the honor to appoint me a brigadier-general in the Provisional Army I confidently expected to have had my entire brigade thoroughly armed within twenty days at furthest from that time, as I have taken every precaution to secure sufficient arms for that purpose while raising and organizing the regiments which I now have the honor to command.  Early in the month of September I procured about 2,000 ordinary country rifles, and placed them in the Government armories at Memphis, Nashville, and Murfreesborough.  In order to have them altered--made of uniform length and caliber, and fitted with a sword-bayonet.  At that time I was assured by the armory officers at those places that these guns would be repaired and ready for use by the middle of October.  On the 26th of that month you telegraphed to them to lay aside all other guns and put their whole force at work upon mine.  This they informed me they did; but when I received your orders of the 3rd of November to advance to this place and report to General Zollicoffer not a single gun had been completed.

 

The indications of an extensive outbreak in East Tennessee at that time were so alarming, that I deemed it unsafe to move my command through that country wholly unarmed.  I therefore made application in every direction for guns of any description, to serve me until my own should be ready for use.  I finally, after much annoyance, succeeded in getting from the arsenal at Memphis about 400 flint-lock muskets, rifles, and double-barreled shot-guns.  With these, imperfect and almost worthless as they were I advanced to Chattanooga, and halted my forces for a few days, for the purpose of dispersing the different bands of traitors who were gathering in that vicinity.  This object being accomplished, I moved on to this point.  When I reached here I found a general feeling of alarm and uneasiness prevailing throughout the surrounding country.  Information every day reached me from all points that recreant Tennesseans, with a few miscreants from other States, were organizing themselves into predatory bands in the counties of Blount, Sevier, Cocke, Hancock, Scott, Campbell, and other counties bordering North Carolina and Kentucky line.  I immediately sent out scouting parties of cavalry, together with such small detachments of infantry as I could arm, to protect and assist the loyal citizens of these counties in driving there base ingrates from their midst.  These various parties have succeeded in arresting many of the rebellious and disaffected, and bringing them to this place for trial.  Out of the number arrested I have sent and will send about 100, as prisoners of war, to Tuscaloosa.  I have for some days past been receiving information, from sources entitled to much credit, that a considerable force of the enemy were threatening a descent from the Kentucky border upon the counties of Campbell and Scott, by way of a small pass in the mountains above Cumberland Gap. <ar7_766>

 

Today I am in receipt of information, which apparently admits of no doubt, that a body of the enemy, some 500 strong, had attacked the town of Huntsville, and captured a company of cavalry stationed at that place.  Other less reliable reports place the number of the enemy at 2,000.  I have therefore made arrangements to dispatch Colonel White there with all the armed force I can command, with orders to attack them if not too strong, and if the numbers are too great to fall back until I can re-enforce him.  The country abounds in mountain passes and ravines, and a position well selected can be easily held against largely superior numbers.  This movement will not delay the prompt execution of your order, as the place mentioned is near my line of march to join General Zollicoffer.  During the time I have been here I have continued my exertions to procure arms from every source where they were likely to be obtained, though almost entirely without success.  A few days ago I dispatched one of my officers to General Johnston, at Bowling Green, with a statement of my condition, and an urgent appeal for arms of some description, if he should have any at his disposal; but he dispatches me that none are to be had.  I have also sent a competent armory officer to Memphis upon a similar mission.  From him I learn that 500 of my rifles will be ready by Monday next.  These will be forwarded immediately.  He further informs me that the remainder will soon be repaired and sent on, as they are being pushed forward as rapidly as possible.  Two hundred of those left at Nashville were sent me some days ago, but so imperfectly repaired as to be wholly unfit for use, as you will see from the enclosed report from the ordinance officer at this place.  The repairs on these I am having completed here, and will have them finished as soon as possible.

 

I have here now three regiments fully organized and another in process of formation, besides seven companies of cavalry, amounting in all to about 4,000 men, who could be brought immediately into the field if I could only supply them with arms.  Out of my entire force I could not muster more than 300 men efficiently armed.  A few hundred more have old hunting guns, but they are of little or no service in their present condition.  I still hope that all my guns will be ready in a very short time.  I send to Richmond Lieut. Col. E. J. Golladay, one of my best-informed and most discreet officers, to represent to you more fully the true condition of my command.  His suggestions may perhaps be of service in shaping the policy proper to pursue in the region of country of which I have spoken.

 

For a detailed statement of operations of my command since taking the field, together with an account of all the other forces now in East Tennessee, I beg to call your attention to my report made to Maj. Gen. G. B. Crittenden on the 9th instant, and by him forwarded to the office of the Adjutant and Inspector General.  Colonel Golladay can also give you much valuable information of the strength, condition, & etc., of the different commands in this portion of the State, together with the state of public feeling and real condition of the country here.

 

I have the honor to be, yours, respectfully,

WM. H. CARROLL, Brigadier-General, C. S, Army

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KNOXVILLE, December 13, 1861

Brig. Gen. W. H. CARROLL

SIR:  I have to report that the rifles, about 200 in number, which were left with me to have the bayonets attached are unfit for duty, for <ar7_767> the following reasons:  They are different size bore, which renders it impossible to get ammunition suitable.  Many of the locks are in bad order; some entirely worthless, being made of iron, when they ought to be steel.  They will have to be almost entirely refitted.

 

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

W. H. WARREN

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KNOXVILLE, December 16, 1861

S. COOPER, Adjutant and Inspector General:

General Zollicoffer is threatened by a much superior force in front and one nearly equal on his left flank.  He has been ordered by me to <<49 R R--VOL VII>> <ar7_770> recross the river.  He asks for six pieces, 24-pounders or 8-inch howitzers.  Colonel Powell's regiment has been ordered from the railroad to join Zollicoffer immediately, and Colonel Leadbetter informed, so that he can replace the guard it withdraws.  To make General Carroll's brigade effective it is necessary to obtain 800 muskets, which are known to be in ordinance office at Memphis.  Please order William R. Hunt, ordinance office at that point, to forward them immediately to this place, subject to my order. (*)

 

G. B. CRITTENDEN, Major-General

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BRIGADE HEADQUARTERS,

Beech Grove, Ky., December 17, 1861

Lieutenant-Colonel MACKALL, Assistant Adjutant-General, Bowling Green, Ky.

SIR:  Your messenger was started back on the 13th instant, via Burkesville and Glasgow, with an escort of 60 cavalrymen, directed to go to the latter place.  He bore a dispatch giving you a list of 33 prisoners I send to Nashville, to be disposed of as General Johnston may <ar7_773> direct.  I have no advices from Major Wynn, but suppose the steamer to arrive at Waitsborough on the 18th will be freighted with stores for us.  Have sent a large train of wagons and made ample arrangements for a guard.  Ten of the prisoners captured were taken on the 11th instant by an expedition I sent down to Louisville, on the north side of the river, and about 30 miles from here.  Our party killed 3 others.  The enemy had posted a small body of men there behind a breastwork and with a flag flying, who had annoyed our cavalry across the river at Rowena when patrolling in that direction.  Louisville is 15 miles from Columbia.  Our only loss was one man accidentally drowned.

 

The river is now low and fordable in many places.  There are now known to be seven infantry regiments at Somerset.  The enemy has advanced strong posts to Fishing Creek, and their scouting parties approach to within a few miles of our camp.  The stage of the river and the value of our supply trains render it necessary, in my opinion, to keep two regiments on the Mill Springs side of the river.  I therefore have but four and a half regiments on this bank.  Had the reserve of Powell's regiment, Wood's battalion, and McClung's battery been sent on, as I ordered, I could have advanced.  But I can hear nothing official from Knoxville of them.  For a day or two past my information leads to the suspicion that the enemy contemplate an early attack upon this position.

 

Very respectfully,

F. K. ZOLLICOFFER, Brigadier-General

---------------------------

KNOXVILLE, December 19, 1861

S. COOPER, Adjutant and Inspector-General:

On inspecting the arms of White's regiment of Carroll's brigade, preparatory to its marching, more than half were found wholly unserviceable and most of the remainder unfit for service.  This was the first regiment ordered forward, and consequently cannot go.

 

G. B. CRITTENDEN, Major-General

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BRIGADE HEADQUARTERS,

Beech Grove, Ky., December 16, 1861

To the People of Southeastern Kentucky:

The brigade I have the honor to command is here for no purpose of war upon Kentuckians, but to repel those Northern hordes who, with arms in their hands, are attempting the subjugation of a sister Southern State.  They have closed your rivers, embargoed your railroads, cut off your natural and proper markets, left your stock and produce on hand almost valueless, and thereby almost destroyed the value of your lands and labor.  We have come to open again your rivers, to restore the ancient markets for your produce, and thereby to return to you the accustomed value of your lands and labor.  They have represented us as murderers and outlaws.  We come to convince you that we truly respect the laws, revere justice, and mean to give you security to your personal and property rights.  They have forced many of you to take up arms against us.  We come to take you by the hand as heretofore-- as friends and brothers.  Their Government has laid heavy taxes on you to carry on this unnatural war, one object of which is openly avowed to be to set at liberty your slaves, and the ensuing steps in which will be to put arms in their hands and give them political and social equality with yourselves.  We saw these things in the beginning, and are offering our heart's blood to avert those dreadful evils which we saw the abolition leaders had deliberately planned for the South.  "All men must have the ballot or none; all men must have the bullet or none," said Mr. Seward, the present Federal Secretary of State.

 

How long will Kentuckians close their eyes to the contemplated ruin of their present structure of society?  How long will they continue to raise their arms against brothers of the South struggling for those rights and for the independence common to us all, and which was guaranteed to all by the Constitution of 1787?  For many long years we remonstrated against the encroachments on the rights and the insecurity to that property thus guaranteed, which these Northern hordes so remorselessly inflicted upon us.  They became deaf to our remonstrances, because they believed they had the power and felt in every fiber the to "whip us in."  We have disappointed them.  We have broken their columns in almost every conflict.  We have early acquired a prestige of success which has stricken terror into the Northern heart.  Their grand armies have been held in check by comparatively few but stern-hearted men, and now they would invoke Kentucky valor to aid them in besting down the true sons of the South who have stood the shock, and in bringing common ruin upon Kentucky and her kindred people.  Will you play this unnatural part, Kentuckians?  Heaven forbid!  The memories of the past forbid!  The honor of your wives and daughters, your past renown, and the fair name of your posterity forbid that you should strike for Lincoln and the abolition of slavery against those struggling for the rights and independence of your kindred race.  Strike with us for independence and the preservation of your property, and those Northern invaders of your soil will soon be driven across the Ohio.

 

F.K. ZOLLICOFFER, Brigadier-General

--------------------------

BRIGADE HEADQUARTERS,

Beech Grove, Ky., December 26, 1861

Lieutenant-Colonel MACKALL, Bowling Green, Ky.

SIR:  I sent to Gainesborough two trains of wagons, amounting to about 150, to receive army stores brought by the boats.  I infer from what is reported to me that 80 or 100 more wagon loads remain on board.  I cannot spare more wagons now.  The river being very low, the boats did not get higher than Carthage.  The trains will probably not return before the last of the month.

 

I desire very much to bring one of the boats up to this point; it could contribute much to our security in more than one way, and if it can be brought up with its freight will save us much wagoning.

 

This morning I sent down on the north side of the river 650 cavalrymen, under Lieutenant-Colonels McNairy, Branher, and McClellan, with instructions to observe the enemy at and near Columbia and descend to Burkesville by to-morrow evening, giving me by express messenger information of all they saw and heard.  They are instructed to send forward a detachment to communicate with the boat at Celina, and the boat is ordered to steam up to Celina by the evening of the 28th, to receive the news to be communicated by the cavalry.  If deemed safe, the boat is ordered to ascend to Mill Springs and the cavalry is instructed to return on the north bank in such way as to give it security.  If my information seems to make it necessary, I will make with infantry and artillery such demonstration towards Jamestown, Ky., and Columbia as will tend to keep the enemy away from the river.  I doubt the access of the enterprise, but I consider it so desirable to bring the boat up, that I will spare no effort to accomplish it.

 

Colonel Wood's battalion and Captain McClung's battery have arrived, and I am advised that Colonel Powell's regiment has been ordered to follow.

 

Letters from Major-General Crittenden and Brigadier-General Carroll, of 15th, 17th, and 18th instant, have just been received, by which I am advised that they will be here in a few days, and that a part of General Carroll's brigade is ready to march to this point.

 

I have deemed it proper within the last few days to permit the forces to commence building huts, to shield them from the rigors of winter.  I have not yet completed and still work daily some force on the earthwork defenses in front of the position occupied.  No pickets of the enemy have crossed Fishing Creek for some days.  I have no recent reliable information of their movements, but suppose they are not likely to attack me in the strong position I hold.  For a few days at least I will not be prepared to hunt them up.

 

Very respectfully,

F. K. ZOLLICOFFER, Brigadier-General

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WAR DEPARTMENT, C.S.A.,

Richmond, Va., January 30, 1862

General A. SIDNEY JOHNSTON, Bowling Green, Ky.

SIR:  Some painful rumors have reached the Department attributing the disaster to our arms at Somerset to the intemperance of General Crittenden, the commander of the army.

 

The President can scarcely believe these rumors to be well founded; but we are at too great a distance to inquire into facts.  Many letters are also received here, by members of Congress and others, representing that the army under General Crittenden and the people of East Tennessee have lost confidence in him, and that the morale of the army will be utterly destroyed by his remaining in command.  All such rumors are frequent in cases of disaster, and for the most part unjust and unfounded; but the public service requires that they should at all times be sufficiently investigated to ascertain what foundation exists for them.  I have therefore to request that you will institute such inquiry into the facts and into the condition of that part of your command as may suffice to guide your own judgment; and if the necessity exists, that you assign some other general to the command of the army under General Crittenden, relieving him from his present duties and making such further ordered in relation to him as in your judgment shall seem advisable for the good of the service.

 

Your obedient servant,

J. P. BENJAMIN, Secretary of War

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HEADQUARTERS,

Gainesborough, Tenn., February 1, 1862

General A. STONEY JOHNSTON, Commanding Department of the West

SIR:  I have the honor to inform you that I am unable as yet to make out and transmit to you my detailed report of the engagement on the 19th of January.  This delay is owing to the delay of the officers of the command in sending up their reports.

 

I would suggest that this command be re-enforced by several well-drilled regiments at an early day.

 

Enclosed I send you a sketch of the section of the country. (*) You will see that this position of Gainesborough can be turned by the enemy, and in many respects it is an unfavorable point.  I cannot occupy Livingston or any point on the road from Livingston to the Walton road for want of transportation to carry supplies to the camp from the river.

 

I submit to you, then, the propriety of occupying Chestnut Mound.  To that point supplies can be easily hauled from river landings, and it is connected with Nashville, and also with Carthage, by a turnpike.  Supplies of corn are abundant on Caney Fork, and could be brought down to a landing on the turnpike near to Chestnut Mound.

 

I feel embarrassment with regard to the course to be pursued towards those privates absent without leave from this command.  The non-commissioned officers absent without leave I shall reduce to the ranks, and I will have the officers so absent proceeded against with the utmost rigor.

 

Captain Morgan, a volunteer aide on my staff, bears this to you.  He also bears an order from me, for publication in the journals of Nashville and Knoxville, commanding all absent from this command without leave to report themselves at these headquarters immediately.

 

Being fully aware of the charges which have been made against me by fugitives from this command I have demanded a court of inquiry, and feel satisfied that an investigation will establish the facts that the battle of Fishing Creek and the subsequent movement were military necessities, for which I am not responsible.  I feel assured that I shall have no difficulty in defending my conduct throughout these affairs.

 

I remain yours, & etc.,

G. B. CRITTENDEN, Major-General, Commanding

---------------------------

HEADQUARTERS,

Gainesborough, Tenn., February 6, 1862

General A. SIDNEY JOHNSTON,Department of  the West

SIR:  I had the honor some days since to address you a communication by my volunteer aide, Captain Morgan, suggesting the removal of my command from this point to Chestnut Mound.  Besides being a bad position in a military point of view, Gainesborough is exceedingly unhealthy and an uncomfortable camping place, with no ground for drilling the troops.

 

I have now the honor to inform you that, anticipating your orders on the subject, I am moving the division to Chestnut Mound.  That is an elevated, healthy, and well-watered locality, where there is ground for drilling the regiments, of which they are very much in need.  It is near to landings on the Cumberland River and Caney Fork, and connected with them by turnpike roads, and it connects with Livingston by a good ridge road.

 

I leave for a few days the regiments of Colonels Murray and Stanton at this place with supplies for one month, and after a few days I shall order these regiments to Livingston, where, with supplies drawn from this point, they may be subsisted.  I have ordered McNairy's cavalry battalion to proceed tomorrow to Livingston and to remain there.  I had left Captain McHenry's cavalry company at Livingston to picket and guard the roads leading from Kentucky, and today received information from Captain McHenry that two companies of Federal cavalry were on the Kentucky side Obey River.

 

I will have the stores, except those to be left for the regiments of Murray and Stanton, removed from this point to the most convenient landing for the camp at Chestnut Mound by steamboat.

 

My headquarters will henceforth be at Chestnut Mound.

 

I remain, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

G. B. CRITTENDEN, Major-General, Commanding

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CAMP NEAR CARTHAGE, TENN., February 11, 1862

Camp A. J. LINDSAY

SIR:  I have duly received your note with Assistant Adjutant General Mackall's dispatch.  You will please telegraph General Johnston that I am encamped between Chestnut Mound and Carthage, having two regiments, Stanton's and Murray's, with a company of cavalry at Gainesborough, with orders to take post at Stanton [Livingston] immediately.  Should this disposition not suit the general's views, he will inform me.  I will take position a few miles back, at Chestnut Mound, on tomorrow.

 

I have no news of the enemy that can be relied on.  It is reported that two or three companies of the enemy's cavalry made their appearance on the north bank of Obey River a few days since.  This may not be true.  I will keep the general duly informed as far as practicable of the enemy's movements.

 

In haste, yours,

G. B. CRITTENDEN, Major-General

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HEADQUARTERS NEAR CARTHAGE,

Division Commissary Office, February 11, 1862

General A. SIDNEY JOHNSTON

GENERAL:  At the time of leaving Mill Springs, on the 19th of January, the army under your command was entirely destitute of supplies <ar7_875> except in the article of beef cattle.  Those on hand were driven ahead of the troops by my order, agents were also sent ahead in the direction of the intended march to engage and purchase every article of subsistence that could be procured.  No pains were spared, no endeavors left unmade.

 

Without means of transportation, however, only those supplies could be procured which were immediately contiguous to the line of retreat; but I can safely say that there was nothing along that line which could be purchased which was not.

 

I furnished Major Holland, acting commissary of subsistence, to General Carroll's brigade, on the night of the 19th, and on simple memorandum, with $5,000, to enable him to procure at once everything that he might meet with, while my immediate agents were also ahead, and upon each side, for the same purpose and with full authority.

 

The army suffered much, notwithstanding all endeavors, until it reached Obey River, on Thursday, January 23.

 

During the intervening time about 60 head of cattle, the same number of sheep, and perhaps 20 head of hogs, with what bacon, flour, meal, & etc., could be procured along the route, were main subsistence of the troops, so far as my utmost endeavors could effect.

 

About 6 miles west of Obey River I received a lot of 90 head of cattle which had been stopped there by my agents, and also in the same vicinity as large a supply of meal and flour as the limited transportation facilities of the various regiments would allow of being brought to camp.  The freest latitude was given to regimental commissaries to purchase whatever was necessary, it being one of those exigencies where I felt at liberty to entirely overstep rules and formalities, and trust to the future liberality of the Department to sanction and approve my action.

 

The army spent Saturday, 25th near Livingston.  At that place I purchased in addition about 13,000 pounds net of fresh beef and 225 head of hogs, estimated at upwards of 39,000 pounds net; distributing to each regiment what it desired, together with all the bacon, meal, flour, potatoes, & etc., that could be procured there, and also a liberal supply of salt, and had the remainder of the cattle on hand (nearly 80 head of beef and all the hogs) driven with the army the next day towards New Columbus, 3 miles east of Gainesborough.

 

The head of the column arrived at New Columbus late on Sunday evening, January 26, and the rest of the army the next day.  I fortunately found there a large supply of flour, rice, and molasses.  Directions were at once given to the brigade commissaries to take from that store whatever they deemed sufficient and necessary, receipting for the same to a commissary sergeant placed temporarily in charge.  The entire drove of cattle and hogs was at the same time turned over to them, with the advice to kill the latter and salt down temporarily what was not at once issued.  These directions were fully complied with, commissaries of all grades receiving at once, without formality of requisition or anything but a pencil memorandum of receipt, whatever they chose to demand.

 

On Tuesday, 28th January, the steam Charter arrived at Gainesborough, with supplies of jowls, coffee, rye, sugar, candles, soap, salt, molasses, and vinegar, Lieutenant Jackson having been, at my suggestion, detailed to take charge of these stores at the landing as post commissary.  The next day the steamer Commerce arrived, with upwards of 600 barrels of flour, followed by the steamer Umpire, on the 1st instant, with a large supply of corn meal and mess beef. <ar7_876>

 

Advantage was taken of this latter steamer going to Nashville with the sick, and having taken from her nearly half her corn meal, and placed on board about 200 barrels of flour and 130 barrels of molasses, pork, and vinegar, she was sent, by order of General Crittenden, first to Carthage, to land her stores there, as a depot for the troops in their future camps between Chestnut Mound and that place.

 

The steamer Charter, on her arrival, was ordered to New Columbus to unload, but only partially did so, the entire absence of any unoccupied shed there and the rapid rise of the river rendering such unloading wasteful and dangerous, while the removal of the army from New Columbus, on the east side of Roaring River, to Gainesborough and its vicinity, on its west side, on Wednesday and Thursday, January 29 and 30th, rendered it unnecessary.

 

The further fact that constant working parties had to be detailed at both landings to roll stores up endangered by the rapid rise of the water will show the difficulty and hazard that an immediate landing of the stores would have caused.

 

At Gainesborough, situated more than a mile back from the river, it was impossible to procure a store-house.  The only one not used by the sick was occupied by the quartermaster, while the division commissary was glad to occupy, for such portions of his stores as were light and most perishable, a portion of a small log cabin seemed to be filled with the sick and wounded.

 

The warehouse at the landing had been taken possession of and filled with stores by my direction, and the steamers having been detained, by the order of General Crittenden, to furnish transportation for the sick to Nashville, advantage was taken of their presence, and they were made temporary depots and store-houses for issuance of supplies to the troops.  In the meantime and immediately upon notice of the arrival of the supplies, word had been sent to the brigade commissaries of their presence, with request for immediate requisitions for stores, and instructions given simultaneously to Lieutenant Jackson, in charge of the Gainesborough depot, and to Sergeant Landers, in charge of the New Columbus depot, to deliver and issue, without formality, anything asked for upon simple receipt of brigade or regimental commissaries.

 

These instructions were carried out in their full spirit and with great zeal and fidelity by those officers.  Unsheltered and almost unfed, in rain and mud without the means of making the transaction of business pleasant or even comfortable, they performed their duty, and, I believe and understand, to the entire satisfaction of every officer and man with whom they came in contact.

 

With regard to the single article of sugar there may have been some delay in issuance, but the fault does not lie at the door of this office or its agents.  Without weights, scales, or measures, I could only issue in bulk, and had to request brigade commissaries to take their sugar by the hogshead and divide it afterwards by flour-barrels full among the regiments.  There were no means, no room, no shelter to do otherwise.  It may be possible that for a day or two some one or more regiments may not have obtained their proper share of that article; but I hold the full receipts of brigade and regimental commissaries for whatever they asked for in the articles of flour, rice, salt, and molasses, besides fresh beef and pork on the 27th and 28th January (Monday and Tuesday), and for those articles and all the other stores brought by the steamer Commerce from the 29th, inclusive, onwards.

 

As soon as possible after the arrival of the army at Gainesborough I <ar7_877> sought to introduce some degree of system in the issuance of supplies.  At Gainesborough, at different times between January 29 and February 5, I issued rations to both brigades up to and inclusive of February 10, neither requiring nor receiving, however, regular requisitions or formal receipts; contenting myself in the exigency of the case with undergoing the trouble, labor, and responsibility of putting things in shape afterwards.  An honest and an ardent desire to feed the army, and a willingness to overlook formalities in the attempt, must be my justification, or rather excuse.

 

On the 7th instant (February) I shipped on board steamer Commerce supplies for that portion of General Crittenden's division en route for Chestnut Mound, which were landed in good order at the mouth of Caney Fork River.  The army is stationed within from 2 to 6 miles of that point.  These stores, with those at Carthage, will be fully adequate to support the army to March 10, with the exception of some few articles, for which I have today drawn on Captain Shaaf, at Nashville, and with the exception also of the articles of fresh beef and corn meal, for the purchase of which and all other necessaries I have ample funds.

 

I left at Gainesborough on the 8th instant, by order of General Crittenden, rations for the two regiments stationed there for thirty days, with the exception of the articles of fresh beef, bacon, and meal, for the purchase of which, on the requisition of Colonel Murray, commanding, and at his suggestion, I handed over to the commissaries of those regiments the sum of $5,000, Colonel Murray representing that those articles could be purchased there more cheaply than they could be sent there, and that the sum mentioned would be entirely sufficient.

 

In what I have done I feel that I have worked with an honest heart and an open and active hand for the sustenance of this command.  Nor have I left undone aught, either myself or through my agencies, I could procure that would have been for its benefit.  The only fear have had is that the Government would hold me to too rigid an accountability for matters of unavoidable waste, expenditure, or spoilation arising from the entire absence of any facility to transact business with its accustomed and rightful formalities. Without office appliances, blanks, stationary, or forms, I have supposed that the necessity of the case had to carve out its own rules; nor have I been willing to allow the slightest appearance of red-tapism to interfere with the prompt supplying of the wants of the soldiers of their country.

 

I have never heard in the army of the slightest complaint made of any failure to issue supplies on hand, nor do I believe there was any such failure.  There was in some cases an entire absence from their pests of commissaries.  This may have caused some delay in regiments or companies receiving theft supplies; but even of this no word has come to my ears, while I am confident there has not been one hour's delay on the part of this office or any of its agents in filling any requisitions, however informal, or in filling any order without a requisition from brigade or regimental commissary, commissioned or acting, or from any one representing them; taking simply the receipt of the party applying.  A greater liberality in doing business, besides further exposing myself to censure, would have also exposed the Government to still greater loss.  I should not have been so minute in this report or embarrassed it with circumstantial details, but I have learned from Captain Claiborne, inspector-general, that vague reports had reached Bowling Green of an unnecessary delay in the issuance of stores received. <ar7_878>

 

So far as relates to commissary stores any reports of that character are entirely untrue; every application for stores, informal, or otherwise, have been at once complied with, and the stores, unissued having been kept on board the steamboats instead of being immediately landed for wise and good reasons, and under the orders of General Crittenden.

 

Respectfully submitted,

GILES M. HILLYER, Major, and A. C. S. General Crittenden's Division

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HEADQUARTERS WESTERN DEPARTMENT,

Edgefield, Tenn., February 14, 1862

Major-General CRITTENDEN, Commanding Chestnut Mound, Tenn.

GENERAL: General Johnston orders you to move without delay on Nashville, halting within 10 miles of the city and reporting.  Leave a rear guard of cavalry to protect the stores that you cannot move with your command.  Let them get information of the enemy.

 

Respectfully, your obedient servant,

W. W. MACKALL, Assistant Adjutant-General