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
No. 1.-Brig. Gen. Don Carlos Buell, U. S. Army, commanding Department of the Ohio, with instructions to Cross-Roads, Brigadier-General Thomas, and congratulatory orders.
No. 2.-Brig. Gen. George H. Thomas, U. S. Army, commanding division, with congratulatory orders.
No. 3.-Col. Mahlon D. Manson, Tenth Indiana Infantry, commanding Second Brigade.
No. 4.-Col. Speed S. Fry, Fourth Kentucky Infantry. <ar7_76>
No. 5-Col. John M. Harlan, Tenth Kentucky Infantry.
No. 6.-Lieut. Col. William C. Kise, Tenth Indiana Infantry.
No. 7.-Col. Robert L. McCook, Ninth Ohio Infantry, commanding Third Brigade.
No. 8.-Col. Horatio P. Van Cleve, Second Minnesota Infantry.
No. 9.-Lieut. George H. Harries, Adjutant Ninth Ohio Infantry.
No. 10.-Col. Samuel P. Carter, commanding Twelfth Brigade.
No. 11.-Col. William A. Hoskins, Twelfth Kentucky Infantry.
No. 12.-Col. Frank Wolford, First Kentucky Cavalry.
No. 13.-Capt. Wiliram E. Standart, Battery B, First Ohio Light Artillery.
No. 14.-Capt. Dennis Kenny, Jr., Battery C, First Ohio Light Artillery.
No. 15.-Congratulatory order from the President.
No. 16.-Gen. A. Sidney Johnston, C. S. Army, commanding the Western Department.
No. 17.-Maj. Gen. George B. Crittenden, C. S. Army, commanding division.
No. 18.-Brig. Gen. William H. Carroll, C. S. Army, commanding Second Brigade.
No. 19.-Maj. Horace Rice, Twenty-ninth Tennessee Infantry (Confederate).
HEADQUARTERS TWELFTH BRIGADE
Somerset, Ky., January 30, 1862
Brig. Gen. GEORGE H. THOMAS, Commanding First Division, Department of the Ohio
.....GENERAL: I have the honor to submit the following report of the action of the First and Second Tennessee and Twelfth Kentucky Regiments Volunteers in the engagement of the 19th instant.
.....On the morning of the 17th January, 1862, I left Somerset, Ky. with the First and Second East Tennessee Regiments, and proceeded to the crossing of Fishing Creek, on the Columbia road. Leaving the regiments at the crossing, I proceeded to Logan's Cross-Roads and reported to you in person. Late on the evening of the 17th I ordered up the Tennessee regiments to Logan's, and by 8 o'clock p.m. they were bivouacked at the junction of the roads leading to Somerset and to Mill Springs. <ar7_97> Captain Wetmore's battery, of two howitzers and two Parrott guns, joined me at Logan's on the 18th, having made a forced march over the deep roads and under a drenching rain from Somerset. My troops were exposed to the rain and inclemency of the weather on Friday and Saturday night, without shelter and without the usual rations and without tents. The rapid rise of Fishing Creek prevented the regimental wagons from crossing. Not withstanding their uncomfortable condition for forty eight hours, they formed in line of battle on Sunday morning with alacrity to meet the enemy. In compliance with your orders, the two Tennessee regiments and the Twelfth Kentucky were formed by me on the left of your line, so as to protect the road leading to Somerset from Mill Springs, in supporting distance of the center and right wing of the army. Captain Wetmore's battery of four pieces was stationed on the right of the line, where it was efficiently worked, throwing shot and shell into the lines of the enemy. Subsequently two pieces of this battery were moved to the left of the line, to assist in protecting that wing from any advance of the enemy on the road from Mill Springs which comes into the Somerset road east of the encampment of the Tenth Indiana Regiment.
.....Soon after these positions were taken by the Tennessee and Twelfth Kentucky Regiments I received from one of your aides information that the enemy was advancing through the woods and not on the road we were guarding. The brigade was immediately advanced to meet him. After reaching the woods the three regiments were closed in on the enemy's right, the First Tennessee deployed into the field, pressing the enemy's right up the hill, firing at him and capturing some prisoners, among whom was Lieutenant-Colonel Carter, of the Twentieth (rebel) Regiment of Tennessee. In this advance the Twelfth Kentucky, which was on the extreme left of the line, had a brisk skirmish with a part of the enemy's forces and captured several prisoners. The Second East Tennessee Regiment also came up with and captured several of the enemy.
.....In the pursuit of the enemy, and by your order, the Tennessee regiments took the right of the line in the advance, and maintained that position during the rest of the day. At 3:30 p.m. the brigade arrived at the foot of Moulden's Hill. Here the enemy was expected to make a stand. Wearied by a long march and without provisions during the day, the gallant men of the Twelfth Brigade advanced to the top of the hill with intrepidity and spirit, but the enemy had abandoned this important height, which commanded his fortified camp about three-fourths of a mile on the opposite hills. The artillery was brought up immediately, and the Parrott guns of Captain Wetmore threw shells with great precision into the enemy's works.
.....After cannonading until dark, the men lay on their arms on Moulden's Hill all night, impatient for the renewal of the combat. Early on Monday morning Wetmore's Parrott guns were again placed in position near your headquarters, Russell's house, and by the precision of their fire burned or compelled the enemy to burn his steamboat, which had been used for some time as a ferry-boat, and commissary stores on the south side of the river. In the advance on the entrenched camp on Monday morning the Tennessee regiments entered the enemy's works on the left of his line, and much to their surprise found the works deserted. The position assigned the First and Second East Tennessee Volunteers on the extreme left of your line, and the enemy making no attempt in force on that flank these regiments did not come into the hottest part of the combat, but the discipline exhibited in their movements on the field, <ar7_98> their eagerness to engage the enemy, the spirit evinced in the pursuit, and the indomitable perseverance that carried them at the close of the day to the top of Moulden's Hill in hope of meeting the enemy, deserve my highest commendation, and prove that the expectations formed by their friends of their valor in battle will not be disappointed.
.....To the field and company officers of the regiments of the brigade I am much indebted for the zeal and gallantry displayed by them in the management of their several departments on the march and on the field.
.....My thanks are especially due to my aide, Lieut. T. J. Tipton, for gallant and efficient services on the field. Capt. M. C. Garber, brigade quartermaster, volunteered to serve on my staff as aide, and rendered me important service, carrying my messages (one of them under the severest fire of the enemy's line) all day Sunday and Monday.
I am, sir, respectfully, your obedient servant,
S. P. CARTER, Acting Brigadier-General, Commanding Twelfth Brigade