Addison Hart-Host - Greetings To All!
Addison Hart-Host - Felix Kirk Zollicoffer was the unmatched controller of Eastern Kentucky in late 1861. He had one battles, taken camps, scattered his enemies, had accomplished more than many other generals at that time. Perhaps he believed that he could not be defeated, his army was invincible, but a German Immigrant was about to prove him wrong... THAT DARK AND BLOODY GROUND Part 2
Addison Hart-Host - Felix Kirk Zollicoffer had accomplished much in two months. He had well pleased Albert Sidney Johnston. He had wrecked two regiments of militia under Capt. Isaac Black, won two battles, destroyed three Union Camps. Not only had he accomplished many military feats, he had accomplished many political ones. The Whig Politician who bore the rank of Brigadier General in the Confederate Provisional Army was now a national hero.
Addison Hart-Host - Albin F. Schoepf, a German by birth, was a new Union Brigadier. His command consisted of the 14th (under Col. James Steedman), 17th (Col. John Connell), 31st (Col. Moses Walker), and 38th Ohio (Col. Edwin Bradley), and the 1st and 2nd Tennessee.
Ann - When did he come the U.S?
Ann - Did the Union call him to come to the U.S?
Addison Hart-Host - The 1st, 2nd, 14th, and 38th were what George Henry Thomas had to spare. The rest were still being trained at Camp Dick Robinson (Headquarters of Union operations). The chain of command of Camp Wildcat was: 1st in command, Schoepf, 2nd, John Colburn, 3rd Theophilis Garrard, and 4th Frank Wolford.
Addison Hart-Host - Ann--- I believe he came to the US of A in 1840.
Addison Hart-Host - Col. Garrard's original purpose for being at Camp Wildcat was to secure the ford on the Rockcastle River which flows near the Wildcat Mountains. Then he established the Camp on the Wildcat Mountains and obstructed the Wilderness Road.
Ironclad - C'mon folks git into this here discussion we are working across the Kantucky country side here support Addison!!
Ann - Who is Col. Garrard?
KyReb - However, before someone says; Ky was pro-Union during the late War for Southern Independence...y'all should know that out of the 114 counties (now 120), 66 counties voted to leave the Union.
Addison Hart-Host - The Wilderness Road was Zollicoffer's main route. Then Garrard asked for reinforcements. He received word that Schoepf woul arrive with 7000 men to counter Zollicoffer's 7000. The area around Wildcat was mainly forrest. From London the Wilderness Road was obstructed by felled trees. Beyond that was the lowest point of Wildcat Mountain, Colburn's position where the HQ and camp were established. Colburn held the position with his regiment and an artillery battery.
Addison Hart-Host - Ann--- Garrard was the first commander of Camp Wildcat, would be a general later.
Ann - but you said he was third in command
Addison Hart-Host - Moving South-West along the mountain, the area became much steeper and gradually turns into Infantry Ridge, a rocky spot, dense in vegetation, where Garrard was positioned.
Addison Hart-Host - Ann-- Garrard was originally in command there, before Colburn and Schoepf arrived.
bluelady - Addison. for us who aren't as familiar with the kentucky country side as some could you place us near a landmark so we can visualize where this is?
Addison Hart-Host - South east of the HQ was the steepest point of the Mountain, a place known as Hoosier's Knob, littered with all forms of defense: abatis, rocks, trees fallen and standing. Here was Wolford. Moving North West of the HQ Wilderness Road turned into Winding Blade's Road, where the trees and darkness are thicker than anywhere before. Farther North East was Backeye Ridge.
Addison Hart-Host - Bluelady--- Do you know where London is on a map?
Addison Hart-Host - Finally, North West of HQ Wilderness Road turned, leading to Camp Dick Robinson. This is the route that Schoepf used to advance. Zollicoffer's route was the direct road to the HQ, Wilderness Road, where Garrard had put into action his delaying tactics, felling trees.
Addison Hart-Host - The trees do what they were intended to do, 'Zollie's' men were forced to work hard clearing the way of them. Meanwhile, Zollicoffer received word that Yank cavalry under Wolford had been sighted along the road. Zollicoffer finally tracked them down on the 20th of October. Night, by this time, had already fallen.
Addison Hart-Host - It's actually Eastern Part of the State, near the Tennessee Border.
Addison Hart-Host - Col. James Rain's 11th Tennessee and Col. William S. Statham's 15th Mississippi are first to attack, driving in Wolford's lines with few losses. By now darkness had fallen and the night was full of the sudden flares of a musket every so often. Col. Joel Allan Battle's veterans arrive too late to fight, but cavalry under Lt. Cols. McNair and Brauner quickly followed in pursuit, skirmishing several times. By morning October 21st, Wolford had returned to Hoosier's Knob.
Addison Hart-Host - Zollicoffer had limited supplies, bad maps, low organization, and little cavalry to use as scouts, but he did his best. His men did nothing on the night of the 20th, except his cavalry, who were busy reconnoitering the Yankee Lines.
Addison Hart-Host - Zollicoffer's infantry were advancing. The battle line was in this position: At the head of the line was Rains, second was Statham, third was Taz Newman's 17th TN, 4th in line was David H. Cumming's 19th, 5th was Capt. Arthur Middleton Rutledge's artillery battery, 6th was battle, 7th was Sam Powell's dependable 29th TN. Ahead of them was McNair and Brauner.
Addison Hart-Host - Stonewall--- I think that they stood a good chance t they had not lost Fort Donelson Campaign, and Mill Springs was a crucial battle there. If Fort Donelson could have been held, the war might have been different west.
mobile_96 - who was 5th??
Addison Hart-Host - Mobile--- Joel Battle's men.
mobile_96 - ok thanks
Addison Hart-Host - Morning the 21st, Zollicoffer broke his regiments up into battalions and split them up to attack Infantry Ridge and Hoosier Knob.
Addison Hart-Host - At 10 AM, Taz Newman's 17th struck Hoosier Knob. After an hour and a half of heavy fighting, four companies of the 33rd Indiana and Wolford's 1st Kentucky Cavalry forced Newman to withdraw. Newman was a white haired veteran of the Mexican War and a hard fighter. He asked for help. At noon, he was joined by companies of Rains's 11th, Battle's 20th, and Powell's 29th, and he led a bloody uphill charge.
Addison Hart-Host - Sam Powell was already known for dependability. He had served well at London a few weeks earlier. Powell was always recognizable on the field by his long, red beard that many likened to a flame upon a candel wick.
Addison Hart-Host - To add to this, Powell had a long droopy mustache that twirled madly in the air as he ran. The fighting here was very bitter. Men remembered watching the wounded falling backward down the slope into the darkness of the woods.
Addison Hart-Host - The fight on Hoosier's Knob was a near one for the South, who nearly gained a foothold if it had not been for the arrival of Schoepf's Brigade. The beleaguered 33rd was reinforced by the 17th and 14th Ohio.
Addison Hart-Host - Because of these reinforcements, the fighting at Hoosier's Knob ended, 'Zolly' repulsed. However, he wasn't licked just yet. Col. Statham took his 15th Mississippi to Infantry Ridge with D.H. Cumming's Tennessians and Rutledge's battery. At 2 o'clock, he launched his assault. This assault was repulsed as well by the reinforcements of the 17th Ohio Artillery, who poured shells into the oncoming Mississipians.
Addison Hart-Host - On the evening of the 21st, Schoepf's men heard the sounds of Confederate wagons and the footsteps of Zollicoffer's troops constantly moving on the valley floor below. The Yankees did not sleep that night because they suspected the Rebs were planning a new assault. In reality, however, they were hearing Zollicoffer's retreat back to Cumberland Gap. Camp Wildcat had been saved.
Addison Hart-Host - Total casualties at Wildcat were 78. CSA Killed--- 11, 42 Wounded. 5 Federals dead, 20 wounded. Despite it's realtively small casulty list, it was a gruesome fight. Schoepf's vcitory was praised by the North and Zollicoffer's defeat was not so much ridiculed by Southerners, despite the fact that his men called him 'Granny' and the battle 'Zolly's Folly' and made jokes about him. More personal were jokes made on his name and that of his wife Pocahantas Zollicoffer.
Addison Hart-Host - Despite this, Johnston praised Zollicoffer as a good officer. Despute the Camp Wildcat disaster, he was a good general. However, this defeat took the fight out of him and his men remained in the Gap for a month. During this inactivity, Col. John S. Williams under Johnston was training his troops at Prestonville in the eastern part of the state, when he ran short of ammunition and fell back to Pikeville to replenish his supply. Meanwhile, Union general 'Bull' Nelson sent a detachment of twelve Ohio and Kentucky Companies, 2 of Cavalry and 9 of Infantry, under Col. Joshua Sill to stop Williams from reaching there.
Addison Hart-Host - Williams became aware of this trap and his cavalry escaped from the Yanks but his infantry was nailed down in a place between Pikeville and Ivy Mountain. On November 8th, near a road in Ivy Creek, Nelson's men were struck by a withering volley. The constricted ranks fell back in surprise as William's infantry charged out of the trees and sent some scattering for cover.
Addison Hart-Host - Neither side gained any ground in the fight that ensued. Williams felled trees in order to keep the Federals back. Sill arrived too late to be at Ivy Mountain, but he did pursue Williams, who escaped into Virginia. Sill encountered Williams only once on the 9th, when he fought a quick skirmish and vanished into Virginia.
Addison Hart-Host - The battle was indecisive, no ground was gained by either side. The men under Nelson took littl under 40 casualties, and Williams took some 50, but 140 more were captured. The little fight at Ivy Mountain did not help Johnston's already worsening situation. Meanwhile at Camp Dick Robinson, George Thomas, tired of ineffectual movements against the Tennessians, replacing Schoepf as commander at Camp Wildcat. He patiently waited for 'Pappy Zolly' to make his move.
Addison Hart-Host - Zollicoffer did move his men. He found what he thought to be a more suitable location for the defense, a place called Mill Springs, or Logan's Crossroads, or Fishing Creek. This was Zollie's Folly. Mill Springs was virtually indefensible. Netherless, it was Mill Springs where he set up camp.
15thTN - Is this the same George Thomas that was in command at the battle of Nashville?
Addison Hart-Host - Yes.
15thTN - Where is Mill Springs located?
Addison Hart-Host - In the South, near Somerset.
Addison Hart-Host - He moved eastward from the Gap along Wilderness Raod, mving to the south bank of the Cumberland and into the village of Mill Springs, 250 miles from his original position.
15thTN - So, Zolly got pushed south from Louisville and Lexington area to Mill Springs?
Addison Hart-Host - At first, his defensive position in the town was superb and his superior, Major General George Bibb Crittenden (son of Senator John Crittenden) who was traveling down the Road to meet him, and ordered him to stay there. Johnston's thoughts were that if the Yanks attacked that he could cross to the north side, where he would be "with the enemy in front and the river behind."
Addison Hart-Host - 15th---- Nope. He was never in Lexington. his main base was Cumberland Gap.
15thTN - OK, I was refering to your earlier essay, I was trying to tie everthing together.Thank you.
Addison Hart-Host - Before Crittenden arrived, however, Zollicoffer made 'Zolly's Folly', crossing the Cumberland and setting up camp at the undefensible north bank of the river. There at a loop in the Cumberland he established Winter camp with his back to the river. from that time onward, the land bore the title of "Zollicoffer's Den".
Addison Hart-Host - Then he set about fortifying the position known as Beech Grove. He was still there when his superior, hard drinking Crittenden arrived. 'Bibb' was outraged. This position was the worst he had seen. He discovered this on his arrival in December. He realized that Zollicoffer was attempting to exploit the most vulnerable position in the District! Worse till, the Cumberland was raging and uncrossable due to a steady marathon of heavy rains.
Addison Hart-Host - George Bibb Crittenden was a Kentuckian by birth. Son of the Politician John Crittenden (author of the Crittenden Compromise) and brother of Union General Thomas Crittenden. He graduated from West Point in 1832 and fought in the Mexican War. In October 1861, President Davis appointed him Major General and gave him a division. He had a taste for strong liquors.
Addison Hart-Host - In December, word reached Zollicoffer of Thomas Hindman's victory over August Willich's Home Guards at Rowlett's Station and rejoiced. This had been the first Kentucky Line victory since London. Come December 31st, in terrible weather, Thomas had begun his march and Zollicoffer was still in the worst possible psoition: THAT DARK AND BLOODY GROUND...
Addison Hart-Host - End of Part 2.
Addison Hart-Host - Any questions?
Addison Hart-Host - Last Part is Sunday October 1st at 8:00 PM EDT, this will be the most important part for it covers the last ditch efforts of the Kentucky Line at Mill Springs on January 19th, 1862.
15thTN - Once again a Addison Hart masterpiece.
Xan - Ohh, nice dramatic ending Addison! Builds suspense properly for your finale. You should write cliffhangers for Hollywood.
GUNNER - is that when you talk about the 2nd minn Addison Hart-Host,
Addison Hart-Host - GUNNER-- Sure is! Not only do they share the Entrance with the 15th Mississippi, but they get a major role in the battle.
Addison Hart-Host - Any questions about the Kentucky Campaign?
15thTN - Addison, how come Davis didn't appoint Hardee in command in the west? He seemed the most capable for the job, I know after Hood resigned that he was offered command but turned it down.
Addison Hart-Host - 15th-- David wanted Hardee but Hardee wasn't up to the job.
15thTN - Do you know why he didn't want the job?
Addison Hart-Host - He felt he was too old. Sadly, his turning this down may have destroyed his cause.
Addison Hart-Host - OK, It appears the time has come for the end of this talk.