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19 January 1862, Kentucky, War Between the States

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Lt. Col. Carter's Diary, Part 3

Sunday Jan. 19th 1862

Eight regiments under command of Genls. Crittenden, Zollicoffer & Carroll advanced on the enemy, Gen. Shoepf cmmdg. I was taken prisoner by a regt of Tenn. troops, _ Gen Zollicoffer was killed, said to be by Col. Fry. I had two horses shot under me, my bay horse received three wounds. The first in the chest, just missing my leg, the second in the rump, the third under the tail. I then borrowed Dr. Cliffe's horse, which was also shot._ My leg was paralysed by the concussion of a Minnie shot. Since my capture, I have been treated kindly. Some few, however, were disposed to shoot me, after I had surrendered my weapons.

Lieut. Col. Spears of the 1st East Ten Regt. captured me, of Col. Byrd.

Our troops were driven back to their intrenchments.

List of killed & wounded at Fishing creek on the 19th Jan. 1862

Gen. F.K. Zollicoffer
Lieut Bailey Peyton, Foster's Co.
" Evans Shields, Cav.

Wounded, Lt. Johnson, Nimmo's Co.
" Sgt. Grey _ Rice's Co

Prisoners_ Drs. Cliffe
" Morton of 20th.Regt.
" Pinkston


Monday Jan. 20th

Enemy's Camp, 3 miles west of the Salt-works ford of Fishing creek.

Troops & wagons were moving throughout the night. Reinforcements are said to have joined the Federal Army.

By a little after daylight the report of cannons were heard in the direction of Mill Springs.

Our troops, I am informed have crossed the river leaving behind them, baggage, and a quantity of arms, wagons, mules etc.

The rout is complete.

Gen. Zollicoffer will be sent home.


Col. K. A. Hunston's Michigan Regt.
Tuesday, Jan 21st, 1862

I was brought to my present quarters on yesterday evening. And feel much relieved, by being removed from the gaze of the continual press of curious men, and being rid of replying to innumerable questions.

The Col. who has me in charge, appears to be a kind hearted, courteous gentleman.


Somerset, Ky. Jan. 22nd, 1862

I came today, together with 44 other prisoners to this place under escort of Capt. Fox's Co. of the 1st Michigan, Engineers & Mechanics Regt. We walked all the way 8 or 9 miles through an exceedingly muddy road - wading Fishing creek. I have been presented to Gen. Shoepf with whom I am well pleased. He appears to be a gentleman and a soldier. Genl. Carter seems to be a polished gentleman. Gen. Shoepfs aids, Lieut. Kesley, Lieut. Munoz (Ast. adjt. Gen. & Capt. Everett) (Brigade Surgeon) Dr. W. W. Strew of N.Y.


Somerset Thursday Jan. 23thd, 1862

Our party consisting of Drs. Cliffe, Pinkston, Morton & myself, by an arrangement of Gen. Shoepf's, took quarters, at Mr. Vickery's. We have everything that is desirable for our ease and comfort.

In walking about town Cliffe & I attracted crowds around us, of those curious to see the "secesh" prisoners. We were invited to hear the Misses Singleton sing. At night Drs. Cliffe, Strew, and myself called on Mrs. Dr. Scott & Mrs. Morrow to hear them sing. We found them excellent performers.


Somerset, Friday Jan. 24th, 1862

Two brothers by the name, Clarke, of Perry Guards (Shy's Co.) and prisoners of war, taken at Logan's X roads have enlisted in the 12th Ky. Regt.

2nd Minesota Inft. 12 Killed & 33 Wounded
9th Ohio Inft.          6     "         28         "
10th Ind. Inft.        11               75
1st Ky. Cav.           9                47
                            38              183
4th Ky Inft.           11                43
                            49              226

(See the Federal Casualties page)


Somerset. Saturday Jan.25

Dr Cliffe starts to Louisville this morning, with the remains of Gen. Zollicofer & Lt. Bailey Peyton.


Somerset, Sunday, Jan. 26 - 1862

I am informed, the man who wanted to kill me, after I had surrendered, and was under guard in camp, is named "Tom.Fields" of Lt. Moshur's Co.- Woolfords Cav He says he was twice saved from the penitentiary by the legal skill of Gen. Zollicofer. Though he gloats over the death of the Gen.

Negro Subject -- "Claunch', a union man of Pulaski Co. called for a runaway slave of his in the 38th Ohio Regt. and was kicked out of Camp.

Wilkin of Knox Co. Ky. called for his negro, on Col. Jno. C. Coburn of 33.thd Indiana Regt. he was told he had better make his bed in hell, than to attempt to arrest a negroe in his presence. The negro was taken sick and finally restored to his master.

Two negroes ran off from Knox Co, the property of Danl. Cain a union man. J. K. Adams and W. H. Kirtley of Mt. Vernon, arrested one of the negroes, tieing him, and was meantime approached by a member of an Indianna Regt. and threatened with death of the negro was not liberated, saying the negro was an honorable man and should not be held in that way. The negro was retained through the interposition of an officer.


Somerset, Ky. Monday Jan. 27th 1862

I am informed another lot of prisoners have been brought into camp, and are now in the 35th Ohio Regiment. Drs. Pinkston & Morton are busily engaged in attending the wounded. Orville Ewing has been removed from the hospital to the dwelling of Maj. Elliot.

Capt. Kelso, an old prisoner of mine, whom I conducted to Knoxville once, called to see me at my boarding house, and expresses feelings of gratitude for my kindness towards him on that occasion.

Mr. Jenkins Vickery kindly presented Drs. Pinkston, Morton & myself with articles of clothing, which in our present destitute condition we very much needed. The clothing is as follows, viz. one flannel shirt, one pair woolen drawers, one pair of socks, one linen kercheif to each of us,

Maj. Coffee, Presented each of us with a good cotton shirt each.

"Sgt Newman"

Gen. Shoepf, informs me that, Sgt. Newman, brother of Col. Newman, who was killed at "Wild-cat," is buried about fifty yards from the others, and his grave marked, with a knife or a stone as deeply cut as could be, with such an instrument[.]


Somerset Ky. Tuesday Jan. 28 - 62

I reported to Maj. Boynton of the 38th Ohio Regt. this morning.

After reporting to the Maj. I called on Capt. Garber, Brigade Q.M. of Gen. Carter's Brigade, at his room. There I met with several officers of the Federal Army,- among them, Lieut. Col. Spears, to whom I surrendered my arms on the day of battle.

Three of our wounded men, died this evening, immediatly after their arrival at the hospital.

A heavy provision train is coming in to town, in detachments, of 10 or 20 owing, I suppose to the terrible condition of the roads.


Somerset Ky. Wednesday Jan. 29 - 62

Thermometer at 10 O'Clock A.M. 58

Flag of Truce!

I am informed, a deputation of sixteen Confederates, my bro. The. Carter, and Henry Ewing being of the number, came to Mill Springs with a flag of truce, for the purpose of arranging with the Federals, concerning the bodies of Gen. Zollicoffer, and Lieut. Bailey Peyton of 20th Tenn. Regt.


Somerset, Ky. Jan, 31st. 1862
Negroes Retained. Friday

I presented a note from Orville Ewing Sgt. Maj. of the 20th. Regt. Tenn Vol, to Brig. Gen. Thomas, requesting that his Slave Henry, now in the service of an officer at the intrenchments near Mill Springs, be returned to him. Ewing is wounded and needs the services of his servant.

The Gen. after reading the note, replied, "It is against orders to return slaves belonging to men found in arms. He will be retained by the government."

The Gen. however, on a former occasion returned to Dr. Cliffe his horse, Cliffe being Brigade Medical Director.

I have been led to beleive, from the asseverations of many officers in the Federal Army that, private property would be respected, but, from Gen. Thomas's refusal to return Orville Ewing's slave, Henry, I am constrained to believe a different practise will be pursued.

My Uniform!

A few days since, I wrote a note to Col. Fry, commdg. 4.Ky. Regt. requesting him to return my uniform, said to have been picked up by one [of] his men, on the battlefield. The Col. has, as yet, paid no attention to my note[.]

Dr. Strew Brigade surgeon for Shoepf's Brigade says with regard to the confiscation of Slaves and other property of rebels, "The cause of trouble must be removed."

The Diary of Lt.Col. Moscow Carter appears courtesy the Carter House Museum in Franklin, Tennessee.  Used by permission; all rights reserved.  See information in Part 1.

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All contents copyright 1998-2007, Geoffrey R. Walden; all rights reserved.  Except where noted, all text and photos are property of the page author, and may not be reproduced in any form without permission.  I gratefully acknowledge the permissions of the owners of other photos and articles used on the Battle of Mill Springs / Fishing Creek Homepage.
I especially wish to thank Laura Cook of the Orphan Brigade Homepage for her advice and clipart.

Last updated on:  04 September 2002

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