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Colonel Robert Latimer McCook to Brigadier-General George Henry Thomas, Report on Battle of Mill Springs, Kentucky, January 27, 1862

Robert Latimer McCook, photograph, detail
Union General George H. Thomas marched on the Confederate forces guarding the Cumberland Gap in eastern Kentucky. Attempting to strike before the federal strength was consolidated, Confederate troops under General George B. Crittenden attacked Thomas and his men at Logan's Crossroad's, near Mill Springs, Kentucky in the early hours of the morning. Fighting raged all day, during which Confederate General Felix Zollicoffer was killed, till Union units forced the Confederates to retreat, winning a small but morale-boosting Northern victory. Here thirty-four year-old Colonel Robert Latimer McCook, commanding one of Thomas' four brigades, reported officially on the pivotal role his men played in the battle, which included a daring bayonet charge. McCook, one of a famous family of Union commanders during the war, was wounded in the charge. He was promoted to Brigadier-General soon after but was mortally wounded in August 1862 near Decherd, Tennessee. (By John Osborne)