Tenth Kentucky Volunteer Infantry

Battle of Mill Springs

During the Battle of Mill Springs, the 10th Kentucky Volunteer Infantry played only a minor roll.  They “force marched” 18 miles in 6 hours to reach the battle and were one of the first units to enter the CSA abandoned works.

Below is a synopsis from Col. John Harlan regarding the units activities:

“Information came to me Sunday morning of the battle at Logan's. Although the men of my regiment were entirely destitute of provisions, and on that morning had not received half enough for breakfast, my summons to them to fall into line and march to the aid of our brethren was obeyed with commendable alacrity. Starting for the scene of danger, we marched as rapidly as it was possible for men to do. Upon reaching Logan's I found that the enemy had fled and that our troops had followed in pursuit. Without halting at Logan's we came up with this and the other brigade under General Thomas a short while before dark on Sunday. After our arrival, in obedience to orders received from you and approved by the division commander, I took possession of the woods immediately in front of the rebel fortifications, with directions to hold it against any attack of the enemy. There my men lay on the ground during the whole of Sunday night without fire, tents, overcoats, or blankets, and with nothing to eat except about one-fourth of a cracker to each man. A picket guard was stationed in advance, under charge of Capt. G. W. Riley, of Company D.

At daylight Monday morning I formed my regiment into line, and with the approval of both yourself and the division commander started towards the rebel fortifications, sending forward in advance of the main body of the regiment a squad of men under Captain Hill, Company F, who first entered the rebel works. I also sent forward in advance Company A, Captain Davidson, as skirmishers. When we reached the enemy's works it was ascertained that they had, under cover of the previous night, crossed the Cumberland, and abandoned, as it is believed, all of their wagons, mules, horses, ammunition, and artillery. The rear of the fugitive army could not have crossed long before daylight, since when my advance, Company A, reached the crossing at the river some of the rebels were observed on the opposite side on a high hill, from which they fired upon our troops. The fire was returned, and it is believed that a member of Company A killed one of the rebels across the river. Further pursuit was impossible, since the rebels in their retreat had utterly destroyed or removed all means of crossing the river.
      …….
……  But I do claim for the officers and soldiers of this regiment that, under circumstances the most discouraging, they made a march (18 miles in about six hours)which indicated their willingness, even eagerness, to endure any fatigue or make any sacrifice in order to meet on the field of battle those wicked and unnatural men who are seeking without cause to destroy the Union of our fathers.
“   (Official Records)

Battle of Fishing Creek, Kentucky, January 19, 1862