War of the Rebellion: Serial 007 Page 0011 Chapter XVII. MILL SPRINGS AND SOMERSET, KY.

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part of which was in view on the right bank of the river at Waitsborough. On the 2nd I took up four pieces of artillery and shelled them out, compelling them to move their encampment hurriedly. They had but two pieces of artillery. On the 4th I threw over the first small cavalry picket at this place. They met a cavalry picket of the enemy a mile from the ferry and drove them back, capturing some trifling equipments. The Seventeenth Ohio Regiment, with orders to prevent our crossing, had advanced to within 2 1/2 miles of the ferry. It fled precipitately to the neighborhood of Somerset.

On the 5th our cavalry pickets captured Major Helveti (supposed to be of General Buell's staff), Captain Prime, engineer office, under orders from General Buell, and a corporal of Colonel Hoskins' regiment, after a chase of several miles, severely wounding the 2 officers.

Fishing Creek runs south into the Cumberland, 5 miles above he, and lies between our position and Somerset. It is more than 30 miles long, runs in a deep ravine 200 to 300 feet deep, and its summit-level on the east ranges from a half mile to one and a half miles distant from that on the west. There are two crossings from here to Somerset, 7 and 11 miles from here. The more distant, the enemy fortified on the eastern bank, and they had force near the latter crossing. On the 7th our cavalry detachments crossed at both places, and found the enemy had fallen back to a camp 3 miles north of Somerset. They rode though their fortifications and returned. Yesterday our cavalry crossed at the upper ford and reconnoitered the enemy's camp and the town of Somerset. In the fortifications at the creek they found an infantry picket and a cavalry picket in advance. They were also fired on from the bushes this side of the creek. They charged upon all they met, pursued the enemy 5 or 6 miles, killed 10, and captured 16, one of whom is badly wounded. All are of the Thirty-fifth Ohio Regiment, except one of Wolford's regiment. There were 2 of our horses killed and 1 more wounded. The prisoners say their regiment reached Somerset only the evening before, and they know but little of what regiments are there, except that four of them are from Ohio, the Thirty-fifth, Thrity-eighth, Seventeenth, and Thirty-first. Hoskins' Kentucky, regiment is certainly there, perhaps others. Our cavalry are to-day picketing both towards Harrison and Somerset.

Very respectfully,

F. K. ZOLLICOFFER,

Brigadier-General.

Lieutenant-Colonel MACKALL,

Bowling Green, Ky.

BRIGADE HEADQUARTERS, BEECH GROVE, KY.,

North of the River opposite Mill Springs, December 14, 1861.

SIR: On the 2nd instant I informed you that I had, from the south bank of the river, shelled the enemy out of their camp on the north ban, and was rapidly constructing boats at Mill Springs with which to cross the river. On the 3rd I threw over a few cavalry pickets, who drove back the enemy's pickets, found a mile from the ferry, capturing a pistol, a saddle, and some other trappings. The Seventeenth Ohio Regiment, 2 1/2 miles distant, fled 12 miles. On the 4th, our cavalry pickets captured, 6 miles north of the river, after a chase of more than a mile, Major Helveti, of the First Kentucky Cavalry, Captain Prime, of New York, engineer officer, of General Buell's staff, and a corporal of Colonel Hoskins' Kentucky regiment. The major and captain were