Numbers 7. Report of Colonel Robert L. McCook, Ninth Ohio Infantry, commanding Third Brigade.
HDQRS. THIRD Brigadier, FIRST DIV., DEPT. OF THE OHIO,
Somerset, January 27, 1862.
SIR: I have the honor respectfully to submit the following report of the part which my brigade took in the battle of the Cumberland, on the 19th instant
Shortly before 7 a.m. Colonel Manson informed me that the enemy had driven in his pickets and were approaching in force. That portion of my brigade with me, the Ninth Ohio and the Second Minnesota Regiments, were formed and marched to a point near the junction of the Mill Springs and Columbia roads and immediately in rear of Wetmore's battery, the Ninth Ohio on the right and the Second Minnesota on the left of the Mill Springs road. From this point I ordered a company of the Ninth Ohio to skirmish the woods on the right, to prevent any flank movement of the enemy. Shortly after this Colonel Manson, commanding the Second Brigade, in person informed me that the enemy were in force and in position on the top of the next hill beyond the woods and that they forced him to retire. I ordered my brigade forward through the woods in line of battle, skirting the Mill Springs road. The march of the Second Minnesota Regiment was soon obstructed by the Tenth Indiana, which was scattered through the woods waiting for ammunition. In front of them I saw the Fourth Kentucky engaging the enemy, but evidently retiring. At this moment the enemy with shouts advanced on them about 100 yards, and took position within the field on the hill-top near the second fence from the woods.
At this time I received your order to advance as rapidly as possible to the hill-top. I ordered the Second Minnesota regiment to move by the flank until it had passed the Tenth Indiana and Fourth Kentucky, and then deploy to the left of the road. I ordered the Ninth Ohio Regiment to move through the first corn field on the right of the road and take position at the farther fence, selecting the best cover possible. The position of the Minnesota regiment covered the ground formerly occupied by the Fourth Kentucky and Tenth Indiana, which brought their right flank within about 10 feet of the enemy where he had advanced upon the Fourth Kentucky. The Ninth Ohio's position checked an attempt on the part of the enemy to flank the position taken by the Second Minnesota, and consequently brought the left wing almost against the enemy where he was stationed behind straw stacks and piles of fence rails. Another regiment was stationed immediately in front of the Ninth Ohio, well covered by a fence and some woods, a small field not more than 60 yards wide intervening between the positions. The enemy also had possession of a small log house, stable, and corn-crib, about 50 yards in front of the Ninth Ohio.
Along the lines of each of the regiments and from the enemy's front a hot and deadly fire was opened. On the right wing of the Minnesota regiment the contest at first was almost hand to hand; the enemy and the Second Minnesota were poking their guns through the same fence. However, before the fight continued long in this way that portion of the enemy contending with the Second Minnesota Regiment retired in good order to some rail piles, hastily thrown together, the point from which they had advanced upon the Fourth Kentucky. This portion of the enemy obstinately maintaining its position, and the balance remain-