the enemy in overwhelming force. I ordered the men to be crossed over-first, by commands, in designated order; then the artillery to be crossed over; then what could be crossed of baggage and mules, horses, wagons, &c. I directed the cavalry to swim their horses over. Time only permitted to cross the infantry under arms, the sick and wounded, one company of cavalry mounted, the rest of the cavalry dismounted, the artillery-men, and some horses. Many cavalry horses, artillery horses, mules, wagons, and eleven pieces of artillery, with baggage and camp and garrison equipage were left behind.
Much is due to the energy, skill, and courage of Captain Spiller, of the cavalry, who commanded the boat, and continued crossing over with it until fired upon by the enemy in the morning, when he burned it, by my directions.
On the morning of the 20th I had my command-nine regiments of infantry, parts of four battalions and two companies of cavalry [dismounted], my sick and wounded, parts of two artillery companies, [without guns or horses], and six pieces of artillery [manned]-on the south side of the Cumberland River, at Mill Springs. On the other side, at Beech Grove [without any means of crossing], were twenty-seven regiments of infantry, with cavalry and artillery, of the enemy.
Any further collision was now prevented, but the want of commissary stores compelled me at once to move to Gainesborough, lower down on the river, a distance of 80 miles, and the nearest point where I could have communication by water with Nashville and could obtain supplies.
My march was through a poor country, over very bad roads. It was hard to obtain the necessaries of life along the route, and from scant subsistence and difficult marching my command suffered greatly. Major Giles M. Hillyer, of my staff, division commissary, with untiring energy and marked ability, exhausted every effort in the management of his department, and supplied whatever could be obtained, in some instances sacrificing the forms prescribed for purchase and distribution to the exigencies of the occasion and the necessities of the command.
From the fatigues of the march and the want of proper food many were taken sick. I am much gratified to commend especially the care for the wounded and sick, under most embarrassing circumstances, on the field and on the march, under the efficient charge of the accomplished medical director of my division, Dr. F. A. Ramsey.
From Mill Springs and on the first stages of my march many officers and men, frightened by false rumor of the movements of the enemy, shamelessly deserted, and, stealing horses and mules to ride, fled to Knoxville, Nashville, and other places in Tennessee. To prevent this I used every endeavor, and was laboriously assisted by my staff and other officers of the command.
I am proud to say that the field officers of all the commands, and some commands almost entire, and the main body of each command, remained ready to do their duty in any emergency, except one battalion of cavalry-which had not been in the battle, of which the lieutenant-colonel, together with some other officers and some privates, were absent on furlough-of the body of which being present only one captain, several officers and men-in all about 25-did not run away.
From Gainesborough I have moved my division to this point, where it is refurnished and drilling, and I have the honor to report that it is ready for any service to which it may be assigned.
G. B. CRITTENDEN,
Major-General Provisional Army Confederate States.
Lieutenant Colonel W. W. MACKALL,