No. 18. Report of Brigadier General William H. Carroll, C. S. Army, commanding Second Brigade.
HDQRS. SECOND BRIGADE,-DIVISION, C. S. ARMY, Gainesborough, Tenn., September 1, 1862.
GENERAL: I embrace the first leisure moment, after receiving reports from the different commanding officers of this brigade, to lay before you an account of the operations of my command in the engagement with the enemy near Fishing Creek, Kentucky, on the morning of January 19.
In accordance with your orders of January 17, which reached me at midnight of that date, I moved the Seventeenth Tennessee Regiment, then under command of Lieutenant Colonel J. P. Murray,* from their encampment at Mill Springs to the north side of Cumberland River, and halted them at Camp Beech Grove, taking quarters with the Twentieth and Twenty-fifth Tennessee Regiments, commanded by Colonels Battle and Stanton, which were then encamped at that place, at 8 p.m.
On the evening of the 18th instant I received orders from you to move my command at 12 o'clock that night by the Fishing Creek road in the direction of Webb's [Logan's] Cross-Roads, a point some 10 miles distant in a northern direction from the position we then occupied. At the hour designated I put my command in motion and took up the line of march for the point above mentioned. The brigade, commanded by Brigadier General F. K. Zollicoffer, preceded me about thirty minutes, taking the same direction and marching about 1 mile in advance of my front. My command, consisting of the Seventeenth, Twenty-eighth, and Twenty-ninth Tennessee and Sixteenth Alabama Regiments of Infantry, Lieutenant-Colonel Branner's battalion of cavalry, and two pieces of McClung's battery, moved in the following order: the seventeenth Tennessee, commanded by Lieutenant-Colonel Miller, marched in front; the Twenty-eighth Tennessee, commanded by Colonel J. P. Murray, followed at the distance of about 30 paces in rear of the Seventeenth; the Twenty-ninth Tennessee, Colonel S. Powell, marched about the same distance in rear of Colonel Murray; the artillery and one company of Branner's cavalry brought up the rear, and the remaining cavalry companies marched on either flank, with orders to scout the adjoining woods upon the right and left of the Fishing Creek road, along which we were then marching. The Sixteenth Alabama Regiment, under the command of Colonel Wood, marched about 600 paces in rear of the remainder of my command, with orders to hold his command as a reserve corps and be governed in his after movements as emergencies might require.
The night was dark and gloomy; a cold rain was constantly descending, rendering the march extremely difficult and unpleasant. This, together with the almost impassable condition of the roads, rendered so by recent heavy rains, so much retarded our progress, that at daylight we had not advanced more than 10 miles from Camp Beech Grove, thus consuming nearly six hours in marching this short distance.
Just at dawn on the morning of the 19th, and while the troops were toiling slowly along through mud and water, sometimes more than a foot in depth, I heard the report of several guns, fired in quick succession, apparently about half a mile in advance of me. This firing I supposed [to be] from the enemy's pickets, who had discovered the approach of General Zollicoffer's brigade. In a few minutes I heard a heavy
*The rosters of Tennessee regiments show him to have been colonel of the Twenty-eighth, and T. B. Murray lieutenant-colonel of the Sixteenth, at this date.