Zollicoffer's Oak. 167
been variously called the battle of Logan's cross-roads (Federal), Fishing creek (Confederate), and sometimes the battle of Mill Springs.
Generals Crittenden, Zollicoffer and Carroll had great faith in the courage and bravery of their troops. They did not realize the tremendous difference in the arms of the two contending forces Flintlock rifles, muskets and shotguns could not stand against En- field or Spencer rifles, but they evidently concluded that if the Fed- eral forces were attacked at daybreak on Sunday morning with vigor and enthusiasm they could rout the Federal army. They probably were possessed with the idea, so prevalent in the early period of the civil conflict, that one Confederate could whip from three to five Federals, and so, in a cold, drizzling rain, at midnight on Saturday, January 18, 1862, these Confederate forces, illy clad, badly armed, left their intrenchments and set out for the march of ten miles along a muddy road, where, with greatest efforts, artillery could be hauled, and through a great portion of which the slush was twelve inches deep. But all these difficulties did not quell the spirit of that superb patriotism and magnificent courage which dominated these Confed- erate soldiers. With patience, cheerfulness and fortitude they waded, marched and deployed through the long, dreary and exhausting night. In seven hours they made ten miles. The morning was dark, damp and gloomy. A mile in front of the Federal camp the Confederate cavalry advance came in contact with Woolford's cav- alry pickets, and the conflict, to end so unfortunately for the Con- federates, was on.
The topographical conditions which met the Confederates were bad. On either side of the road were thick forests; the use of artil- lery was thus rendered impossible. Nobody seemed to know ex- actly where the Federal forces were, and through the gloom these Confederate soldiers searched for the enemy, and they were not long in finding them. The battle continued from about 7 o'clock until 10 Sunday morning. General Felix K. Zollicoffer was killed early in the engagement. His death did much to demoralize the Con- federate forces. Mistaking the enemy for his own troops, he ad- vanced on the 4th Kentucky Infantry; he was shot immediately, fell under a large oak tree, which stands to this day, and is known through that country as Zollicoffer's tree. The owner, a Federal soldier, has preserved it with commendable care and with generous consideration.
The brunt of the battle on the Confederate side was borne by the