Battle of Mill Springs

Battle Of Mill Springs

Military Conflict
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Battle of Mill Springs

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The Battle of Mill Springs, also known as the Battle of Fishing Creek in Confederate terminology, and the Battle of Logan's Cross Roads in Union terminology, was fought in Wayne and Pulaski counties, near current Nancy, Kentucky, on January 19, 1862, as part of the American Civil War. It concluded an early Confederate offensive campaign in eastern Kentucky. While considered a small battle in comparison to many that followed in the Civil War, the battle at Mill Springs was the second largest in Kentucky—only Perryville had higher casualties. It was also the first significant Union victory of the war, much celebrated in the popular press, but was soon eclipsed by Ulysses S. Grant's victories at Forts Henry and Donelson.


In 1861 the critical border state of Kentucky had declared neutrality in the fight to maintain the Union. This neutrality was first violated on September 3, when Confederate Brig. Gen. Gideon J. Pillow, acting on orders from Maj. Gen. Leonidas Polk, occupied Columbus and two days later Union Brig. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant seized Paducah. Henceforth, neither adversary respected the proclaimed neutrality of the state and the Confederate advantage was lost; the buffer zone that Kentucky provided was no longer available to assist in the defense of Tennessee.

By early 1862, a single Confederate general, Albert Sidney Johnston, commanded all forces from Arkansas to the Cumberland Gap. His forces...
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