Page:Confederate Military History - 1899 - Volume 8.djvu/382

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irritate the people of his district. Finding that Federal forces were gathering in Kentucky in such a position as to menace his department, he led a portion of his men to Barboursville, and without serious difficulty dispersed a Federal camp. Then marching in the direction of Somerset, he caused the retreat of General Schoepf in such disorder that it received the name of the "Wildcat stampede." In January, 1862, he and his force of about 4,000 men, near Mill Spring, Ky., came under command of Major-General Crittenden, who was his superior in rank. Here occurred, January 19th, the disastrous battle in which General Zollicoffer lost his life. The circumstances of his death were as follows: The day was apparently going well for the Confederates, and Zollicoffer was ascending a hill where the enemy had collected his strength. As he rode forward to supposed victory, he came upon a regiment of Kentuckians (Union) commanded by Colonel Fry, concealed in a piece of woods. He did not become aware of his dangerous position until it was too late. Although a rubber overcoat concealed his uniform, a man who recognized his features called out, "There's Zollicoffer! Kill him!" An aide to Zollicoffer instantly fired and killed the man who had recognized the general. Zollicoffer, hoping still to deceive the enemy, rode within a few feet of Fry and said, "You are not going to fight your friends, are you?" pointing to a Mississippi regiment some distance off. The reply was a pistol shot from the colonel and a volley from his men, and General Zollicoffer fell from his horse, dead, pierced through by many balls. General Zollicoffer at the time of his death was between forty-five and fifty years of age. He was a man of unblemished moral character, amiable and modest in deportment, but quick to resent an insult. He was untiring in application to his duties and, had he lived, would probably have won distinction as a division commander. Many public honors were paid to his memory in the South.