Brig. Gen. Felix Kirk Zollicoffer, CSA

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Brig. Gen. Felix Kirk Zollicoffer, CSA

Birthdate:
Birthplace: Columbia, Maury, Tennessee, United States
Death: January 19, 1862 (49)
Mill Spring, Kentucky, United States (killed in action at the Battle of Mill Springs)
Place of Burial: Nashville City Cemetery Nashville Davidson County Tennessee
Immediate Family:

Son of John Jacob Zollicoffer, Sr. and Martha Zollicoffer
Husband of Louisa Pocahontas Zollicoffer
Father of Virginia Pocahontas Wilson; Anna Maria Zollicoffer; Mary Gaither; Cornelia Whitehead; Loulie Sansom and 1 other
Brother of Lena Williams and Anne Maria Swanson
Half brother of Dr. Frederick Zollicoffer; George N Zollicoffer; Pvt. George Nicholson Zollicoffer, CSA; John Zollicoffer, Jr. and Maria Johanna Wheeler

Occupation: Newspaperman, Congressman, US Army Officer
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About Brig. Gen. Felix Kirk Zollicoffer, CSA

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Felix_Zollicoffer

Felix Kirk Zollicoffer (May 19, 1812 – January 19, 1862) was a newspaperman, three-term United States Congressman from Tennessee, officer in the United States Army, and a Confederate brigadier general during the American Civil War. He led the first Confederate invasion of eastern Kentucky and was killed in action at the Battle of Mill Springs, the first Confederate general to perish in the Western Theater.

Early life and career

Zollicoffer was born on a plantation in Bigbyville in Maury County, Tennessee, son of John Jacob and Martha (Kirk) Zollicoffer. He was a descendant of immigrants from Switzerland who had settled in North Carolina in 1710. His grandfather George had served as a captain in the Revolutionary War, and had been granted a tract of land in Tennessee as a reward for his military service. Young Zollicoffer attended the "field schools" in the area and spent one year at Jackson College in Columbia, Tennessee. He left school at the age of sixteen, became an apprentice printer, and engaged in newspaper work in Paris, Tennessee, from 1828–1830. When the paper failed, he moved to Knoxville in 1831 and spent two years as a journeyman printer working for a local newspaper, the Knoxville Register. He became editor and part owner of the Columbia Observer in 1834. He was elected State Printer of Tennessee in 1835. On September 24, 1835, he was married in Columbia to Louisa Pocahontas Gordon. She would bear him fourteen children, but only six lived through infancy.

He also edited the Mercury in Huntsville, Alabama. Volunteering for the army in 1836, he served as a lieutenant in the Second Seminole War in Florida. He returned home and became the owner and editor of the Columbia Observer and the Southern Agriculturist in 1837 and the editor of the Republican Banner, the state organ of the Whig Party, in 1843.

The latter role engaged Zollicoffer in political circles, and he soon was named as Comptroller of the State Treasury from 1845–1849, as well as serving as Adjutant General for the state. He was a delegate in the State Senate from 1849 until 1852 and was a delegate to the Whig National Convention in 1852, supporting the candidacy of General Winfield Scott. Zollicoffer was elected as a Whig to the Thirty-third United States Congress and reelected as a candidate of the American Party to the Thirty-fourth and Thirty-fifth Congresses (March 4, 1853 – March 3, 1859). During the first campaign, he fought a duel with the editor of the rival Nashville Union newspaper.[2] He declined to be a candidate for renomination in 1858 and retired to private life. He strongly supported fellow Tennessee moderate John Bell (CU) for president in the election of 1860.

With war clouds threatening and firebrand Tennesseans pushing for the right to secede from the Union, Zollicoffer served as a member of the peace convention of 1861 held in Washington, D.C. in an effort to devise a means to prevent the impending war. Although a strong supporter of states rights, Zollicoffer was not in favor of secession.

Civil War

When Tennessee seceded, Zollicoffer offered his services to the Provisional Army of Tennessee. Despite his brief combat experience, he was appointed as a brigadier general on May 9, 1861, by Governor Isham Harris.[3] On July 9, he transferred to the Confederate States Army with the same rank and was given command of a department within the District of East Tennessee on August 1. On July 26, 1861, Harris ordered Zollicoffer and 4,000 raw recruits to Knoxville to suppress the East Tennessee resistance to secession, appointing him to command the District of East Tennessee. On September 17, he led a force of 5,400 men from Tennessee through the Cumberland Gap along the Wilderness Road in an effort to seize eastern Kentucky, a state whose declared neutrality in the conflict had been violated by Maj. Gen. Leonidas Polk's invasion in early September. After winning the first Confederate victory in the commonwealth at the relatively minor Battle of Barbourville, he suffered a reversal at the subsequent Battle of Wildcat Mountain and was forced to retreat back into rural eastern Tennessee, an area that was unsympathetic to the Confederate cause. Zollicoffer treated peaceful Unionists fairly but imposed harsher measures after Union guerrillas burned several railroad bridges in November.

Although Zollicoffer's main responsibility was to guard the Cumberland Gap, in November 1861 he advanced westward back into southeastern Kentucky to strengthen control in the area around Somerset. He found a strong defensive position at Mill Springs and decided to make it his winter quarters. He fortified the area, especially both sides of the Cumberland River. On December 8, he was superseded by the arrival of Maj. Gen. George B. Crittenden, who assumed command of the department, but retained Zollicoffer as commander of the 1st Brigade in his army.

Union Brig. Gen. George H. Thomas received orders to drive the Confederates across the Cumberland River and break up Crittenden's army. He left Lebanon and slowly marched through rain-soaked country, arriving at Logan's Crossroads on January 17, where he waited for Brig. Gen. Albin F. Schoepf's troops from Somerset to join him. Two days later, they attacked Crittenden and Zollicoffer at the Battle of Mill Springs.

The southern bank of the Cumberland River at Mill Springs was a bluff and a strong defensive position, whereas the northern bank was low and flat. Zollicoffer chose to move most of his men to the north bank where they would be closer to nearby Union troops, incorrectly assuming that it was more defensible. Both Crittenden and Albert Sidney Johnston ordered Zollicoffer to relocate south of the river, but he could not comply—he had insufficient boats to cross the unfordable river quickly and was afraid his brigade would be caught by the enemy halfway across.

Zollicoffer's men were routed from the field. Some accounts claim that Union Colonel Speed S. Fry shot Zollicoffer as the battle waned. He had inadvertently wandered into the Union position, thinking they were Confederate soldiers with his nearsightedness and the gathering darkness. He was struck several times by enemy bullets and soon died from his wounds.

Interment

The Federals respected Zollicoffer's body; he was embalmed by a Union surgeon and was eventually returned to Tennessee and finally interred in the Old City Cemetery in Nashville.

Zollicoffer Park

Zollicoffer Park, a Confederate cemetery containing a mass grave of the Confederate fallen, lies just outside of Nancy. (There is also a Union cemetery located in Nancy, Mill Springs National Cemetery, the oldest of all National Cemeteries still receiving burials other than Arlington National Cemetery). This public park receives at least two memorial events each year, one on January 19, ("that somber sabbath morn") and the other on Memorial Day. There have also been re-enactments of the Battle of Mill Springs.



http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Felix_Kirk_Zollicoffer

Felix Kirk Zollicoffer (May 19, 1812 – January 19, 1862) was a newspaperman, three-term United States Congressman from Tennessee, officer in the United States Army, and a Confederate brigadier general during the American Civil War. He led the first Confederate invasion of eastern Kentucky and was killed in action at the Battle of Mill Springs, the first Confederate general to perish in the Western Theater.

Early life and career

Zollicoffer was born on a plantation in Bigbyville in Maury County, Tennessee, son of John Jacob and Martha (Kirk) Zollicoffer. He was a descendant of immigrants from Switzerland who had settled in North Carolina in 1710. His grandfather George had served as a captain in the Revolutionary War, and had been granted a tract of land in Tennessee as a reward for his military service. Young Zollicoffer attended the "field schools" in the area and spent one year at Jackson College in Columbia, Tennessee. He left school at the age of sixteen, became an apprentice printer, and engaged in newspaper work in Paris, Tennessee, from 1828–1830. When the paper failed, he moved to Knoxville in 1831 and spent two years as a journeyman printer working for a local newspaper, the Knoxville Register. He became editor and part owner of the Columbia Observer in 1834. He was elected State Printer of Tennessee in 1835. On September 24, 1835, he was married in Columbia to Louisa Pocahontas Gordon. She would bear him fourteen children, but only six lived through infancy.

He also edited the Mercury in Huntsville, Alabama. Volunteering for the army in 1836, he served as a lieutenant in the Second Seminole War in Florida. He returned home and became the owner and editor of the Columbia Observer and the Southern Agriculturist in 1837 and the editor of the Republican Banner, the state organ of the Whig Party, in 1843.

The latter role engaged Zollicoffer in political circles, and he soon was named as Comptroller of the State Treasury from 1845–1849, as well as serving as Adjutant General for the state. He was a delegate in the State Senate from 1849 until 1852 and was a delegate to the Whig National Convention in 1852, supporting the candidacy of General Winfield Scott. Zollicoffer was elected as a Whig to the Thirty-third United States Congress and reelected as a candidate of the American Party to the Thirty-fourth and Thirty-fifth Congresses (March 4, 1853 – March 3, 1859). During the first campaign, he fought a duel with the editor of the rival Nashville Union newspaper. He declined to be a candidate for renomination in 1858 and retired to private life. He strongly supported fellow Tennessee moderate John Bell (CU) for president in the election of 1860.

With war clouds threatening and firebrand Tennesseans pushing for the right to secede from the Union, Zollicoffer served as a member of the peace convention of 1861 held in Washington, D.C. in an effort to devise a means to prevent the impending war. Although a strong supporter of states rights, Zollicoffer was not in favor of secession.

Civil War

When Tennessee seceded, Zollicoffer offered his services to the Provisional Army of Tennessee. Despite his brief combat experience, he was appointed as a brigadier general on May 9, 1861, by Governor Isham Harris. On July 9, he transferred to the Confederate States Army with the same rank and was given command of a department within the District of East Tennessee on August 1. On July 26, 1861, Harris ordered Zollicoffer and 4,000 raw recruits to Knoxville to suppress the East Tennessee resistance to secession, appointing him to command the District of East Tennessee. On September 17, he led a force of 5,400 men from Tennessee through the Cumberland Gap along the Wilderness Road in an effort to seize eastern Kentucky, a state whose declared neutrality in the conflict had been violated by Maj. Gen. Leonidas Polk's invasion in early September. After winning the first Confederate victory in the commonwealth at the relatively minor Battle of Barbourville, he suffered a reversal at the subsequent Battle of Wildcat Mountain and was forced to retreat back into rural eastern Tennessee, an area that was unsympathetic to the Confederate cause. Zollicoffer treated peaceful Unionists fairly but imposed harsher measures after Union guerrillas burned several railroad bridges in November.

Although Zollicoffer's main responsibility was to guard the Cumberland Gap, in November 1861 he advanced westward back into southeastern Kentucky to strengthen control in the area around Somerset. He found a strong defensive position at Mill Springs and decided to make it his winter quarters. He fortified the area, especially both sides of the Cumberland River. On December 8, he was superseded by the arrival of Maj. Gen. George B. Crittenden, who assumed command of the department, but retained Zollicoffer as commander of the 1st Brigade in his army.

Union Brig. Gen. George H. Thomas received orders to drive the Confederates across the Cumberland River and break up Crittenden's army. He left Lebanon and slowly marched through rain-soaked country, arriving at Logan's Crossroads on January 17, where he waited for Brig. Gen. Albin F. Schoepf's troops from Somerset to join him. Two days later, they attacked Crittenden and Zollicoffer at the Battle of Mill Springs.

The southern bank of the Cumberland River at Mill Springs was a bluff and a strong defensive position, whereas the northern bank was low and flat. Zollicoffer chose to move most of his men to the north bank where they would be closer to nearby Union troops, incorrectly assuming that it was more defensible. Both Crittenden and Albert Sidney Johnston ordered Zollicoffer to relocate south of the river, but he could not comply—he had insufficient boats to cross the unfordable river quickly and was afraid his brigade would be caught by the enemy halfway across.

Zollicoffer's men were routed from the field. Some accounts claim that Union Colonel Speed S. Fry shot Zollicoffer as the battle waned. He had inadvertently wandered into the Union position, thinking they were Confederate soldiers with his nearsightedness and the gathering darkness. He was struck several times by enemy bullets and soon died from his wounds.

Interment

The Federals respected Zollicoffer's body; he was embalmed by a Union surgeon and was eventually returned to Tennessee and finally interred in the Old City Cemetery in Nashville.

Zollicoffer Park

Zollicoffer Park, a Confederate cemetery containing a mass grave of the Confederate fallen, lies just outside of Nancy. (There is also a Union cemetery located in Nancy, Mill Springs National Cemetery, the oldest of all National Cemeteries still receiving burials other than Arlington National Cemetery). This public park receives at least two memorial events each year, one on January 19, ("that somber sabbath morn") and the other on Memorial Day. There have also been re-enactments of the Battle of Mill Springs.

http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=8954&ref=wvr


GEDCOM Note

!He became the Second-Senior of Kaspar branch @@ 1850. His death in 1862 brought to an end to the male line of his branch of the Zollicoffer family, since no son survived him. It is significant that his nephew, John Love, the only son of his brother Frederick, had no children, having died unmarried in a Northern prison during the Civil War, and that Felix Kirk's two half-brothers, John Leonidas and George Nicholson, left no descendants. But Felix Kirk had six daughters, five of whom married and three of whom had children.
pg.44- Zollicoffer promptly aligned himself with the South and appealed on his countrymen to defend their native State and the South against armed invasion. On May 9, he was commissioned a brigadier general in the Provisional Army of Tennesse, which was then under the command of Maj. Gen. Gideon J. Pillow with headquarters at Memphis.
pg.94- At six o'clock in the morning, an army of weary, thinly-clad,
inexperienced but determined Confederate soldiers reached the outskirts of
Logan's farm. It was January 19, 1862, cold, dark and rainy-- a fit day for a
Sabbath battle.
pg.96- The Confederates had the protection of a ravine in their front and the
men would crawl up to within a short distance of the fence before delivering
their concentrated fire. Angered by this advantage of the enemy, Fry (Col.
Speed S. Fry) mounted the fence and defied them to stand up and fight like men.
There was a lull in the fighting at this point when confusion arose as to
whether some of the troops were firing on their own men. The morning was dark
and a drizzling rain was falling. The smoke of battle, mixed with the
mist-laden air, made a man hardly visibly a musket's length away. Fry rode a
short distance to his right to ascertain the true state of affairs. As he was
returning, he met a mounted officer wearing a waterproof coat without insignia. This was Gen. Felix Kirk Zollicoffer who, in the confusion of the battle, had lost his sense of direction and had calmly approached the ranks of the 4th Kentucky under the imipression that it was a regiment of his own brigade. He commanded Fry to order his men to cease firing; and Fry, believing the stranger to be a Union officer, obeyed without hesitation. Zollicoffer was about to ride away when his youthful aide dashed out of the woods and, firing at Fry, exclaimed, "It is the enemy General!" Fry then drew his revolver and fired at Zollicoffer, while at the same time giving the command to his troops to fire. Zollicoffer fell from his horse pierced by several balls.
pg.11- It was there on his (John Jacob Zollicoffer) estate of nearly 1000 acres that his son, Felix Kirk, was born...

DIARY OF JASON NILES
June 22, 1861--December 31, 1864:
Electronic Edition.
Jason Niles, 1814-1894

January 21--22--23--24--25--1862
News of Zollicoffer's defeat came about the 25th. He was killed last Sunday, the 19th, at Fishing Creek, near Somerset, Ky. He is said to have mistaken a regiment of the enemy for his own.

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Brig. Gen. Felix Kirk Zollicoffer, CSA's Timeline

1812
May 19, 1812
Columbia, Maury, Tennessee, United States
1837
1837
Columbia Maury County Tennessee,
1844
1844
1849
1849
1851
1851
1856
1856
1862
January 19, 1862
Age 49
Mill Spring, Kentucky, United States
January 1862
Age 49
Nashville City Cemetery Nashville Davidson County Tennessee
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