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January 26, 2012

Letter from Lieut. Col. George of 2nd Reg. describing recent battle – January 26, 1862

Filed under: Civil War Daybook — Lori Williamson @ 9:00 am

Transcription of a letter from Lieutenant Colonel James George of the 2nd Minnesota Infantry Regiment to Governor Alexander Ramsey describing his Regiment’s role in the January 19th battle at Mill Springs, Kentucky:

“In Camp Jan 26, [1862]  Gov Ramsey Dear Sir
Seeing in the papers that the credit of the victory of the 19th is given to the 18th W.I. Infantry, who were some [five] miles off, I thought I would say to you what will soon appear in the official record that the 9th Ohio and 2 Minn actually decided the fortunes of the day.  Our regt having as I think the [worser] position, the conflict was most terribly obstinate. the enemy fought like very devils. Our right wing was first engaged at not more than 12 or 15 feet distance and in many instances with muzzle to muzzle[.] sometimes our men[,] catching hold of the enemy’s guns and pulling them out of their hands. 400 of our men received slight bayonet wounds in the left hand while in the act of extending their pieces to fire thus running their hands against the bayonet of the enemy whose pieces were also [levelled] in the act of firing.
These [Gunmen] are no fancy sketches but naked truth and can be attested by every man of the right wing. This close fight lasted about 30 minutes when the enemy fled.
So far as I could see every man was doing his whole duty throughout the engagement.
This is written in the greatest haste. Col [McCook] [Robert L. McCook] being wounded Col VanCleve [Horatio P. Van Cleve] has command of Brigade and I of our rgt.
Your [Sir]  Lt. George”

Citation:  January 26, 1862 Letter from Lieut. Col. George.  Letters Received–2nd Regiment. Minnesota: Governor: Ramsey. Records. Minnesota Historical Society. State Archives.

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