LITHOGRAPHED VIEW OF GENERAL FELIX ZOLLICOFFER KILLED AT MILL SPRINGS

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Item Code: 1138-570

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Three-quarter standing view of General Zollicoffer in a dark double-breasted frockcoat and matching trousers holding his kepi in his hand. He is posed in front of a pastoral backdrop.

Contrast and clarity are very good. Mount and paper are also good. Bottom center of mount has a bold period ink ID that reads “BRIG. GEN. F. G. ZOLLICOFFER C. S. A.” The middle initial on the inscription is incorrect; it should be K instead of G.

Reverse has a photographer’s imprint for E. & H. T. ANTHONY… NEW YORK.. FROM A BRADY NEGATIVE.

From the collection of the late William A. Turner.

Felix K. Zollicoffer was born in Maury County, Tennessee, May 19, 1812.

His early education was limited and while yet a boy he was employed in a printing-office, and soon became very proficient.

In 1835 he became editor of the Columbia Observer.  Afterward he edited the Nashville Banner, with great ability, conducting it in the interest of the Whig party, earning for himself considerable fame as a political leader.  In 1841 he was appointed attorney-general of Tennessee, and in the same year was elected by the legislature as comptroller.

In 1849 he was chosen a member of the State Senate.  He was elected a member of Congress from the Nashville district in 1853.  This position he held for three successive terms, and won much distinction as a debater on all the leading issues of the day.

To be a Whig at that day was to be for the Union.  This sentiment Zollicoffer held in common with his party; but the continual agitation of the slavery question finally drove him, as it did many other devoted Unionists of the South, into the ranks of the State rights men.

Having, as he thought, done what he could to avert such a calamity as a civil war, when the issue was squarely made, he did not hesitate to espouse the cause of the South.  He had some experience in military affairs, having been first a private soldier, and then a commissioned officer in the Seminole war.

He assisted in the organization of the provisional army of Tennessee, and was appointed one of the major-generals of State forces, May 9, 1861.  He received his commission as brigadier-general in the provisional army of the Confederate States, July 9, 1861, and was assigned to command in east Tennessee.

He was beset by many difficulties, but acted with great justice and moderation.  His efforts to overcome the hostility to the Confederate cause which existed in so large a part of his department met with considerable success.  He issued conciliatory orders, and declared that no act or word would be tolerated on the part of officers or men, which was calculated to alarm or irritate the people of his district.

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 was buried in Zollicoffer Park Cemetery, Nancy, Kentucky.   [ad] [ph:L]

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