Felix Zollicoffer

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Biography

Felix Zollicoffer

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Felix Zollicoffer
Felix Kirk Zollicoffer
TITLE
Brigadier General
WAR
&
AFFILIATION
Civil War
/
Confederate
DATE OF BIRTH - DEATH
May 19, 1812 - January 19, 1862

Felix Kirk Zollicoffer was born in Maury County in central Tennessee in May 19, 1812.  His grandfather served as an officer in the Revolutionary War and was given the family property as payment for his service. Zollicoffer attended Jackson College briefly and worked as a newspaper printer at the Knoxville Register, and in 1834 he became editor and part owner of the Columbia Observer. Zollicoffer volunteered for the U. S. Army in 1836 and served as a second lieutenant in the Tennessee Militia during the Seminole War in Florida. He became active in Tennessee Whig politics, first in the State Senate and later as a U. S. Representative for three terms. A strong supporter of state’s rights but opposed to Tennessee’s secession, he served on the peace commission to Washington in late 1860. When war began, Zollicoffer was commissioned a colonel in the Confederate Army in July 1861 and commanded troops in eastern Tennessee and southeastern Kentucky defending the Cumberland Gap. Small groups of Zollicoffer’s command raided Union forces at Barbourville and Laurel Bridge in Kentucky in September, 1861, and his men were routed by George H. Thomas’s command at Camp Wildcat in October. On January 19, 1862, Zollicoffer commanded a brigade in George B. Crittenden’s force attacking Thomas at Mill Springs near Logan’s Crossroads along the Kentucky-Tennessee border. Zollicoffer was mortally wounded in the confusion of the battle. His body was returned to Tennessee and was buried in Nashville.