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day last, that their advance-guard were just out-them, and certainly deserves a brigadiership. side our town; then, at one o'clock p.M., that Major Gibson distinguished himself by his coo). they were entering it. They started a flag of ness and undaunted courage, and Colonel Cuntruce in, but our men fired on it, and it was ningham by his bold daring and bravery. stopped. They were said to be about three Our casualties were twelve white killed, and thousand strong, with a reserve force of some seven colored soldiers ; how many wounded I four thousand or five thousand behind. Part of have not learned. As these were killed by rebel them forined a line of battle beyond and behind sharp-shooters from the upper parts of the houses the Fort; and the balance came rushing into in the vicinity, Colonel Hicks ordered the burntown, and immediately commenced robbing and ing of these houses. As the rebels carried off pillaging the livery stables, stores, and houses, many of their dead and wounded, their exact loss showing that the plundering of goods and stock cannot be ascertained, but it must have been two was their main object, and that they probably an- hundred or three hundred killed. The rebel ticipated bombardment of the place.
General (formerly Colonel) Albert G. Thompson, In the mean time, as Colonel S. G. Hicks, the (“ Bert Thompson,") while leading on a charge, commander of the post, had issued an order for was killed by the explosion of a shell, within non-combatants, women, and children, in case of forty feet of the fort, and his body so badly manan attack, to retire to the wharf, long lines of gled that it could not be carried off by the rebels, them came pouring down, (among them your one arm not being found at all. Before the correspondent,) and as it had been arranged for breaking out of the rebellion, he was a prominent the wharf-boat and steam ferry-boat to take them | lawyer of Paducah, and district-attorney, but across the river, these were soon densely crowd- joined the rebels here; and it is a singular coed. While waiting to get all on board, and for incidence that, after serving in the rebel army, the ferry-boat to get up steam, the battle at the being wounded at the battle of Baton Rouge, Fort began.
Louisiana, and promoted to a Brigadier-General, Colonel Ilicks and Major W. L. Gibson, our he was killed in the very town where he began Provost-Marshal, and other officers had retired his military career. to the Fort, where we had about one thousand | There has been great destruction of property men, some two hundred or three hundred of by the rebels and the bombardment, upward of whom were colored soldiers, under the command a hundred houses having been burned, embracof Lieutenant-Colonel Richard Cunningham. ing all the lower part of Front street, below Opposed to this handful of men, the rebels had, Broadway, including the headquarters building, taking their whole force, seven to one, and their the new and large quartermaster's building on attacking force, three to one. Fearful odds ! Broadway, hospital No. 1, the railroad dépôt Three times did the rebels charge the Fort, and and cars, half the square between Market-House were as often repulsed, with fearful slaughter, square and Front street, etc. Almost everyour guns mowing them down in heaps, besides where are to be seen the marks of the shells; the execution done by the musketry-as many the gunboats and guns of the Fort, which, after as thirty being counted in one heap, and nineteen the rebels were repulsed, were turned on the in another !--the colored soldiers fighting brave- town, doing fearful execution ! ly, clubbing their muskets and beating the rebels On Saturday evening, the rebels forming line back as they would mount the walls of the Fort. of battle at a "respectful distance" from the After an hour or more of hard fighting, the rebels Fort, agair. sent in a flag of truce demanding a were finally repulsed and routed, when a loud surrender, and giving until four o'clock to anshout went up from the Fort, which was echoed swer, threatening to destroy the town in case of back from the wharf-boat and those on shore. refusal. Colonel Hicks returned his old answer:
Two of our gunboats were fortunately present, "If you want the fort, take it." But they took and participated in the fight, shelling the rebels care to “kecp their distance," and retired withwhile they were assailing the Fort. After a while, out destroying the town. It was no doubt a the wharf-boat, lashed to the ferry-boat, was ruse to cover their retreat, and enable them to towed out into the stream and across the river get off with their plunder and stock as far as to a place of security. One of the gunboats possible before being pursued by our forces. then went up and took position opposite Broad. Yesterday (Monday) evening a flag of truce came way street, and the other above her, and began from Mayfield, where Forrest is said to have his shelling the town with fearful effect, now full of headquarters, accompanied by 'thirty men, derebels engaged in robbing and sacking the manding a surrender of the town and Fort, and houses.
stating that he had twelve thousand men, and in A fag of truce was sent in the Fort, demand- case of refusal, they would come and take them, ing a surrender, when the reply of Colonel Hicks Colonel Hicks told them that if Forrest had one was: “If you want the Fort, take it." Major hundred thousand men it made no difference Gibson, Colonel Cunningham, and all our officers, with him-he intended to hold them. There is as well as men, fought with distinguished courage no surrender in him! The word does not beand gallantry. Colonel Hicks is entitled to the long to his vocabulary. Whether Forrest will greatest praise for the heroic manner in which come or not, remains to be seen. We are now he and his gallant little band defended the Fort largely reënforced, and can bid hiin defiance. against such overwhelming numbers opposed to Our flag has waved all the time over the Fort,
and still waves proudly in triumph over its could not work the guns on our upper deck, and walls.
it was dangerous loading even the guns behind INDIANAPOLIS - JOURNAL” ACCOUNT.
the casemates, as we were so close to the build.
ings that the sharp-shooters could hit a port alWe have not seen any account of the fight at most every time. We directed our shots at the Paducah from an eye-witness, and the following buildings to drive them out; but actually the letter from George Vance of our city, who is an buildings would have to begin to crumble and officer on the gunboat which did such good sery- fall before they would slacken their fire. Their ice there, and saw all that occurred, will be read fire was so accurate that I am minus a new pair with interest. It is not only an intelligent and of boots by it, and came near being minus a leg. graphic description, written with all a boy's The rebs made another attack on the Fort early vivacity and earnestness of feeling, but it is per- in the evening, and another at nine o'clock that fectly trustworthy in all it states of the writer's night, in both of which they were repulsed with own knowledge. It is dated U. S. S. Piosta, off heavy loss. The fight at night was grand; the Paducah, Monday afternoon last. It says: burning houses lit the whole arrangement up so
Well, our big fight is over, at least for the we could see just where to put our shots. The present. The rebels have not made their ap- rebel sharp-shooters, who occupied the houses pearance, except with “flags of truce," since I around the Fort, did more damage than all the dropped you the note of Saturday night, and I rest put together. They could look right into believe they will keep away from here for the the Fort, and so pick our men off. During this future. The lesson they received has been a attack we upset one of the rebel pieces of artillepretty severe one for them, and I think they will ry, and kept them from getting any of their guns not be in a hurry to try our mettle soon again. in position. We also claim to have killed rebel The rebs under General Forrest were six thou- General Thompson, who was struck by a shell sand strong, with eight pieces of artillery. We and torn all to pieces. He fell about forty yards arrived off Paducah at noon on Friday, and found from the Fort, where he lay with the rest of the the town full of rumors, of course, but having killed all day Saturday. I saw several trophies had so many scares of the kind we paid little at that were taken from his body, among them his tention to it. However, we remained at our an- pistols, the stars off his collar, etc. During Frichorage, instead of going on to Cairo, as we in- day night we lay “off and on," throwing shells tended. Captain Shirk went down to Cairo on into the town to keep the rebs from ransacking a steamboat, thinking that thing was one of the the place. About twelve o'clock that night we usual false alarms. But at about three o'clock heard that all the rebel officers were taking supin the afternoon the town bells began tolling, per at the St. Francis Hotel, a large building and the women and children came pouring down about one hundred and fifty yards from the the leree. Shortly after our pickets were driven river. So for a while we landed the shell into it in. Then we began to think we were in for it, quite lively, and, as we have since found out, a sure enough. The fort, which stands about five shrapnel went square into the dining-room and hundred yards down the river from the centre exploded, spattering every thing with its load of of the town, and about a hundred from the river- bullets. A thirty-two pounder shell took a range bank, is a good earth-work defence, with a ditch of rooms from one end of the building to the around it, mounts six guns, and during the fight other, and bursted in the last one. But our firwas defended by four hundred men, half of them ing into this house was unnecessary, for there negro soldiers, and a part of them citizens of were no rebs in it at the time, and even when Paducah. The "fun" commenced with an at- they did go in they received cold hospitality tack on the Fort by three thousand men and four from the landlord and lady, who were strong pieces of artillery. At the same time a large Union people and spunky as rats. They, with force was in the town plundering the houses and several others stopping in the house, witnessed stores. The first time the rebs charged up to the whole fight. Summing the hole thing up, the very ditch, but fell back, having suffered the few soldiers who defended the Fort and the severely. Our boat lay off abreast of the Fort, gunboat Piosta have covered themselves with and we poured in a steady steam of shells. We glory. This is no bragging, for the soldiers did worked seven guns, and I tell you we worked fight with desperation, the negroes as well as the with a will. While the fighting was going on whites; and as for the Piosta, I leave it to the the women and children were being ferried across soldiers and to the citizens of Paducah whether the river, I was really sorry to see the women we have not gained a reputation (even among the driven around like so many sheep, but we could rebs and Forrest himself) worth having. not stop to help them any. While the banks were crowded, and in our firing over the crowd,
NEW-YORK "TRIBUNE" ACCOUNT, a piece of lead riven off of one of our rifle-shots
PAPUCAH, Kr., March 29, 1864. struck a little girl and killed her.
| Few who have had occasion to pass up or down After driving the rebs back at the Fort, we ran the Ohio River have failed to notice and admire up and commenced on the thieves in town; and this place, which is noted for the beauty of its they gave it back to us from every window, hole, situation, its fine wharf, commodious business and corner on the levee, and it was just like a houses, tasteful residences, and above all, the hail-storm for about half an hour. We of coursel evident enterprise of its people. Before the war,
it had a population of about ten thousand, and one to the mouth of the Tennessee, the other a was considered the most flourishing little city little below. These boats have a light armament, below Louisville, it being the principal dépôt for and are known on the river as “tin-clads," their that portion of Kentucky known as “ Jackson's plating being only sufficiently thick to resist the Purchase." Upon the breaking out of the rebel- missiles of small arms, and perhaps grape-shot. lion, the secession mania took deep root in the Nearly all of the woods back of the city have minds of its citizens, and when, in September, been cleared away, either by the hand of improve1861, General Grant occupied it for the first time, ment or from military necessity, and there is an the streets and houses were found decorated with almost unobstructed view for half a mile, and in rebel flags in anticipation of the arrival of Polk's some places much further. The ground interarmy. Of its original population, not more than vening between the city and the timber is someone third is now remaining, those who make up what undulating, but not sufficiently so to afford the four or five thousand inhabitants which it any considerable advantage to an advancing line possessed up to the time of Forrest's attack being of battle. A little before one o'clock, the enerecent arrivals from other States.
my's advance came in sight, and in a moment Positive information was received by Colonel afterward the main body appeared in the act of Hicks on the twenty-fourth, of the arrival of For- forming line - his right extending toward the rest at Mayfield, twenty-two miles south from Pa- Tennessee and being nearest to town, while the ducah, and an attack was not unlooked for. Your left was partially concealed by timber at long correspondent was on that day at Columbus, hav- cannon range. The men on either flank were ing come up to that point from Memphis in anti-mounted, while the bodies of dismounted men, cipation of an attack upon the former place, and who at that distance seemed to be a little in adit was there considered certain that Forrest would vance of the others, appeared in occasional interattempt to capture either Columbus or Paducah, vals in the line which was little less than two but most probably Paducah. In fact, his occu- miles long. pation of May field indicated this place as his ob- The enemy seems to have entered on his camjective point. The forces under Colonel Hicks's paign with an accurate knowledge of what was command were five companies of the Sixteenth to be done, and was evidently posted as to the Kentucky, three hundred and eleven strong; strength of our garrison here as well as at Union three companies of the One Hundred and Twen- City. There was no delay in the advance. He ty-second Illinois, numbering one hundred and pushed his line forward rapidly and steadily, twenty-four men, and a detachment of the First while at the same time a detachment from the Kentucky artillery, (colored,) two hundred and right flank several hundred strong, dashed into fifty men—in all six hundred and eighty-five. Any the now deserted city, and down Market street, information of the strength and position of the and the other streets back of it, until, coming fortifications, and number of guns, beyond what within rifle-range of the Fort, they opened a gallthe enemy has already learned to his sorrow, can- ing fire from the houses upon the garrison. But not be given with propriety. It will be sufficient before this detachment had succeeded in getting to say that the works occupied by Colonel Hicks in town, several shots had been exchanged be are toward the lower end of the city, and cover tween the enemy's artillery and ours. The gunthe roads from the interior.
boats had also begun to play upon them, when, Next morning, (twenty-fifth,) scouts reported upon finding the city being rapidly occupied by that Forrest was only eight or ten miles distant, a continually increasing force, the fire of the gunand was moving in this direction with a heavy boats, as previously concerted, was turned upon column, which rumor broadly stated to be from the houses occupied by the rebels, the vessels five thousand to fifteen thousand strong. Im-dropping down the river until proper range could mediately upon learning that we were to be at- be had. tacked, Colonel llicks notified the inhabitants of It seems that Colonel Hicks, prudently, did that fact by special order, and commenced moy- not strain his men at the commencement of the ing them to the other side of the river. The anx-action, and although his fire was accurate, it was iety of the citizens for the two preceding days, delivered slowly—the range being different at consequent upon the rumored approach of the almost every discharge. The necessity he was enemy, now found expression in the wildest ex- under of turning some of his guns upon the town citement, and men, women, and children rushed so slackened our fire that the enemy was enabled through the streets and down to the wharf in to make a charge upon the Fort. But the movedread of the approaching conflict. Fortunately, ment was perceived and prepared for, and the means were at hand to transfer them to the op- first signs of an advance were greeted with a posite shore with despatch, and when the first heavy and well-directed fire, which created some attack was made, but few were remaining in the confusion. The rebels continued to advance, city. Knowing the great numerical superiority however, and a part of them, by veering to the of the enemy, Colonel Hicks ordered his whole right, threw themselves partially under cover of command to the Fort, and awaited his appear- the uneven ground and the suburban buildings. ance. .
On they came, with loud cheers that sounded The gunboats, Paw-Paw and Peosta, which distinctly through the now increasing roar of were anchored out in the river, weighed and battle, and which were defiantly answered by moored toward the upper end of the wharf—the lour men, who now, reeking with perspiration,
plied their rammers with accelerated rapidity and tachments, several hundred strong, into the city, hurled destruction through the advancing lines. some to burn and pillage, and others to reēnforce As soon as they came within good rifle-range, a those who were yet firing upon the garrison. terribly destructive fire was opened upon them, Now was the hardest trial our brave fellows had and men toppled, reeled, and fell to the ground to bear. In spite of the shells that were sent by scores. Although the overwhelming force crashing through the buildings, the sharp-shootcontinued to close upon the Fort, it was now evi-ers, who by this time must have numbered nearly dent that there was much disorder among them, one thousand, held their positions, or else falling and presently a portion of the line gave way, back for a few minutes, again came forward and when the whole force broke in confusion and re-delivered their fire. treated precipitately, leaving the ground strewn It was now nearly night. The battle had conwith not less than two hundred killed and wound-tinued from ten o'clock to after five, and yet the ed. The discomfited rebels were then re-formed fate of the day remained undecided. The heroic upon their original line.
garrison, headed by their resolute commander, As the smoke began to clear up, it was discov-still stood unfalteringly to their posts, while the ered that the city was on fire in several places. enemy, conscious of the strength of his overThe railroad dépôt was already completely wrap- whelming numbers, seemed loth, although sig. ped in flames, having been fired by the rebels. nally repulsed, to yield to the fact of his unde The shelling of the gunboats had dislodged the niable defeat. sharp-shooters from the buildings nearest the Four hours had passed, during three of which Fort, and their fire was just being directed to- there was an almost unbroken roar of artillery ward other portions of the town, when a flag of and small arms. In the mean time, the rebels truce was observed coming from the enemy's had occupied every part of the town. The head. lines.
quarters and quartermaster's buildings, which The flag of truce was borne by Lieutenant Mc- were in the most compactly built part of the city, Knight, aid to Forrest, and was met by the Post had been sacked and fired. The marine ways Adjutant. McKnight presented a note from For- had also been fired, and the steamer Dacotah, rest to Colonel Hicks, demanding the immediate which was on the stocks for repairs, was boarded, and unconditional surrender of the Fort and gar- the crew robbed of every thing, and the boat rison, and saying that in the event of a refusal burned. Almost every store in the place was to accede to the demand, he would take the Fortbroken open and its contents damaged, destroyby storm and grant no quarter. Colonel Hicks ed, or carried off. Clothing, and especially boots promptly replied that he was sent there with or- and shoes, seemed to have been chiefly sought ders to defend the post, and intended to obey, for, although an exceedingly large quantity of all as any honorable officer should. An hour was styles and qualities of dry goods, groceries, and consumed during this parley, immediately after provisions was carried off. Every horse that which the enemy advanced.
could be found was taken, and in fact nothing The houses near the Fort were again occupied that could suit taste or convenience was overby sharp-shooters, and the rebels moved rapidly looked. up with increased numbers and apparently a full As the sun began to sink, the slackened fire determination to succeed. They dashed forward from the buildings told that our shelling had not from behind buildings and such other objects as been without effect, and the rebels could be seen served to cover their advance, while the main from the Fort as they left the houses by hun. column rushed upon the Fort despite the mur-dreds and moved back toward the upper end of derous fire that opposed them. But their efforts the town, bearing their dead and wounded. were futile. The indomitable “six hundred " Many, however, remained behind, and although had no idea of being overpowered, and amid the the firing was now light, it was continuous. answering thunders from Fort and gunboats, and By this time the ammunition in the Fort was the unbroken rattle of small-arms, the enemy well-nigh exhausted, and it was barely possible was again repulsed, and fled from the field dis- that if the enemy had again attempted to storm ordered and whipped. Not less than five hun- the works, the small garrison might have been dred men, dead or wounded, covered the field overpowered by sheer stress of overwhelming within rifle-range of the Fort. A more gallant numbers. But his disastrous experience of that defence was never made. But the fighting did day deterred him, and his offensive operations not cease with this repulse. The rebels swarmed were confined to sharp-shooting from the buildthicker and thicker in the buildings, and an un- ings. This was kept up until nearly midnight, intermitting storm of lead was poured from roofs when the firing ceased entirely, and the rebels and windows, notwithstanding the houses were left the town. Colonel Hicks's announcement to being perforated by shot and shell from all our the garrison that their ammunition had almost guns.
given out, but that they would defend themselves Every gun in the Fort was now turned upon with the bayonet, was received with loud cheers, the town, while the gunboats took an active part and showed a determination to fight to the last. in sweeping the streets and shelling the houses. That was an anxious night to the occupants of The enemy, finding that our force was not strong the Fort. The knowledge that their means of enough to risk leaving the works, did not re-form defence would not, if attacked, last much longer, his whole line again, but sent his men by de-I that the enemy was still within gun-shot of them
with a force outnumbering them nearly ten to return and complete the work of pillage and deone, and that it was very probable that a night struction. attack would be made, disinclined all to sleep, Another anxious night wore wearily away, and and the peremptory order of Colonel Hicks that the morning of the twenty-eighth dawned. Our every man should remain broad awake and stand scouts found the country filled with bodies of to his post was scarcely necessary. So the night men varying from fifty to one hundred, but the passed, every man awaiting expectantly the an- main body had moved back toward Mayfield. ticipated attack, and determined to win or die. This seemed encouraging, until another report,
Next morning, twenty-sixth, the enemy was which was apparently trustworthy, became cur: found to be still in our front, but some hundred rent in town, that Forrest's army had formed a yards in rear of his original line of the day be- junction at Mayfield with a large force of rebels, fore. Every thing pointed to another attack, and and was again coming in this direction. A scene another day of trial for our gallant garrison. In of excitement now ensued similar to that of the view of this, Colonel Hicks sent out several de- morning of the twenty-fifth. Every thing that tachments with orders to burn all the buildings could, under the circumstances, be removed, (for which had been occupied by the enemy's sharp- but few draft animals were remaining) was carshooters on the previous day, or that could afford ried down to the levee preparatory to shipping. them a similar protection in the event of an at- Much of this property was carried by hand, tack on this day. This order was promptly exe- some of the heaviest boxes of goods being thus cuted, and in less than fifteen minutes that part brought from stores some several squares distant. of the town below Broadway and between Mar- The excitement lasted all night, and every boat ket street and the river, together with many that passed made large additions to her cargo and other buildings outside of those limits, was in passenger-list. This morning the excitement flames. Many of the finest business houses and and exodus still continued, and the attack was dwellings were thus destroyed, and none who hourly expected up till noon, when it became have formerly been acquainted with this once generally known that the military authorities beautiful city can help regretting the sad but im- had learned that the enemy was at or near May. perative necessity that called for its partial de field, and was threatening Columbus, and that struction. About nine o'clock a flag of truce there were no demonstrations at all making toemerged from their lines, and approached the ward Paducah. Fort. It covered a proposal for an exchange of So ends thus much of the history of one of the prisoners, Forrest having about five hundred of most adventurous raids made during the war. our men who were surrendered at Union City, Whether the rebels will try their strength on and fisty or sixty captured in hospital the day any other Union post remains to be seen. It is before. Colonel Hicks having no power to ex- known that they are showing a threatening front change prisoners, replied in accordance with that in the direction of Columbus. fact, and the confederate officer departed. Again A detail of the loss of property during the fight we waited in anticipation of an attack momen-cannot be obtained, though even if it could it tarily, when a verbal cominunication was sent in would be uninteresting in connection with the by Forrest, asking for a private interview in case story of the battle. It will be sufficient to say further fighting could be obviated by negotia- that the value of the property carried away and
destroyed by the rebels exceeds, at a moderate Colonel Hicks, with his characteristic pluck, estimate, half a million of dollars. The value of replied verbally that he, accompanied by two the houses burned, by order of Colonel llicks, officers of a designated rank, would meet Gene- must be as much if not more. The enemy's ral Forrest and two officers of corresponding rank, loss in men cannot be accurately ascertained, with or without arms, at any mutually conven- / but in killed and wounded will not fall short of ient spot. This occurred after noon. No reply one thousand. It is rumored that several citi. was received, and no attack was made, and so zens, who imprudently did not leave the city the day wore away--the enemy yet threatening, with the bulk of the inhabitants, were killed or but apparently afraid to advance. In the mean injured. time assistance had arrived from Cairo, seventy miles below, and our men felt encouraged but
OFFICIAL REBEL REPORTS. apprehensive. The night passed much in the
DEMOPOLIS, April 2, 1864. same way as the one preceding, the greatest vigil- To General S. Cooper: ance being exercised, and the men resting at or. The following despatch from General Forrest near their posts. .
has just been received,
L. Polk, The next day, twenty-seventh, the rebels had
Lieutenant-General. entirely disappeared from view, but a scouting
DRESDEN, TENN., March 27, L party, sent out for the purpose, found them still
Via OKOLONA, April 2, 1864.7 near, and demonstrating threateningly. On this To Lieutenant-General Polk: day, many of the citizens and merchants who I left Jackson on the twenty-third ultimo, and had anything left, commenced packing their captured Union City on the twenty-fourth, with effects for the purpose of leaving the place, as it four hundred and fisty prisoners, among them was confidently expected that the rebels would the renegade, Hankins, and most of his regi.