War of the Rebellion: Serial 003 Page 0152 OPERATIONS IN MO., ARK., KANS., AND IND. T. Chapter X.

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Cairo. A small party of three mounted scouts observed two horsemen at a short distance watching our movements while landing our troops, and immediately gave chase, but were unsuccessful in the pursuit. One of the rebels in his flight dropped three letters, a copy of one of which I inclose herewith.

A Dr. Travers, a resident here for ten years, coming down to see us, I concluded to detain him a few days.

I have received reliable information this evening that Island Numbers 10 is fortified with 10 heavy guns. At Union City they have 44 heavy guns. At Columbus the rebels fly the secession flag from the top of a lofty pole in the center of the village in defiance of our gunboats. What shall I do with Columbus? What with Hickman? What with New Madrid? In a few days I shall be able to give you correct information in regard to this latter post.

There are no rebel troops between this place and Charleston, except a few of the enemy's mounted pickets.

Your obedient servant,

G. WAAGNER,

Colonel, Commanding.

Major General JOHN C. FREMONT,

Commanding Department of the West, Saint Louis.

Numbers 5. Report of Commander John Rodgers, U. S. Navy, of engagements at Hickman and Columbus, Ky.

U. S. GUNBOAT TAYLOR,

Near Cairo, September 4, 1861.

GENERAL: It was agreed upon this morning, upon parting with Colonel Waagner at Belmont, that the gunboats Tyler and Lexington should make a reconnaissance down the river as far as Hickman. When we arrived in sight of Hickman we discovered a rebel gunboat, with the Confederate, flag flying, off that town.

The boat fired a shot at us, to which we replied; a number of tents extending for half a mile were upon the shore fronting the river. When three or four shots had been exchanged a battery on shore fired several guns, then another battery opened upon us.

The Lexington and this vessel fired some twenty shots, when, finding the current fast setting us down upon their batteries, with which we were in no condition to cope, having very little powder on board and only half enough gun tackles for working the battery, we returned. I think both officers and crew tackles for working the battery, we returned. I think both officers and crow were remarkably cool under the fire; it was not, indeed, so close as to be very dangerous.

I intended to wait for this gunboat when away from her batteries, but she ran alongside the river bank and made fast. Upon passing Columbus and the chalk-banks we were fired upon by rebels with muskets. This was returned with muskets principally, but also by two great guns.

The army at Hickman is considerable.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

JOHN RODGERS,

Commander, U. S. Navy.

Major General JOHN C. FREMONT,

Commanding Department of the West.