scout of 15 cavalry, who fled toward Columbus. they heard that a cavalry force was between Milburn and Columbus about 2,000 strong. A man was employed to go into Columbus and to meet a messenger from paducah to-morrow night. Lieutenant-Colonel Hogg, of the Second Illinois, who commanded the party, is certain that by to-morrow night he will have positive information from Columbus.
I send these papers, that you may adopt such measure as you may think proper to prevent the removal of the guns at Columbus. The road between Paducah and Columbus is very bad, the valley of Mayfield Creek being flooded na bridges destroyed. The Paducah Railroad is destroyed below Little Obion River.
I am, &c.,
W. T. SHERMAN,
CAIRO, February 25, 1862.
I start for Paducah. I send important newspapers from Memphis by Colonel Them. On consultation with General Cullum, I shall stop all troops coming down the Ohio at Paducah. Shall proceed to brigade the regiments. My opinion is that General Polk has ordered the evacuation of Columbus, but he is figuring to save his guns. Can anything be done to prevent the removal of the guns by threading the railroad to his rear in force?
Can your order Captain Dodds, quartermaster at Benton Barracks, to Paducah?
W. T. SHERMAN,
HEADQUARTERS DISTRICT OF WEST TENNESSEE,
Fort Donelson, February 25, 1862.
Brigadier General G. W. CULLUM,
I wrote you that General Nelson's division had been to nashville. Since that I have learned that the head of General Buell's column arrived there on Monday evening. The rebels have fallen back to Chattanooga, instead of Murfreesborough, as stated in a former letter. I shall go to Nashville immediately after the arrival of the next mail, should there be no orders to prevent it.
The soldiers of the Eighth Missouri Volunteers who were disguised and sent to Memphis have just returned. They went by the way of Nashville and Decatur. Saw Beauregard at Decatur sick; he has since gone to Columbus. They were in Fort Donelson before the attack commenced, and say the force was estimated at 40,000.
Since the battle the people through the country are much disposed to return to their allegiance. Orders have been given for the evacuation of Columbus. This I learn not only from the men themselves, but from Memphis papers which they bring with them. I send two of these papers to General Halleck. I am growing anxious to know what the next move is going to be. the Southern papers advise the Columbus forces to fall back on Island Numbers 10 and to Fort Pillow. The force at Memphis is said to be about 12,000.
U. S. GRANT,