War of the Rebellion: Serial 057 Page 0504 KY., SW. VA., TENN., MISS., ALA., AND N. GA. Chapter XLIV.

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I proposed to leave Hickman, Union City, and such inconsiderable points without defense, holding only such points as are of military importance and necessary to the safety of the river. I find these small posts bud dens for the smugglers, contraband dealers, and convenient for supplying the guerrillas of the interior, and am satisfied that these enemies of the public peace receive benefits and an abundance of supplies through the facilities afforded by one small garrison and loose trade regulations, much more valuable to them and disgracefully, damaging to us than under their own occupation. The expedition of to-day was characterized by gallantry and good conduct of officers and men, and by freedom from casualties of any kind.

Respectfully, your obedient servant,

M. BRAYMAN,

Brigadier-General, Commanding.

Lieutenant Colonel T. H. HARRIS,

Assistant-Adjutant General.

HEADQUARTERS DISTRICT OF CAIRO,

Cairo, Ill., March 26, 1864-12 m.

GENERAL: The rebels went from Union City to Paducah, evidently joined by another force, arriving about 4,000 strong.

Colonel Hicks had about 500 men of all kinds. Two gun-boats lay in the river. The attack began about 1 p. m. yesterday. Colonel Hicks occupied the fort. The enemy entered the town, occupying houses, from which their sharpshooters killed and wounded several of our men.

The gun-boats and the fort opened upon the town. The inhabitants abandoned it, large numbers being brought across the river. The battle lasted until midnight, Colonel Hicks being severely pressed but holding his ground most gallantly. The enemy then retired, with loss of several hundred killed and wounded. The town, being occupied by the rebels, was mostly destroyed and is still in flames.

A dispatch from Captain Odlin, my adjutant, advises me that the attack is expected to be renewed. I have, however, sent re-enforcements, which are on the spot, and supplies are on that way. The gun-boats performed good service, and suffered from sharpshooters.

General Veatch is moving from the wharf, and will aid if needed. I have not particulars; the fight severe, and the conduct of Colonel Hicks noble.

I have the honor to be, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

M. BRAYMAN,

Brigadier-General, Commanding.

Major General S. A. HURLBUT,

Commanding Sixteenth Army Corps.

HEADQUARTERS DISTRICT OF CAIRO,

Cairo, Ill., March 26, 1864-5 p. m.

GENERAL: The rebels have been beaten at Paducah. Captain Odlin, my assistant adjutant-general, informs me, since mine to you at 12 m. to-day, that their loss is Brigadier General A. P. Thompson and 300 men; wounded not known.