a flag of truce demanding surrender, and if not complied with, he would make an assault on fort, and no quarter would be given. The colonel answered that he would obey his superior officer's order and not surrender. Their main force then retired into the center of the town to pilfer and plunder, while their sharpshooters kept in houses near the fort, picking off our men. There are about 10 or 12 of our side killed, and 40 wounded; on the rebels' 200 to 300, among whom is the rebel Colonel Thompson. His head was knocked off his shoulders. The negroes fought bravely, and worked the siege guns splendidly. They burned headquarters and quartermaster's buildings. Our forces are burning town nearest the fort. The gun-boats did good execution. Might say we ran out of ammunition, and could not have held out long. Fortunate they did not make an assault. They ceased firing at 11 o'clock last night. I had not time to fix my wires till they surrounded us. My office and property are safe. No officers killed.
March 27, 1864-11.30 a. m.
Major General S. A. HURLBUT,
Commanding Sixteenth Army Corps, Memphis, Tenn.:
DEAR GENERAL: General Veatch declined aid and left Paducah at daylight this morning. Faulkner, after taking Union City with 1,500 men, went to Hickman, robbed, it and last night was on his way to meet Forrest, who was to join him after taking Paducah. Scouts just in and Hawkins' men who escaped from Faulkner on the way to Hickman, tell the same story, and Colonel Hicks telegraphed me at 10 this morning that his scouts say the same. Forrest is evidently coming back according to arrangements without succeeding at Paducah. If not too much crippled, their present here may be expected. I came down in the night with all the men not on provost duty at Cairo, only 200 however, and shall stay until the result transpires. I regret the smallness of my force, but shall do very well with this. Do not be disturbed if Grierson is within your call. Can he not cut off this force while in this corner? They are taking horses and property inthe interior. I can only take care of the river. Colonel Hicks telegraphed me that his scouts killed the rebel guerilla Colonel Crampsman [Crossland?] and 7 of his men 6 miles south of Mayfield at 10 o'clock last night.
HEADQUARTERS DISTRICT OF CAIRO,
Cairo, Ill. March 30, 1864.
COLONEL: After parting with General Hurlbut at 3 a. m. of the 25th, I returned to Cairo in time to look to Paducah. I borrowed two regiments of General Veatch and sent them up. Colonel Hicks and the gun-boats had beaten the enemy in a series of desperate engagements before the aid arrived.
After daylight on Saturday, the 26th, the enemy came up but made no attack. Colonel Hicks not having reported, I cannot furnish particulars.