friends at our posts with such articles as the spoil of their loyal neighbored failed to yield.
The laxity of trade regulations, the activity of disloyal persons who, having taken the oath, carried on illicit traffic under our protection and favor, and, too often, the complicity of our won officers who shared their crimes and their profits, constituted the efficient means by which disloyally was fed and the enemy encouraged to remain; honest, loyal men of course being the deepest sufferers.
The section was of course the scene of constant depredations, spreading alarms, and often expectations of formidable attacks upon our occupied posts.
On the 23rd of March, Colonel Hawkins, commanding at Union City, 26, miles from Columbus, on the Mobile and Ohio Railroad, advised me that he apprehended trouble-Colonel Hicks also reporting threatening demonstrations in his neighborhood-apparently he work of the armed bands infesting the country. At night Colonel Hawkins reported Forrest at Jackson, Tenn., 61 miles distant, with 7,000 men. The result proved him much nearer. I took measures to ascertain the condition of things and afford needed relief.
Of my own command I had not over 150 men for movement, and these only by leaving Cairo in charge of a provost-marshal's guard. However, some regiments and detachments of General Veatch's Fourth Division, of the Sixteenth Army corps, were awaiting at this point the arrival of transports from Saint Louis, to carry them up the Tennessee, under urgent orders from General Sherman.
General Veatch being at Evansville, Ind., I applied to Captain Fox, his assistant adjutant-general, who consented to plan at my disposal 2,00 men, if needed during the night, I engaging to return them in time to go forward without delay on arrival of their boats. General Sherman telegraphed me: "Has General Veatch and command started up the Tennessee? If not, start them at once!"
Down to this time it was uncertain whether Paducah or Union City was the real object of attack. I informed Colonel Hawkins by telegraph that he would receive aid, directing him to fortify and keep well prepared. At about 4.30 o'clock inthe morning of the 24th, I became satisfied that Union City was the point of attack. Boats were taken and I embarked at 10 with the Twenty-fifth Wisconsin, Lieutenant-Colonel Rusk; the Thirty-fifth New Jersey, Lieutenant-Colonel Henry, being part of the First Brigade, under colonel Montgomery; and the Thirty-second Wisconsin, Major DeGroat, and Seventeenth New York, Colonel Grower, part of the Second Brigade under Colonel Howe, numbering about 2,000 men.
Disembarking at Columbus and taking cars, with the addition of Sparrestrom's battery and a few scouts, I proceeded 20 miles-within 6 miles of Union City-and there learned with pain and surprise that Colonel Hawkins had surrendered at 11 a. m. and had with his force, been removed and his fortifications destroyed. I immediately returned, and at 3 o'clock the next morning delivered General Veatch's regiment at Cairo, ready to go up the Tennessee.
while going out from Columbus I received the following dispatch from General Sherman, then at Nashville:
* * * I am willing he (Forrest) should be up in that neighborhood if the people don't manifest friendship. Don't divert any troops bound up the Tennessee on that account.
No other available force being at my disposal, the movements of the enemy and the length of his stay in the interior and the question of fighting or expelling him were not for my consideration, except as