related to the safety of the posts on the rivers. With respect to Union City, it was my purpose to bring in the garrison and have General Veatch's men at Cairo in time to comply with General Sherman's order concerning them. While I was willing to risk much to relieve and rescue a garrison supposed to be yet engaged in gallant defense, I could do nothing to mitigate the accomplished misfortune of a surrender. So far I have information, the force to which the surrender was made falls short of 1,500 and without artillery-the direction of Paducah.
Colonel Hawkins, being a prisoner, had no opportunity to report. I supply the deficiency by furnishing herewith (marked A and B) the official statements of Captain T. P. Gray and Lieutenant R. W. Helmer, of Colonel Hawkins' command, who participated in the battle, were included in the inthe surrender, and afterward escaped.
When it is considered that the garrison was within substantial fortification that the enemy had no artillery; that they had been three times repulsed; that the loss of the garrison was insignificant, and the men anxious to fight, and that aid was at hand, it is to be regretted that flag of truce should have produced a result which arms had failed to achieve.
I add that on the morning of the 24th anticipating an attack upon Hickman. I sen t a boat and brought away the small garrison. While holding firmly, the strong points on the river, so as to protect their navigation I deprecate the policy of occupying exposed points with feeble garrisons. Such places are subject to capture and serve but an evil purpose, being too often mere dens of smugglers and contraband traders from whence the guerrilla bands draw their supplies, the occupancy benefiting, not us, but them.
a force of some 1,200 afterward went to Hickman, and without molestation carried off larger quantities of supplies.
On the 25th, Paducah was attacked. I herewith furnish a copy of the official report of Colonel Hicks (marked C,) inviting special attention thereto.
The defense was conducted with conspicuous gallantry. The conduct of Colonel Hicks and his entire command was noble in the highest degree.
Colonel Hicks, though suffering and partially disabled by wounds received at Pittsburg Landing, met every responsibility, braved every danger, and performed every duty with the vigor of youth, the judgment of the experienced soldier, and the pluck of a hero who knows not how to fail. I commend him to the favorable notice of the Government. I cannot refrain from special reference to the fidelity and courage the black soldiers, who, though not mustered nor paid, and without regular organization or officers, fought bravely and patiently to the end.
Attention is also called to the threat of indiscriminate slaughter made by Forrest, should his demand for a surrender be refused. An intimation of the same character was made at Union City and afterward at Columbus. The shocking manner in which these threats were carried into effect at Fort Pillow proves that the rebel leaders deliberately intended to perpetrate the crimes which there committed.
During the engagement a portion of the city of Paducah was destroyed. This was necessary. The rebels took possession of the town, our forces retiring to the fort. Their sharpshooters fired with