deadly effect upon our men at the guns from the windows of houses; they also fired upon the gun-boats buildings fronting the river. It was done.
There are a few loyal families in Paducah. I learn with regret that some of these were damaged. I have no regrets for the losses of those who sympathized with the enemy' who invited and welcomed them. It is true that many such have taken the oath and wear a disguise of loyalty, but only to enjoy more fully the benefits of trade and safe means of aiding their friends in arms. I feel assured that the attack would into have been made unless invited, and am satisfied that the retribution which the necessities of war brought upon the city falls far short of that which justice would warrant. After the repulse the enemy retired, and on the 27th threatened Columbus. I repaired to that point which such available men as were at hand (General Veatch's men having gone up the Tennesse) and awaited an attack. Slight skirmishing occurred, but without results.
The enemy remained for the succeeding two weeks in immediate vicinity, engaged in depredation upon the property of unarmed citizens, stealing horses, enforcing, the conscription, and carrying away the supplies of goods which had accumulated in the neighborhood and awaited their coming.
On April 13, a force appeared in front of Columbus. I furnish report of Colonel Lawrence, commanding, with the correspondence, growing out of the demand for a surrender, marked D. No attack was probably intended, but the terms in which the surrender was demanded are significant in connection with the massacre at Fort Pillow.
On the succeeding day, the 14th, an attempt was made on Paducah, for details of which, and the conduct of the rebels, reference is made to the report of Colonel Hicks herewith submitted, marked E. This report discloses the same gross violations of the flag of truce and depredations committed under its protection, as on almost every occasion where that emblem was resorted to. The facts show that in nearly every case the flag of truce was sent forward for unlawful purpose.
I judge the forces of Forrest which remained so near us for some three weeks to number 6,500, with a battery of light artillery. Reference to the maps will indicate the advantages which such a force of mounted men possessed. After the loss of Union City I had about 1,700 men occupying the river posts from Paducah to Island 10, 160 miles. The river from Columbus to Paducah is a circle, 70 miles by river, about 40 by land. The enemy, lying midway and equidistant from Paducah, Cairo, and Columbus, a few hours ride brought them in front of either. These places were protected by shifting disposable forces from one to another, governed by the enemy's movements.
Regiment or detachments accidently detained here were used on pressing occasions, being promptly furnished by officers in command. But such forces, being destined to other points of duty, could not be used though, urgently applied for.
On the 3rd of April, Major-General Sherman telegraphed me:
The more men Forrest has, and the longer he stays about Mayfield, the better for us.* * *
And on the 13th:
*** I hope Forrest will prolong his visit in that neighborhood.***