I earnestly recommend these several matters to the attention of the Government, fully persuaded that the safety of its property,the efficient and safe transaction of its vast and increasing business at this point, and the comfort and character of its soldiers and sailors require liberal appropriations to that end.
Having already made reference to the conduct of Colonel S. G. Hicks, commanding at Paducah, I will add that Colonel W. H. Lawrence, Thirty-fourth New Jersey, commanding at Columbus,as well as Captains cogswell and Ekings, commanding detachments from the same regimen at Hickman and Island 10, evinced, exemplary fidelity and courage. Colonel John I. Rinaker, One hundred and twenty-second Illinois, now commanding the post of Cairo, is a gallant and meritorious officer, vigilant in the performance of duty, and wise and just in administration. Captain J. H. Odlin, assistant adjutant general, and First Lieutenant Charles B. Smith, aide-de-camp, have on all occasion been brave, vigilant, and faithful, in duty, and I commend the various officers of the staff for the honorable manner in which their various and often most responsible duties have been met.
In pursuance of Special Orders, Numbers 34, headquarters Military Division of the Mississippi (Major-General Sherman), and letter of instructions from Major-General McPherson, commanding Department and Army of the Tennessee, dated April 20, 1864, Brigadier General H. Price proceeded to Columbus, Ky., and on the 28th of April assumed command of that district. The district was in the letter of instructions defined by metes and bounds, lying wholly on the east side of the rivers, not including nor referring to the post of Cairo.
I was assigned to the command of the District of Cairo, which included the post of Columbus, by Special Orders, Numbers 61, headquarters Sixteenth Army Corps (Major-General Hurlbut), and entered upon duty March 19, 1864. No order has come to my knowledge relieving me of that duty, nor any order making Cairo any part of the district to which General Price was assigned. That the record may be intelligible, I refer to the accompanying papers marked G for explanation.
I am, therefore, after this day without the command to which i was assigned, though not relieved by any order. It did not comport with my self-respect nor my sense of what was due the service to accept a controversy with a senior in a matter probably resulting from inadvertence.
Having communicated these facts to Major-General Washburn, my superior officer, and the Adjutant-General of the Army, and awaiting instructions.
I remain, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Brigadier-General of Volunteers.
GENERAL ORDERS, HEADQUARTERS DISTRICT OF CAIRO,
Numbers 15. Cairo, Ill., April 2, 1864.
The large quantities of supplies which through permits (too freely granted), as well as by evasion of established regulations, have been carried into the interior of Western Kentucky, now partially under insurrectionary control, are now in the hands of the rebel forces affording them aid and comfort. Such supplies furnish an induce
*For inclosures A to E, see reports of Gray, Helmer, Hicks, and Lawrence.