War of the Rebellion: Serial 057 Page 0547 Chapter XLIV. FORREST'S EXPEDITION INTO W. TENN. AND KY.

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HEADQUARTERS POST OF PADUCAH,

Paducah, Ky., April 6, 1864.

SIR: I have the honor to report in relation to the late engagement with the rebel General Forrest:

On the 25th instant my scouts came in at about 12 m., bringing no news of the enemy's whereabouts. I immediately ordered out others, and directed, them to proceed on the Mayfield road. They had gone but 3 miles when they were met by Forrest's advance guard, who fired upon them. They hurriedly fell back and gave the alarms, and in less than ten minutes after they reported the enemy were driving in my pickets, who opened a skirmish fire and fell back to Fort Anderson, according to previous instructions. I immediately ordered the little force under my command to doublequick to the fort which order was promptly obeyed; yet, before they cold reach there, such was the impetuosity of the attack that their rear was fired into by the enemy.

At 2 p. m. the enemy took position surrounding the fort and fight commenced, which in a few minutes furious and continued for about one hour, when it was announced that a flag of truce was approaching. I immediately ordered my men to cease firing and sent out meet the bearer, from whom I received the following demand for a surrender:

HEADQUARTERS FORREST'S CAVALRY CORPS,

Paducah, Ky., March 25, 1864.

Colonel HICKS,

Commanding Federal Forces at Paducah:

COLONEL: Having a force amply sufficient to carry your works and reduce the place, and in order to avoid the surrender of the fort and troops, with all public property. if you surrender, you shall be treated as prisoners of war; but if I have to storm your works, you may expect no quarter.

N. B. FORREST,

Major-General, Commanding Confederate Troops.

To which I replied as follows:

HEADQUARTERS POST OF PADUCAH,

Paducah, Ky., March 25, 1864.

Major General N. B. FORREST,

Commanding Confederate Forces:

SIR: I have this moment received yours of this instant, in which you demand the unconditional surrender of the forces under my command. I can answer that I have been placed here by my Government to defend this post, and in this as well as all other orders from my superiors, I fell it to be my duty as an honorable officer to obey. I must, therefore, respectfully decline surrendering as you may require.

Very respectfully,

S. G. HICKS,

Colonel, Commanding Post.

While the flag of truce was near the fort, and during its pendency, the enemy were engaged in taking position and planting a battery. As soon as the answer was returned they moved forward, and our forces opened on them, and the fight became general. They attempted to storm our works, but were repulsed. They rallied and tried it again, and met the same fate. They made a third effort, but were forced to abandon their design. It was in this last struggle that Brigadier General A. P. Thompson (Confederate) was killed.

I now discovered, on examination, that my ammunition was growing short, and out of 30,000 rounds (the amount we commenced the