PADUCAH, March 26, 1864 - 9.40 p. m.
All quiet here; enemy retreated and report says have gone to Columbus. I can send you no part of my force unless ordered to do so by General Sherman. I shall leave at daylight in the morning. You may be able to reach General Sherman by telegraph to-night and dispatch me before I leave.
JAMES C. VEATCH,
PADUCAH, March 26, 1864 - 10.40 p. m.
General Veatch refuses to send unless ordered by General Sherman; his orders are peremptory. I will start on Dispatch as soon as possible. The rebels moved in two columns, one on Columbus road direct, the other on Mayfield road. Enemy took their wounded on train to Mayfield. They lost 300 killed.
J. H. ODLIN,
HEADQUARTERS DISTRICT OF CAIRO,
Cairo, Ill., March 26, 1864.
General J. C. VEATCH:
Captain Odlin reports the rebels retreating on the Mayfield road; the re-enforcements were too much, probably.
He says they acknowledge 300 killed; wounded unknown. He says they number 6,500, and four pieces of artillery. The line is cut between here and Columbus, and I think an attack in that direction imminent as soon as you are out of reach.
My last return shows 408 men at Paducah, 208 men at Cairo, and 998 at Columbus for duty; 1,642 in all.
Forrest, Faulkner, Richardson, and Morgan, who is reported across the Tennessee with 300 men, all together will make us trouble.
Grierson is lost; I know nothing of him; he ought to be on the heels of Forrest. You will see what I have on my hands. The defeat of a large army would not cripple us as much as a disaster here, the seat of our supplies for army and navy.
I know the urgency of General Sherman's orders as to your movements, and must not advise you what delay you can make, or whether you can leave any of your force for a few days. The supplies for our entire river navy are here and at Mound City. I do not expect to lose any point, but I do consider all in danger while confronted with such a force, mine being inadequate.
I am, general, very respectfully,
COLUMBUS, KY., March 26, 1864.
Captain J. H. ODLIN, Assistant Adjutant-General:
Milburn was entered by 25 of Forrest's men last night. The citizens drove them out, wounding 1 man. One thousand have gone to Hickman, probably for goods. A citizen just in from Pyles', 6 miles