METROPOLIS, April 15, 1864.
A fisherman from this place crossed the river this morning in a skiff; 8 of rebel cavalry captured him; threatened his life if he did not take 3 of their friends over the river to escape conscript. Captain Lovelace has his headquarters at Lovelaceville; the 3 men are here in town; they say rebels are conscripting every man they get hold of in Kentucky.
HEADQUARTERS OF THE POST,
Columbus, Ky., April 15, 1864.
Captain J. H. ODLIN,
Assistant Adjutant-General, Cairo, Ili.:
CAPTAIN: I have a scout just in from Jackson, Dresden, and that line, and I have every reason to believe his reports reliable. He was employed by General Smith and Colonel Waring. He reports as follows: General Forrest has two divisions-First Division, 3,400 strong, which is concentrated at Jackson, Tenn.; Second Division, 2,000 strong, concentrated at Dresden; 1,000 under Duckworth, from Jackson's command. Forrest said that a large force of our troops had landed at Pittsburg Landing, and that he was going to drive them back and across into North Alabama. The Second Division is said to be about to cross at the mouth of the Big Sandy into Middle Tennessee. My scout thinks their object is to get behind Chattanooga, somewhere about Winchester. Colonel Aaron Forrest, brother of the general, died at Jackson on Thursday night last. Generals Fitzhugh [Stephan D.?] Lee and Jackson, with 9,000 men, are reported near Memphis. I shall try and rebuild the telegraph between us to-morrow. All the small squads are ordered to join their commands immediately at Dresden, under General Buford, who is on his march there.
I am, captain, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
WM. HUDSON LAWRENCE,
Colonel, Commanding Post.
CAIRO, ILL., April 15, 1864-3 p.m.
(Received 9.30 p.m.)
Honorable GIDEON WELLES,
Secretary of the Navy:
On the 13th instant the rebels demanded the surrender of Columbus, Ky., which was refused by Colonel Lawrence. Troops and two gun-boats were sent from here, but the enemy had retired before they reached Columbus. Hearing that Port Pillow had been attacked I directed Lieutenant-Commander Fitch, if he could be spared from Columbus, to proceed to Fort Pillow, with gun-boats Hastings and Moose. Last night I learned that Fort Pillow had been captured, after a desperate resistance by the garrison. The gun-boats New Era assisted in the defense. Lieutenant-Commander Fitch will, on his arrival, endeavor to shell the rebels from the fort, and to keep the river open at all hazards. The greater part of the rebel force is said to have left in the direction of Memphis.