War of the Rebellion: Serial 077 Page 0867 Chapter LI. FORREST'S RAID INTO WEST TENNESSEE.

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longer we burned the boats reluctantly. Paw Paw and other boats are below, with batteries above and, I think, below them. My officers and crew I have ordered to the fort. Johnsonville can only be saved by a large force and iron-clads. Seven transports and our prize Venus are set on fire. We have done what we could. With a heavy heart I close this dispatch.

E. M. KING,

Acting Volunteer Lieutenant, Commanding Key West.

Commander JAMES W. SHIRK, Paducah.

Numbers 6. Reports of Brigadier General Solomon Meredith, U. S. Army, commanding District of Western Kentucky.

PADUCAH, KY., November 1, 1864.

I have just received information that the gun-boat Undine was captured on the night of the 30th by the enemy between Paris Landing and Fort Heiman. It is also reported that 2 transports were captured at the same time. I have just received reliable information from a scout who visited Forrest's headquarters at Paris, Tenn., that he is there in force. Buford is at Fort Heiman, on the Tennessee. Chalmers and Lyon with Forrest at Paris. Forrest has seventeen regiments, four battalions, and nine pieces of artillery - that is, in addition to Buford's force on the Tennessee. I need more assistance. All reports concur that he is to attack me soon. My opinion is that he intends taking Johnsonville if not re-enforced. I need 1,500 more men to insure the safety of Columbus, Ky. I ought at least to have 2,000 more men for this place. There should be an aggressive move made against Forrest at once, both them this place and above; if not, the Tennessee River is blockaded and Johnsonville taken. Give me a sufficient force and I will drive him out of the country.

S. MEREDITH,

Brigadier-General.

Captain J. BATES DICKSON,

Assistant Adjutant-General, Lexington, Ky.

PADUCAH, KY., November 1, 1864.

CAPTAIN: I have just received the following telegraphic dispatch from the officer commanding Smithland, Ky.:

Gun-boat Undine, Numbers 55, engaged the batteries at Paris Landing Sunday at 10 o'clock; captured at 4 p. m and reported sunk. Lyon in command of the enemy's forces - 4,000 men and seven pieces of artillery, 6 and 12 pounder rifled guns. Forrest at Heiman, with 8,000 men, five 12-pounders, and eighteen siege guns. The transport Venus, Lieutenant Gibson and party of recruits belonging to Thirty- Fourth New Jersey Volunteers, on board, were fired into by musketry above Paris Landing. Lieutenant Gibson returned the fire, and had a running fight until opposite the landing, when they were fired into by the batteries. The captain of the Venus and 2 men of the Thirty-fourth New Jersey Volunteers were killed. The boat was captured and I have reason to believe the officer and balance of the men also.

S. MEREDITH,

Brigadier-General.

Captain J. BATES DICKSON,

Assistant Adjutant-General.