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official report: I have been one of those men who never had much confidence in colored troops fighting, but those doubts are now all removed, for they fought as bravely as any troops in the fort. Question. Why was the city shelled and set on fire? Answer. Our small force retired within the fort; the rebels took possession of the town, and from adjacent buildings their sharp-shooter's fired upon us. It was necessary to dislodge them. The gunboats Peosta, Captain Smith, and Paw-Paw, Captain O'Neal, and the Fort drove them out, necessarily destroying property. Most of the inhabitants being still rebel sympathizers, there was less than the usual regret in performing the duty. Question. What became of the enemy after the repulse? Answer. They went south, and on the twenty-sixth I was notified by Colonel Hicks and by Colonel Lawrence that they were approaching Columbus. Question. What was done? Answer. I went to Columbus again, with such men as could be withdrawn from Cai