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No. 1.-report of Col. Thomas Claiborne, Sixth Confederate Cavalry.

Spring Creek, Tenn., May 9, 1862.
Sir: I have the honor to report that I left Trenton on May 2 and encamped at King's Bridge. On the 3d encamped at McKenzie's Station, waiting Jackson, who joined me on the 4th, and we marched (whole force about 1,250) to attack a force reported to be at Paris, 250 to 500 strong. I separated into three columns, to surround it and intercept them toward Fort Heiman.

At about 4 p. m. entered Paris. The enemy had moved at 10 a. m. toward Dresden. I immediately detached one column, under Lieuten. ant-Colonel Pell, to Boydsville, and with my own joined Colonel Jackson who was on the Dresden road, 2J miles. We pushed on vigorously, contending with a night of unusual darkness and rain, until reaching Cowan's house (Union). [880]

At about 1.30 a. m. I halted to wait for light. I deceived Mrs. Cowan by passing for a Federal officer, and got certain intelligence that James Allen had brought the news to Major Shaeffer that a force of nearly 3,000 was passing up to Paris; he instantly sent off on the fastest horses couriers to Hickman, Mayfield, Paducah, and elsewhere, that all the neighborhood had gone, and much more not necessary to relate. I got all her news, and then her negro boy William was even more confidential toward a supposed Abolitionist. I saw that my plans were thus frustrated beyond a doubt, in which opinion Colonel Jackson agreed, as did Major Wicks. I then determined to pursue Major Shaeffer and catch him at any rate. I accordingly waited a sufficient time to let him satisfy himself I was going to Dresden, and I took a by-road through Palmersville to cut the Dresden road to Boydsville.

I got at 5 p. m. certain information of him, but not his exact whereabouts. I pushed on to Stephenson's Mill, 1½ miles across the road, on Obion River; then 3 miles toward Lockridge's Mill; saw his picket; halted, and conferred with Colonel Jackson. As night was fast approaching there was no time to delay. Captain Ballentine, of Colonel Jackson's cavalry, was acting field officer, with five companies, at the head of the column. His first company was deployed as mounted skirmishers and dashed on the pickets. The pickets were astonished and let us approach to 70 yards, then fired and turned to flee. A yell and charge blown, a picket killed, and the five companies, followed by the whole command, swept the 2 miles away in seven minutes or less over the enemy, who had been in vain urged to rally, as I learned afterward, by their major, through deep mud holes and the worst of roads, and on for 14 miles, until pursuit exhausted the horses and those who had so gallantly kept up the fire on them, Captain Jackson, of my regiment, with a few men, ceasing the race.

Captain Ballentine was most of all conspicuous for his gallant bearing and use of his saber and pistol. He fired on and mortally wounded Major Shaeffer. He engaged in a saber hand-to-hand combat with a brave fellow named Hoffman, who several times pierced the captain's coat, but was forced to yield. Captain Ballentine was also attacked by blows of a carbine and quite severely bruised. The dispersion was complete. Killed 6, wounded 16, and captured 4 officers and 67 noncommissioned officers and privates. Paroled Major Shaeffer and 4 wounded-unable to march-and detailed Private Henry Schlopp, prisoner. I paroled him to serve the wounded. The 2 wagons of the enemy, with about 56 horses, saddles, and a good many arms, were taken. I divided the horses with Colonel Jackson, who takes also the wagons. I distributed the arms to both regiments, &c. The loss on our side was not one; a few scratches were received.

The conduct of the command was excellent, with few exceptions.

I marched on the 6th 4 miles; on the 7th, having information that a large force was concentrating from several quarters to movo against me, with artillery, I determined to secure my prisoners. I marched to Como at 1 p. m. and fed; marched to within 5 miles of Caledonia and halted. At midnight I got a dispatch from Colonel Pell, who, having joined me from Boydsville, was again sent toward Conyersville, to attack a reported force of 150. At a certain point he obtained some news that the enemy, near 1,000 strong, had encamped at dark 6 miles from Paris, and that they would be joined in the morning by 500 more. I moved at once to cross the Obion before King's Bridge could be seized. (It was the only one.)

I encamped last night at McLemoresville, and satisfied myself that the [881] enemy had that morning entered Paris with artillery, foot, and horse, but there he would remain. I left Colonel Pell at or near McKenzie, with orders to observe the enemy and keep posted as to his movements, and to-day, leaving orders for Pell to take a position between McLemoresville and Huntingdon and keep me informed, I moved to this place, my horses very jaded, my men having suffered for food, having no means to prepare nor haversacks to carry with them food for a day even. We subsisted with great difficulty and by getting people for miles around to cook for us.

It is well to add that the person — an Englishman, of Paducah-sent to me to act as guide, without my request, by Provost Hayes, at Jackson, Tenn., who seems to have known my destination, called to see me, but left for Paducah, telling two persons, of my knowledge, where I was going. This is certain. The notorious spy and guide Farris, a citizen of Paris, who led the enemy to King's Camp, and has since figured conspicuously in pointing out our friends, was captured, and deserves to be shot; also Rose, of Paris Landing, taken wounded; he has been also a guide for them.

The conduct of Colonel Jackson was, as usual with him, such as to merit your highest approval, and the good conduct of his regiment on the march and in the affair excellent.

Regretting the impossibility of getting to Paducah, in which Colonel Jackson and Major Wicks agree with me, I hope to have your approval of my course.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

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