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[509] with a force outnumbering them nearly ten to one, and that it was very probable that a night attack would be made, disinclined all to sleep, and the peremptory order of Colonel Hicks that every man should remain broad awake and stand to his post was scarcely necessary. So the night passed, every man awaiting expectantly the anticipated attack, and determined to win or die.

Next morning, twenty-sixth, the enemy was found to be still in our front, but some hundred yards in rear of his original line of the day before. Every thing pointed to another attack, and another day of trial for our gallant garrison. In view of this, Colonel Hicks sent out several detachments with orders to burn all the buildings which had been occupied by the enemy's sharp-shooters on the previous day, or that could afford them a similar protection in the event of an attack on this day. This order was promptly executed, and in less than fifteen minutes that part of the town below Broadway and between Market street and the river, together with many other buildings outside of those limits, was in flames. Many of the finest business houses and dwellings were thus destroyed, and none who have formerly been acquainted with this once beautiful city can help regretting the sad but imperative necessity that called for its partial destruction. About nine o'clock a flag of truce emerged from their lines, and approached the Fort. It covered a proposal for an exchange of prisoners, Forrest having about five hundred of our men who were surrendered at Union City, and fifty or sixty captured in hospital the day before. Colonel Hicks having no power to exchange prisoners, replied in accordance with that fact, and the confederate officer departed. Again we waited in anticipation of an attack momentarily, when a verbal communication was sent in by Forrest, asking for a private interview in case further fighting could be obviated by negotiation.

Colonel Hicks, with his characteristic pluck, replied verbally that he, accompanied by two officers of a designated rank, would meet General Forrest and two officers of corresponding rank, with or without arms, at any mutually convenient spot. This occurred after noon. No reply was received, and no attack was made, and so the day wore away — the enemy yet threatening, but apparently afraid to advance. In the mean time assistance had arrived from Cairo, seventy miles below, and our men felt encouraged but apprehensive. The night passed much in the same way as the one preceding, the greatest vigilance being exercised, and the men resting at or near their posts.

The next day, twenty-seventh, the rebels had entirely disappeared from view, but a scouting party, sent out for the purpose, found them still near, and demonstrating threateningly. On this day, many of the citizens and merchants who had any thing left, commenced packing their effects for the purpose of leaving the place, as it was confidently expected that the rebels would return and complete the work of pillage and destruction.

Another anxious night wore wearily away, and the morning of the twenty-eighth dawned. Our scouts found the country filled with bodies of men varying from fifty to one hundred, but the main body had moved back toward Mayfield. This seemed encouraging, until another report, which was apparently trustworthy, became current in town, that Forrest's army had formed a junction at Mayfield with a large force of rebels, and was again coming in this direction. A scene of excitement now ensued similar to that of the morning of the twenty-fifth. Every thing that could, under the circumstances, be removed, (for but few draft animals were remaining) was carried down to the levee preparatory to shipping. Much of this property was carried by hand, some of the heaviest boxes of goods being thus brought from stores some several squares distant. The excitement lasted all night, and every boat that passed made large additions to her cargo and passenger-list. This morning the excitement and exodus still continued, and the attack was hourly expected up till noon, when it became generally known that the military authorities had learned that the enemy was at or near Mayfield, and was threatening Columbus, and that there were no demonstrations at all making toward Paducah.

So ends thus much of the history of one of the most adventurous raids made during the war. Whether the rebels, will try their strength on any other Union post remains to be seen. It is known that they are showing a threatening front in the direction of Columbus.

A detail of the loss of property during the fight cannot be obtained, though even if it could it would be uninteresting in connection with the story of the battle. It will be sufficient to say that the value of the property carried away and destroyed by the rebels exceeds, at a moderate estimate, half a million of dollars. The value of the houses burned, by order of Colonel Hicks, must be as much if not more. The enemy's loss in men cannot be accurately ascertained, but in killed and wounded will not fall short of one thousand. It is rumored that several citizens, who imprudently did not leave the city with the bulk of the inhabitants, were. killed or injured.



Official rebel reports.

Demopolis, April 2, 1864.
To General S. Cooper:
The following despatch from General Forrest has just been received.

L. Polk, Lieutenant-General.

Dresden, Tenn., March 27, Via Okolona, April 2, 1864.
To Lieutenant-General Polk:
I left Jackson on the twenty-third ultimo, and captured Union City on the twenty-fourth, with four hundred and fifty prisoners, among them the renegade, Hankins, and most of his regiment;


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