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[6] armaments, crews, and supplies. An average of probably five million dollars of public property is constantly at that point; I found it guarded by, perhaps, fifty men of the veteran reserve corps, not referring to gunboats lying there. Cairo, at the confluence of the great rivers, is the narrow gateway through which all military and naval operations of the Mississippi valley must be made. I cannot compute the amount or value of shipping and property at all times at this point. The Committee must observe that the loss of Mound City and Cairo would paralyze the Western army and navy. The points below Columbus and Island Ten are fortified places; while holding them, the rebels had control of the river. It required a prodigious effort to dislodge them. To concede to them any point on the river, even for a week, would bring disaster. Furthermore, the rebels now control Western Kentucky; they are murdering, robbing, and driving out the loyal men; they avow their determination to permit the loyal men to take no part in the approaching elections. Unless protected in their effort to protect themselves, the Union men must give way, and the country remain under insurrectionary control.

Question. Did you consider your force, as stated, adequate to the protection of your district?

Answer. Wholly inadequate, considering the interests at stake, and the hostile forces within attacking distance.

Question. When did you first hear that Forrest was advancing?

Answer. On March twenty-third, four days after I took command, Colonel Hicks, at Paducah, and Colonel Hawkins at Union City, advised me by telegraph of the presence in their neighborhood of armed bands, both fearing an attack. At night of the same day, Colonel Hawkins reported Forrest at Jackson, sixty-one miles south, with seven thousand men; and again that he expected an attack within twenty-four hours. He wanted reinforcements.

Question. Had you the means of reenforcing him?

Answer. Of my own command, I had not one hundred and fifty available men; however, some regiments and detachments of General Veatch's division had arrived and awaited the arrival of boats from St. Louis to carry them up the Tennessee. General Veatch had gone to Evansville, Indiana. Simultaneously with the reports from Hicks and Hawkins, I received from General Sherman, then at Nashville, this despatch: “Has General Veatch and command started up the Tennessee? If not, start them up at once.” Down to this time it was uncertain whether Union City or Paducah was the real object of attack. Late in the evening I applied to Captain Fox, General Veatch's Assistant Adjutant-General, to have two thousand men in readiness to move during the night, if wanted, promising to have them back in time to embark, on arrival of their transports. I telegraphed Hawkins that he would receive aid, directing him to “fortify and keep well prepared.” About half-past 4 o'clock of the morning of the twenty-fourth, I was satisfied that Union City was the point of attack. Boats were impressed, four regiments were embarked, and I left at ten; disembarked at Columbus, and arriving within six miles of Union City at four P. M., where I learned that a surrender had taken place at eleven A. M., and the garrison marched off. I turned back, and at three the next morning turned over General Veatch's men, ready to go up the Tennessee.

Question. Why did you not pursue Forrest?

Answer. For three reasons: First, his force was all cavalry; mine all infantry. Second, he was moving on Paducah, and, while I could not overtake him by land, I could head him by the rivers. Third, another despatch from General Sherman reached me as I was going out from Columbus, prohibiting me from diverting the troops bound up the Tennessee from that movement on account of the presence of Forrest. My purpose was to save Union City, bring in its garrison, and have General Veatch's men back in time for their boats. While I was willing to risk much to secure a garrison supposed to be yet engaged in gallant defence, I could do nothing to mitigate the accomplished misfortune of a surrender.

Question. Do you think the surrender premature?

Answer. The garrison was within fortifications; the enemy had no artillery. A loss of one man killed and two or three wounded does not indicate a desperate case. The rebels were three times repulsed. A flag of truce followed, and a surrender.

Question. How large was the attacking party?

Answer. I judge fifteen hundred, the largest portion of Forrest's force being evidently on the way to Paducah.

Question. How large was his entire force?

Answer. Apparently six thousand five hundred.

Question. When was Paducah attacked?

Answer. About three P. M., the next day, March twenty-fifth.

Question. Was Paducah reinforced previous to the attack?

Answer. It was not. I had no men to send, but sent supplies.

Question. Where was General Veatch's command?

Answer. Embarking for the Tennessee.

Question. Was Paducah well defended?

Answer. Most gallantly, and with success. The conduct of Colonel Hicks and his entire command was noble in the highest degree.

Question. How did his colored troops behave?

Answer. As well as the rest. Colonel Hicks thus refers to them in his 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?

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