From Col. Toler's Regiment.
HEAD QUARTERS U. S. FORCES,
HICKNAN KY., March 26, 1862.
Editor of the Jonesboro Gazette:
In accordance with orders received from Gen. Strong, on Monday, the 6th Illinois Regiment, accompanied by two companies of the 2d Illinois cavalry, Lieut. Col. Hogg; one company of the 2d Illinois artillery, Major Stolbrand; four companies of the 22d Missouri infantry, Lieut. Col. Foster; all under command of your humble servant, embarked on board the steamers John H. Dickey, Universe and Evansville, and left Columbus at midnight for this place. It was our intention to land about two miles north of here, so as to quietly surround the town, but the water being so very high, had overflowed the banks, making it an impossibility; in consequence of which, we dropped down to the levee, and went ashore at daybreak, immediately putting out our pickets and surrounding the town. Having the stars and stripes in our possession, we proceeded to the top of a high hill overlooking the city and raised them, giving three cheers for the Constitution and the Union, amid the shouts and hurrahs of soldiers and citizens. The old stars and stripes being once more fixed on the hills of Kentucky, the farthest point south occupied as a post by the Federal troops on the Kentucky shore. We proceeded to select quarters for our men, and found very comfortable ones, too. We ate a hearty breakfast, after which we went out on a scout five or six miles in the direction of Union City, fell in with the rebel pickets, and, after a short skirmish, succeeded in capturing seven, including one Captain, (aid to General Polk,) three Lieutenants and three privates. This Captain was one of the most prominent men in this vicinity, belonging to the rebel army, and is better known here as Colonel than Captain. Hickman is a very pleasant place, most of the town being situated on a very high hill, and a great majority of the inhabitants being apparently a noble hearted and generous people, bestowing on us all manner of kindness. A great many of them however have been led astray by the mischievous influences of rebel leaders, which have been constantly thrown around them. Yet it is hoped through the genial influence of law and order, which it is a part of our mission to establish, they will return to their allegiance, in support of the Constitution and the Union, and old Kentucky will be herself again. Our pickets are stationed from three to five miles from town, in sight of, and frequently encountering rebel pickets from Union City. It is highly probable that such annoyance will bring on a general engagement between the two forces, and the sooner the better. Our boys are "spilin" for a fight.
Our Regiment is now improving rapidly. We have had a great deal of sickness, pneumonia supervening on measles, mostly. Most of our sick are now at Cairo, under care of our Surgeon. Considering the number of our Regiment, we have lost comparatively few, and should we be permitted to remain at this post, in a very short time every man will be in good health and ready to meet double their number of the enemy at any time. Had I the time I would be pleased to give you a description of Columbus and its fortifications, but as I have not, I must defer it until my next letter. — With kind regards to our friends in Jonesboro, I remain your friend,
S. C. TOLER.