OR, Series 1, Vol. 52, Part 2, Page 294

Union City, Tenn.
April 1, 1862
General Polk (also to General Cheatham and Colonel Pickett)
   Perhaps it may not be amiss for me to give you some of the particulars of the Lincolnitish advent into this city. On yesterday morning at early breakfast time, and before our cavalry had time to finish their morning repast, Mr. Charley Gibbs came in haste from his house and gave information that the enemy were in force making their way to our camps. The enemy were so close upon his heels that neither cavalry nor infantry had time to make any preparation for battle and a general flight took place, and many of the cavalry did not have time to saddle their horses and ran and left them tied. The infantry took to their heels. The flight became general. The enemy fired many volleys of musketry. They had but four pieces of light artillery and discharged them several times. None of our men killed or wounded. Two horses were killed on the field. Lieutenant-Colonel Tillman deserves a good deal of praise for his endeavors to rally and form his fleeing soldiers. He three times formed two companies of American-born soldiers in line of battle away from the field. The Irish element of his command would not and did not form in line of battle, but fled precipitately in such directions as offered the greatest safety to themselves. What went with the cavalry I cannot tell. One wagon and team was taken by the enemy, that I know of. I think about thirty horses and mules fell into their hands. From the best that I could see I think between thirty and forty of our men fell into their hands. The whole affray did not last over one hour or one hour and a half before they all left. The last that I saw of Colonel Pickett he was making speed to the field of battle. What became of him and Major Woolfolk after they passed me toward the field I cannot tell. The enemy, I think, could not have been over 1,500 or 2,000 all told. The enemy first formed near the railroad in the woods and along the open field on the left of our entire encampment. They moved their cavalry and artillery into the field and began their fire on our men. They advanced and formed in the valley below, between the (our) cavalry and infantry, and would not (did not) ascend the hill or elevation on which our infantry were quartered. They moved north in the valley and field so as to get beyond to the north of our entire encampment. There they formed in line of battle. Their artillery, as soon as they found that our soldiers had not formed in line east of our encampment, moved up to the top of the elevation on which our cavalry were quartered and opened fire again with their cannon, the balls and shells whistling overhead.
   Soon the entire encampment was enveloped in one sheet of smoke and flame, the soldiers' houses being set on fire by the enemy. The tents of the cavalry were also nearly all burnt to the ground. The railroad cars, say some half-dozen, were at the depot here, and two locomotives, one of which had steam up, the other not. The one that had steam up backed up to the one near the depot and hitched to her and put steam [on] and off they went south. The enemy seeing this turned loose one of their cannon after the fugitive train, but they had to elevate their gun so high that the balls did no harm to the train, I think. This brought the enemy down to the depot. They found two cars there still, one a passenger car, and the other perhaps not but was reported to contain clothing for the army. This car was set on fire by the enemy, and after it was well on fire the enemy left. This burning car was loosened from the passenger car and run down on the track to the end of the switch and burnt up and all its contents. After the tents and camps were well on fire the enemy formed in a large body in the valley near where the cavalry had been quartered, and, as I think, held a consultation of some fifteen minutes. Then they all moved off and went back the road they came to Hickman.  *****
Respectfully, yours,
A. D. Cutler
{Union City was in northwest Tennessee, on the line of the Mobile & Ohio RR and at the point where the Nashville & Northwestern RR meets it.}