The Battle of Paducah was fought on March 25, 1864, during the American Civil War. A Confederate cavalry force led by Maj. Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest moved into Tennessee and Kentucky to capture Union supplies. Tennessee had been occupied by Union troops since 1862. He launched a successful raid on Paducah, Kentucky, on the Ohio River.
In March 1864, Forrest set out from Columbus, Mississippi, for raiding in West Tennessee and Kentucky, with a force of just under 3,000 men. His object was to recruit soldiers, re-equip his men with supplies, and disrupt Union activities. He reached Paducah on March 25 and quickly occupied the town. The Union garrison of 650 men under Col. Stephen G. Hicks withdrew to Fort Anderson, in the town's west end. The fort was supported by two Union gunboats on the Ohio River, and Hicks began shelling the area with his artillery.
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