Thursday, February 9, 2012

Undesirable Ladies Asked to Leave Paducah

In 1861 Paducah, Kentucky was a river town with a loyal Confederate population.  In September Brigadier General U. S. Grant had seized the town for the Union.  Major General Fremont in St. Louis quickly relieved Grant from command of Paducah and installed Brigadier General C. F. Smith to oversee the area.

An integral part of Smith's and Grant's duties was to maintain the health of  of their troops.  It was under this responsibility that Smith wrote the following note to Grant:

The image is from Smith's record book in which he wrote a copy of his communications.

My transcription of Smith's notes is as follows:

Oct. 22nd

Brig. Genl U. S.Grant
Comd at Cairo

Hd Qtrs. U. S. Forces
Paducah, Oct 22nd

On the report of the Medical Director that a number of prostitutes were here giving disease to the troops I caused the Provost Marshall to notify them to leave here & not to return on penalty of being treated with certain indignity. He did notify some (27) twenty-seven of these persons and they were to have left here by ten of the clock last night: the greater part if not all have gone; whether to Cairo or other places I cannot say. Thinking it not unlikely that their friendships might pay Cairo town a visit I give you this notification.

Very Resp Yr O S
C. F. Smith

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