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Captain Shirk of the navy-successfully repelling citizens which had been brought in there for sethe attacks of the enemy. Failing to make any curity. impression upon our forces, Forrest then de- It was at Fort Pillow, however, that the brumanded an unconditional surrender, closing his tality and cruelty of the rebels were most fearcommunication to Colonel Ilicks in these words: fully exhibited. The garrison there, according "If you surrender you shall be treated as pris- to the last returns received at headquarters, oners of war, but if I have to storm your works amounted to nineteen officers and five hundred you may expect no quarter.” This demand and and thirty-eight enlisted men, of whom two hunthreat was met by a refusal on the part of Colo- dred and sixty-two were colored troops, compris. nic! Hicks to surrender, he stating that he had ing one battalion of the Sixth United States been placed there by his Government to defend heavy artillery, (formerly called the First Alathat post, and he should do so. The rebels' bama artillery,) of colored troops, under commade three other assaults that same day, but mand of Major L. F. Booth; one section of the were repulsed with heavy loss each time, the Second United States light artillery, colored, and rebel General Thompson being killed in the last one battalion of the Thirteenth Tennessee cavalassault. The enemy retired the next day, hav- ry, white, commanded by Major W. F. Bradford. ing suffered a loss estimated at three hundred Major Booth was the ranking officer, and was in killed, and from one thousand to one thousand command of the post. two hundred wounded. The loss on our side On Tuesday, the twelfth of April, (the anniwas fourteen killed and forty-six wounded. versary of the attack on Fort Sumter, in April,

The operations of the enemy at Paducah were 1861,) the pickets of the garrison were driven in characterized by the same bad faith and treachery just before sunrise, that being the first intima. that seem to have become the settled policy of tion our forces there had of any intention on the Forrest and his command. The flag of truce part of the enemy to attack that place. Fighting was taken advantage of there, as elsewhere, to soon became general, and about nine o'clock secure desirable positions which the rebels were Major Booth was killed. Major Bradford sueunable to obtain by fair and honorable means; ceeded to the command, and withdrew all the and also to afford opportunities for plundering forces within the fort. They had previously ocprivate stores as well as Government property. cupied some intrenchments at some distance At Paducah the rebels were guilty of acts more from the fort, and further from the river. cowardly, if possible, than any they have prac- This Fort was situated on a high bluff, which tised elsewhere. When the attack was made descended precipitately to the river's edge, the the officers of the Fort and of the gunboats ad- side of the bluff on the river side being corvised the women and children to go down to the cred with trees, bushes, and fallen timber. Er river for the purpose of being taken across out tending back from the river, on either side of the of danger. As they were leaving the town for Fort, was a ravine or hollow—the one below the that purpose, the rebel sharp-shooters mingled Fort containing several private stores and some with them, and, shielded by their presence, ad- dwellings, constituting what was called the town. vanced and fired upon the gunboats, wounding At the mouth of that ravine, and on the river some of our officers and men. Our forces could bank, were some government buildings containnot return the fire without endangering the lives ing commissary and quartermaster's stores. The of the women and children. The rebels also ravine above the Fort was known as Cold Creek placed women in front of their lines as they ravine, the sides being covered with trees and moved on the Fort, or were proceeding to take bushes. To the right, or below and a little to positions, while the flag of truce was at the Fort, the front of the Fort, was a level piece of ground, in order to compel our men to withhold their not quite so elevated as the Fort itself, on fire, out of regard for the lives of the women who which had been erected some log huts or shanwere made use of in this most cowardly manner. ties, which were occupied by the white troops, For more full details of the attack, and the treach- and also used for hospital and other purerous and cowardly practices of the rebels there, poses. Within the Fort tents had been erected, your Committee refer to the testimony herewith with board floors, for the use of the colored submitted.

troops. There were six pieces of artillery in the On the thirteenth of April

, the day after the Fort, consisting of two six-pounders, two twelvecapture of Fort Pillow, the rebel General Buford pounder howitzers, and two ten-pounder Parrotts. appeared before Columbus, Kentucky, and de- The rebels continued their attack, but, up to manded its unconditional surrender. He coupled two or three o'clock in the afternoon, they hack with that demand a threat that if the place was not gained any decisive success.

Our troops, not surrendered, and he should be compelled to both white and black, fought most bravely, and attack it “no quarter whatever should be shown were in good spirits. The gunboat No. Seven to the regro troops.” To this Colonel Lawrence, (New Era) Captain Marshall, took part in the in command of the post, replied, that “surrender conflict, shelling the enemy as opportunity offer was out of the question," as he had been placed ed. Signals had been agreed upon by which the there by his government to hold and defend the officers in the Fort could indicate where the guns place, and should do so. No attack was made, of the boat could be most effective. There being but the enemy retired, having taken advantage but one gunboat there, no permanent impression of the flag of truce to seize some horses of Union appears to have been produced upon the enemy

for as they were shelled out of one ravine, they work; men, women, and even children, wherever would make their appearance in the other. They found, were deliberately shot down, beaten, and would thus appear and retire as the gunboat hacked with sabres ; some of the children not moved from one point to the other. About one more than ten years old were forced to stand up o'clock the fire on both sides slackened some- and face their murderers while being shot; the what, and the gunboat moved out in the river, sick and the wounded were butchered without to cool and clean its guns, having fired two hun- mercy, the rebels even entering the hospitaldred and eighty-two rounds of shell, shrapnel, building and dragging them out to be shot, or and canister, which nearly exhausted its supply killing them as they·lay there unable to offer the of ammunition.

least resistance. All over the hillside the work The rebels having this far failed in their at- of murder was going on; numbers of our men tack, now resorted to their customary use of were collected together in lines or groups and flags of truce. The first flag of truce conveyed deliberately shot; some were shot while in the a demand from Forrest for the unconditional sur- river, while others on the bank were shot and render of the Fort. To this, Major Bradford re- their bodies kicked into the water, many of plied, asking to be allowed one hour to consult them still living but unable to make any exerwith his officers and the officers of the gunboat. tions to save themselves from drowning. Some In a short time a second flag of truce appeared, of the rebels stood on the top of the hill or a with a communication from Forrest, that he short distance down its side, and called to our would allow Major Bradford twenty minutes in soldiers to come up to them, and as they apwhich to move his troops out of the Fort, and if proached, shot them down in cold blood; if their it was not done within that time an assault would guns or pistols missed fire, forcing them to stand be ordered. To this, Major Bradford returned there until they were again prepared to fire. All the reply that he would not surrender.

around were heard cries of “No quarter !” “No During the time these flags of truce were fly- quarter!” “Kill the damned niggers; shoot ing, the rebels were moving down the ravine and them down!” All who asked for mercy were taking positions from which the more readily to answered by the most cruel taunts and sneers. charge upon the Fort. Parties of them were also Some were spared for a time, only to be murderengaged in plundering the government buildings ed under circumstances of greater cruelty. No of commissary and quartermaster's stores, in full cruelty which the most fiendish malignity could view of the gunboat. Captain Marshall states devise was omitted by these murderers. One that he refrained from firing upon the rebels, al- ! rhite soldier who was wounded in one leg so as though there were thus violating the flag of in be unable to walk, was made to stand up truce, for fear that, should they finally succeed in while his tormentors shot him; others who were capturing the Fort, they would justify any atro- wounded and unable to stand were held up and cities they might commit by saying that they again shot. One negro who had been ordered by were in retaliation for his firing while the flag of a rebel officer to hold his horse, was killed by truce was flying. He says, however, that when him when he remounted; another, a mere child, he saw the rebels coming down the ravine above whom an officer had taken up behind him on his the Fort, and taking positions there, he got under horse, was seen by Chalmers, who at once orderway and stood for the Fort, determined to use ed the officer to put him down and shoot him, what little ammunition he had left in shelling which was done. The huts and tents in which them out of the ravine ; but he did not get up many of the wounded had sought shelter were within effective range before the final assault was set on tire, both that night and the next mornmade.

ing, while the wounded were still in them—those Immediately after the second flag of truce re- only escaping who were able to get themselves tired, the rebels made a rush from the positions out, or who could prevail on others less injured they had so treacherously gained and obtained than themselves to help them out; and even possession of the Fort, raising the cry of “No some of those thus seeking to escape the flames quarter !" But little opportunity was allowed were met by those ruffians and brutally shot for resistance. Our troops, black and white, down, or had their brains beaten out. One man threw down their arms, and sought to escape by was deliberately fastened down to the floor of a running down the steep bluff near the Fort, and tent, face upward, by means of nails driven secreting themselves behind trees and logs, in through his clothing and into the boards under the bushes, and under the brush-some even him, so that he could not possibly escape, and jumping into the river, leaving only their heads then the tent set on fire; another was nailed to above the water, as they crouched down under the side of a building outside of the fort, and the bank.

then the building set on fire and burned. The Then followed a scene of cruelty and murder charred remains of five or six bodies were afterwithout a parallel in civilized warfare, which ward found, all but one so much disfigured and needed but the tomahawk and scalping-knife to consumed by the flames that they could not be exceed the worst atrocities ever committed by identified, and the identification of that one is savages. The rebels commenced an indiscrimi- not absolutely certain, although there can hardly nate slaughter, sparing neither age nor sex, white be a doubt that it was the body of Lieutenant por black, soldier or civilian. The officers and Akerstrom, Quartermaster of the Thirteenth men seemed to vie with each other in the devilish | Tennessee cavalry, and a native Tennesseean; several witnesses who saw the remains, and who the malignity and barbarity of Forrest and his were personally acquainted with him while liv- followers cannot yet be definitely ascertained. ing, have testified that it is their firm belief that Two officers belonging to the garrison were absent it was his body that was thus treated.

at the time of the capture and massacre. Of the These deeds of murder and cruelty ceased when remaining officers but two are known to be living, night came on, only to be renewed the next and they are wounded and now in the hospital inorning, when the demons carefully sought at Mound City. One of them, Captain Potter, among the dead lying about in all directions for may even now be dead, as the surgeons, when any of the wounded yet alive, and those they your committee were there, expressed no hope found were deliberately shot. Scores of the of his recovery. Of the men, from three hundred dead and wounded were found there the day to four hundred are known to have been killed at after the massacre by the men from some of our Fort Pillow, of whom, at least, three hundred gunboats who were permitted to go on shore and were murdered in cold blood after the post was collect the wounded and bury the dead. The in possession of the rebels, and our men had thrown rebels themselves had made a pretence of bury- down their arms and ceased to offer resistance. ing a great many of their victims, but they had of the survivors, except the wounded in the hosmerely thrown them, without the least regard to pital at Mound City, and the few who succeeded care or decency, into the trenches and ditches in making their escape unhurt, nothing definite about the Fort, or the little hollows and ravines is known ; and it is to be feared that many have on the hill-side, covering them but partially with been murdered after being taken away from the earth. Portions of heads and faces, hands and Fort. feet, were found protruding through the earth in In reference to the fate of Major Bradford, who every direction. The testimony also establishes was in command of the Fort when it was captured, the fact that the rebels buried some of the living and who had up to that time received no injury, with the dead, a few of whom succeeded after there seems to be no doubt. The general underward in digging themselves out, or were dug out standing everywhere seemed to be that he had by others, one of whom your committee found in been brutally murdered the day after he was Nound City hospital, and there examined. And taken prisoner. even when your Committee visited the spot, two There is some discrepancy in the testimony, weeks afterward, although parties of men had but your committee do not see how the one who been sent on shore from time to time to bury the professed to have been an eye-witness of his bodies unburied and rebury the others, and were death could have been mistaken. There may be even then engaged in the same work, we found some uncertainty in regard to his fate. the evidences of this murder and cruelty still most When your committee arrived at Memphis, painfully apparent; we saw bodies still unburied Tennessee, they found and examined a man (Mr. (at some distance from the Fort) of some sick men McLagan) who had been conscripted by some of who had been met fleeing from the hospital and Forrest's forces, but who, with other conscripts, beaten down and brutally murdered, and their had succeeded in making his escape. He testifies bodies left where they had fallen. We could that while two companies of rebel troops, with still see the faces, hands, and feet of men, white Major Bradford and many other prisoners, were and black, protruding out of the ground, whose on their march from Brownsville to Jackson, Tengraves had not been reached by those engaged in nessee, Major Bradford was taken by five rebels reinterring the victims of the massacre; and —one an officer-led about fifty yards from the although a great deal of rain had fallen within line of march, and deliberately murdered in view the preceding two weeks, the ground, more es- of all there assembled. He fell-killed instantly pecially on the side and at the foot of the bluff by three musket-balls, even while asking that his where the most of the murders had been commit- life might be spared, as he had fought them manted was still discolored by the blood of our brave fully, and was deserving of a better fate. The but unfortunate men, and the logs and trees motive for the murder of Major Bradford seems showed but too plainly the evidences of the atro- to have been the simple fact that, although a nacities perpetrated there.

tive of the South, he remained loyal to his govMany other instances of equally atrocious ernment. The testimony herewith submitted cruelty might be enumerated, but your Committee contains many statements made by the rebels feel compelled to refrain from giving here more that they did not intend to treat "home-made of the heart-sickening details, and refer to the Yankees," as they termed loyal Southerners, any statements contained in the voluminous testi- better than negro troops. mony herewith submitted. Those statements There is one circumstance connected with the were obtained by them from eye-witnesses and events herein narrated which your committee sufferers; many of them, as they were examined cannot permit to pass unnoticed. The testimony by your Committee, were lying upon beds of pain herewith submitted discloses this most astoundand suffering, some so feeble that their lips could ing and shameful fact: On the morning of the with difficulty frame the words by which they day succeeding the capture of Fort Pillow, the endeavored to convey some idea of the cruelties gunboat Silver Cloud, (No. 28,) the transport which had been inflicted on them, and which they Platte Valley, and the gunboat New Era, (No. 7,) had seen inflicted on others.

landed at Fort Pillow under flag of truce, for the How many of our troops thus fell victims to'purpose of receiving the few wounded there and

Chairman,

TESTIMONY.

burying the dead. While they were lying there, States navy, in command of gunboat Hastings, the rebel General Chalmers and other rebel offi- (furnished by Captain Pennock to convey the cers came down to the landing, and some of them Committee to Fort Pillow and Memphis ;) Captain went on the boats. Notwithstanding the evi- Thomas Pattison, Naval Commandant at Memdences of rebel atrocity and barbarity with which phis; General C. C. Washburne, and the officers the ground was covered, there were some of our of their commands, as among those to whom they army officers on board the Platte Valley so lost are indebted for assistance and attention. to every feeling of decency, honor, and self-re- All of which is respectfully submitted. spect, as to make themselves disgracefully con

B. F. WADE, spicuous in bestowing civilities and attention upon

D. W. Gooch. the rebel officers, even while they were boasting Adopted by the committee as their report. of the murders they had there committed. Your

B. F. WADE, Committee were unable to ascertain the names of the officers who have thus inflicted so foul a stain upon the honor of our army. They are assured,

Cairo, Illinors, April 22, 1864. however, by the military authorities that every Brigadier-General Mason Brayman sworn and effort will be made to ascertain their names and examined by the Chairman. bring them to the punishment they so richly Question. What is your rank and position in merit.

the service ? In relation to the reënforcement or evacuation Answer. Brigadier-General of volunteers ; have of Fort Pillow, it would appear from the testimo- been in command of the district of Cairo since ny that the troops thero stationed were withdrawn March nineteenth, 1864. on the twenty-fifth of January last, in order to Question. What was the extent of your disaccompany the Meridian expedition under Gene-trict when you assumed command, and what ral Sherman. General Hurlbut testifies that he your available force ? never received any instructions to permanently Answer. The river, from Paducah to Island vacate the post, and deeming it important to oc- Number Ten, inclusive, about one hundred and cupy it, so that the rebels should not interrupt sixty miles, and adjacent portions of Tennessee the navigation of the Mississippi by planting ar- and Kentucky. My available force for duty, as tillery there, he sent some troops there about the appears from tri-monthly report of March twen middle of February, increasing their number tieth, as follows: afterward until the garrison amounted to nearly

408

Paducah, officers and men, six hundred men. He also states that as soon

Cairo,

231 as he learned that the place was attacked, he im

Columbus,

998 mediately took measures to send up reënforce

Hickman,

51 ments from Memphis, and they were actually

Island No. Ten,

162 embarking when he received information of the

Union City,

479 capture of the Fort. Your Committee cannot close this report with

Aggregate, .....

.2329 out expressing their obligations to the officers of the army and navy, with whom they were brought Question. What was the character of your in contact, for the assistance they rendered. It force and the condition of your command at that is true your Committee were furnished by the time ? Secretary of War with the fullest authority to Answer. Three fourths of the men were colcall upon any one in the army for such services ored, a portion of them not mustered into servas they might require, to enable them to make ice, and commanded by officers temporarily asthe investigation devolved upon them by Con- signed, awaiting commission. Of the white gress, but they found that no such authority was troops about one half at the posts on the river needed. The army and navy officers at every were on duty as provost-marshals' guards and point they visited evinced a desire to aid the com- similar detached duties, leaving but a small nummittee in every way in their power; and all ex- ber in condition for movement. The fortificapressed the highest satisfaction that Congress tions were in an unfinished condition ; that at had so promptly taken steps to ascertain the facts Cairo rendered almost useless by long neglect. connected with this fearful and bloody transac- Many of the guns were dismounted, or otherwise tion, and the hope that the investigation would unfit for service, and the supply of ammunition lead to prompt and decisive measures on the part deficient and defective. A body of cavalry at of the government. Your Committee would men- Paducah were not mounted, and only part of tion more particularly the names of General Ma- those at Union City. I had not enough mountson Brayman, Military Commandant at Cairo; ed men within my reach for orderlies. Captain J. H. Odlin, his Chief of Staff; Captain Question. What is the character of the public Alexander M. Pennock, United States navy, Fleet property and interests intrusted to your care ? l'aptain of Mississippi squadron ; Captain James Answer. Paducah commands the Ohio. In W. Shirk, United States navy, commanding Sev- hostile hands, the Tennessee and Cumberland enth district Mississippi squadron; Surgeon rivers are no longer ours. Mound City, eight Horace Wardner, in charge of Mound City gene- miles above Cairo, is the great naval dépôt for eral hospital; Captain Thomas M. Farrell, United | the Western ficet. Gunboats there receive their

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arınaments, crews, and supplies. An average and keep well prepared.” About half-past four of probably five million dollars of public prop- o'clock of the morning of the twenty-fourth, I erty is constantly at that point; I found it guard was satisfied that Union City was the point of ed by, perhaps, fifty men of the veteran reserve attack. Boats were impressed, four regiments corps, not referring to gunboats lying there. were embarked, and I left at ten; disembarked at Cairo, at the confluence of the great rivers, is Columbus, and arriving within six miles of Cnion the narrow gateway through which all military City at four P.M., where I learned that a surrenand naval operations of the Mississippi valley der had taken place at eleven A.m., and the garrimust be made. I cannot compute the amount or son marched off. I turned back, and at three value of shipping and property at all times at the next morning turned over General Veatch's this point. The Committee must observe that men, ready to go up the Tennessee. the loss of Mound City and Cairo would para- Question. Why did you not pursue Forrest ? lyze the Western army and navy. The points Answer. For three reasons : First, his force below Columbus and Island Ten are fortified was all cavalry ; mine all infantry. Second, he places; while holding them, the rebels had con- was moving on Paducah, and, while I could not trol of the river. It required a prodigious effort overtake him by land, I could head him by to dislodge them. To concede to them any point the rivers. Third, another despatch from Geneon the river, even for a week, would bring disas- ral Sherman reached me as I was going out from ter. Furthermore, the rebels now control West- Columbus, prohibiting me from diverting the ern Kentucky ; they are murdering, robbing, troops bound up the Tennessee from that moveand driving out the loyal men; they avow their ment on account of the presence of Forrest. My determination to permit the loyal men to take purpose was to save Union City, bring in its garno part in the approaching elections. Unless rison, and have General Veatch's men back in protected in their effort to protect themselves, the time for their boats. While I was willing to Union men must give way, and the country re- risk much to secure a garrison supposed to be main under insurrectionary control.

yet engaged in gallant defence, I could do nothQuestion. Did you consider your force, as ing to mitigate the accomplished misfortune of a stated, adequate to the protection of your dis- surrender. trict?

Question. Do you think the surrender premaAnswer. Wholly inadequate, considering the ture? interests at stake, and the hostile forces within Answer. The garrison was within fortificaattacking distance.

tions; the enemy had no artillery. A loss of Question. When did you first hear that For- one man killed and two or three wounded does rest was advancing ?

not indicate a desperate case. The rebels were Answer. On March twenty-third, four days three times repulsed. A flag of truce followed, after I took command, Colonel Hicks, at Padu- and a surrender. cah, and Colonel Hawkins at Union City, advised Question. How large was the attacking party? me by telegraph of the presence in their neigh- Answer. I judge fifteen hundred, the largest borhood of armed bands, both fearing an attack. portion of Forrest's force being evidently on the At night of the same day, Colonel Ilawkins re- way to Paducah. ported Forrest at Jackson, sixty-one miles south, Question. How large was his entire force ? with seven thousand men; and again that he ex- Answer. Apparently six thousand five hunpected an attack within twenty-four hours. He dred. wanted reënforcements.

Question. When was Paducah attacked ? Question. Had you the means of reënforcing Answer. About three P.m., the next day, him ?

March twenty-fisth. Answer. Of my own command, I had not one Question. Was Paducah reënforced previous hundred and fifty available men ; however, some to the attack ? regiments and detachments of General Veatch's Answer. It was not. I had no men to send, division had arrived and awaited the arrival of but sent supplies. boats from St. Louis to carry them up the Ten- Question. Where was General Veatch's com

General Veatch had gone to Evansville, mand ? Indiana. Simultaneously with the reports from Answer. Embarking for the Tennessee. Hicks and Hawkins, I received from General Question. Was Paducah well defended ? Sherman, then at Nashville, this despatch : Answer. Most gallantly, and with success. “Has General Veatch and command started up The conduct of Colonel Hicks and his entire the Tennessee? If not, start them up at once. command was noble in the highest degree. Down to this time it was uncertain whether Question. How did his colored troops behave? Union City or Paducah was the real object of Answer. As well as the rest. Colonel Hicks attack. Late in the evening I applied to Cap- thus refers to them in his official report : “I tain Fox, General Veatch's Assistant Adjutant- have been one of those men who never had General, to have two thousand men in readiness much confidence in colored troops fighting, but to move during the night, if wanted, promising those doubts are now all removed, for they fought to have them back in time to embark, on arrival as bravely as any troops in the fort.” of their transports. I telegraphed Hawkins that Question. Why was the city shelled and set on he would receive aid, directing him to " fortify fire ?

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