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fired at him. We put out the best of our men as sharp-shooters. A great many of our men lay down inside of our works and went to sleep, as they felt altogether easy about the matter. I think it was about half-past ten o'clock when the bugle was sounded to cea«e firing; and fifteen minutes before eleven they sent in a flag of truce demanding an unconditional surrender. Colonel Hawkins called the officers together and asked them what they thought best to be done. All were in favor of fighting. When he asked me about it, I told him that if they had artillery they could whip us; but if they had no artillery we could fight them till hell froze over; those were my very words. Then the telegraph operator said that he had seen two pieces of artillery, lie had my glass, and had been up in a little log shanty, where he could see all over the ground. Colonel Hawkins said if they had artillery, and we renewed the fight, like enough they would kill every man of us they got So we agreed then he should make the surrender, on condition that we should be paroled there, without being taken away from the place, and each one allowed to keep his private property, and the officers allowed lo keep their fire-arms. He went out to make the surrender on those conditions; and.if they did not accept them, then we were to fight them as long as a man was left He went out, and the next thing I knew there was an order came there for us to march our men out and lay down their arms. We marched them out in front of his headquarters and laid down our arms. The. rebels then piled into our camp and cleaned out every thing; what they could not carry off they burned. We were then marched off. The Colonel had not then told us on what conditions the suiTendcr was made; he only said he supposed we would be paroled.
Question. The enemy had used no artillery?
Answer. No, sir.
Question. Did you find out subsequently whether or not they had any artillery *
Answer. They had two pieces of artillery, but they did not have them at Union City.
Question. Where was it?
Answer. On the way from Dresden to Paducah. They told me it was in supporting distance; that they could have had it at Union City in a short time; but I heard so many stories I did not know what to believe.
Question. Did you suppose at the time you made the surrender that reenforccments were approaching yon?
Answer. The Colonel could not tell us whether any reinforcements were coming or not
Question. How far was Union City from Columbus?
Answer. I think it was twenty-six miles; but I am not certain.
Question. You supposed reenforccments would come from there, if at all?
Answer. From Cairo.
Question. How far were you from Cairo?
Answer. It is about forty-six miles from here to Union City. You would have to go from here
to Columbus, and from Columbus out to Union City.
Question. How long did you remain with the enemy?
Answer. From Thursday until Monday night
Question. How did you effect your escape?
Answer. Wo were not guarded very closely. When I was ready to leave I went into the kitchen, just after supper, and asked for some bread and meat for a man who was sick. The cook gave it to me, and I then went out the door and called Captain Parsons, and asked him if he did not want to go down and see the boys; that I had got a piece of meat to take down. He said yes; but instead of going down to see the boys we turned off into the woods.
Question. At what point did you come into our lines?
Answer. We came in at Waverley Landing.
By the Chairman:
Question. Have you heard since that reenforcements under General Brayman were approaching to your relief?
Answer. Yes, sir.
Question. Did you hear how near they had got to 3*ou?
Answer. Within six miles of the place at four o'clock that morning.
By Mr. Gooch:
Question. Had you any conversation with the rebel officers while you were with them?
Answer. Yes, sir.
Question. Did you hear them say any thing about negro troops, etc?
Answer. Not much. I was talking with them about our regiment. They said when they first started to come there that they were going to get us, and seemed to be surprised to think we had fought them as well as we did, for they said they expected to get us without any trouble.
Question. Did they say why they expected to get you without any trouble?
Answer. No, sir. They said they would parole Hawkins again, and let him get some more horses, and knives, and things, and then they would come when they wanted him again.
Question. How did they treat our men?
Answer. They gave them nothing to cat until the second night, when thev gave them about an ounce of fat bacon each, borne got a little bread, but a few of them, however. On Sunday morning they marched the men up in front of the court-house, passed them in one at a time and searched them, taking boots, hats, coats, blankets, and money from them.
Question. Did they leave you without boots, coats, or blankets?
Answer. There were a great many of our men who had new boots, and the rebels would take the new boots and give them their old ones, and so they exchanged hats and blankets.
Question. How many days were you in reaching our lines after you escaped from the rebels t
Answer. I reached Waverley Landing on Thursday, the seventh of April, and Cairo in two weeks from the time that I got away from them.
Captain P. K. Parsons, sworn and examined.
Question. AVere you at Union City when that place was surrendered r Answer. Yes, sir.
Question. State briefly the circumstances attending the attack there and the surrender.
Answer. I think it was a few minutes after four o'clock in the morning that our pickets were driven in by the enemy. I was then sent out to look after them, and commenced skirmishing with them just at daylight Before sun-up they had surrounded the Fort They then made three or four charges, two on horseback, I believe, but they were repulsed very easily. They then did not do any thing but use their sharp-shooters until about ten minutes before eleven o'clock, irhen they sent in a flag of truce, demanding an unconditional surrender. The Colonel went out and received the demand and brought it in. He then called the officers together and asked what we thought of the matter. He turned to Captain Harris, as the oldest officer, and asked him what we should do. The Captain said he was for fighting, and I believe other officers there said "fight" The Colonel then asked me to ride out with him, and I did so. On our way out, I told the Colonel that 1 thought we had the rebels whipped unless they had reenforcements, which I did not think they had. They gave us fifteen minutes more to consider. Then some officers said they thought they saw artillery out there. Captaiii Beattie said if they had artillery they could whip us, but not without The Colonel then went out and made an unconditional surrender of the Fort, about sixteen officers and about five hundred men. I guess there were three hundred men and officers out of the five hundred who wanted to fight
Question. Did you see any artillery r
Answer. No, sir.
Question. They had none there?
Answer. No, sir; I rode out as far as I dared go to see, and I did not see any thing with the glass I had but an ambulance; there was no artillery there at all.
Question. To what do you attribute the surrender by Colonel Hawkins?
Answer. It is hard for me to make up my mind about that Colonel Hawkins was a first lieutenant of a company in the Mexican war, and I fought under him there, and I have fought under him in this war, and I never saw any cowardice about him before. I think this was one of the most cowardly surrenders there ever was. Still, 1 cannot think Colonel Hawkins is a coward; at least I never saw any show of cowardice in him before. I could see no reason for surrendering when we had but one man killed or hurt in the Fort
Question. You escaped from the enemy f
Answer. Yes, sir.
Question. How did you effect your escape?
Answer. I escaped with Captain Beattie.
Question. How long were you with the enemy?
Answer. Four days and a half.
Question. Who did you understand was in command of the rebels?
Answer. Colonel Duckworth.
Question. How many men did he have?
Answer. From the best information I could get there were about one thousand five hundred of them. Several of their officers said they had one thousand two hundred and fifty men, regular troops, and four independent companies. That was their statement to ma
Question. Had you a good position at Union City?
Answer. It was a very good position against small arms; it was not strong against artillery.
Question. Did you know any thing about reenforcements coming to you?
Answer. We were looking for reenforcements. We had a despatch to hold the place, that reenforcements would be sent
Question. From whom was that despatch?
Answer. From General Brayman.
Question. Did Colonel Hawkins receive that despatch before he surrendered?
Answer. Yes, sir; the day before the fight, before the wire was cut. Ho was getting a despatch when the wire was cut; we did not know what that despatch was. But the one he got before was an order to hold the place, that reenforcements would be sent to him. We were looking for them to come that morning or that night I heard some rebel officers and men say they had come four hundred and fifty miles for our regiment, and that they had known they would get it. I asked them how they knew they would get it, but they would not tell me. A rebel cursed Colonel Hawkins; said he was a God damned coward, but he had good men.
Question. Were our men in good spirits before the surrender?
Answer. They were just as cool and quiet as you ever saw men; not a bit excited, but talking and laughing.
Mrs. Rosa Johnson, sworn and examined.
By Mr. Gooch:
Question. Where have you been living?
Answer. I have a home at Hickman, Kentucky, but have been at Fort Pillow.
Question. Did you live there r
Answer. No, sir; my son was there, and I went down to stay with him.
Question. Where were you during the fight?
Answer. I was on a big island, where the gunboat men took us. I staid there a part of two days and one night
Question. Did you go back to Fort Pillow after the fight?
Answer. Yes, sir; the gunboat took us over there.
Question. When did you go back there?
Answer. The battle was on Tuesday, and I went back Wednesday evening.
Question. Had our wounded men been taken away when you went back?
Answer. Yes, sir; I believe so
Question. How long did you stay there?
Answer. I went about two o'clock in the evening, and staid till night.
Question. Did you go about the Fort after you went back?
Answer. Yes, sir; I went up in it, expecting to find my son lying there, and I went around, where I saw some half buried, some with feet out, or hands out, or heads out; but I could not find him. I was so distressed that I could not tell much about it.
Question. Did you see any body nailed to any boards there?
Answer. We saw a man lying there, burned they said; but I did not go close to him. I was looking all around the Fort for my child, and did not pay attention to any thing else.
Question. You came away that night?
Answer. I think we did.
Question. Is that all you know about it?
Answer. That is about all I know about it There was a pile of dirt there, and there was a crack in it, which looked like a wounded man had been buried there, and had tried to get out, and had jammed the dirt, for they buried the wounded and the dead altogether there. There were others knew about that
Mrs. Rebecca Williams, sworn and examined.
By Mr. Gooch:
Question. Where do you icsido?
Answer. In Obion County, Tennessee.
Question. Was vour husband in that fight at Fort Pillow?
Answer. Yes, sir.
Question. Were you there during the fight?
Answer. I was over on the Island with Mrs. Johnson.
Question. Did you go back to Fort Pillow after the battle?
Answer. Yes, sir.
Question. What did you see there?
Answer. I did not see any thing more than what Mrs. Johnson saw. I saw a burned man. He was lying right where a house was burned. He was a white man, but as I was alone by myself, I felt frightened, and did not look at it. I saw many buried there, some half buried, and negroes lying around there unburied. I heard that there was a man nailed up to a building and burned, but I did not see it.
Question. What time of day was it that you were there?
Answer. About two o'clock, the day after the fight. 1 saw that the man who was burned was a white man. Mrs. Ruffin was there and examined it, and can tell you all about it
Captain James H. Odlin sworn and examined.
By the Chairman:
Question. What is your rank and position in the service?
Answer. I am a Captain, and Assistant Adjutant-General and Chief of Staff for General Brayman, for the district of Cairo, where I have been stationed since the twenty-third of January, 1864.
Question. Do you know any thing about the capture of Fort Pillow?
Answer. Only from hearsay.
Question. You are acquainted somewhat with the circumstances attending the surrender of Union City?
Answer. Yes, sir.
Question. Will you tell us about that?
Answer. About four o'clock on the evening of the twenty-third of March we received a telegram that it was likely Union City would be attacked within two days. Shortly afterward we received a telegram from Colonel Hawkins that he would be attacked within twenty-four hours. He said his men had not seen the enemy, but that his information was reliable. General Brayman instructed me to proceed by special boat to Columbus, and from thence, by special train, to Union City, to inquire into the matter, to find out the truth of the case, and let him know; also to find out whether roenforcements were necessary. I left Cairo about five P.m. on the twenty-third, arrived at Columbus about half-past seven o'clock, and immediately proceeded to the telegraph-office and telegraphed to Colonel Hawkins, asking him if he had any further information. He answered that he had none. I then asked him if his information and his despatches could be relied upon, and whether he had seen the enemy. He answered that none of his men had seen the enemy; that he had not seen any one who had seen the enemy, but that his information was entirely reliable, and that he would be attacked, there" was was no doubt of it.
I then proceeded, by special train, to Union City, and had a consultation with Colonel Hawkins. He told me that the ferries on the Obion had been destroyed, and that scouts whom he had expected in the day before had not returned; that he supposed that they were captured, or that it was impossible for them to get across the Obion. He said that his men had not seen the enemy; that he could not get any of them across the Obion in consequence of the rebel forces having destroyed the private ferries, and guarding the other places.
About half-past three o'clock on the morning of the twenty-fourth, a messenger came in and stated that the pickets at the bridge on the Dresden and Hickman road had been attacked and driven in, and that they were probably cut oir, which afterward proved to be the fact. The messenger also reported that, when shots were exchanged, he thought the rebels had brought artillery to the front, but he could not be certain of that; that it sounded on the bridge like artillery. I immediately directed Colonel Hawkins to have his men saddle their horses ready for a fight. I instructed him, if he saw fit, and thought he could not hold the place, to abandon it and fall back on Columbus. He asked me how soon I would reenforce him if he remained there. I told him I would reenforce him just as quick as I could get the troops up there. He said he thought he could hold the place with his regiment if he had some artillery; but that he could not contend against artillery without he had some himself. I told him I did not want him to retreat without having seen the enemy; that he must have a skirmish with them, and feel their strength, before falling back to Colurrbus; that I did not want the command disgraced by retreating without seeing the enemy, which it would be if the reports should prove false, or he found that he had fallen back before a small number of men.
I then told Colonel Hawkins I must leave, for my orders were not to endanger the train, but to save it. The train consisted of nine cars and a locomotive, and was loaded with stores from Union City belonging to the Government and to the railroad company, and one hundred and fifty contrabands, (railroad hands.) The last words I said to Colonel Hawkins were, that if he found he could not whip the enemy, he should immediately retreat to Columbus. He said that if he did not fall back, he would hold the place until reenforcements reached him. I told him I would immediately push forward reenforcements; that the garrison at Columbus consisted of only one thousand one hundred men in all, and that nine hundred and odd of them were negroes, who had never been in a fight, and that reenforcements would have to come from Cairo. I wrote a telegraphic despatch at the time to General Brayman, giving all the facts. But while it was being sent, the wires were cut, and we did not get the half of it through.
I then started to return to Columbus with the train, with the distinct understanding with Colonel Hawkins that he should either hold Union City until reenforcements should arrive, or fall back to Columbus. The State line bridge was burning as I crossed it with the train, the evident intention of the rebels being to capture the train. I succeeded, however, in getting it through to Columbus safe.
Colonel Lawrence, commanding at Columbus, had telegraphed General Brayman that communications with Union City were cut off; that I was on the opposite side of the bridge, and that Colonel Hawkins was probably attacked. General Brayman immediately forwarded reenforcements to Columbus, taking two thousand men belonging to General Veatch's command, then on their way up the Tennessee River. Ho had received telegraphic orders from General Sherman not to take any of those troops out of their proper course, but forward them as soon as possible up the Tennessee. As transports were not ready for them, and as General Brayman could go to Union City and back again before transportation would be ready, he concluded to use some of the troops for the purpose of reenforcing Union City. The movement was made with as little delay as pos- '< able. He arrived at Columbus about ten or half- ■ past ten o'clock on the morning of the twenty- j fourth, and immediately proceeded on a railroad train towards Union City. Upon arriving within about seven miles of Union City, we were in#>rraed by citizens and some scouts, that Colonel Hawkins had surrendered at eleven o'clock of, Vol. VIII—Doc. 4
that day; that the rebels had destroyed all the works and the government property, and had retreated. General Brayman, being fully convinced that Union City had been surrendered, every thing there destroyed, and that the enemy had fled, returned to Columbus, and from thence to Cairo, with the troops ready to be forwarded up the Tennessee in obedience to the orders of General Sherman.
Question. "Will you now state what you know in relation to the attack on Padueah?
Answer. About eight o'clock on the night of the twenty-fifth of March we received a telegraphic despatch from the operator at Metropolis, stating that a big light was seen in the direction of Padueah; that it looked as if the town or some boats were burning. The despatch also stated that the telegraph repairer had come in and reported that he had been within two miles of Padueah, and had heard firing there. We had received, previous to this, no intimation from Colonel Hicks, commanding at Padueah, that the place was in danger of an attack. In obedience to instructions from General Brayman, I immediately got on a despatch boat, furnished by Captain Pennock, of the navy, and with Captain Shirk, of the navy, proceeded to Padueah. We found, on our arrival there, that General Forrest, with his command of about six thousand five hundred men had attacked Padueah in the afternoon, about three o'clock, the troops under Colonel Hicks having only about fifteen minutes' notice of their coming. Colonel Hicks's scouts had returned from the road over which the rebels had come in, and reported that they had heard nothing of the enemy. They were just about sending out new scouts when the rebels dashed into the town, driving our pickets in, and driving our troops into the fort. As the rear of the battalion of the Sixteenth Kentucky cavalry were marching into the fort they were fired upon by the rebels.
After fighting a short time, the rebels sent in a demand, under flag of truce, for the unconditional surrender of all the forces under Colonel Hicks's command, and all the Government property, statting that if he should comply with the demand, his troops should be treated as prisoners of war; if not, then an overwhelming force would be thrown against him, and no quarter would be shown him. Colonel Hicks replied by stating that he had been placed there by his Government to hold and defend the place and the public stores there, and that he should obey the command of his superior officer, and do so; that he was pre pared for the enemy, and should not surrender.
Forrest then again attacked the fort, making three different charges. Our troops, both black and white, behaved in the most gallant and meritorious manner, fighting most bravely. After fighting until half-past seven or eight o'clock in the evening our ammunition began to run short, so much so that men and officers began to count their cartridges. Colonel Hicks had only three thousand rounds of small ammunition left when Forrest made the second demand for a surrender. But Colonel Hicks, as before, positively refused to comply with the demand. Firing then ceased until daylight the next morning.
During this cessation of firing I succeeded in getting into the fort with reinforcements and a small supply of ammunition from the gunboats. The supply of ammunition from Cairo did not arrive until the evening. As it was impossible to get any despatches through from Colonel Hicks, the line being cut, we knew nothing when I left Cairo of his being short of ammunition. The unstanding we had with Colonel Hicks, before any attack was made, was that we had a large supply of ammunition on hand; that there were about thirty-three thousand cartridges, calibre 58, on hand—that being the calibre used by the troops there—and a large supply of artillery ammunition in the fort.
The next morning, about six o'clock, the enemy again advanced in line of battle toward the fort. There was some firing on both sides, but it did not amount to much. Some of the rebel troops, while their main body was firing at the fort, were engaged in pillaging the town, stealing property from private citizens, horses, and Government stores, burning houses, and committing all sorts of depredations.
While the flag of truce was at the fort the first, second, and third times, the rebel troops were taking new positions in line of battle, although they had made a distinct agreement and understanding with Colonel Hicks that while the flag of truce was in there should be no movements of troops on either side; that every thing should remain as it was.
While the fight was going on, women, children, and other non-combatants came running down to the river toward the gunboats. The officers in the fort and on the gunboats called to them to run down to the river-bank to the left of our fort They did so, and under cover of the gunboats they got on a wharf-boat or a little ferryboat, and were ferried across the river as fast as possible. "While they were doing this the rebel nharp-shootcrs got in among them, so that we could not fire upon them without killing the women and children, and fired on our troops in the Fort and on the gunboats, wounding one officer on a gunboat and two men. They also made women stand up in front of their sharp-shooters, where it was impossible for us to return the fire without killing the women. They also fired into houses where there were women, and where there were none of our soldiers. They also went into a hospital, took the surgeon of the hospital prisoner, and took a lady that was there and carried her off and took her clothing from her, leaving her nothing but an old dress to cover herself with. This woman, as well as Dr. Hart, the surgeon of the hospital, were taken away by them as prisoners. All the prisoners taken there by Forrest, with the exception of three or four men, were sick men from the hospital, unable to move or walk from the hospital to the fort without injury to their health. All the men who were able to walk were brought from the hospital to the
fort. They took the rest of the men from the hospital, and under the third flag of truce offered to exchange them. This Colonel Hicks and myself refused, because we thought it treachery on their part. "We also refused for the reason that we did not think they had a right to take as prisoners of war men in the hospital who were unable to walk without danger to their lives. Yet the rebels took those men and marched them ten miles, and then camped them down in a swampy piece of ground at night, with their clothes nearly all taken from them. Some of them were left bareheaded and barefooted, with nothing on but their pants and shirts, compelled to stay in that swampy ravine all night long, with nothing to eat, and not permitted to have fires. The next morning they were marched off" again. I have certain knowledge that for two days and one night those sick men were compelled to march with the rebel troops without any thing to eat, with hardly any clothing, and a number of them without any boots or shoes.
Question. Do you know that the rebels placed women and other non-combatants in front of their lines as they advanced toward the fort?
Answer. They had women and children between us and their lines, and they stood behind them, the women and children forming a sort of breastwork for the rebels, as we were unable to return their fire for fear of killing the women and children. Colonel Hicks reported to me that they took several women and compelled them to stand in front of their lines during the fight; that there were women and children between our fire and theirs; that as the women moved the rebels moved along with them, keeping behind them.
Question. Have you any idea of the number of women and children they had thus placed in front of them?
Answer. It varied at different times. Colonel Hicks informed me that at one time the rebels held six women in front of them, refused to let them escape, but compelled them to stand there under the hottest of the fire.
Question. Were those women so placed that we could not fire upon the enemy with advantage without endangering the lives of the women?
Answer. We could not firo upon them at that particular point without endangering the lives of the women and children.
Question. Do you know whether the flag of truce was violated by the rebels at any time?
Answer. Yes, sir, it was. While the flag of truce was in, they moved their troops into new positions; they marched their troops around to the back of the fort, and brought them up through the timber, dashed up toward the fort at full speed, then turned off toward the right of the fort, taking up their position between the fort and the town. During the first flag of truce thej marched the majority of their forces, if not the whole of them, down into an open common between the fort, the river, and the town, along the river-bank, then obliqued off to the left, and