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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 Fent 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. Gooca. 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
TESTIMONY. the officers who have thus inflicted so foul a stain upon the honor of our army. They are assured,
CAIRO, ILLINOIS, 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 reinforcement 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would appear from the testimo- been in command of the district of Cairo since ny that the troops there stationed were withdrawn March nineteenth, 1864.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 twenmiddle of February, increasing their number tieth, as follows: afterward until the garrison amounted to nearly
Paducah, officers and men, ........... *408 six hundred men. He also states that as soon
231 as he learned that the place was attacked, he im
998 mediately took measures to send up reënforce
Hickman, ments from Memphis, and they were actually
Island No. Ten, " embarking when he received information of the capture of the Fort.
Union City, Your Committee cannot close this report without expressing their obligations to the officers of
.......2329 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 seryas they might require, to enable them to make ice, and commanded by officers temporarily asthe investigation devolved upon them by Cori- 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? Captain 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 fleet. Gunboats there receive their
.. 51 .. 162
armaments, 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 Union 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 garri. must 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 Hawkins 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.
1 Question. When was Paducah attacked ? Question. Had you the means of reënforcing Answer. About three P.M., the next day, him ?
March twenty-fifth. 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 comnessee. 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 “fortifyfire ?
Answer. Our small force retired within the smuggling of contraband goods under permits, fort; the rebels took possession of the town, and and sharing the profits. Pretended loyal men from adjacent buildings their sharp-shooter's fired and open enemies thus combined, and the rebel upon us. It was necessary to dislodge them. army gets the benefit. We are supplying our The gunboats Peosta, Captain Smith, and Paw- enemies with the means of resistance. Paw, Captain O'Neal, and the Fort drove them Question. Could not the rebels have been out, necessarily destroying property. Most of sooner driven out of your neighborhood ? the inhabitants being still rebel sympathizers, Answer. They could by withdrawing men there was less than the usual regret in perform- from duties which are presumed to be of greater ing the duty.
importance. That point was settled by my suQuestion. What became of the enemy after perior officers. Forrest's force was near May. the repulse ?
field, about equidistant from Paducah, Cairo, and Answer. They went south, and on the twen- Columbus, only a few hours from either. He ty-sixth I was notified by Colonel Hicks and by was at the centre, I going round the edge of a Colonel Lawrence that they were approaching circle. I could only watch the coming blow and Columbus.
help each weak point in turn. One evening, Question. What was done ?
for instance, I sent four hundred men to Colum Answer. I went to Columbus again, with such bus, expecting trouble there, and the next morn men as could be withdrawn from Cairo, and ing had them at Paducah, seventy-five miles dis awaited an attack, but none was made. We tant. were too strong, of which rebels in our midst Question. Had you instructions as to the had probably advised them.
| presence of that force so near you? Question. Do you permit rebels to remain Answer. Not specific. General Sherman, on with your lines ?
the twenty-third of March, telegraphed that he Answer. Of course; after they have taken the was willing that Forrest should remain in that oath.
neighborhood if the people did not manifest Question. What is done in case they violate, friendship, and on April thirteenth he expressed by acting as spies, for instance ?
a desire that Forrest should prolong his visit Answer. I don't like to acknowledge that we until certain measures could be accomplished. I swear them over again, but that is about what it think General Sherman did not purpose to withamounts to.
draw a heavy force to pursue Forrest, having Question. What became of your garrison at better use for them elsewhere, and feeling that Hickman ?
we had force enough to hold the important points Answer. It was but fourteen miles from Union on the river. It may be that the strength of City ; too weak for defence, and unimportant. the enemy and the scattered condition of our Having no reinforcements to spare, I brought small detachments was not fully understood. We away the garrison.
fran too great a risk at Paducah. Nothing but Question. Was Union City important as a great gallantry and fortitude saved it from the military post?
fate of Fort Pillow. Answer. I think not, except to keep the peace Question. What information had you of the and drive out guerrillas. The railroad was ope- attack of Fort Pillow ? rated to that point at the expense of the Govern-Answer. Fort Pillow is one hundred and sevment, being used in carrying out supplies, which enty miles below here, not in my district, but went mostly into disloyal hands, or were seized Memphis. On April thirteenth, at six P.M., I by Forrest. The road from Paducah to Mayfield telegraphed General Sherman as follows: was used by its owners. Enormous quantities “The surrender of Columbus was demanded of supplies needed by the rebel army were car- and refused at six this morning. Women and ried to Mayfield and other convenient points, and children brought away. Heavy artillery firing passed into the hands of the rebel army. I this afternoon. I have sent reënforcements. found this abuse so flagrant and dangerous that Paducah also threatened. No danger of either, I made a stringent order stopping all trade. I but I think that Fort Pillow, in the Memphis furnish a copy herewith, making it part of my district, is taken. General Shepley passed yesanswer, (Exhibit A.)
terday and saw the flag go down, and thinks it Question. What, in your opinion, is the effect a surrender. I have enough troops now from of free trade in Western Kentucky and Tenn- below, and will go down, if necessary, to that essee?
point. Captain Pennock will send gunboats. If Answer. Pernicious beyond measure ; corrupt- lost, it will be retaken immediately." ing those in the public service, and furnishing I was informed, in reply, that Fort Pillow had needed supplies to enemies. I am in possession no guns or garrison ; had been evacuated ; that of intercepted correspondence, showing that General Hurlbut had force for its defence, etc. while the trader who has taken the oath and does I understand that Fort Pillow had been evacbusiness at Paducah gets permits to send out uated and reöccupied, General Sherman not besupplies, several wagons at a time, his partner is ing aware of it. On the fourteenth he again receiving them within the rebel lines under per- instructed me as follows: Inits issued by Forrest. A public officer is now “What news from Columbus? Don't send 'inder arrest and held for trial for covering up I men from Paris to Fort Pillow. Let General Hurlbut take care of that quarter. The Cairo at the hospital out in front of their line, and troops may reinforce temporarily at Paducah kept them there for an hour, thus silencing our and Columbus, but should be held ready to guns. Mrs. Hammond was one of the five. come up the Tennessee. One object that Forrest Reference is made to testimony furnished on the has is to induce us to make these detach- subject, and to official reports when transmitted ments, and prevent our concentrating in this to the War Department. quarter.
Question. What information have you as to Question. Did you have any conversation the intention of the enemy to perpetrate such with General Shepley in relation to the condition acts as the massacre at Fort Pillow of the garrison at Fort Pillow when he passed Answer. I furnish the correspondence growby that point? If so, state what he said. What ing out of demands to surrender at Union City, force did General Shepley have · with him ? Paducah, and Columbus, showing premeditation Did he assign any reason for not rendering on the part of officers in command of the rebel assistance to that garrison ? If so, what was it ? army.
Answer. General Shepley called on me. He [Take in from reports of Lieutenant Gray, stated that as he approached Fort Pillow, fight-Colonel Hicks, and Colonel Lawrence, with which ing was going on; he saw the flag come down the Committee is furnished. See Appendix.] " by the run," but could not tell whether it was Question. Has there been coöperation and lowered by the garrison, or by having the hal- harmony among commanders since these troubles liards shot away; that soon after another flag began ? went up in another place. He could not distin- Answer. Entire and in every respect, so far guish its character, but feared that it was a sur- as I know. Officers of the army in charge of render, though firing continued. I think he troops temporarily here gave all the aid possible. gave the force on the boat as two batteries and They were under orders which prevented their two or three hundred infantry. When he came going out in pursuit of Forrest, but they gave away, the firing was kept up, but not as heavily me detachments to guard our river posts when as at first. He was not certain how the fight threatened. was terminating. In answer to a question of Question. What have been the relations exmine, he said the batteries on board could not isting generally between you and Captain Pen. have been used, as the bluff was too steep for nock, of the navy, Fleet Captain of the Mississippi ascent, or to admit of firing from the water's squadron ? edge, and the enemy above might have captured Answer. Captain Pennock is commandant of them. This was about the substance of our the naval station at Cairo and Mound City, and conversation.
I understand represents Admiral Porter in his Question. What information have you rela- absence. Our relations have been cordial, and tive to the battle and massacre at Fort Pillow, we have cooperated in all movements. The particularly what transpired after the surren- aid given by his gunboats has been prompt, der ?
ample, and very efficient. His admirable judgAnswer. That place not being in my district, ment and ready resources have always been official reports did not come to me. However, available. under instructions from General Sherman, I de Question. During the operations consequent tailed officers, and collected reports and sworn upon the movements of Forrest, did you or did proofs for transmission to him, also to the Sec- you not receive cordial cooperation and support retary of War. Having furnished the Secretary from Lieutenant Commander Shirk, commanding of War with a duplicate copy for the use of your the Seventh division Mississippi squadron ? Committee if he so desired, I refer to that for Answer. I can only repeat my answer to the the information I have on the subject.
last question. Lieutenant Shirk is an admirQuestion. Do you consider the testimony thus able officer, vigilant, brave, and of exceedingly furnished entirely reliable ?
safe judgment. Answer. “In the mouth of two or three wit
MOUND CITY, Illinois, April 22, 1864. nesses shall every word be established.” Here Surgeon Horace Wardner sworn and examare scores of them, living and dying. There are ined. doubtless errors as to time and place, and scenes By the Chairman : witnessed from different points of observation, Question. Have you been in charge of this but in the main I regard the witnesses honest hospital, Mound City Hospital ? and their accounts true.
| Answer. I have been in charge of this hospi. Question. What did you learn concerning vio- tal continually since the twenty-fifth of April, lations of the flag of truce ?
1863. Answer. I learn from official sources that at Question. Will you state, if you please, what Paducah, Columbus, Union City, and Fort Pil- you know about the persons who escaped from low, the rebels moved troops, placed batteries, Fort Pillow ? And how many have been under formed new lines, advanced, robbed stores and your charge ? private houses, stole horses and other property, Answer. I have received thirty-four whites, while protected by flags of truce. J. W. McCord twenty-seven colored men, and one colored woand Mrs. Hannah Hammond state, in writing, man; and 'seven corpses of those who died on that at Paducah they forced five women nurses I their way here.
Question. Did any of those you have mention- protect his head, and they cut off one or two of ed escape from Fort Pillow ?
his fingers. He was brought here insensible, Answer. There were eight or nine men, I for- and died yesterday. I made a post-mortem get the number, who did escape and come here; examination, and found that the outer table of the others were paroled. I learned the following the skull was incised, the inner table was fracfacts about that: The day after the battle a gun- tured, and a piece driven into the brain. boat was coming up, and commenced shelling Question. This was done while he was sick in the place; the rebels sent a flag of truce for the the hospital ? purpose of giving over into our hands what Answer. Yes, sir, unable to get off his bed. wounded remained alive; a transport then land- Question. Have you any means of knowing ed, and sent out details to look about the how many were murdered in that way? grounds and pick up the wounded there, and Answer. No positive means, except the statebring them on the boat. They had no previous ment of the men. attention.
Question. How many do you suppose from the Question. They were then brought under your information you have received ? charge ?
| Answer. I suppose there were about four Answer. They were brought immediately to hundred massacred-murdered there. this hospital.
Question. What proportion white, and what Question. Who commanded that boat ? proportion colored, as near as you could ascerAnswer. I forget the naval officer's name. tain ?
Question. How long after the capture of the Answer. The impression I have, from what I place did he come along?
can learn, is, that all the negroes were massacred Answer. That was the next day after the cap- except about eighty, and all the white soldiers ture.
were killed except about one hundred, or one Question. Did all who were paroled in this hundred and ten. way come under your charge, or did any of them Question. We have heard rumors that some go to other hospitals ?
of these persons were buried alive ; did you hear Answer. None went to other hospitals that I any thing about that? am aware of.
Answer. I have two in the hospital here who Question. Please state their condition. were buried alive.
Answer. They were the worst butchered men Question. Both colored men ? I have ever seen. I have been in several hard Answer. Yes, sir. battles, but I have never seen men so mangled Question. How did they escape ? as they were ; and nearly all of them concur in Answer. One of them I have not conversed stating that they received all their wounds after with personally; the other I have. He was they had thrown down their arms, surrendered, thrown into a pit, as he states, with a great and asked for quarters. They state that they many others, white and black, several of whom ran out of the Fort, threw down their arms, and were alive; they were all buried up together. ran down the bank to the edge of the river, and He lay on the outer edge, but his head was nearwere pursued to the top of the bank and fired er the surface; he had one well hand, and with on from above.
that hand he was able to work a place through Question. Were there any females there? which he could breathe, and in that way he got
Answer. I have one wounded woman from his head out; he lay there for some twenty-four there.
hours, and was finally taken out by somebody. Question. Were there any children or young The others, next to him, were buried so deep persons there?
that they could not get out, and died. Answer. I have no wounded children or young Question. Did you hear any thing about any persons from there.
of them having been thrown into the flames and Question. Those you have received were most-burned ? Ip combatants, or had been ?
Answer. I do not know any thing about that Answer. Yes, sir; soldiers, white or colored. myself. These men did not say much, and in
Question. Were any of the wounded here in fact I did not myself have time to question them the hospital in the Fort, and wounded while in very closely. the hospital ?
Question. What is the general condition now Answer. I so understand them.
of the wounded men from Fort Pillow under Question. How many in that condition did your charge ? you understand ?
Answer. They are in as good condition as Answer. I learned from those who came here they can be ; probably about one third of them that nearly all who were in the hospital were must die. killed. I received a young negro boy, probably Question. Is your hospital divided into wards, sixteen years old, who was in the hospital there and can we go through and take the testimony sick with fever, and unable to get away. The of these men, ward by ward ? rebels entered the hospital, and with a sabre Answer. It is divided into wards. The men hacked his head, no doubt with the intention of from Fort Pillow are scattered through the hossplitting it open. The boy put up his hand to pital, and isolated to prevent erysipelas. If I