forces from exposure and exhaustion that he could not hold his trenches half an hour. As an illustration of the correctness of his remark he said: "You, gentlemen, know that yesterday morning I considered the Second Kentucky (Hanson's) Regiment as good a regiment as there was in the service; yet such was their condition yesterday afternoon that, when I learned the enemy was in their trenches (which were to our extreme right and detached from the others), before I could rally and form them I had to take at least twenty men by the shoulders and pull them into line as a nucleus for formation." General Floyd concurred with General Buckner in his opinion as tot he impossibility of holding the trenches longer, and asked: "What shall we do?" General Buckner stated that no officer had a right to sacrifice his men; referred tot he various successes since Wednesday at Donelson, and concluded by saying that an officer who had successfully resisted an assault of a much larger force and was still surrounded by an increased force old surrender with honor, and that we had accomplished much more than we required by this rule. General Pillow said that he never would surrender. General Floyd said that he would suffer any fate before he would surrender or fall into the hands of the enemy alive. At the suggestion of some one present he said that personal considerations influenced him in coming tot his determination, and further stated that such considerations should never govern a general officer. Colonel Forrest, of the cavalry, who was present, said he would die before he would surrender; that such of his men as would follow him he would take out. General Floyd said he would take his chances with Forrest, and asked General Buckner if he would make the surrender. General Buckner asked him if he (General Floyd) would pass the command to him. General Floyd replied in the affirmative. I understood General Pillow as doing the same. "Then," said General Buckner, "I shall propose terms of capitulation;" and asked for ink and paper, and directed one of his staff to send for a bugler and prepare white flags to plant at various points on our works.
Preparations were immediately begun to be made by General Floyd and staff, General Pillow and staff, and Colonel Forrest to leave. This was about 3 a. m. It was suggested by some one that two boats that were known to be coming down might arrive before day, and General Floyd asked if they came that he might be permitted to take off on them his troops. General Buckner replied that all might leave who could before his note was sent to General Grant, the Federal commander. Thus ended the confederate.
After this I met or called General Pillow in the passage, and asked him in there was any possibility of a misunderstanding as to his position. He thought not; but I suggested to him the propriety of again seeing Generals Floyd and Buckner, and see that their was no possibility of his position being misunderstood by them. He said he would, and returned to the room in which the conference wad held.
In my statement of what transpired and of the conversations that were had I do not present to have given the exact language used, and I may be mistaken as to the order of the remarks that I have endeavored to narrate.
JNO. C. BURCH,
Aide to General Pillow.
Sworn to and subscribed before me this 15th of March, 1862.
Intendant of the Town of Decatur, Ala., and ex-officio Justice of the Peace.