ville, and he desired me to destroy all the commissary stores and then make my escape across the river. I desired to know at what hour General Pillow wished his order to be executed, when, looking at his watch, he replied, "At 5.30 o'clock." I then retired from the room to inform my assistant of the order, but in an hour returned to headquarters.
On re-entering the room heard General Buckner say, "I cannot hold my position half an hour after the attack," and General Pillow, who was sitting next to General Buckner and immediately fronting the fireplace, promptly asked, "Why can't you?" at the same time adding, "I think you can hold your position; I think you can, sir." General Buckner retorted, "I know my position ; I can only bring to bear against the enemy about 4,000 men, while he can oppose me with any given number." General Pillow then said: "Well, gentlemen, what do you intend to do; I am in favor of fighting out." General Floyd then spoke and asked General Buckner what he had to say, and General Buckner answered quickly, that to attempt to cut a way through the enemy's lines and retreat would cost a sacrifice of three-fourths of the command, and no commander had a right to make such a sacrifice. General Floyd, concurring, remarked, "We will have to capitulate; but, gentlemen, I cannot surrender; you know my position with the Federals; it wouldn't do; it wouldn't do;" whereupon General Pillow, addressing General Floyd, said, "I will not surrender myself nor the command; will die first." "Then I suppose, gentlemen," said General Buckner, "the surrender will devolve upon me." General Floyd replied, speaking to General Buckner, "General, if you are put in command will you allow me to take out by the river my brigade?" "Yes, sir," responded General Buckner, "if you move your command before the enemy act upon my communication offering to capitulate." "Then, sir," said General Floyd, "I surrender the command," and General Pillow, who was next in command, very quickly exclaimed, "I will not accept it; I will never surrender;" and while speaking turned to General Buckner, who remake, "I will accept and share the fate of my command," and called for pen, ink, paper, and a bugler.
After the capitulation was determined upon General Pillow wished to know if it would be improper for him to make his escape, when General Floyd replied that the question was one for every man to decide for himself, but he would be glad for every one to escape that could. "Then, sir, I shall leave here," replied General Pillow. Colonel Forrest, who was in the room and heard what passed, then spoke: "I think there is more fight in these men than you all suppose, and, if you will lt me, I will take out my command." General Pillow, responding to him, "Yes, sir; take out your command; cut your way out." Generals Floyd and Buckners assented, General Buckner by expressing, "I have no objection."
The means of getting away was then discussed, and soon after we began to disperse. While the gentlemen were leaving the room I approached General Buckner and wished to know if General Pillow's order to destroy the commissary stores should be carried out, and he answered, "Major Hayness, I countermand the order."
It may be proper for me to say that I never met General Pillow before the morning of February 9, having been upon Brigadier General Charles Clark's staff since my entrance into the service, and only went to Donelson with General Pillow to take temporary charge of the commissariat. General Pillow assigned me to duty on his staff arriving at Donelson, February 10.
W. H. HAYNES,
Major and Brigade Commissary.