any number of fresh troops to the attack." General Pillow replied, "I differ with you. I think you can hold your lines; I think you can, sir." General Buckner replied, "I know my position, and I know that the lines cannot be held with my troops in the present condition." General Buckner replied, "To cut our way out would cost three-fourths of our men, and I do not think any commander has a right to sacrifice three-fourths of his command ot save one-fourth." To which General Floyd replies, "Certainly not."
About this time the second scout sent out returned, and reported the enemy in force occupying the position from which they had been driven. Thereupon two of Colonel Forrest's cavalry were sent to examine the backwater and report if it could be crossed by their army. These scouts returned in a short time and reported that cavalry could pass, but infantry could not. General Buckner then asked, "Well, gentlemen, what are we to do?" General Pillow replied, "You understand me, gentlemen; I am for holding out at least to-day, getting boats, and crossing the command over the river. As for myself, I will never surrender the command or myself; I will die first." General Floyd replied, "Nor will I; I cannot and will not surrender, but I must confess personal reasons control me." General Buckner replied, "Bit such considerations should not control a general's actions." General Floyd replied, "Certainly not; nor would I permit it to cause me to sacrifice the command." General Buckner replied, "Then I suppose the duty of surrendering the command will devolve on me." General Floyd asked, "How will you proceed?" General Buckner replied, "I will send a flag asking for General Grant's quarters, that I may send a message to him. I will propose an armistice of six hours to arrange terms." A pause here ensued. Then General Buckner asked, "Am I to consider the command at turned over to me?" General Floyd replied, "Certainly, I turn over the command." General Pillow replied quickly, "I pass it; I will not surrender." General Buckner then called for pen, ink, and paper, and a bugler. General Floyd then said, "Well, general, will I be permitted to take my little brigade out if I can?" General Buckner replied, "Certainly, if you can get them out before the terms of capitulation are agreed on." Colonel Forrest the asked, "Gentlemen, have I leave to cut my way out with my command?" General Pillow replied, "Yes, sir; cut your way out;" and, continuing, "Gentlemen, is there anything wrong in my leaving?" General Floyd replied, "Every man must judge for himself of that." General Pillow left the room but returned in a short time, and, taken a seat between Generals Floyd and Buckner, said, "Gentlemen, in order that we may understand each other, let me state what is my position; I differ with you as to the cost of cutting our way out, but if it were ascertained that it would cost three-fourths of the command, I agree that it would be wrong to sacrifice them for the remaining fourth." Generals Floyd and Buckner replied, "We understand you, general, and you understand us." After this I left the room and soon safer the place.
Sworn to and subscribed before me on this 18th day of March, 1862.
Intendant of the Town of Decatur, Ala., and ex-officio Justice of the Peace.