War of the Rebellion: Serial 007 Page 0304 OPERATIONS IN KY., TENN., N. ALA., AND S. W. VA. Chapter XVII.

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Having gone into the council of general officers and taken part in its deliberations, I felt bound by its decision, although against my conviction of duty. I therefore determined not to assume nor accept the command. I still think that in acquiescing in their decision, as a necessity of my position, I acted correctly, although my judgment was wholly against the surrender. I had no agency whatever in withdrawing any portion of the command, except to direct Colonel Forrest to cut his way out with the cavalry, all of which I had organized into a brigade under him.

5th and 6th. In response to the 5th and 6th inquiries of the Secretary's order I reply:

I do not know what regiments of General Floyd's brigade were surrendered nor which were withdrawn, nor do I know upon what principle the selection was made. For further information reference is made to my original and supplemental reports.

Before closing this response to the honorable Secretary's order I deem it no improper to say that the only doubt I felt, in any opinion I expressed, position assumed, or act I did, was as to the propriety of retiring from the garrison when I could no control the ate of the command, whose surrender was no my act nor with my approval. Upon this point I consulted Generals Floyd and Buckner. For these reasons, and knowing that the general officers would not be permitted to accompany the men into captivity, I finally determined to retire, hoping that I might be able to render some service to the country.

Very respectfully,


Brigadier-General, C. S. Army.

Captain H. P. BREWSTER,

Assistant Adjutant-General.


Richmond, Va., March 26, 1862.

Brigadier General G. J. PILLOW,

Exchange Hotel, Richmond, Va.:

SIR: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your supplemental report of the battle and surrender of Fort Donelson an of your answer to the various points indicated in the letter of the Secretary of War to General A. S. Johnston, together with the several statements of staff officers and the statement of Colonel Forrest appended thereto.

As the commanding general of the department has not yet made his report nor forwarded any communication to the Department, and as Generals Floyd and B. R. Johnson have not yet been heard from, you will readily perceive that it is impossible that the President should now take any action in a matter which so deeply concerns others as well as yourself.

I have therefore the honor to inform you that the Government still keeps its judgment suspended on the entire subject until all information necessary for forming a considerate decision shall have been received.

I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Secretary of War.