War of the Rebellion: Serial 007 Page 0324 OPERATIONS IN KY., TENN., N. ALA., S. W. VA. Chapter XVII.

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was impracticable, and that my order was necessary and proper, and the only means of saving the army from immanent peril of annihilation.

It was in this most obvious view of the case that General Foyd, who had, as he states in his order, approved, adopted, and issued my order as his own, before my order was executed, as is stated by General Buckner in his report, at page 102 of the pamphlet.

To have attempted a retreat without reforming of the command, without artillery, without a fresh supply of ammunition (which we could only obtain from our works), with one-third of our whole force left in the works, and in the face of 20,000 fresh troops, must have resulted in the massacre or capture of the command.

In proof of the facts stated above reference is made to the reports already referred to. An additional proof of the necessity of my order is seen in the fact stated by General Buckner, that before he got back to his rifle pits the enemy had taken possession of a portion of them, from which he could not be dislodge. This made it impossible for us long to hold the position. Indeed, there remained only one of two alternatives, viz, to capitulation or to supply the wants of our army and cut our way out on the night of the 15th, which I was in favor of attempting. (See statements of Forrest, Burch, and others.)

In additional to this, I aver that General Buckner never gave me to understand, nor did I know, that he expected me to retreat from the battle-field; nor did he report his readiness to do so, or his opinion that we ought or could do so, neither did General Floyd say one word to me upon that subject.

My original reports, at page 35 of the pamphlet, written on February 18, only three days after the capitulation, sustained the views herein expressed as to the purpose we had settled on the night of the 14th and as to the impracticability of any other course then the one pursued. That the loss of the garrison was a severe misfortune none will pretend to deny. That loss was the result of the investment by vastly superior numbers. We all saw our danger, and the battle of the 15th in the open field proves it was given for the express purpose of relieving us; but yet, in vie of the disastrous consequences to the country of the fall of the position, we felt our duty (as General Johnston instructed the undersigned) to hold the position as long as was possible. I was then and am now clear in the conviction that we could not have retreated from the battle-field. If the army could have been saved, as I believed it could, it was on the night of February 15 and morning of the 16th. None of these proofs were before the Government when the order complained of was issued. I had no notice of the points made in General Buckner's report until the order had issued, and as I then had no opportunity of explanation, I trust the Government will pardon the length of these remarks, submitted in the shape of a brief of the facts. Trusting that the President will be satisfied, from the proofs now presented, that the order does me injustice, I cheerfully submit the case to his judgment and sense of right.

GID. J. PILLOW,

Brigadier-General, C. S. Army.

NOTE.-See Colonel Gilmer's original reports, pages 167 and 168 [p. 263], for a clean statement of what was determined upon the night of February 14.

GID. J. PILLOW,

Brigadier-General, C. S. Army.