low, that without intending any reflection upon either of those officers, I feel called upon to notice some of the differences of opinion between us.
Both officers have correctly stated that I regarded the position of the army as desperate, and that an attempt to extricated by another battle, in the suffering and exhausted condition of the troops, was almost hopeless. The troops had been worn with watching, with labor, with fighting. Many of them were forested by the intensity of the cold; all of them were suffering and exhausted by their incessant labors. There had been no regular issue of rations for a number of days and scarcely any means of cooking. Their ammunition was nearly expended. We were completely invested by a force fully four times the strength of our own. In their exhausted condition they could not have made a march. An attempt to make a sortie would have been resisted by a superior for all of the water batteries and the presence of the enemy's gunboats sweeping with the fire at close range the positions of our troops, who would thus have been assailed on their front, rear, and right flank at the same instant. The result would have been a virtual massacre of the troops, more disheartening in its effects than a surrender.
In this opinion General Floyd coincided, and I am certain that both he and I were convince that General Pillow agreed with us in opinion. General Pillow then asked our opinion as to the practicability of holding our position another day. I replied that my right was already turned, a portion of my entrenchments in the enemy's possession-they were in position successfully so assail my position and the water batteries-and that, with my weakened and exhausted force, I could not successfully resist the assault which would be made at daylight by a vastly superior force. I further remarked that I understood the principal object of the defense of Donelson to be to cover the movement of General A. S. Johnston's army from Bowling Green to Nashville, and that if that movement was not completed it was my opinion that we should attempt a further defense, even at the risk of the destruction of our entire force, as the delay even of a few hours mights gain the safety of General Johnston's force. General Floyd remarked that General Johnston's army had already reached Nashville. I then expressed the opinion that it would be wrong to subject the army to a virtual massacre when no good could result from the sacrifice, and that the general officers owed it to their men, when further resistance was unavailing, to obtain the best terms of capitulation possible for them. General Floyd expressed himself in similar terms, and in his opinion I understood General Pillow to acquiesce. For reasons which he has stated General FlOyd then announced his purpose to leave, with such portions of his division as could be transported in two small steamers, which were expected about daylight. General Pillow, addressing General Floyd, then remarked that he thought there were no two persons in the Confederacy whom the Yankees would prefer to capture than himself and General Floyd, and asked the latter's opinion as to the propriety of his accompanying General Floyd. To this inquiry the latter replied that it was a question for every man to decide for every man to decide for himself. General Pillow then addressed the inquiry to me, to which I remarked that I could only reply as General Floyd had done, that it was a question for every officer to decided for himself, and that in my own case I regarded it as my duty to remain with my men and share their fate, whatever it might be. General Pillow, however, announced his purpose to leave; when General Floyd directed me to consider myself in command. I remarked that a capitulation would be as bitter to me as it could be to any one, but I regarded it as a