To move the men again was almost impossible. They had been virtually stripped of everything - medicines, rations, and clothing; we 35 miles from any military post; night coming on; no place of shelter; no place to put our wounded and dying men save a muddy corn-field; a heavy snow had begun to fall, and in view of all this, and my sympathy for men who for eighteen months had done their duty as true soldiers, and who for days had fought under you, and only ceased when borne from the field, I demanded other terms. I told him I would not move a soul from the boat,&c.
All this was reported to Wheeler (at least they say so), and he ordered that I should be held personally responsible for the burning of their cotton on reaching Louisville, under penalty of my return to their lines as a prisoner of war. I deemed the terms mild, under the circumstances, and I immediately accepted them, in which I claim I did my duty.
The passengers and soldier of the Trio and Parthenia were robbed in like manner.
After they had done us all the harm they could, barely escaping with our lives, they allowed us to cross the river during the burning of the steamers.
While they were preparing to burn, the gunboats Sidell hove in sight, and to all appearance made preparation to drive the enemy way, but, from some cause or other, Van Dorn made no fight, and surrendered the boat without firing a single shot. They then took possession of her, threw over her guns and arms, fired the three boats, and in a short time nothing remained but the charred hulls.
On reaching Clarksville, I reported by telegraph to Major Sidell, who ordered me to proceed on as rapidly as possible to Louisville and report to General Boyle or Wright. This I did, and the inclosed papers will explain the final result of the unfortunate affair.*
Thus hoping that in all this you will not condemn me, I remain, most respectfully, your obedient servant,
M. P. GADDIS,
Chaplain Second Regiment Ohio Volunteer Infantry.
Commanding Department of the Cumberland.
No. 3. Report of Surg. Luther D. Waterman, Thirty-ninth Indiana Infantry.
GENERAL HOSPITAL, NO.17, Nashville, Tenn., January 27, 1863.
SIR: I have the honor to report that on January 13, 1863, as surgeon in charge, I started with 212 wounded and sick soldiers of the United States Army on the steamer Hastings, on the Cumberland River, bound for Louisville, Ky. At Harpeth Shoals, on that same day, the boat was captured by the Confederate forces (after fired upon by artillery and musketry, the hospital flag flying). The lists of about 212 soldiers and officers, from General Hospitals, No. 8, No. 15, and No. 6, Nashville, Tenn., were taken, and the boat and men permitted to proceed only on condition that I certified to the lists as captured and paroled. They
*See Series II.