War of the Rebellion: Serial 038 Page 0590 Chapter XXXVI. Mississippi, WEST TENNESSEE, ETC.

Search Civil War Official Records

placed against a house which was set on fire by the inhuman demons, the poor sufferers having been roasted alive until nothing was left but charred bones. Negro prisoners recaptured from the guerrillas confirmed these facts, which were amply corroborated by the bodies found, as above described. The negroes taken were to be resold into slavery, while the white officers were consumed by fire. Lieutenant Cole holds himself responsible for the truth of the statement.

HDQRS. DEPT. OF THE TENN., Vicksburg, August 29, 1863.

General H. W. HALLECK, Washington, D. C.:

Your letter of the 12th instant, owing to my absence from headquarters for a few days, is just received. The letter referred to contains an extract from the Missouri Democrat (entirely sensational, I think), detailing horrors said to have been committed upon officers and soldiers said to have been captured at Milliken's Bend, in July last. Inclose correspondence which ensued. *

I have no evidence of ill-treatment to any prisoners captured from us further than the determination to turn over to Governors of States all colored soldiers captured.

Owing to movements now going on WEST of the Mississippi, I cannot communicate well with either General E. K. Smith or General Taylor. As soon as I can, however, I will do so, and inclose a copy of the President's retaliatory order. I am also in hopes of having on hand by that time a number of prisoners of war from Smith's command, which would add great force to anything I might say.

The expedition from Goodrich's Landing is now five days out. Between Steele's movement and this one, it will confuse the enemy so as to make Banks' entry into Texas easy.



Vicksburg, MISS., September 24, 1863.

Brigadier General John A. RAWLINS,

Assistant Adjutant-General, Department of the Tennessee:

GENERAL: I respectfully call the attention of the major-general commanding to the ease of one Major M. W. Simms, of General Hebert's staff, C. S. Army, who, with Lieutenant Sparks, also of General Hebert's staff, is charged with ordering the murder of two Federal officers, taken prisoners by them near Lake Providence, La., in the month of June last, from sworn statements made before Captain W. H. Welman, FIFTY-NINTH Indiana Volunteers, by citizens of Monroe and vicinity. It appears that Major Simms and Lieutenant Sparks did cause two Federal officers to be taken into the woods at night, and then shot and partially buried. Statements are also made that it is well known by the citizens of Monroe and vicinity that Major Simms caused four ministers to be dragged from their beds and brutally murdered; also that he hung a negro soldier near Delhi, La., in the month of June. Major Simms is now in confinement at this place.

I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Lieutenant-Colonel, Provost-Marshal-General.


*See Grant to Taylor, p. 425; Taylor to Grant, p. 443; and Grant to Taylor, p. 469.