ability on the battle-field and in open, fair fight, they had never yet injured nor in way maltreated prisoners.
If, however, the sad fate that befell the 2 men captured at Mechanicsburg await all who may hereafter be taken, we are prepared to accept the terms, and will know what course henceforth to pursue.
I trust your answer may be satisfactory to my command, and that there may be no necessity for any change in the treatment heretofore given to prisoners.
I am, colonel, respectfully, &c.,
L. S. ROSS,
Brigadier-General C. S. Army.
[Inclosure No. 2.]
HEADQUARTERS U. S. FORCES,
Yazoo City, Miss., March 4, 1864.
Brigadier General L. S. ROSS,
Commanding Texas Brigade, Jackson's Cavalry Division:
SIR: Your communication of date this a.m., per flag of truce, just received and contents noted. I would respectfully reply that your information relative to outrages said to have been committed by Colonel Wood, U. S. Volunteers, is the first intimation that I have received of such transaction, and beg further to assure you that this mode of warfare and treatment of prisoners is as sincerely deprecated by me as by yourself.
I desire, however, to call your attention (while speaking on this subject) to a fact which in all probability you have not yet been advised, viz, that in a skirmish with a portion of your command on the 28th ultimo 19 of my command (colored) were missing; since then 6 of the number have been found, presenting every appearance of having been brutally used, and compelling me to arrive at the conclusion that they had been murdered after having been taken prisoners.
I beg leave to assure you that while I am desirous of performing all that is in my line of duty I will not deviate from those principles dictated by humanity, and it will only be in extreme cases of premeditated provocation that I will tolerate it in any portion of my command.
I am, general, respectfully, &c.,
JAS. H. COATES,
Colonel, Commanding U. S. Forces, Yazoo City.
[Inclosure No. 3.]
Correspondence between Brigadier General Lawrence S. Ross, commanding Texan Brigade, and Major George C. McKee, commanding redoubt at Yazoo City, Miss., March 5, 1864.
The first demand was for the unconditional surrender of my entrenchments and the forces under my command.
The officer who bore the flag of truce (Lieutenant Rogers, of General Ross' staff) stated that he was also instructed to say to the commander of the redoubt, "That in case of having to storm the works, General Ross said he would be unable to restrain his men." I answered. "That means General Ross will murder the prisoners if