War of the Rebellion: Serial 057 Page 0563 Chapter XLIV. FORREST'S EXPEDITION INTO W. TENN. AND KY.

Search Civil War Official Records

the manner I have mentioned in another part of this report, I am confident we could have held the fort against all his assaults during the day, when, if we had been properly supported during the night by the major-general commanding at Memphis, a glorious victory to the Union cause would have been the result of the next day's operations.

In conclusion, it may not bee altogether improper to state that I was one of the number wounded, at first considered mortally, after the surrender; and but for the aid soon afterward extended to me by a Confederate captain, who was a member of an order to which I belong (Free Masonry), I would in all probability have shared the fate of many of my comrades who were murdered after having been wounded. This captain had me carried into a small shanty, where he gave me some brandy and water. He was soon ordered to his company, and I was carried by the rebels into the barracks which they had occupied during the most of the engagement. Here had been collected a great number of our wounded, some of whom had already died. Early the next morning these barracks were set on fire by order of a rebel officer, who had been informed that they contained Federal wounded. I was rendered entirely helpless from the nature of my wound, the ball having entered my right side, and ranging downward, grazed my lung, and deeply imbedded itself in my hip (where it still remains) out of easy reach of surgical instruments. In this condition I had almost given up every hope of being saved from horrible death, when one of my own men, who was less severely wounded than myself, succeeded in drawing me out of the building, which the flames were then rapidly consuming.

As to the course our Government should pursue in regard to the outrages perpetrated by the rebels on this as well as on a number of occasions during the existing rebellion, I have only to express my belief that some sort of retaliation should be adopted as the surest method of preventing a recurrence of the fiendish barbarities practiced on the defenders of our flag at Fort Pillow.

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

MACK J. LEAMING,

Lieutenant and Adjt. 14th Tennessee Vol. Cav., late 13th Regiment

Honorable E. M. STANTON,

Secretary of War.

Numbers 13. Report of Lieuts. Francis A. Smith and William Cleary, Thirteenth Tennessee Cavalry, of the capture of Fort Pillow.

CAIRO, ILL.,

April 18, 1864.

GENERAL: We have the honor to reporting to you, as the only survivors of the commissioned officers of the Thirteenth Tennessee Cavalry, that on the morning of the 12th day of the present month, at about the hour of daylight, the rebels, numbering from 5,000 to 7,000, attacked our garrison at Fort Pillow, Tenn., numbering as it did only about 500 effective men.