War of the Rebellion: Serial 057 Page 0596 KY., SW. VA., TENN., MISS., ALA., AND N. GA. Chapter XLIV.

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us, as it could only be done mounting and exposing themselves to unerring aim of our sharpshooters, posted behind stumps and logs on all the neighboring hills. They were also unable to depress their artillery so as to rake these slopes with grape and canister, and so far as safety was concerned, we were as well fortified as they were; the only difference was that they were on one side and we on the other of the same fortification. They had no sharpshooters with which to annoy our main force, while ours sent a score of bullets at every head that appeared above the walls.

Our heaviest loss was in gaining this position, and when gained it was perfectly apparent to any man endowed with the smallest amount of common sense, that to all intents and purposes the fort was ours. We were entirely around it, with a detachment of Barteau's regiment on the right and rear, and about three companies of McCulloch's command in an old rifle-pit (made, I presume, to protect the water batteries below) on the left and rear.

General Forrest, desiring to prevent the further effusion of blood or loss of life, sent up a flag of truce demanding the unconditional surrender of the fort.

I give the correspondence as copied from the originals now in my possession:

HEADQUARTERS FORREST'S CAVALRY,

Before Fort Pillow, April 12, 1864.

Major BOOTH,

Commanding U. S. Forces, Fort Pillow:

MAJOR: The conduct of the officers and men garrisoning Fort Pillow has been such as to entitle them to being treated as prisoners of war. I demand the unconditional surrender of the [entire*] garrison, promising that you shall be treated as prisoners of war. My men have [just*] received a fresh supply of ammunition, and from their present position can easily assault and capture the fort. Should my demand be refused, I cannot be responsible for the fate of your command.

Respectfully,

N. B. FORREST,

Major-General, Commanding.

HEADQUARTERS U. S. FORCES,

Fort Pillow, April 12, 1864.

General FORREST,

Commanding C. S. Forces:

SIR: I respectfully ask one hour for consultation with my officers and the officers of the gun-boats. In the mean time no preparation to be made on either side.

Very respectfully,

L. F. BOOTH,

Major, Commanding.

HEADQUARTERS FORREST'S CAVALRY,

Before Fort Pillow, April 12, 1864.

Major L. F. BOOTH,

Commanding U. S. Forces, Fort Pillow:

SIR: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your note, asking one hour to consider my demand for your surrender. Your request cannot be granted. I will allow you twenty minutes from the receipt of this note for consideration; if at the expiration of that time the fort is not surrendered, I shall assault it.+ I do not demand the surrender of the gun-boat.

Very respectfully,

N. B. FORREST,

Major-General.

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*According to Forrest's copy. See p. 614.

+In Forrest's copy this sentence reads: "I will allow you twenty minutes from the receipt of this note; if the fort is not surrendered at the expiration of that time, I shall assault it."

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