[Sub-inclosure Numbers 5.]
HEADQUARTERS FORREST'S CAVALRY,
Jackson, Tenn., April 17, 1864.
Major J. P. STRANGE,
MAJOR: Having been ordered by the major-general commanding on the morning succeeding the battle at Fort Pillow (13th instant) to return to the fort and make some disposition of the wounded Federals, and to see that the dead were buried, &c., I took with me 3 men of the escort, and when within 2 miles of the fort I met with General Chalmers and asked his permission to take with me Captain Young, a captured Federal officer, whose presence I thought would assist me in obtaining the delivery of a message to the officers commanding the gun-boats, who were then engaged in shelling the hills around the fort.
On nearing the river [bluff*] I raised the white flag and proceeded immediately [directly*] to the bank of the river. The firing ceased, and the officer on deck asked what was [we*] wanted. He was requested to send his small boat ashore, which he did. Ascertaining the name of the officer in command, as well as the name of the vessel, I sent him the communication marked A, hereto appended, and in a short time received the rely marked B. After its delivery to me the vessel hauled down the U. S. colors, ran up a white flag, and landed. Details were immediately sent out to bring in the wounded, a list of them being taken as they were passed aboard the vessel, a copy of which, with the acknowledgment of the agreement and receipt of the commanding officer of the gun-boat, is appended, marked C.
About 10 a. m. several transports and gun-boats, both upward and downward bound, approached, and leave was asked to land one of the transports for the purpose of placing the wounded on her, which would save the necessity of their being again transferred. A message from another was also received asking permission to land, as she had on board the families of some of the officers and men of the fort and desired to know their fate. Believing it proper and right in both cases that the request should be granted, I drew up an article, which was signed by Acting Master Ferguson and myself, in which it was stipulated that the flag of truce should remain in full force and effect until 5 p. m.; that all Confederate troops should be withdrawn to the outer works in order to give those interested int he burial of the dead and removal of the wounded an opportunity of doing so without a chance of molestation. This agreement was submitted to and approved of by General Chalmers, after which the vessels were permitted to land, and all who desired to do so visited the fort, and extra details were sent out for the wounded. A detail sent down by Brigadier-General Chalmers to bury the remaining dead were near the fort when I reached there. The officer reported that he was unable to perform the duty owing to the constant fire of the gun-boat, which prevented them from approaching the river. The work was completed by 4 o'clock, when I withdrew my flag to the top of the bluff and proceeded to burn all unconsumed houses and tents
*According to Forrest's copy. See p. 616.