War of the Rebellion: Serial 057 Page 0603 Chapter XLIV. FORREST'S EXPEDITION INTO W. TENN. AND KY.

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[Inclosure Numbers 5.]


Memphis, Tenn., July 3, 1864.

Lieutenant General S. D. LEE, C. S. Army,

Commanding Dept. Ala., Miss., and E. La., Meridian, Miss.:

GENERAL: Your letter of the 28th ultimo, in reply to mine of the 17th ultimo, is received.

The discourtesy which you profess to discover in my letter I utterly disclaim. Having already discussed at length in a correspondence with Major-General Forrest the Fort Pillow massacre, as well as the policy to be pursued in regard to colored troops, I do not regard it necessary to say more on those subjects. As you state that you fully approve of the letter sent by General Forrest to me, in answer to mine of the 17th ultimo. I am forced to presume that you fully approve of his action at Fort Pillow. Your arguments in support of that action confirm such presumption. You state that the version given by me and my Government is not true, and not sustained by the facts to the extent I indicate. You furnish a statement of a certain Captain Young, who was captured at Fort Pillow, and is now a prisoner in your hands. How far a statement of a person under duress and in the position of Captain Young should go to disprove the sworn testimony of the hundred eye-witnesses who had ample opportunity of seeing and knowing I am willing that others shall judge. In relying as you do upon the certificate of Captain Young, you confess that all better resources are at an end. You are welcome to all the relief that the certificate is calculated to give you. Does he say that our soldiers were not inhumanly treated? Numbers Does he say that he was in a position to see and know what took place, it was easy for him to say so.

I yesterday sent to Major-General Forrest a copy of the report of the Congressional Investigating Committee, and I hope it my fall into your hands. You will find there the record of inhuman atrocities, to find a parallel for which you will search the page of history in vain. Men (white men and black men) were crucified and burned; others were hunted by bloodhounds, while others in their anguish were made the sport of men more cruel than the dogs by which they were hunted. I have also sent to my Government complies of General Forrest's reports, together with the certificate of Captain Young. The record in the case is plainly made up, and I leave it. You justify and approve it, and appeal to history for precedents.

As I have said, history furnishes no parallels. True, there are instances where after a long and protracted resistance resulting in heavy loss to the assailing party, the garrison has been put of the sword; but I know of no such instance that did not bring dishonor upon the commanders that ordered or suffered it. There is no Englishmen that would not gladly forget Badajos, nor a Frenchman that exults when Jaffa or the caves of Dahla and Shelas are spoken of. The massacre of Glencoe, which the world has read of with horror for nearly two hundred years, pales into insignificance before the truthful recital of Fort Pillow. The desperate defense of the Alamo was the excuse for the slaughter of its brave survivors after its surrender; yet that act was received with just execration, and we are told by the historian that it led, more than anything else, to the independence of Texas. At the battle of San Jacinto, the Texans