rushed into action with the war-cry, "Remember the Alamo!" and carried all before them. You will seek in vain for consolation in history, pursue the inquiry as far as you may. Your desire to shift the responsibility of the Fort Pillow massacre, or to find excuses for it, is not strange. But the responsibility still remains where it belongs, and there it will remain.
In my last letter to General Forrest I stated that the treatment which Federal soldiers received would be their guide hereafter, and that if you give no quarter you need expect none. If you observe the rules of civilized warfare I shall rejoice at it, as no one can regret more than myself a resort to such measures as the laws of war justify toward an enemy that gives no quarter. Your remark that our colored soldiers "will not be regarded as prisoners of war, but will be retained and humanely treated," indicating that you consider them as of more worth and importance than your own soldiers who are now in our hands, is certainly very complimentary to our colored troops, though but a tardy acknowledgment of their bravery and devotion as soldiers who were butchered at Fort Pillow after they had surrendered to their victors, nor relieve yourself, General Forrest, and the troops serving under you from the fearful responsibility now resting upon you for those wanton and unparalleled barbarities. I concur in your remark that if the black flag is once raised there can be no distinction so far as our soldiers are concerned. No distinction in this regard as to color is known to the laws of war, and you may rest assured that the outrages we complain of are felt by our white soldiers, no less than by our black ones, as insults to their common banner, the flag of the Unites States.
I will close by a reference to your statement that many of our colored soldiers "are yet wandering over the country attempting to return to their masters." If this remark is intended as a joke, it is acknowledge as a good one, but if stated as a fact, permit me to correct your misapprehensions by informing you that most of them have rejoined their respective commands, their search for their late "masters" having proved bootless; and I think I do not exaggerate in assuring you that there is not a colored soldiers here who does not prefer the fate of his comrades at Fort Pillow to being returned to his "master."
I remain, general, yours, very respectfully,
C. C. WASHBURN,
September 13, 1864.
Major General C. C. WASHBURN,
Commanding District West Tennessee:
GENERAL: I have the honor to address you in regard to certain papers* forwarded you by Major-General Forrest, of the so-called Confederate army, signed by me under protest while a prisoner of war at Cahaba, Ala.:
I would first call your attention to the manner by which those papers were procured about 27th April last. All Federal prisoners (except colored soldiers) were sent to Andersonville and Macon, Ga., myself among the number. About ten days after my arrival, at
*See pp. 594, 595.