I replied to him as follows:
HEADQUARTERS U. S. FORCES,
Athens, Ala., September 24, 1864.
Major General N. B. FORREST,
Commanding Besieging Forces, Athens, Ala.:
GENERAL: I have the honor to decline your demand of this date.
Colonel One hundred and tenth U. S. Colored Infantry, Commanding.
I sent Lieutenant Colonel J. A. Dewey, One hundred and eleventh Regiment U. S. Colored Infantry, and Acting Assistant Adjutant- General William T. Lewis, to receive flag of truce. They met Major Strange, General Forrest's chief of staff, and Colonel Galloway, aide-de-camp, and held conversation with them. They said from conversation held with General Forrest they knew he was determined to take the fort, and if he was compelled to storm it no lives would be spared. I refused to comply with last demand as with first, when General Forrest sent in request for a personal interview, reading as follows:
ATHENS, September 24, 1864.
COLONEL: I desire an interview with you outside of the fort, at any place you may designate, provided it meets with your views. My only object is to stop the effusion of blood that must follow the storming of the place.
N. B. FORREST,
I immediately met General Forrest, accompanied by Lieutenant Colonel J. a. Dewey. General Forrest told me he was determined to take the place; that his force was sufficiently large, and have it he would, and if he was compelled to storm the works it would result in the massacre of the entire garrison. He told me what his force was, and said myself and one officer could have the privilege of reviewing his force. I returned to the fort, when, after consultation with the commanders of various detachments in the fort, it was decided that [if] after reviewing the force of General Forrest I found he had 8,000 or 10,000 troops, it would be worse than murder to attempt to hold the works. I then took Captain B. M. Callender, First Missouri Light Artillery, and rode round his entire line, thereby satisfying myself and the captain accompanying me that there were at least 10,000 men and nine pieces of artillery. It was now 11 a. m. I had been "dilly-dallying" with General Forrest since 8 a. m. expecting re-enforcements would be sent from Decatur. Believing they could not reach me, I ordered the surrender of the fort. After the surrender I learned that a force of 350 men, composed of the Eighteenth Michigan Infantry and One hundred and second Ohio Infantry, commanded by Lieutenant-Colonel Elliott, of the One hundred and second Ohio, had been surrounded and captured below the town.
The following are the terms of capitulation:
Agreement entered into at Athens, Ala., on the 24th day of September, 1864, by Major General N. B. Forrest, of the C. S. Army, and Colonel Wallace Campbell, One hundred and tenth Regiment U. S. Colored Infantry.
We, on the part of our respective Governments, stipulate and agree that the following articles shall be faithfully executed and maintained:
On the part of the U. S. Government, by Colonel Wallace Campbell, that the fort and United States and public Government property at this point be, and the same hereby are, surrendered to Major General N. B. Forrest, of the C. S. Army.
On the part of the C. S. Government, by Major General N. B. Forrest, that all commissioned officers surrendered or surrendering as above, be, and hereby are, permitted to go to Meridian or some other point in Mississippi, and the said officers shall, so soon as Major-General Forrest can communicate with Major-General Washburn, U. S.