mission to inspect the rebel forces, and if after an inspection they were satisfied that there were more than 10,000 infantry and one battery of artillery, I proposed to evacuate the place, provided safe conduct to next military post would be granted. The permission to see the force was refused to them, but Major Eustis, assistant adjutant-general, and Isham G. Harris, volunteer aide-de- camp on General Hood's staff, assured them that the force then in front of Dalton was far more numerous than what they proposed to inspect; that two corps, Cheatham's (Hardee's old corps) and Stewart's were in the immediately front of Dalton, and that another corps, S. D. Lee's, was in easy take the place, cost what it might; that no quarter would be given, &c.
While this flag was out I noticed that they were getting everything in position, and saw more than twenty pieces of artillery and a line of men which must have numbered nearly 25,000. I was now notified that General Hood desired to see me, and went out, accompanied by Captain T. B. Kirby, Forty-fourth U. S. Colored Infantry. I saw General Hood, and he repeated what his staff officers had told my lieutenant-colonel and the other officers, and showed me at least 25,000 men and thirty pieces of artillery, which were then in position bearing upon my work. One of the batteries consisted of twenty guns, and was placed upon a hill within 500 yards southeast of my fort, which is at least FIFTY feet higher than the one I occupied, and commands it entirely. The other battery, of ten guns, was in the grave-yard WEST of town, and also commanded the redoubt. In the attempt of getting possession of the hill of which I speak above, the enemy lost 9 men killed and some 20 wounded. General Hood told me that I must decide at once; that I already had occupied too much of his time; and when I protested against the barbarous measures which he threatened in his summons he said that he could not restrain his men, and would not if he could; that I could choose between surrender and death. I knew full well that I was in his power, and that my situation was a desperate one; that I could not hold out fifteen minutes against the fire which could be brought to bear on the works, and but for a short time against the overwhelming infantry force; that I could expect no support from below for several days, and none at all from above, because having had no communication south of Dalton for several days, and none north of Dalton since the day before, I could not notify the posts below or above even that I was attacked. To fight any more than had been done was madness, in the face of such barbarous threats, which I was fully satisfied would be carried out, as the DIVISION of Cleburne, which was in the immediately rear of the rebel and his staff, was over anxious to move upon the "niggers," and constantly violated the flag of truce by skirmishing near it, and to fight was also hopeless, as we were surrounded and could not be supported form anywhere.
Not believing myself justified in sacrificing the lives of nearly 800 men, I consulted with Lieutenant-Colonel Webster, Forty-fourth U. S. Colored Infantry; Captain McNeely, Seventh Kentucky Cavalry; and Captains Holmes and Kirby, Forty-fourth U. S. Colored Infantry, and was by them advised to surrender; and deeming it my duty as a soldier to do so under the circumstances, I surrendered the command as prisoners of ward between 3 and 4 p. m., under conditions that the men were to be treated humanely, officers and white soldiers to be paroled, officers to return their swords and such private property as they could carry. I have to state here that I and the officers of my regiment desired to be sent south, provided we could remain with our men, but this was refused