War of the Rebellion: Serial 077 Page 0720 KY., SW. VA., TENN., MISS., ALA., AND N. GA. Chapter LI.

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us, and I was told by General Hood that he would return all slaves belonging to persons in the Confederacy to their masters; and when I protested against this and told him that the United States Government would retaliate, and that I surrendered the men as soldiers, he said I might surrender them as whatever I pleased; that he would have them attended to, &c. As all the negotiations were verbal, but transacted in presence of the four officers named above, and the regimental books and papers lost, it is impossible for me to give the number of men surrendered exactly, and this cannot be done until copies of muster-rolls are procured. As near as I can come at the numbers, the force was as follows: First, Forty-fourth U. S. Colored Infantry, abut 600 enlisted men, 26 commissioned officers; second, Company F, FIFTY-seventh Illinois Volunteers, about 50 enlisted men, 2 commissioned officers; THIRD, Company B, Seventh Kentucky Volunteer Cavalry, about 50 enlisted men, 3 commissioned officers; fourth, one section Twentieth Ohio Battery, about 20 enlisted men; total, 751 men. Total number of muskets in command, 650. The guns surrendered were one 12-pounder Napoleon and one 3-inch Rodman, in damaged condition. There were not 150 rounds of ammunition for these guns.

A number of my men escaped capture, as a foraging party was absent at the time of attack, and a portion of a bridge guard got away also. I think that, including the men on recruiting service and those who escaped, I have already between 200 and 300 men at Chattanooga. In connection with this matter, I must report the disgraceful conduct of the home guards, which are being organized by a Mr. James G. Brown at Dalton. These men fled, at the approach of the rebels, to the mountains, as they had done previously on a similar occasion (October 2, 1864), when Wheeler threatened the place and demanded surrender. I furnished these men with such arms as were at my disposal, but I could never even get men enough of these home guards, the cavalry, and the sects done their duty as they should, that the command could have been saved, but the cavalry and the scouts did not develop the enemy sufficiently to know who was there and how many, and my foot soldiers were the first to show me what kind of a force was opposed to me, and then retreat was impossible. The colored soldiers displayed the greatest anxiety to fight, although all could plainly see what an immense force threatened us, and that there was no hope whatever. It grieved me to be compelled to surrender men who showed so much spirit and bravery. Those of the colored men who participated in the skirmish for the hill, spoken of above, behaved very well, contesting the ground as stubbornly as old troops. I cannot tell what my loss in killed and wounded was, but I know that the enemy lost 9 men killed (among them a major) and some 20 men wounded. I inclose a diagram showing the situation of affairs at the time of the surrender. * Although assured by General Hood in person that the terms of the agreement should be strictly observed, my men, especially the colored soldiers, were immediately robbed and abused in a terrible manner. The treatment of the officers of mbrutality I have ever witnessed, and beastly conduct. This General Bate was ordered to take charge of us, and immediately commenced heaping insults upon me and my officers. He had my colored soldiers robbed of their shoes (this was done systematically and by his order), and sent them down to the railroad and made them tear up the track for a dis-


*See p. 722.