War of the Rebellion: Serial 103 Page 0682 KY., S. W. VA., TENN., N. & C. GA., MISS., ALA., & W. FLA.

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replied that he was holding a truce with the land force on the other side of the river in accordance with a previous agreement to that effect. After a moment of idle conversation the naval officer, whose name and rank are unknown to me, turned his boat from the bank saying to Captain Hale, "I advise you to leave here at once;" to which reply was given, "I am under flag of truce and requested by the other side to remain here until my mission is accomplished." The boat pulled away from the bank, making signal to the steamer Thomas, which opened fire with artillery at short range upon my flag of truce, ending the truce begun in good faith with violence and treachery. This outrage upon an unprotected flag, though in character with the previous conduct of the U. S. gun-boats on the Upper Tennessee, in shelling the private residences and negro quarters of citizens, occupied by women and children, without provocation or warning, is in this instance of a peculiar nature, insulting to both Governments, for while the officer commanding the steamer Thomas was insulting my flag of truce, he had himself claimed the protection of a similar flag over his boat, which floated during the firing. Had I anticipated bad faith and allowed my men to wear arms, this boat would have been in easy range of my guns, but I had trusted to the sanctity of then white flag under the laws and usages of civilized warfare. Had that flag been protected by aught save the suppositions honor of the public foe, the quick retaliation of the moment would have left me nothing to regret; but as it was I am compelled for the present to demand simply the name and rank of the officer perpetrating this outrage, with such apology or explanation as you may be able to offer.

I am, general, respectfully,


Colonel, &c., C. S. Army.

[First indorsement.]


Respectfully referred to Captain M. Forrest, commanding Eleventh District, Mississippi Squadron, with request that the alleged facts be investigated, and if true, that a suitable explanation or apology be made to Colonel Lowe.

By command of Brigadier General R. S. Ranger:


Lieutenant Colonel 18th Mich. Vols., Prov. March, Dist. of Northern Alabama.

[Second indorsement.]

Referred to Captain G. Morton, commanding U. S. Steamer General Thomas, to be returned with a written statement in reply.


Commanding Eleventh District, Mississippi Squadron.

[Third indorsement.]

FLAG-SHIP BURNSIDE, February 10, 1865.

Respectfully returned to General Granger.

As Colonel Lowe, C. S. Army, has made one false statement in regard to the gun-boats firing on houses occupied by females it is to be presumed that the whole letter is in consonance with that statement, and therefore false.


Commanding Eleventh District, Mississippi Squadron.