War of the Rebellion: Serial 118 Page 0183 CORRESPONDENCE, ETC. - UNION.

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was utterly unable to control the men. I then took on board the wounded of the trio and her crew and asked permission to leave. This was granted and the colonel ordered his men off. On his leaving he noticed several bales of cotton on which our wounded men were lying; he instantly became furious and ordered us to remove the same ashore and burn it, a task almost impossible. Many of the men were badly wounded; night was coming post. Seeing all this I asked for other terms. He then agreed if I would burn the cotton on my arrival at Louisville he would spare the boat and allow us to go on unmolested, and in the event of my failing to comply with the order I must return to the line of the Confederate States as a prisoners of war. These terms were harsh, but in view of the suffering men I instantly complied. During the interim the steamer Parthenia hove in sight; was also brought to, her crew and passengers transferred to us, and preparation was then made to burn the Trio and Parthenia. In order to save the Hastings from coming in contact with the steamers when fired I again asked to leave. This they would not grant, but through the entreaties of Captain Burford we were allowed to cross to the other side of the river under range of their cannon. We hardly landed when the gun-boat Sidell hove in sight. On her appearance the enemy mounted their horses and awaited her action. She came on under a full head of steam, carrying her when the engine had ceased within 150 yards of our boat, on the same side of the river. I hailed Van Dornl told him to take the middle of the stream and not endanger the lives of the wounded during the engagement, for we had no other idea but that he would fight. To our utter astonishment he ignominiously surrendered without firing a single shot. He then crossed her over to the enemy, who boarded her, threw over her cannon, then fired the three steamers and ordered us across the river again. I took on what was left of the crew and soldiers and after waiting one hour and a half according to their orders I started with the Hastings for Clarksville, reaching there at 8 p. m. and reporting to Colonel Bruce. He acted promptly and soon furnished us with supplies. I telegraphed the facts to General Rosecrans at Nashville and received the answer under which I am ordered to make a statement* of the whole affair for your consideration. The commissioned officers and privates were all paroled, they taking complete lists of the same, but furnishing no evidence of parole in return. I await at Louisville your decision in regard to myself. I do not desire to burn the cotton; neither to return as a prisoner of war. I shall reach Louisville on the 18th. Too much praise cannot be awarded to Surgeon Waterman, Thirty-ninth Indiana Volunteers, in charge as medical director for his efficiency and energy during the trying hour. He will turn the wounded men over to medical director at Louisville. I might add that large hospital flags were flying at the head of the jack-staff and that Colonel Wade admitted that he knew we had wounded on board. General Wheeler's orders to him were to burn all boats irrespective of what they carried.

Respectfully, submitted from your most obedient servant,

M. P. GADDIS,

Chaplain Second Regiment Ohio Volunteers Infantry.

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* See Series I, Vol. XX, Part I, p. 980.

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