Rienzi. Lieutenant Phipps allowed me to pass on and escorted me and my escort into Rienzi. I immediately went to the telegraph office and sent the following communication to General Forrest, at West Point, viz:
RIENZI, February 22, 1865.
Major General N. B. FORREST,
Commanding Dept. of Mississippi and East Louisiana, C. S. Army, West Point:
I have the honor to report my arrival at this place under flag of truce as the bearer of dispatches from Major-General Thomas, U. S. Army, commanding Department of the Cumberland, to yourself. I have some important dispatches, and am authorized to make arrangements for an immediate exchange of prisoners. I most respectfully request a personal interview at your earliest pleasure.
I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
J. G. PARKHURST,
Colonel and Provost-Marshal-General, Department of the Cumberland.
To which dispatch I received the following answer on the morning of the 23rd of February, viz:
WEST POINT, February 23, 1865.
Colonel PARKHURST, Rienzi:
Will be up on train this evening.
N. B. FORREST,
About 9 o'clock on the evening of the 23rd I met General Forrest at the house of Mr. Rowland. He was accompanied by Major Anderson and Judge Caruthers of his staff. The general received me (and Captain Hosea, who, at General Wilson's request, accompanied me) very cordially. I presented the dispatches from the general commanding, after reading which General Forrest remarked that he desired an absolute and immediate exchange of prisoenrs, rank for rank and man for man, and did not wish to give or take paroles, but that he could not consummate the arrangements for the exchange until he had submitted the papers to Lieutenant-General Taylor, who was in command of the Department of Alabama, Mississippi, and East Louisiana. General Forrest is in command of all the cavalry in the department and of the District of Mississippi and East Louisiana.
General Forrest, however, said that he would go immediately to Meridian and see General Taylor, and that if I would wait at Rienzi until the evening of the 25th he would inform me by telegraph of General Taylor's decision, and also at what time the prisoners in their hands would be forwarded to Iuka, and about the number of prisoners in their department. I agreed to remain in Rienzi and await his reply. He delivered his answers to the communication from the general commanding to me in writing, which are herewith forwarded. He also gave me a copy of a telegram from General Taulor received by him after he reached Rienzi. From this dispatch, an official copy of which I herewith inclose, it appears that General Forrest was not authorized to make any greement, but that all matters were to be submitted for the decision of Lieutenant-General Taulor. In relation to guerrilas, General forrest remarked that he was as anxious to rid the country of them as was any officer in the U. S. Army, and that he would esteem it a favor if General Thomas would hang every one he caught.
General Forrest desired the prisoners in our hands belonging to General Roddey's command sent to Iuka with other prisoners. He cared but little about them, as they were not of much service or account.
General Forrest left Rienzi for Meridian on the morning of the 24th of February at 8 o'clock. I heard nothing from him on the 25th, nor on the 26th, but, supposing the delay occasioned by the telegraph wires