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[619] the other battalion was White, under Maj. Bradford, 13th Tennessee cavalry. Maj. Booth had six gulls.

The attack was made before sunrise, and the fighting was sharp until 9 A. M., when Maj. Booth was killed. Hitherto, our men had defended an outer line of intrenchments; but Major Bradford now drew the garrison back into the fort, situated on the high, steep, but partially timbered bluff of the Mississippi, with a ravine on either hand, also partially wooded. The gunboat New Era, Capt. Marshall, cooperated in tile defense; but to little purpose, because of the height of the bank, and because the Rebels, if shelled up one ravine, shifted their operations to the other.

The fighting went on till considerably after noon, without material advantage to the enemy ; when the fire on both sides slackened to allow the guns to cool, while the New Era, nearly out of cartridges, moved back into the channel to clean her guns. Forrest improved the opportunity to send a summons, and soon after a second, demanding a surrender within 20 minutes; which Bradford declined.

While these negotiations were in progress, the Rebels were stealing, down both ravines and gaining sheltered positions whence they could rush upon the fort whenever the signal should be given.

Bradford's answer having been received, their rush was instantaneous, and in a moment the fort was in their hands; while the garrison, throwing down their arms, fled down the steep bank, trying to hide behind trees or logs, or skulk in bushes, or find comparative safety in the river; while the Rebels followed, butchering Black and White, soldiers and non-combatants, men, women, and children, with no more discrimination than humanity. Disabled men were made to stand up and be shot; others were burned with the tents wherein they had been nailed to the floor. This carnival of murder continued till dark and was even renewed the next morning. Major Bradford was not murdered till they had taken him as a prisoner several miles on their retreat to Mississippi.

It was in vain that Forrest and his superior, Lt.-Gen. S. D. Lee, undertook to palliate this infernal atrocity, in defiance of their own record. Apart from the general threats (hitherto cited) of the Rebel authorities 1 that they would refuse to treat Black soldiers or their White officers as prisoners of war, Forrest, not three weeks before, had seen fit to summon Paducah in these terms:

headquarters Forrest's cavalry corps, Paducah, March 25, 1864.
To Col. Hicks, commanding Federal forces at Paducah:
Having a force amply sufficient to carry your works and reduce the place, in order to avoid the unnecessary effusion of blood, I demand the surrender of the fort and troops, with all the public stores. If you surrender, you shall be treated as prisoners of war ; but, if I have to storm your worts, you may expect no quarter.

Both Booth and Bradford having, been killed, the precise terms in which he summoned Fort Pillow do not appear ;2 but Buford's demand for the surrender of Columbus, the next day after the massacre, was

1 See pages 106, 523-4.

2 Forrest's official report speaks of his summonses No. 1 and No. 2, as “hereto appended;” but the report, as printed, does not give them.

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N. B. Forrest (6)
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