I took this message back to the Fort. Major Bradford replied that he desired an hour for consultation and consideration with his officers and the officers of the gunboat. I took out this communication to them, and they carried it back to General Forrest. In a few minutes another flag of truce appeared, and I went out to meet it. Some one said, when they handed the communication to me: “That gives you twenty minutes to surrender; I am General Forrest.” I took it back. The substance of it was, “Twenty minutes will be given you to take your men outside of the Fort. If in that time they are not out, I will immediately proceed to assault your works,” or something of that kind. To this Major Bradford replied: “I will not surrender.” I took it out in a sealed envelope, and gave it to him. The General opened it and read it. Nothing was said; we simply saluted, and they went their way, and I returned back into the Fort. Almost instantly the firing began again. We mistrusted, while this flag of truce was going on, that they were taking horses out at a camp we had. It was mentioned to them, the last time that this and other movements excited our suspicion, that they were moving their troops. They said that they had noticed it themselves, and had it stopped; that it was unintentional on their part, and that it should not be repeated. It was not long after the last flag of truce had retired, that they made their grand charge. We kept them back for several minutes. What was called----brigade or battalion attacked the centre of the Fort where several companies of colored troops were stationed. They finally gave way, and, before we could fill up the breach, the enemy got inside the Fort, and then they came in on the other two sides, and had complete possession of the Fort. In the mean time nearly all the officers had been killed, especially of the colored troops, and there was no one hardly to guide the men. They fought bravely indeed until that time. I do not think the men who broke had a commissioned officer over them. They fought with the most determined bravery, until the enemy gained possession of the Fort. They kept shooting all the time. The negroes ran down the hill toward the river, but the rebels kept shooting them as they were running; shot some again after they had fallen; robbed and plundered them. After every thing was all gone, after we had given up the Fort entirely, the guns thrown away and the firing on our part stopped, they still kept up their murderous fire, more especially on the colored troops, I thought, although the white troops suffered a great deal. I know the colored troops had a great deal the worst of it. I saw several shot after they were wounded; as they were crawling around, the secesh would step out and blow their brains out. About this time they shot me. It must have been four or half-past 4 o'clock. I saw there was no chance at all, and threw down my sabre. A man took deliberate aim at me, but a short distance from me, certainly not more than fifteen paces, and shot me. Question. With a musket or pistol? Answer. I think it was a carbine; it may have been a musket, but my impression is, that it was a carbine. Soon after I was shot I was robbed. A secesh soldier came along, and wanted to know if I had any greenbacks. I gave him my pocket-book. I had about a hundred dollars, I think, more or less, and a gold watch and gold chain. They took every thing in the way of valuables that I had. I saw them robbing others. That seemed to be the general way they served the wounded, so far as regards those who fell in my vicinity. Some of the colored troops jumped into the river, but were shot as fast as they were seen. One poor fellow was shot as he reached the bank of the river. They ran down and hauled him out. He got on his hands and knees, and was crawling along, when a secesh soldier put his revolver to his head, and blew his brains out. It was about the same thing all along, until dark that night. I was very weak, but I finally found a rebel who belonged to a society that I am a member of, (the Masons,) and he got two of our colored soldiers to assist me up the hill, and he brought me some water. At that time it was about dusk. He carried me up just to the edge of the Fort, and laid me down. There seemed to be quite a number of dead collected there. They were throwing them into the outside trench, and I heard them talking about burying them there. I heard one of them say: “There is a man who is not quite dead yet.” They buried a number there; I do not know how many.
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