notified him, and he would be there in a moment.
At that time they ordered me under arrest, because I made myself easy looking around upon their position.
I demanded their right to order me under arrest under a flag of truce, and told them I had as much right to look around as they had. They then ordered me to sit down.
I told them that was played out; that I was not only there under the right of a flag of truce, but that I was there to give them their orders if they made any mismoves.
They gave up then, as Colonel Hawkins
was in sight.
When the Colonel
came a document was handed him. I do not know any thing about it; for, as soon as the Colonel
came near, I went back to the breast-works.
The flag of truce then retired.
As soon as I got back I made it my business to go around inside the breastworks, to get a view of the rebel troops.
They were there upon stumps and logs, and every place where they could see.
In about twenty minutes, I think it was, they came again with another flag of truce.
I met them as before.
This time a demand for surrender was handed to Colonel Hawkins
I remained there this time, and saw the communication.
I could once give almost the exact language of it. At any rate, it was a demand for unconditional surrender, promising us the rights of prisoners of war if the surrender was made; if not, then we must take the consequences.
After consulting with them for a little time, Colonel Hawkins
was allowed fifteen minutes to go to camp and back again.
I remained there about fifteen minutes with the rebel truce-bearers.
During this time I could observe in every move and remark they made that they were beaten.
Perhaps I should have said before, that when Colonel Hawkins
was talking about the matter, I gave my opinion in regard to it. This was before the flag of truce came in at all. Colonel Hawkins
came down to my corner of the breast-works.
I told him that the rebels were beaten on their first programme, at any rate; that it was my opinion that they would either consolidate and make a charge on one side, or else they would leave the field, or else lie there and sharp-shoot until they could get reenforcements.
I state this merely to show what our feelings were — that we were satisfied they were whipped, were beaten.
When the Colonel
came back from his second flag of truce, I left them, and went inside the breastworks.
I was satisfied from appearances that the surrender would be made, and I hid a couple of revolvers, and some other things I had; I did not know whether I should ever find them again or not. The troops considered that the surrender was made as soon as they saw a rebel officer coming back with the Colonel
, and every man tried to hide his stuff.
Some broke their guns, and all were denouncing Colonel Hawkins
as a coward, in surrendering them without cause.
That is all I know of the matter up to the time of the surrender.
Question. Do you say it was the opinion of all the officers and men, so far as you know, that the surrender was wholly unnecessary?
Answer. Yes, sir; every man I ever heard say any thing about it.
Question. To what cause do you attribute the surrender?
Answer. Some said that the Colonel
was half rebel, any way; others said that he was a little cowardly, and surrendered to an imaginary foe — to a force that was not there.
Those were the reasons that I have heard.
Question. What was your force there?
Answer. About five hundred men.
Question. Did you have any colored troops?
Question. What was the force of the enemy?
Answer. As near as I could judge — and I tried to estimate their number — they had about eight hundred after the surrender; I think they must have had a thousand at first.
Question. Could you have held that position against them?
Answer. I am satisfied we could have held it all day, unless our ammunition had given out.
Question. Had you any information in regard to any reenforcements approaching to your relief?
Answer. For the last two hours we had expected to see then; at any time.
Question. What reason had you to expect reenforcements?
Answer. We had a communication that they knew our situation at Columbus
, that they knew the rebels were advancing on us, and, of course, I thought they would send us reenforcements.
Question. From what point did you expect reenforcements?
Answer. From Columbus
I remarked to the men, as soon as the surrender was made, that I would be ten times more mad if I should hear afterward that our reenforcements were right close to us, which I expected was the case.
Question. What occurred after the surrender?
Answer. The men were marched on foot; the officers were allowed to ride their horses.
They were marched two days--it was rainy and muddy weather — nearly east, toward Dresden
They had nothing to eat for two days, until eight o'clock the second night, and then we got some cornbread and meat.
The second day they turned from the Dresden
road, toward Trenton
, through the country, not in the regular road.
On the evening of the third day we arrived at Trenton, Tennessee
There all our money, and I think all our watches were taken — I know some of them were — and the pocket-knives
were taken from the men; all done officially, one company at a time.
We laid over the fourth day at Trenton
On the fifth day at noon we marched toward Humboldt
, and arrived there in the evening, just before dark.
At seven o'clock, or nearly seven o'clock, I left them.
My intention was to go to the Commander
, and get him to send a force out to make the rebels release our troops.