Question. Were you at Union City
when that place was surrendered?
Answer. Yes, sir.
Question. State briefly the circumstances at tending the attack there and the surrender.
Answer. I think it was a few minutes after four o'clock in the morning that our pickets were driven in by the enemy.
I was then sent out to look after them, and commenced skirmishing with them just at daylight.
Before sun — up they had surrounded the Fort
They then made three or four charges, two on horseback, I believe, but they were repulsed very easily.
They then did not do any thing but use their sharp-shooters until about ten minutes before eleven o'clock, when they sent in a flag of truce, demanding an unconditional surrender.
went out and received the demand and brought it in. He then called the officers together and asked what we thought of the matter.
He turned to Captain Harris
, as the oldest officer, and asked him what we should do. The Captain
said he was for fighting, and I believe other officers there said “fight.”
then asked me to ride out with him, and I did so. On our way out, I told the Colonel
that I thought we had the rebels whipped unless they had reenforcements, which I did not think they had. They gave us fifteen minutes more to consider.
Then some officers said they thought they saw artillery out there.
said if they had artillery they could whip us, but not without.
then went out and made an unconditional surrender of the Fort
, about sixteen officers and about five hundred men. I guess there were three hundred men and officers out of the five hundred who wanted to fight.
Question. Did you see any artillery?
Answer. No, sir.
Question. They had none there?
Answer. No, sir; I rode out as far as I dared go to see, and I did not see any thing with the glass I had but an ambulance; there was no artillery there at all.
Question. To what do you attribute the surrender by Colonel Hawkins
Answer. It is hard for me to make up my mind about that.
was a first lieutenant of a company in the Mexican
war, and I fought under him there, and I have fought under him in this war, and I never saw any cowardice about him before.
I think this was one of the most cowardly surrenders there ever was. Still, I cannot think Colonel Hawkins
is a coward; at least I never saw any show of cowardice in him before.
I could see no reason for surrendering when we had but one man killed or hurt in the Fort
Question. You escaped from the enemy?
Answer. Yes, sir.
Question. How did you effect your escape?
Answer. I escaped with Captain Beattie
Question. How long were you with the enemy?
Answer. Four days and a half.
Question. Who did you understand was in command of the rebels?
Answer. Colonel Duckworth
Question. How many men did he have?
Answer. From the best information I could get there were about one thousand five hundred of them.
Several of their officers said they had one thousand two hundred and fifty men, regular troops, and four independent companies.
That was their statement to me.
Question. Had you a good position at Union City
Answer. It was a very good position against small arms; it was not strong against artillery.
Question. Did you know any thing about reenforcements coming to you?
Answer. We were looking for reenforcements.
We had a despatch to hold the place, that reenforcements would be sent.
Question. From whom was that despatch?
Answer. From General Brayman
Question. Did Colonel Hawkins
receive that despatch before he surrendered?
Answer. Yes, sir; the day before the fight, before the wire was cut. He was getting a despatch when the wire was cut; we did not know what that despatch was. But the one he got before was an order to hold the place, that reenforcements would be sent to him. We were looking for them to come that morning or that night.
I heard some rebel officers and men say they had come four hundred and fifty miles for our regiment, and that they had known they would get it. I asked them how they knew they would get it, but they would not tell me. A rebel cursed Colonel Hawkins
; said he was a God damned coward, but he had good men.
Question. Were our men in good spirits before the surrender?
Answer. They were just as cool and quiet as you ever saw men; not a bit excited, but talking and laughing.
Question. Where have you been living?
Answer. I have a home at Hickman, Kentucky
, but have been at Fort Pillow
Question. Did you live there?
Answer. No, sir; my son was there, and I went down to stay with him.
Question. Where were you during the fight?
Answer. I was on a big island, where the gunboat men took us. I staid there a part of two days and one night.
Question. Did you go back to Fort Pillow
after the fight?
Answer. Yes, sir; the gunboat took us over there.
Question. When did you go back there?
Answer. The battle was on Tuesday, and I went back Wednesday evening.
Question. Had our wounded men been taken away when you went back?
Answer. Yes, sir; I believe so