if he (the rebel General) attempted to attack the place, the lives of the women and children would rest on his head, but if he waited half an hour he would have them all out; that he (Colonel Lawrence
) would not ask them to wait, for he felt amply prepared to receive their attack.
The flag of truce then returned.
On their way out, or while the flag of truce was at the fort, the rebel cavalry occupied themselves in stealing horses that had been brought in by Union citizens, and stabled near our picket-lines for protection.
The rebels stole something like twenty-five or thirty horses belonging to Union men while this flag of truce was in. That was the last Colonel Lawrence
heard of the enemy that day. Colonel Lawrence
then gave notice that he should receive no more flags of truce from Forrest
; that as Forrest
did not respect them, he should not himself respect them.
That was all that occurred at Columbus
Question. You have said that you went up to Paducah
on a gunboat with Captain Shirk
, of the navy: did he cooperate cordially with the land forces in repelling the attack upon Paducah
Answer. He did. Captain Shirk
and all his officers did every thing in their power to aid us. He was very accommodating, even furnishing us with ammunition, although he himself was getting short of it. He had but a very small amount, yet he divided with us, giving us a share of what he had. He also sent by boat to Metropolis all the despatches that were sent by Colonel Hicks
and myself to General Brayman
, and he sent a despatch-boat to Cairo
To make sure that the information should get through, and to have supplies forwarded to us, the gunboats did every thing in their power, and rendered great assistance in defending the place.
Question. Has Captain Pennock
, of the navy, cooperated cordially with the military authorities in their operations in this vicinity, where it has been possible for the navy to cooperate?
Answer. Yes, sir; Captain Pennock
has always been on hand, always had boats ready; has made such dispositions of his boats that he could at any moment throw from one to three boats, and at one time as many as five boats, on any one point in the district, whenever asked to do so. At the time of the attack upon Paducah
he was very prompt in furnishing us with a despatch-boat and supplying us with ammunition.
I believe he has done every thing in his power to assist us in carrying out all our movements and operations.
At the same time Captain Pennock
has labored under the difficulty of being compelled to send some of his boats up the Tennessee River
with despatches for General Veatch
I mention that, to show that he has had to send some of his boats away.
Yet he has always been ready to assist us at any time, night or day. The best feeling has always existed, and still exists, between the naval officers and the military authorities at this post, and at all the posts in the district; and they cooperate cordially in carrying out all orders and measures that are deemed for the good of the service.
John Penwell, sworn and examined: by the Chairman:
Question. Where do you reside?
Answer. Detroit, Michigan
Question. Do you belong to the army?
Answer. I do not.
Question. Were you at Fort Pillow
when it was attacked?
Answer. Yes, sir; this last time.
Question. In what capacity were you there?
Answer. As a volunteer for the occasion.
Question. Will you tell us, in your own way, what you saw there?
Answer. Nothing occurred of much account — only the fighting part of it — until after they sent the last flag of truce there.
They kept on fighting, but the Fort
was not surrendered.
While the flag of truce was outside the Fort
, and they were conferring together, I noticed and spoke about seeing men going around behind the Fort
They who were out with the flag of truce came back and said they were not going to surrender, and commenced fighting again.
I had just fired my musket off, and heard a shot behind me. I saw the rebels come running right up to us. I was just feeling for a cartridge.
They were as close as from here to the window, (about ten feet.) I threw my musket down.
A fellow who was ahead asked “if I surrendered.”
I said, “Yes.”
He said, “Die, then, you damned Yankee son of a bitch,” and shot me, and I fell.
More passed by me, and commenced hallooing, “Shoot him down,” and three or four stopped where I was and jumped on me and stripped me, taking my boots and coat and hat, and forty-five or fifty dollars in greenbacks.
Question. Where did they shoot you?
Answer. In the breast, and the ball passed right through.
Question. Did you see other men shot after they had surrendered?
Answer. I did not see any after I laid down, but I heard the hallooing around me, and begging them “Not to shoot” and then I heard them say: “Shoot them down, shoot them down!”
In fact, when they stripped me, one of them said, “He an't dead.”
and they jerked me up and took off my coat.
It hurt me pretty bad, and I cried out to them: “Kill ne, out and out.”
One of them said: “Hit him a crack on the head,” but another said: “Let the poor fellow be, and get well, if he can. He has nothing more left now.”
I fainted then.
After I revived I crawled into a tent near where I was. A captain of artillery was in there very badly wounded.
Some one had thrown an overcoat over us after I got in there.
In the night they roused us up, and wanted to know: “If we wanted to be burned up.”
I said: “No.”
They said, “They were going to fire the tent, and we had better get out,” and wanted to know if we could walk.
I said: “I could not.”
They helped me out and made me walk some, but carried the officer out. They took us to a house and left us there.
They would not give us any water, but told us to get it for ourselves.
There were other wounded men