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[56] wood-piles on fire, and we followed them clear round, and drove them off. At this time I received information that the body of Lieutenant Akerstrom had been burned; that it was he who was burned in the house. Some of the refugees told me this, and also that they had taken him out and buried him. There was also one negro who had been thrown in a hole, and buried alive. We took him out, but he lived only a few minutes afterward. After we had followed these rebels around to the head of Island Thirty, I came back to the Fort, landed, and took on board the refugees I had put on shore. The next morning the three gunboats landed here, and we sent out pickets, and then sent men around to look up the dead. We found a number there not buried, beside one man whose body was so burnt that we had to take a shovel to take up his remains.

Question. Was he burned where there was a tent or a building?

Answer. Where there was a building.

Question. Do you know whether there were any wounded men burned in those buildings?

Answer. I do not. All I know about that is what I was told by Lieutenant Leming, who said that while he was lying here wounded, he heard some of the soldiers say that there were some wounded negroes in those buildings, who said, “You are trying to get this gunboat back to shell us, are you, God damn you,” and then shot them down. I went to Memphis, and then had to go to Cairo. I was then ordered to patrol the river from here (Fort Pillow) to Memphis. I started down on my first trip on Friday morning last. I arrived at Memphis on Friday afternoon. I mentioned there the manner in which our men had been buried here by the rebels, and said that I thought humanity dictated that they should be taken up, and buried as they ought to be. The General ordered some men to be detailed, with rations, to come up here and rebury them properly. They have come here, and have been engaged in that work since they came up.

Question. How many have you already found?

Answer. We have found already fifty-two white men and four officers, besides a great many colored men.

Question. Had the blacks and whites been buried together indiscriminately?

Answer. We have not found it so exactly; we have found them in the same trench, but the white men mostly at one end, and the black men at the other; but they were all pitched in in any way — some on their faces, some on their sides, some on their backs.

Question. Did you hear any thing said about giving quarter or not giving quarter on that occasion?

Answer. No, sir; but our Paymaster here could tell you what he heard some of their officers say.

Question. Do you know any thing about the transport Platte Valley being here?

Answer. She was lying alongside the gunboat Twenty-eight here when I came down the day after the fight, and came alongside of her.

Question. Do you know any thing about any of our officers showing civilities to the rebel officers after all these atrocities?

Answer. I saw nothing of that kind but one lieutenant, who went up around with them on the hill. Who he was I do not know, but I recollect noticing his stripe.

Question. Did he belong to the navy or army?

Answer. He belonged to the army. I saw the rebel General Chalmers but once. When I came down here that morning I was the ranking officer; but the Captain of gunboat Twenty-eight had commenced negotiations with the flag of truce, and I told him to go on with it. I met those men in the cabin of the Twenty-eight on business. I was not on board the Platte Valley but once, except that I crossed over her bow once or twice. I was not on her where I could see any thing of this kind going on.

Question. How many of our men do you suppose were killed after they had surrendered?

Answer. I could not say. I have been told that there were not over twenty-five killed and wounded before the Fort was captured?

Question. Do you know how many have been killed in all?

Answer. My own crew buried, of those who were left unburied, some seventy or eighty. The Platte Valley buried a great many, and the gunboat Twenty-eight buried some.

Question. What number do you suppose escaped out of the garrison?

Answer. I have no means of knowing. I have understood that the rebels had one hundred and sixty prisoners--white men; but I think it is doubtful if they had that many, judging from the number of men we have found.

By Mr. Gooch:

Question. Where did those men come from whose bodies we have just seen unburied?

Answer. I should judge they came from the hospital. One of them had a cane, showing that he was not a well man, and they had on white shirts — hospital clothing; and, as you saw, one looked thin, very thin, as if he had been sick.

Question. How far are these bodies lying from the hospital?

Answer. I should think about one hundred and fifty yards.

Question. Would men, escaping from the Fort, run in that direction?

Answer. They would be very apt to run in almost any direction; and they would be more likely to run away from the stores that these rebels were robbing.

By the Chairman:

Question. From the hospital clothing they had on; from their appearance, showing that they had been wounded or sick persons; and from the bruised appearance of their heads, as if they had been killed by having their brains knocked out, do you infer that they were hospital patients that had been murdered there?


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