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[58]

Answer. To the navy.

Question. In what capacity?

Answer. Acting Master's Mate for the New Era gunboat.

Question. Were you here on the day of the fight at Fort Pillow?

Answer. I was.

Question. Tell us what you observed in regard to the battle, and what followed?

Answer. I did not observe much of the first part of the engagement, because I was stationed below, in a division, with the guns; but after we hauled out into the stream I saw the flag of truce come in, and then I saw our colors come down at the Fort, and saw our men running down the bank, the rebels following them, and shooting them after they had surrendered.

Question. What number do you suppose the rebels killed after they had surrendered?

Answer. I could not say, only from what I saw the next day when I went ashore.

Question. You were there the next day?

Answer. Yes, sir; we came in under a flag of truce.

Question. What did you see?

Answer. Captain Marshall sent me out with a detail of men to collect the wounded and bury the dead. We buried some seventy or eighty bodies, eleven white men and one white woman.

Question. Did you bury any officers?

Answer. No, sir; I buried none of them. They were buried by the rebels.

Question. Did you observe how the dead had been buried by the rebels?

Answer. Yes, sir; I saw those in the trench. Some had just been thrown in the trench at the end of the Fortwhite and black together — and a little dirt thrown over them; some had their hands or feet or face out. I should judge there were probably one hundred bodies there. They had apparently thrown them in miscellaneously, and thrown a little dirt over them, not covering them up completely.

Question. Did you see or hear any thing there that led you to believe that any had been buried before they were dead?

Answer. I did not see any myself, but I understand from a number of others that they had seen it, and had dug one out of the trench who was still alive.

Question. Did you see any peculiar marks of barbarity, as inflicted upon the dead?

Answer. I saw none that I noticed, except in the case of one black man that I took up off a tent floor. He lay on his back, with his arms stretched out. Part of his arms were burned off, and his legs were burned nearly to a crisp. His stomach was bare. The clothes had either been torn off or burned off. In order to take away the remains, I slipped some pieces of board under him, and when we took him up the boards of the tent came up with him; and we then observed that nails had been driven through his clothes and his cartridge-box, so as to fasten him down to the floor. His face was not burned, but was very much distorted, as if ho had died in great pain. Several others noticed the nails through his clothes which fastened him down.

Question. Do you think there can be any doubt about his having been nailed to the boards?

Answer. I think not, from the fact that the boards came up with the remains as we raised them up; and we then saw the nails sticking through his clothes, and into the boards.

Question. Did you notice any other bodies that had been burned?

Answer. Yes, sir; I buried four that had been burned.

Question. What was the appearance of them?

Answer. I did not notice any particular appearance about them, except that they had been burned.

Question. How came they to be burned?

Answer. They were in the tents, inside of the Fort, which had beeh burned. I am certain that there were four that lay where the tent had been burned, for there were the remains of the boards under them, which had not been fully burned. Those that were burned in the Fort were black men.

Charles Hicks, sworn and examined: by the Chairman:

Question. Were you on the ground after the battle of Fort Pillow?

Answer. Yes, sir; the day after the battle.

Question. What did you see there?

Answer. A great many dead men.

Question. Did you see any man there that had been nailed down to a board and burned?

Answer. Yes, sir; I saw the nails through his clothes after he was taken up.

Question. In what position did he lie?

Answer. On his back. There were nails through his clothes and through the cartridge-box.

Question. So that it fastened him to the boards in such a way that he could not get up, even if he had been alive?

Answer. Yes, sir, in just that way.

Question. When you tried to take him up, you raised the boards with him?

Answer. Yes, sir.

A. H. Hook, sworn and examined: by the Chairman:

Question. Did you see the man that Charles Hicks has just spoken of?

Answer. Yes, sir; I saw him. His body was partly burned, and I saw the nails through his clothes, and into the floor of the tent.

Question. The tent had been burned?

Answer. Yes, sir; there were three or four bodies burned there, but this man in particular was nailed down.

George Mantell, sworn and examined: by the Chairman:

Question. Were you on the ground at Fort Pillow at the time that these men, who have just testified, spoke of?

Answer. Yes, sir.


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