treated our soldiers whom they had captured, and the way in which they intended to treat them? Answer. On the evening of the twelfth I was in Colonel Duckworth's headquarters. I had not been conscripted then. I saw a despatch there from Forrest to Duckworth, dated that afternoon. It read something like this:
Colonel W. L. Duckworth, Covington, Tennessee. I have killed three hundred and captured three hundred.Duckworth remarked to me previous to the attack that no quarter would be shown at Fort Pillow at all; that they were a set of damned Yankees and Tennessee traitors there, and they intended to show them no quarter. Question. When did he say this? Answer. On the evening of the eleventh of April, at Covington. Question. How long had you known Duckworth? Answer. I never saw him before I saw him there. Question. Did he say this to you? Answer. I was not in conversation with him, but I heard him say this to a Captain Hill, a retired confederate captain, who formerly belonged to his command. He was within five or six feet of me when he said it. Question. Were they talking at that time about the intended attack on Fort Pillow? Answer. Yes, sir; and five days rations were ordered then, and Duckworth said they were going to take Fort Pillow, and no quarter would be shown at all. Question. Do you know how Major Bradford got to Covington, and when? Answer. I think he arrived there on the evening of the twelfth, just about dusk. Question. Did Major Bradford state to you that he desired to disguise himself? Answer. Yes, sir. He said that he had personal enemies in that command, among whom was this Willis Wright, who recognized him and told them who he was. Major Bradford was a native Tennesseean. Question. Did any of the conscripts who were with you see Major Bradford shot? Answer. Yes, sir; and I understand that one or two others, who escaped when I did, are here in in the city; and I shall try to get their statements.
W. R. McLagan, a citizen of the United States, being first duly sworn, states, upon oath, that for the last two years he has been trading between St. Louis, Missouri, and Covington, Tennessee; that at the time of the attack upon Fort Pillow, April twelfth, 1864, he was at Covington, Tennessee, and was taken by General Forrest as a conscript on the thirteenth of April, with about thirty other citizens; that on the evening of the twelfth of April Major Bradford, Thirteenth Tennessee cavalry, United States forces, arrived at Covington, under guard, as a prisoner of war, and was reported as such to Colonel Duckworth, commanding Seventh Tennessee cavalry, confederate forces; that on the thirteenth of April Major Bradford and the conscripts, including the affiant, were placed in charge of two companies of the Seventh Tennessee cavalry, Captains Russell and Lawler commanding. They were taken to Brownsville, Tennessee, and started from there to Jackson, Tennessee. When they had proceeded about five miles from Brownsville a halt was made, and Major Bradford was taken about fifty yards from the command by a guard of five confederate soldiers in charge of a lieutenant, and was there deliberately shot, three of the confederate soldiers discharging their fire-arms, all of which took effect, killing him instantly. This was on the fourteenth day of April, 1864, near dusk; that the body of Major Bradford was left unburied in the woods about fifty yards from the road. The affiant, with the other conscripts, were taken on to Jackson, and on the twenty-second day of April the affiant and twenty-five others of the conscripts made their escape from the confederate forces at Jackson. On the way back he saw the body of Major Bradford lying in the same place where he was shot. This was on Saturday night, the twenty-third of April. Major Bradford, before he was shot, fell on his knees and said that he had fought them manfully, and wished to be treated as a prisoner of war.
headquarters District of West-Tennessee, Memphis, Tennessee, April 25, 1864.Subscribed and sworn to before me this day.
T. H. Harris, Lieutenant-Colonel and Assistant Adjutant-General Sixteenth Army Corps.
Appendix. The following papers and affidavits were furnished the Committee by General Mason Brayman, at Cairo, and are herewith submitted:
Cairo, Illinois, April 18, 1864.We have the honor of reporting to you, as the only known survivors of the commissioned officers of the Thirteenth Tennessee cavalry, that, on the morning of the twelfth day of the present month, at about the hour of daylight, the rebels, numbering from five thousand to seven thousand, attacked our garrison at Fort Pillow, Tennessee, numbering as it did only about five hundred effective men. They at first sent in a flag of truce demanding a surrender, which Major Booth, then commanding the post, (Major Booth, of the Sixth United States heavy artillery, colored,) refused. Shortly after this Major Booth was shot through the heart and fell dead. Major William F. Bradford, then commanding the Thirteenth Tennessee cavalry, assumed command of the Fort, and under his orders a continual fire was kept up until about one o clock P. M., when our cannon and the rifles of the sharp-shooters were mowing the rebels down in such numbers that they could not make an advance. The rebels then hoisted a second flag of truce and sent it in, demanding an unconditional surrender. They also threatened that if the place was not surrendered no quarter would be shown. Major Bradford refused to accept any such terms, would not surrender, and sent back word that