some five or six hundred in number, were killed or wounded in action, or murdered or wounded after the surrender. I saw officers as well as privates kill and wound prisoners, and heard them say, while held a prisoner with them in the country, that they intended taking the prisoners still further into the country, and make an example of them. Captain Bradford, of the Thirteenth Tennessee, was engaged with a blue signal-flag in connection with gunboat Number Seven. Captain Bradford was ordered shot by General Forrest, who said: “Shoot that man with the black flag.” This was after the surrender. His body was literally shot to pieces. All, both black and white, fought manfully. I saw several negroes wounded, with blood running from their bodies, still engaged loading and firing cannon and muskets cheerfully. There was no giving way till one thousand five hundred confederates rushed inside the Fort. Most were killed outside the Fort when prisoners. The Fort was defended successfully for over eight hours by from five hundred to six hundred men against three thousand five hundred to four thousand barbarians. I heard confederate officers say it was the hardest contested engagement that Forrest had ever been engaged in. I heard officers say they would never recognize negroes as prisoners of war, but would kill them whenever taken. Even if they caught a negro with blue clothes on, (uniform,) they would kill him. Officers of negro troops were treated and murdered the same as negroes themselves. After lying in the woods two days and nights, I was picked up by gunboat Number Seven, some five or six miles below the Fort. On my return to the Fort, I saw and recognized the remains of Lieutenant Akerstrom; he had been nailed to a house, and supposed burned alive. There were the remains of two negroes lying where the house burned. I was told they were nailed to the floor. I also found a negro partially buried, with his head out of the ground, alive. I went for assistance and water for him; when I returned he was so near dead that no assistance could save him. We sat by him till he died. I can recount but a small part of the barbarities I saw on that fatal day, when hundreds of loyal soldiers were murdered in cold blood. Cairo, Illinois, this eighteenth day of April, 1864.
John H. Munroe, Assistant Adjutant-General.A true copy.
J. H. Odlin, Assistant Adjutant-General.
Cairo, Illinois April 23, 1864.Elvis Bevel, being duly sworn, deposeth and says: I am a citizen of Osceola, Arkansas. I was driven from my home by guerrillas. I arrived at Fort Pillow, Tennessee, on the night of the eleventh of April, 1864. I was at Fort Pillow during the engagement between the rebel forces under Forrest and Chalmers, and the United States garrison at that place, on the twelfth of April instant, 1864. About sun-up, the alarm of rebels being in the Fort was received at Major Booth's headquarters. I took a position where I could see all that was done by the rebel and United States forces. Deponent further saith: I saw the contraband camps in flames at different points. Could see the skirmishers of the rebels. Signals were given by Captain Bradford to Captain Marshall, of the navy, commanding gunboat Number Seven, to shell them from post Number One, which is in sight of the Fort, which was done by Captain Marshall. About one hour after sunrise, brisk skirmishing began. The bullets from rebel infantry caused me to move from where I was, and take position behind a large stump near the Fort. About nine o'clock I moved to the rear of the Fort, where I could better see the rebels who swarmed the bluff. The rebels were here so near the gunboat that the crew under Captain Marshall had to close their ports, and use their small-arms. At one o'clock P. M. the firing on both sides ceased. A flag of truce was sent from the rebel lines to demand an unconditional surrender. While the flag of truce was approaching the Fort, I saw a battery of artillery moved to a better position by the rebels, and saw their sharp-shooters approaching the Fort from another quarter. At two o'clock the fight began again; about fifteen or twenty minutes after I saw a charge made by about two thousand on the breastworks and near it on the bluff. Sharp fighting took place inside the Fort of about five minutes duration. I saw their bayonets and swords. I saw the Union soldiers, black and white, slaughtered while asking for quarter; heard their screams for quarter, to which the rebels paid no attention. About one hundred left the Fort, and ran down the bank of the bluff to the river, pursued by the rebels, who surrounded them; in about twenty minutes, every one of them, as far as I could see, were shot down by the rebels without mercy. I left at this time, getting on the gunboat. On Thursday, the fourteenth of April, I met Captain Farris, of Forrest's command, about six miles from Fort Pillow, at Plum Point; his soldiers said they were hunting for negroes. I asked him if they took any prisoners at Fort Pillow. He said they took some of the Thirteenth Tennessee, who surrendered, but no others. Cairo, Illinois.
C. B. Smith, Lieutenant and A. A.A. G.A true copy.
C. B. Smith, Lieutenant and A. D.C.