whom, with one exception, were convalescents in the general hospital, and too feeble to get to the Fort. The following troops composed my command during the fight: Companies C, H, and K, One Hundred and Twenty-second Illinois infantry, commanded by Major J. F. Chapman, one hundred and twenty men; Sixteenth Kentucky cavalry, Major Barnes commanding, two hundred and seventy-one men; First Kentucky heavy artillery, (colored,) two hundred and seventy-four men, commanded by Lieutenant R. D. Cunningham, of the Second Illinois artillery, making a total of six hundred and sixty-five men. Opposed to this was the rebel force under the command of Generals Forrest, Buford, J. G. Harris, and A. P. Thompson, of six thousand five hundred men. The casualties of my command were fourteen killed and forty-six wounded. The enemy's loss, according to the most reliable information that I can obtain, was three hundred killed and from one thousand to one thousand two hundred wounded. His killed and wounded may be safely set down at one thousand five hundred. General Forrest admitted, in conversation with some of his friends in this city, that in no engagement during the war had he been so badly cut up and crippled as at this place. Our loss in government stores was inconsiderable. The Quartermaster's depot, a temporary wooden building, was burned, and in consequence thereof a small lot of quartermaster's property was lost. Our commissary stores, and most of our government horses, mules, wagons, etc., were saved. In justice to the officers and soldiers under my command, allow me to say that they acted well their part, proving themselves worthy of the great cause in which they are engaged, and all deserving of the highest praise. The three companies of the One Hundred and Twenty-second Illinois were the only portion of my command that had ever been under fire beore. And here permit me to remark that I have been one of those men who never had much confidence in colored troops fighting, but those doubts are now all removed, for they fought as bravely as any troops in the Fort. The gunboats Peosta, Captain Smith, and Paw Paw, Captain O'Neal, were present and rendered valuable aid in shelling the city and operating on the flank of the enemy as they surrounded the Fort. A list of the names of the killed and wounded I will furnish hereafter. Respectfully submitted.
Columbus and its garrison by force, I desire to avoid the shedding of blood, and therefore demand the unconditional surrender of the forces under your command. Should you surrender, the negroes now in arms will be returned to their masters. Should I, however, be compelled to take the place, no quarter will be shown to the negro troops whatever; the white troops will be treated as prisoners of war. I am, sir, yours,
Headquarters of the post, Columbus, Kentucky, April 18, 1864.General: Your communication of this date to hand. In reply, I would state that, being placed by my Government with adequate force to bold and repel all enemies from my post, surrender is out of the question. I am, General, very respectfully,
The following affidavit was furnished, at the request of the Committee, by General W. S. Rosecrans, from St. Louis:
Statement of Edward B. Benton, upon oath, relative to the Massacre by the Confederate Troops under General Forrest, at Fort Pillow, Tennessee.headquarters Department of the Missouri, Saint Louis, April 26, 1864.Respectfully forwarded to Hon. B. F. Wade, Cairo, Illinois, Chairman Congressional Committee on Conduct of the War.
I was born in Waltham, Vermont. Question. Where have you resided last? Answer. I was in Missouri engaged in furnishing beef to the Government troops on the North-Missouri Railroad until a year ago last July. I then went down to Fort Pillow, and have been there ever since. Question. What was your business there? Answer. I owned two hundred and fifteen acres of the Fort, bordering on the river, and the very land we fought on. I was putting in one hundred acres of cotton just outside the fortifications, which was my principal business. Question. You lived outside the Fort? Answer. Yes, sir — slept there. I was in the Fort every day; it was only about a mile from the landing — not a mile from the fortifications. Question. Just say when you saw Forrest's men; the day and the time of day, and what you did? Answer. On Tuesday morning, the twelfth of this month, I was awakened about five o'clock, or half-past 5, by a little darkey boy, who came up to my room and says: “O Mr. Benton! ”