of officers, and it was said they would hang me on a flag-pole. Question. What for? Answer. From the fact that I employed Government darkeys from Colonel Phillips, at Memphis. Question. On your plantation? Answer. Yes, sir. And they shot all my horses unfit for cavalry. Question. Did they shoot your darkeys? Answer. I understand they did, and burned them all. I understand they took one yellow woman, and two or three boys escaped that I tried to take to the Fort with me in the morning to help fight. The balance, a darkey whose name I don't know, said they were killed and burned in the house. Question. You did not go back there, then? Answer. I did not go back there. That is only what is told me. It was told me by persons who were hid right near, and I saw persons bury the bodies after they were burned. Question. Where? Answer. In the Fort, sir--burned in the house. Question. In connection with the Fort buildings? Answer. Yes, sir, and out on timber. There was a large number of them burned in the buildings, but they had been buried the day before. Question. You say there were five hundred and eighty men, you think, in the Fort? Answer. Yes, sir. Question. How many do you suppose escaped? Answer. Well, I know there were not more than one hundred as they marched out there surrounded by the other troops, and I would not think there were fifty of them. There were five darkeys in Cairo hospitals who were buried alive. Two of them have died since they got there. Question. Did you see any of these men buried alive? Answer. No, I did not; but they are facts that can easily be proved by the darkeys — the darkeys themselves — and those who saw it done, and saw the Quartermaster burned, too.
Isaac J. Dodge, Lieutenant and Assist. Paymaster-General, Department of Missouri.
In consequence of some portions of the evidence of General Brayman and Colonel Lawrence, which, unexplained, might impeach the good conduct of General Shepley, Mr. Gooch, of the subcommittee, telegraphed to General Shepley, giving him the substance of the testimony relating to himself, and asking him to forward to the committee any explanation he might deem necessary in writing. The following communication was received from General Shepley, and the testimony of Captain Thornton, an officer of his staff, was taken. The sub-committee deemed the explanation therein contained to be entirely satisfactory, and directed that the following communication and testimony be incorporated with the testimony in relation to Fort Pillow.
headquarters District of Norfolk and Portsmouth, Norfolk, Virginia, May 7, 1864.Sir: I have the honor respectfully to forward by Captain C. C. G. Thornton, Twelfth Maine volunteers, now acting on my staff, a statement in reply to the communication I had the honor to receive by telegraph. Captain Thornton was on the Olive Branch, and is subject to examination by the committee. I have the honor to be, with great respect, your obedient servant.
Military Governor of Louisiana, and ordered to report for duty to the Commanding General of the army, I left New-Orleans on the evening of the sixth of April, as a passenger in the Olive Branch, a New-Orleans and St. Louis passenger steamer not in the service of the Government, but loaded with male and female passengers and cargo of private parties. The steamer was unarmed, and had no troops and no muskets for protection against guerrillas when landing at wood-yards and other places. The boat stopped at Vicksburgh, and I went ashore. When I returned to the boat as she was about leaving, I found that a detachment of a portion of the men of two batteries--one Ohio and one Missouri--belonging to the Seventeenth army corps, with the horses, guns, caissons, wagons, tents, and baggage of the two batteries, had been put on board, with orders, as I afterward learned on inquiring, to report to General Brayman, at Cairo. The horses occupied all the available space, fore and aft, on the sides of the boilers and machinery, which were on deck. The guns, caissons, baggage-wagons, tents, garrison and camp equipage, were piled up together on the bows, leaving only space for the gang-plank. The men had no small arms, so that when the boat landed, as happened in one instance at a wood-yard where guerrillas had just passed, the pickets thrown out to prevent surprise were necessarily unarmed. As the boat was approaching, and before it was in sight of Fort Pillow, some females hailed it from the shore, and said the rebels had attacked Fort Pillow, and captured two boats on the river, and would take us if we went on. The captain of the Olive Branch said they had probably taken the Mollie Able, which was due there about that time from St. Louis. He turned his boat, saying he would go back to Memphis. I objected to going back; stopped the boat below the next point; hailed another smaller steamer without passengers which I saw approaching, and ordered it alongside. I ordered the captain of this boat to cast off the coal-barges he had in tow, and take me on board with a section of a battery to go to Fort Pillow. While he was trying to disencumber his boat