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[27] one thousand ninety-seven wounded; including those missing, it was estimated at fifteen hundred.

After nightfall a consultation of the commanding officers was held, and after a consideration of the question in all its aspects as to what should be done, it was decided that a surrender was inevitable, and that to accomplish its objects it must be made before the assault, which was expected at daylight. General Buckner in his report, says:

I regarded the position of the army as desperate, and that the attempt to extricate it by another battle, in the suffering and exhausted condition of the troops, was almost hopeless. The troops had been worn down with watching, with labor, with fighting. Many of them were frosted by the cold, all of them were suffering and exhausted by their incessant labors. There had been no regular issue of rations for several days, and scarcely any means of cooking. The ammunition was nearly expended. We were completely invested by a force fully four times the strength of our own.

The decision to surrender having been made, it remained to determine by whom it should be made. Generals Floyd and Pillow declared they would not surrender and become prisoners; the duty was therefore allotted to General Buckner. Floyd said, ‘General Buckner, if I place you in command, will you allow me to draw out my brigade?’ General Buckner replied, ‘Yes, provided you do so before the enemy act upon my communication.’ Floyd said, ‘General Pillow, I turn over the command.’ General Pillow, regarding this as a mere technical form by which the command was to be conveyed to Buckner, then said, ‘I pass it.’ Buckner assumed the command, sent for a bugler to sound the parley, for pen, ink, and paper, and opened the negotiations for surrender.

There were but two roads by which it was possible for the garrison to retire. If they went by the upper road, they would certainly have to cut through the main body of the enemy; if by the lower road, they would have to wade through water three feet deep. This, the medical director stated, would be death to more than one half the command, on account of the severity of the weather and their physical prostration.

To cut through the enemy, if effected, would, it was supposed, involve the loss of three-fourths of the command, a sacrifice which, it was conceded, would not be justifiable.

The enemy had, in the conflict of the preceding day, gained possession of our rifle pits on the right flank, and General Buckner, an experienced soldier, held that the fort would immediately fall when the enemy attacked in the morning. General Pillow dissented from this conclusion, believing that the fort could be defended until boats could be obtained to convey the garrison across the river, and also advocated an attempt

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