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“ [208] which held them down to the torture of which they died. One sat against a tree, and, with mouth and eyes wide open, looked up into the sky, as if to catch a glance at its fleeting spirit. Another clutched the branch of an overhanging tree, and hung half-suspended, as if in the death-pang he had raised himself partly from the ground; the other had grasped his faithful musket, and the compression of his mouth told of the determination which would have been fatal to a foe, had life ebbed a minute later. A third clung with both hands to a bayonet which was buried in the ground. Great numbers lay in heaps, just as the fire of the artillery mowed them down, mangling their forms into an almost undistinguishable mass.”

Late in the night of the 15th of February, another conference of general officers was called. It was, indeed, a memorable one. Gen. Pillow appears to have favoured a proposition for a desperate onset upon the right of the enemy's forces, with the prospect of thus extricating a considerable proportion of the command. Gen. Buckner remarked, that it would cost the command three-fourths its present numbers to cut its way out, and it was wrong to sacrifice three-fourths to save one-fourth; that no officer had a right to cause such a sacrifice. The alternative of the proposition was a surrender of the position and command. Gen. Floyd declared that he would not surrender himself a prisoner, and proposed to escape with such portion of his command as was possible on two small steamers, which had arrived from Nashville during the night. Gen. Pillow remarked that he thought there were no two persons in the Confederacy whom the “Yankees” would prefer to capture than himself and Gen. Floyd, and asked the latter's opinion as to the propriety of his accompanying him. To this inquiry Gen. Floyd replied that it was a question for every man to decide for himself. Gen. Pillow then addressed the inquiry to Gen. Buckner, to which Gen. Buckner remarked that he could only reply as Gen. Floyd had done; that it was a question for every officer to decide for himself, and that in his own case he regarded it as his duty to remain with his men and share their fate, whatever it might be.

It was then arranged that the command should be passed. Gen. Buckner asked, “Am I to consider the command as turned over to me?.” Gen. Floyd replied, “Certainly, I turn over the command.” Gen. Pillow replied quickly, “I pass it. I will not surrender.” Gen. Buckner then called for pen, ink, paper, and a bugler, and prepared to open communication with the Federal commander.

A number of men had fallen in battle; some of the sick and wounded had been removed; and detachments of troops had escaped under Floyd, Pillow, and Forrest; leaving the number surrendered by Gen. Buckner to the enemy less than nine thousand men. Gen. Grant had demanded “Unconditional surrender” --words, which the Northern populace afterwards attached to his name as a peculiar title to glory; and Gen.

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