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[191] him quicker than I can write it. Colonel Starr was no more in the hands of General Forrest than a butterfly would be in the claws of an eagle. Forrest ran his saber entirely through his body and forced him off his horse. The federal officers acted with great bravery and tried to rally their men, but could not do it.

Having attained the objects of the expedition, Forrest retired with the prisoners and captured horses to the south side of a creek about three miles distant, and gave the men time to exchange their jaded horses for the captured ones. There were about six hundred prisoners, a majority of them officers, who were captured in their night clothes. Finding they could not keep up on the march, he sent his aid-de-camp, Captain C. W. Anderson, back with a flag of truce, and with him he sent a member of General Washburne's staff, to say to General Washburne that the prisoners were in a wretched condition, without shoes or clothing, and as an act of humanity he would exchange them for such of his men as might be prisoners. He stated to Captain Anderson: ‘Should General Washburne reject the proposal, then suggest that he send clothing for them.’ Forrest added that he would await the answer at Nonconnah creek, six miles south.

General Washburne stated, in his answer, he had no authority to exchange prisoners, but would gladly accept the proffered privilege of sending a supply of clothing. In a short time Colonel Hepburn and Captain H. S. Lee arrived with a wagon load of clothing (Colonel Hepburn is now a member of Congress from Iowa), which was distributed under the direction of the federal officers.

General Forrest then directed his surgeons to examine the prisoners, and such as were unfit to undergo hardship were sent back with Colonel Hepburn and the wagon, with the promise they would not bear arms against the Confederate cause until exchanged. The remainder, about four hundred, were mounted on the extra horses and the march taken up to Hernando.

Including the prisoners, Forrest had about two thousand men without rations. He knew he could not obtain any before reaching Panola. With characteristic promptness, and with the matchless resource, which always met every emergency, he decided to

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