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[2] Captain Shirk of the navy — successfully repelling the attacks of the enemy. Failing to make any impression upon our forces, Forrest then demanded an unconditional surrender, closing his communication to Colonel Hicks in these words: “If you surrender you shall be treated as prisoners of war, but if I have to storm your works you may expect no quarter.” This demand and threat was met by a refusal on the part of Colouel Hicks to surrender, he stating that he had been placed there by his Government to defend that post, and he should do so. The rebels made three other assaults that same day, but were repulsed with heavy loss each time, the rebel General Thompson being killed in the last assault. The enemy retired the next day, having suffered a loss estimated at three hundred killed, and from one thousand to one thousand two hundred wounded. The loss on our side was fourteen killed and forty-six wounded.

The operations of the enemy at Paducah were characterized by the same bad faith and treachery that seem to have become the settled policy of Forrest and his command. The flag of truce was taken advantage of there, as elsewhere, to secure desirable positions which the rebels were unable to obtain by fair and honorable means; and also to afford opportunities for plundering private stores as well as Government property. At Paducah the rebels were guilty of acts more cowardly, if possible, than any they have practised elsewhere. When the attack was made the officers of the Fort and of the gunboats advised the women and children to go down to the river for the purpose of being taken across out of danger. As they were leaving the town for that purpose, the rebel sharp-shooters mingled with them, and, shielded by their presence, advanced and fired upon the gunboats, wounding some of our officers and men. Our forces could not return the fire without endangering the lives of the women and children. The rebels also placed women in front of their lines as they moved on the Fort, or were proceeding to take positions, while the flag of truce was at the Fort, in order to compel our men to withhold their fire, out of regard for the lives of the women who were made use of in this most cowardly manner. For more full details of the attack, and the treacherous and cowardly practices of the rebels there, your Committee refer to the testimony herewith submitted.

On the thirteenth of April, the day after the capture of Fort Pillow, the rebel General Buford appeared before Columbus, Kentucky, and demanded its unconditional surrender. He coupled with that demand a threat that if the place was not surrendered, and he should be compelled to attack it “no quarter whatever should be shown to the negro troops.” To this Colonel Lawrence, in command of the post, replied, that “surrender was out of the question,” as he had been placed there by his government to hold and defend the place, and should do so. No attack was made, but the enemy retired, having taken advantage of the flag of truce to seize some horses of Union citizens which had been brought in there for security.

It was at Fort Pillow, however, that the brutality and cruelty of the rebels were most fearfully exhibited. The garrison there, according to the last returns received at headquarters, amounted to nineteen officers and five hundred and thirty-eight enlisted men, of whom two hundred and sixty-two were colored troops, comprising one battalion of the Sixth United States heavy artillery, (formerly called the First Alabama artillery,) of colored troops, under command of Major L. F. Booth; one section of the Second United States light artillery, colored, and one battalion of the Thirteenth Tennessee cavalry, white, commanded by Major W. F. Bradford. Major Booth was the ranking officer, and was in command of the post.

On Tuesday, the twelfth of April, (the anniversary of the attack on Fort Sumter, in April, 1861,) the pickets of the garrison were driven in just before sunrise, that being the first intimation our forces there had of any intention on the part of the enemy to attack that place. Fighting soon became general, and about nine o'clock Major Booth was killed. Major Bradford succeeded to the command, and withdrew all the forces within the fort. They had previously occupied some intrenchments at some distance from the fort, and further from the river.

This Fort was situated on a high bluff, which descended precipitately to the river's edge, the side of the bluff on the river side being covered with trees, bushes, and fallen timber. Extending back from the river, on either side of the Fort, was a ravine or hollow — the one below the Fort containing several private stores and some dwellings, constituting what was called the town. At the mouth of that ravine, and on the river bank, were some government buildings containing commissary and quartermaster's stores. The ravine above the Fort was known as Cold Creek ravine, the sides being covered with trees and bushes. To the right, or below and a little to the front of the Fort, was a level piece of ground, not quite so elevated as the Fort itself, on which had been erected some log huts or shanties, which were occupied by the white troops, and also used for hospital and other purposes. Within the Fort tents had been erected, with board floors, for the use of the colored troops. There were six pieces of artillery in the Fort, consisting of two six-pounders, two twelve-pounder howitzers, and two ten-pounder Parrotts.

The rebels continued their attack, but, up to two or three o'clock in the afternoon, they had not gained any decisive success. Our troops, both white and black, fought most bravely, and were in good spirits. The gunboat No. Seven (New Era) Captain Marshall, took part in the conflict, shelling the enemy as opportunity offered. Signals had been agreed upon by which the officers in the Fort could indicate where the guns of the boat could be most effective. There being but one gunboat there, no permanent impression appears to have been produced upon the enemy


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