burying the dead. While they were lying there, the rebel General Chalmers and other rebel officers came down to the landing, and some of them went on the boats. Notwithstanding the evidences of rebel atrocity and barbarity with which the ground was covered, there were some of our army officers on board the Platte Valley so lost to every feeling of decency, honor, and self-respect, as to make themselves disgracefully conspicuous in bestowing civilities and attention upon the rebel officers, even while they were boasting of the murders they had there committed. Your Committee were unable to ascertain the names of the officers who have thus inflicted so foul a stain upon the honor of our army. They are assured, however, by the military authorities that every effort will be made to ascertain their names and bring them to the punishment they so richly merit. In relation to the reinforcement or evacuation of Fort Pillow, it would appear from the testimony that the troops there stationed were withdrawn on the twenty-fifth of January last, in order to accompany the Meridian expedition under General Sherman. General Hurlbut testifies that he never received any instructions to permanently vacate the post, and deeming it important to occupy it, so that the rebels should not interrupt the navigation of the Mississippi by planting artillery there, he sent some troops there about the middle of February, increasing their number afterward until the garrison amounted to nearly six hundred men. He also states that as soon as he learned that the place was attacked, he immediately took measures to send up reenforcements from Memphis, and they were actually embarking when he received information of the capture of the Fort. Your Committee cannot close this report without expressing their obligations to the officers of the army and navy, with whom they were brought in contact, for the assistance they rendered. It is true your Committee were furnished by the Secretary of War with the fullest authority to call upon any one in the army for such services as they might require, to enable them to make the investigation devolved upon them by Congress, but they found that no such authority was needed. The army and navy officers at every point they visited evinced a desire to aid the committee in every way in their power; and all expressed the highest satisfaction that Congress had so promptly taken steps to ascertain the facts connected with this fearful and bloody transaction, and the hope that the investigation would lead to prompt and decisive measures on the part of the government. Your Committee would mention more particularly the names of General Mason Brayman, Military Commandant at Cairo; Captain J. H. Odlin, his Chief of Staff; Captain Alexander M. Pennock, United States navy, Fleet Captain of Mississippi squadron; Captain James W. Shirk, United States navy, commanding Seventh district Mississippi squadron; Surgeon Horace Wardner, in charge of Mound City geneeral hospital; Captain Thomas M. Farrell, United States navy, in command of gunboat Hastings, (furnished by Captain Pennock to convey the Committee to Fort Pillow and Memphis;) Captain Thomas Pattison, Naval Commandant at Memphis; General C. C. Washburne, and the officers of their commands, as among those to whom they are indebted for assistance and attention. All of which is respectfully submitted.
Cairo, Illinois, April 22, 1864.Brigadier-General Mason Brayman sworn and examined by the Chairman. Question. What is your rank and position in the service? Answer. Brigadier-General of volunteers; have been in command of the district of Cairo since March nineteenth, 1864. Question. What was the extent of your district when you assumed command, and what your available force? Answer. The river, from Paducah to Island Number10, inclusive, about one hundred and sixty miles, and adjacent portions of Tennessee and Kentucky. My available force for duty, as appears from tri-monthly report of March twentieth, as follows:
|Paducah, officers and men,||408|
|Cairo, and men,||231|
|Columbus, and men,||998|
|Hickman, and men,||51|
|Island No.10, and men,||162|
|Union City, and men,||479|