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[8] Hurlbut take care of that quarter. The Cairo troops may reenforce temporarily at Paducah and Columbus, but should be held ready to come up the Tennessee. One object that Forrest has is to induce us to make these detachments, and prevent our concentrating in this quarter.

Question. Did you have any conversation with General Shepley in relation to the condition of the garrison at Fort Pillow when he passed by that point? If so, state what he said. What force did General Shepley have with him? Did he assign any reason for not rendering assistance to that garrison? If so, what was it?

Answer. General Shepley called on me. He stated that as he approached Fort Pillow, fighting was going on; he saw the flag come down “by the run,” but could not tell whether it was lowered by the garrison, or by having the halliards shot away; that soon after another flag went up in another place. He could not distinguish its character, but feared that it was a surrender, though firing continued. I think he gave the force on the boat as two batteries and two or three hundred infantry. When he came away, the firing was kept up, but not as heavily as at first. He was not certain how the fight was terminating. In answer to a question of mine, he said the batteries on board could not have been used, as the bluff was too steep for ascent, or to admit of firing from the water's edge, and the enemy above might have captured them. This was about the substance of our conversation.

Question. What information have you relative to the battle and massacre at Fort Pillow, particularly what transpired after the surrender?

Answer. That place not being in my district, official reports did not come to me. However, under instructions from General Sherman, I detailed officers, and collected reports and sworn proofs for transmission to him, also to the Secretary of War. Having furnished the Secretary of War with a duplicate copy for the use of your Committee if he so desired, I refer to that for the information I have on the subject.

Question. Do you consider the testimony thus furnished entirely reliable?

Answer. “In the mouth of two or three witnesses shall every word be established.” Here are scores of them, living and dying. There are doubtless errors as to time and place, and scenes witnessed from different points of observation, but in the main I regard the witnesses honest and their accounts true.

Question. What did you learn concerning violations of the flag of truce?

Answer. I learn from official sources that at Paducah, Columbus, Union City, and Fort Pillow, the rebels moved troops, placed batteries, formed new lines, advanced, robbed stores and private houses, stole horses and other property, while protected by flags of truce. J. W. McCord and Mrs. Hannah Hammond state, in writing, that at Paducah they forced five women nurses at the hospital out in front of their line, and kept them there for an hour, thus silencing our guns. Mrs. Hammond was one of the five. Reference is made to testimony furnished on the subject, and to official reports when transmitted to the War Department.

Question. What information have you as to the intention of the enemy to perpetrate such acts as the massacre at Fort Pillow?

Answer. I furnish the correspondence growing out of demands to surrender at Union City, Paducah, and Columbus, showing premeditation on the part of officers in command of the rebel army.

[Take in from reports of Lieutenant Gray, Colonel Hicks, and Colonel Lawrence, with which the Committee is furnished. See Appendix.]

Question. Has there been cooperation and harmony among commanders since these troubles began?

Answer. Entire and in every respect, so far as I know. Officers of the army in charge of troops temporarily here gave all the aid possible. They were under orders which prevented their going out in pursuit of Forrest, but they gave me detachments to guard our river posts when threatened.

Question. What have been the relations existing generally between you and Captain Pennock, of the navy, Fleet Captain of the Mississippi squadron?

Answer. Captain Pennock is commandant of the naval station at Cairo and Mound City, and I understand represents Admiral Porter in his absence. Our relations have been cordial, and we have cooperated in all movements. The aid given by his gunboats has been prompt, ample, and very efficient. His admirable judgment and ready resources have always been available.

Question. During the operations consequent upon the movements of Forrest, did you or did you not receive cordial cooperation and support from Lieutenant Commander Shirk, commanding the Seventh division Mississippi squadron?

Answer. I can only repeat my answer to the last question. Lieutenant Shirk is an admirable officer, vigilant, brave, and of exceedingly safe judgment.

Mound City Illinois, April 22 1864.

Surgeon Horace Wardner sworn and examined: by the Chairman:

Question. Have you been in charge of this hospital, Mound City Hospital?

Answer. I have been in charge of this hospital continually since the twenty-fifth of April, 1863.

Question. Will you state, if you please, what you know about the persons who escaped from Fort Pillow? And how many have been under your charge?

Answer. I have received thirty-four whites, twenty-seven colored men, and one colored woman; man; and seven corpses of those who died on their way here.

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