2

The Fall of Fort Pillow — Indiscriminate Butchery of Union Soldiers.

Our anticipation that the rebel threats of attack upon Columbus and Paducah were feints to divert attention from a more earnest movement in some other quarter have been fully realized. Private dispatches received in this city yesterday morning brought the startling intelligence that Fort Pillow, two hundred and thirty-eight miles below Cairo, was surrendered to the rebels on Wednesday. Elsewhere we publish the Associated Press dispatches giving an account of the affair. From these it seems that the place was attacked by Forrest with six thousand rebels, the force defending it being only about six hundred, of whom four hundred to four hundred and fifty were negro troops. The defense appears to have been a most gallant and desperate one, and to have inflicted heavy loss upon the assailants; but being overpowered by numbers, the gallant little garrison was compelled to comply with the third demand for their surrender. The rebels, with their usual treachery, took advantage of the suspension of hostilities while the demand for the surrender of the place was being made under flag of truce, to approach the fortifications and dispose of their forces to better advantage.

After the surrender a scene of indiscriminate massacre was commenced by the infuriate demons of rebellion, which would darken even the annals of Indian warfare. Out of the six hundred troops who so gallantly defended the fort, it is said that only two hundred remained. As the loss in the attack was light, the greater part of the slain were murdered in cold blood and in the most brutal manner. The details are the most revolting of any engagement of the war. The people should demand of the Government the most complete and thorough retaliation for these inhuman atrocities.

As Fort Pillow is well down toward Memphis, it is highly probable that the rebels, while threatening Paducah and Columbus as a blind, will essay an attack upon Memphis. Fort Pillow is not deemed important in a military point of view, and from the tenor of our dispatches it would seem that the rebels did not intend holding it. The munitions they have obtained by the capture, however, will be of value to them should an attack on Memphis be attempted. It is beginning to be painfully apparent that there has been gross mismanagement in permitting Forrest thus to carry out his schemes in Western Tennessee and Kentucky, without an adequate effort to put a stop to his career. We are satisfied that Gen. Brayman at Cairo, and Gen. Grierson in the rear of Memphis, who have not had sufficient force at their command to operate effectively, are not responsible. Who, then, is?

The following are private dispatches received in this city yesterday, announcing the disaster:

CAIRO, April 14, 1864.

To His Excellency Gov. Yates:

Fort Pillow fallen yesterday. Rebels murdered 450 colored soldiers and 150 of the 13th Tennessee cavalry.
E. P. FERRY.

CAIRO, April 15, 1864.

To Adjutant General Allen C. Fuller:

Fort Pillow is captured by the rebels. Gross barbarities were perpetrated on white and colored troops. Sixty of the wounded arrived here this evening on the Platte Valley, and have been taken to Mound City. I will supply them with everything they may need. C. T. CHASE,
Agent Ill. State San. Com.