38th Congress, 1st Session.
Report No. 65.

Mound City Hospital, Illinois, April 22, 1864.
James Walls, sworn and examined.
By Mr. Gooch:

Question. To what company did you belong?
Answer. Company E, 13th Tennessee cavalry.
Question. Under what officers did you serve?
Answer. I was under Major Bradford and Captain Potter.
Question. Were you in the fight at Fort Pillow?
Answer. Yes, sir;
Question. State what you saw there of the fight, and what was done after the place was captured.
Answer. We fought them for some six or eight hours in the fort, and when they charged our men scattered and ran under the hill; some turned back and surrendered, and were shot. After the flag of truce came in I went down to get some water. As I was coming back I turned sick, and laid down behind a log. The secesh charged, and after they came over I saw one go a good ways ahead of the others. One of our men made to him and threw down his arms. The bullets were flying so thick there I thought I could not live there, so I threw down my arms and surrendered. He did not shoot me then, but as I turned around he or some other one shot me in the back.
Question. Did they say anything while they were shooting?
Answer. All I heard was, "Shoot him, shoot him!" "Yonder goes one!" "Kill him, kill him!" That is about all I heard.
Question. How many do you suppose you saw shot after they surrendered?
Answer. I did not see but two or three shot around me. One of the boys of our company, named Taylor, ran up there, and I saw him shot and fall. Then another was shot just before me, like - shot down after he threw down his arms.
Question. Those were white men?
Answer. Yes, sir. I saw them make lots of niggers stand up, and then they shot them down like hogs. The next morning I was lying around there waiting for the boat to come up. The secesh would be prying around there, and would come to a nigger and say, "You ain't dead, are you?" They would not say anything, and then the secesh would get down off their horses, prick them in their sides, and say, "Damn you, you ain't dead; get up." Then they would make them get up on their knees, when they would shoot them down like hogs.
Question. Do you know of their burning any buildings?
Answer. I could hear them tell them to stick torches all around, and they fired all the buildings.
Question. Do you know whether any of our men were in the buildings when they were burned?
Answer. Some of our men said some were burned; I did not see it, or know it to be so myself.
Question. How did they bury them - white and black together?
Answer. I don't know about the burying; I did not see any buried.
Question. How many negroes do you suppose were killed after the surrender?
Answer. There were hardly any killed before the surrender. I reckon as many as 200 were killed after the surrender, out of about 300 that were there.
Question. Did you see any rebel officers about while this shooting was going on?
Answer. I do not know as I saw any officers about when they were shooting the negroes. A captain came to me a few minutes after I was shot; he was close by me when I was shot.
Question. Did he try to stop the shooting?
Answer. I did not hear a word of their trying to stop it. After they were shot down, he told them not to shoot them any more. I begged him not to let them shoot me again, and he said they would not. One man, after he was shot down, was shot again. After I was shot down, the man I surrendered to went around the tree I was against and shot a man, and then came around to me again and wanted my pocket-book. I handed it up to him, and he saw my watch-chain and made a grasp at it, and got the watch and about half the chain. He took an old Barlow knife I had in my pocket. It was not worth five cents; was of no account at all, only to cut tobacco with.


Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That the Joint Committee on the Conduct of the War be, and they are hereby, instructed to inquire into the truth of the rumored slaughter of the Union troops, after their surrender, at the recent attack of the rebel forces upon Fort Pillow, Tennessee; as, also, whether Fort Pillow could have been sufficiently re-enforced or evacuated, and if so, why it was not done; and that they report the facts to Congress as soon as possible. Approved April 21, 1864. Pages 33-34