HEADQUARTERS FORREST'S CAVALRY,
In the Field, June 30, 1864.
Maj. Gen. A. J. SMITH,
Commanding U. S. Forces:
GENERAL: I have received information of the killing (after capture)
of several of my scouts, also the brutal murder of several citizens by
troops of your command. Two of my scouts were captured and killed
by the Ninth Illinois Cavalry, and one by the Seventh Kansas, whose
major I learn has vowed to kill every man they find in Confederate
uniform. I do not intend acting hastily, but am causing an official report
of these transactions to be made out. In the mean time I shall hold, under
the order of Lieutenant-General Lee, commanding, all the officers
captured at Tishomingo Creek as hostages, and shall certainly execute them
man for man, or in any other proportion to stop it. I cannot of course
believe that you approve such conduct on the part of your men, and
believe that you will do all in your power to prevent it. At the same time
it forces upon us alternatives recognized as legitimate, but which are, to
say the least, unpleasant and unsatisfactory, although it is the recognized
remedy, yet the innocent suffer and the guilty go unpunished. If,
however, I am at all deceived as regards yourself, and these acts have
been committed by authority of yourself or any other general officer, I
respectfully ask that you will so state it.
I am, general, respectfully, yours,
Source: Official Records, Series 1, Volume 39, Part 2.
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