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

Mound City Hospital, Illinois, April 22, 1864.
Jacob Thompson, (colored,) sworn and examined.
By Mr. Gooch:

Question. Were you a soldier at Fort Pillow?
Answer. No, sir, I was not a soldier; but I went up in the fort and fought with the rest. I was shot in the hand and the head.
Question. When were you shot?
Answer. After I surrendered.
Question. How many times were you shot?
Answer. I was shot but once; but I threw my hand up, and the shot went through my hand and my head.
Question. Who shot you?
Answer. A private.
Question. What did he say?
Answer. He said, "God damn you, I will shoot you, old friend."
Question. Did you see anybody else shot?
Answer. Yes, sir; they just called them out like dogs, and shot them down. I reckon they shot about fifty, white and black, right there. They nailed some black sergeants to the logs and set the logs on fire.
Question. When did you see that?
Answer. When I went there in the morning I saw them; they were burning all together.
Question. Did they kill them before they burned them?
Answer. No, sir, they nailed them to the logs; drove the nails right through their hands.
Question. How many did you see in that condition?
Answer. Some four or five; I saw two white men burned.
Question. Was there anyone else there who saw that?
Answer. I reckon there was; I could not tell who.
Question. When was it that you saw them?
Answer. I saw them in the morning after the fight; some of them were burned almost in two. I could tell they were white men, because they were whiter than the colored men.
Question. Did you notice how they were nailed?
Answer. I saw one nailed to the side of a house; he looked like he was nailed right through his wrist. I was trying then to get to the boat when I saw it.
Question. Did you see them kill any white men?
Answer. They killed some eight or nine there. I reckon they killed more than twenty after it was all over; called them out from under the hill, and shot them down. They would call out a white man and shoot him down, and call out a colored man and shoot him down; do it just as fast as they could make their guns go off.
Question. Did you see any of the rebel officers about there when this was going on?
Answer. Yes, sir; old Forrest was one.
Question. Did you know Forrest?
Answer. Yes, sir; he was a little bit of a man. I had seen him before at Jackson.
Question. Are you sure he was there when this was going on?
Answer. Yes, sir.
Question. Did you see any other officers that you knew?
Answer. I did not know any other but him. There were some two or three more officers came up there.
Question. Did you see any buried there?
Answer. Yes, sir; they buried right smart of them. They buried a great many secesh, and a great many of our folks. I think they buried more secesh than our folks.
Question. How did they bury them?
Answer. They buried the secesh over back of the fort, all except those on Fort hill; them they buried up on top of the hill where the gunboats shelled them.
Question. Did they bury any alive?
Answer. I heard the gunboat men say they dug two out who were alive.
Question. You did not see them?
Answer. No, sir.
Question. What company did you fight with?
Answer. I went right into the fort and fought there.
Question. Were you a slave or a free man?
Answer. I was a slave.
Question. Where were you raised.
Answer. In old Virginia.
Question. Who was your master?
Answer. Colonel Hardgrove.
Question. Where did you live?
Answer. I lived three miles the other side of Brown's mills.
Question. How long since you lived with him?
Answer. I went home once and staid with him a while, but he got to cutting up and I came away again.
Question. What did you do before you went into the fight?
Answer. I was cooking for Co. K, of Illinois cavalry; I cooked for that company nearly two years.
Question. What white officers do you know in our army?
Answer. I knew Captain Meltop and Colonel Ransom; and I cooked at the hotel at Fort Pillow, and Mr. Nelson kept it. I and Johnny were cooking together. After they shot me through the hand and head, they beat up all this part of my head (the side of his head) with the breech of their guns.


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 30-31