Today in History:

870 Series I Volume XVII-II Serial 25 - Corinth Part II


and supreme courts, and it behooves Union men to think of these things, for it is far more easy to destroy than build up a government, and you must be prepared, as the military goes on, to build up your own government. You are not now prepared, but I have no doubt that, by patience, prudence, and forbearance, you will in them be enabled to overcome the secesh, not only in arms, but law. Reason, justice, and all the attributes of a good and great Government are on your side of the question.

I am, with respect,



Memphis, November 19, 1862.


Assistant Adjutant-General, La Grange:

SIR: Inclosed is a communication of Lieutenant General J. C. Pemberton, Confederate Army, dated Jackson, Miss., November 12, 1862, received by me at the hands of a flag of truce night before last. I replied yesterday, and send you herewith a copy. I ought not to have answered, but the time to be consumed in referring it to you would have endangered the safety of the four men enumerated by General Pemberton. It seems he acts on orders from the Government at Richmond, and I thought proper to show him how certain retaliation by them would entail on their on prisoners certain destruction. To enable you to answer fully and conclusively, I subjoin a short history of the case.

On the 4th of September last, I sent Colonel Grierson, with a detachment of the Sixth Illinois Cavalry, toward Hernandon, to break up a rendezvous of guerrillas, after accomplishing which his orders were to proceed over to the Pigeon Roost road, and break up certain other parties there forming near Coldwater. He accomplish the first-named purpose, taking 10 prisoners, whom he dispatched back toward Memphis, with an escort of 15 of his men, commanded by Lieutenant Nathaniel B. Cunningham. This party returned along the main road, and, when near White's, about three-fourths of a miles out of the State line, and distant from Memphis about 13 miles, the party was fired on from ambush, and Lieutenant Cunningham and a Confederate prisoner were killed. The party was scattered, and, as soon as intelligence reached the camp of the Sixth Illinois Cavalry, Captain Boicourt took a small party of 25 men and hastened to the spot. Before reaching White's, they met a wagon coming into Memphis with the body of Lieutenant Cunningham, and learned the names of five men of the country who were engaged in the attack on this party. I subsequently sent Major Stace, of the Sixth Illinois Cavalry, with 100 men, to punish the actors. They met Captain Boicourt near White's, and all the mention he made of the killing of White is that "one man was killed while running from the advance guard." Subsequently, the mother and wife of Mr. White came to see me, and reported that, hearing the firing near their house, they went to the road, and assisted in burying the dead Confederate, and saw the body of Lieutenant Cunningham taken up by a passing wagon and carried toward Memphis; that soon after, Captain Boicourt and party of cavalry came to the house, arrested Mr. White, represented as twenty-three years old, delicate in health, and never a guerrilla, but, on the contrary, peacefully disposed and of Union' sentiments; but Captain Boicourt represented that he was concerned in the killing of Cunningham, muti-