O.R.-- SERIES I--VOLUME XVII/1
DECEMBER 15, 1862-JANUARY 3, 1863.
Forrest's Expedition into West Tennessee.
No. 9.--Report of Capt. Samuel B. Logan, Fifty-fourth Illinois Infantry,
of capture of Union City.
COLUMBUS, KY., December 27, 1862.
In obedience to the orders of General Davies I left this place by rail the 23d
instant [?] for Union City, Tenn., and arrived at that place about 3 o'clock
that evening. Before the cars were unloaded I proceeded to detail 6 men to
canvass (two going together) the country in the near vicinity of the town,
with the view of examining all the approaches. Pickets were posted at the
usual stands. My men were preparing dinner, having had no regular
meal the day before. While this was being done I sent men to
press horses, that I might send horsemen on the Troy road and
Wallace Mill Bridge road to act as scouts and advance pickets.
At about 4 o'clock p.m. a flag of truce came to the picket stationed on the
Hickman road, borne by Lieutenant-Colonel Collins of the Confederate Army,
protecting Federal prisoners from Trenton and below to within our lines.
While I was trying to telegraph you the above facts, and before the horses had
been procured for the advance pickets--twenty minutes having not yet elapsed
since the reception of the flag of truce covering the prisoners-the
Confederate Army, under General Forrest, I judge to the number of 1,500,
surrounded my command in every direction but one, to within easy
musket range. Their cannon were shotted and sighted upon us, three of
which were in fall view. From the time their forces first appeared
in view three minutes did not transpire before we were thus surrounded.
General Forrest sent a flag of truce forward. My men needing my attention for
a moment I sent Sutler R. W. Jones to meet the flag. A demand was made for an
unconditional surrender of the post and threes. When I arrived at the flag of
truce of General Forrest, Jones was stoutly claiming to the bearer of the flag
that it was utterly contrary to honorable warfare to demand that I should
surrender my forces under the surroundings. The flag of truce which
protected the Federal prisoners, then in fall view, was pointed to and
a definite explanation was given of how and when it made my lines,
by whom borne, and now flying within my quarters.
While this colloquy was being held General Forrest rode up, and Lieutenant
Hanford, of the Fourth Illinois Cavalry, a prisoner from Trenton, demurred to
the general that he should demand the surrender of the post under the then
circumstances, fully explaining them as before, The general again demanded an
immediate and unconditional surrender. Deeming it to be extreme folly to fight
so unequal a force I surrendered my command of 94 men to the above terms.
I would also state that a few moments only before Forrest's force made their
appearance Lieut. A. B. Balch and Orderly B.C. Percell accompanied Lieutenant-
Colonel Collins from my headquarters to the prisoners, who yet waited at the
picket station, for the purpose of bringing them in, and while directly with that
flag of truce were both forced to surrender. Five citizens who accompanied me
were compelled to give parole not to return within Confederate lines during the
war. I would do Lieutenant-Colonel Collins and General Forrest whatever justice
there may be in their most emphatic denial of collusion in the two flags of truce.
S. B. LOGAN,
Captain, Commanding Post, Union City.