“Major Booth, Commanding United States Forces, Fort Pillow: Major—The conduct of the officers and men garrisoning Fort Pillow has been such as to entitle them to being treated as prisoners of war. I demand the unconditional surrender of this garrison, promising you that you shall be treated as prisoners of war. My men have received a fresh supply of ammunition, and from their present position can easily assault and capture the fort. Should my demand be refused, I cannot be responsible for the fate of your command. Respectfully, N. B. Forrest Major-General Commanding”
These terms were ignored. Instead the Yankees tried to stall asking for a cease fire for one hour while they were actually waiting for reinforcements from the ships. Forrest correctly saw through this and gave them the blade.