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  • 1864 Military Investigation of Fort Pillow, Tennessee, DISCOVERED.
  • PROOF that General Forrest ordered and participated in the Massacre.
  • Confirmed, colored women and children of Memphis killed at Fort Pillow.

General Mason Brayman



Born May 23, 1813, in Buffalo, New York.

  • From farm-life, to printer for the Buffalo Journal. While serving as a printer, he studies law. By age 20 he is editor of the Buffalo Bulletin. At age 22 Brayman is admitted to the Bar of New York as an Attorney. The next year he is married and in Monroe, Michigan. After being admitted to the Bar of Michigan, he is elected CITY ATTORNEY.

  •  In 1842 Brayman is in Springfield, Illinois, as a partner in the law firm of the Honorable Jesse B. Thomas Jr. (Jesse had served as the Illinois Attorney General, and later, in 1843, served on the State Supreme Court.) Earlier, when Jesse served as Circuit Judge he became familiar with Abraham Lincoln. (Lincoln, Jesse and Brayman, were anti-slavery advocates.) 

  • In 1845 Governor Thomas Ford (1842-1846) appointed Brayman to revise and codify the Statues of the State. 

  • When Brayman finished this assignment, he was appointed SPECIAL STATE ATTORNEY and commissioned to use military force to restore the peace and to prosecute offencses connected with the Mormon War at Nauvoo, Illinois.


Brayman and Lincoln

  • New York Times, August 26, 1934, Section E, Page 5, stated that Brayman was Lincoln’s closest friend. 

  • When  Lincoln was elected to the United States Congress and in Washington D.C., Brayman rented Lincoln’s home. The home had plenty of cherry, currents, and peach trees. When Lincoln returned, Brayman rented and then purchased a house about a block away, on the corner of 8th Street and Edwards. (It is now called the Shutt house. In 2006 United States Senator Dick Durbin used the house as his office.) 

  •  In 1851, when a land grant was awarded for the Illinois Central Railway Brayman became its lawyer. This made it necessary for him to have a house in Chicago. In 1856, Brayman sold his position with the Illinois Central Railway to take a position with the Cairo and Fulton Railway. 


Brayman and Chicago

  • In Chicago, Brayman became a trustee for the Chicago University, and one of 6 men on a committee appointed to set forth the foundation of instruction for the Illinois Industrial University in Urbana, Illinois. (The committee had to make sure that the legal statues governing the purpose of the grant were fulfilled.) 

  • In addition to these activities, Brayman was the lawyer who helped establish the Chicago Historical Society. For this reason, he is considered a leading founder of the Society. 

  • Still in existence is Brayman’s home in Springfield, Chicago’s Historical Society (now called the Chicago Historical Museum), and his house at 1254 North Lake Shore Dr., designed by Swedish architect Lars Gustav Hallberg. It faces the Lake, and is on the tourist list.

Brayman and the War

In 1861 Brayman enlisted in the Illinois 29th Volunteers. 

  • Governor Richard Yates (January 4, 1861-January 16, 1865) commissioned him as a Major, and then appointed him as chief of staff and assistant adjutant-general to General McClernand. 

  • On November 7, 1861, Brayman shared in the desperate battle of Belmont. Then, again, on February 13-15, was constantly exposed to fire in the battle at Fort Donelson, on the Tennessee River. Something happened that convinced Brayman that he had God’s backing, for he decided that from that time forward he would not cut his beard. Inspired by what he decided, he continued to expose himself to danger.

  • At Shiloh, he galloped forward to rescue Major Stewart who lay wounded near the rebels. Though his horse was shot, he completed the rescue. Another incident, that resulted in his being promoted to Brigadier-General, occurred during an attack to over-run two batteries of canon fire. In fear, 2 supporting regiments fled at the rebel yell, and advancement. Brayman reached down and seized the flag that was dropped, then rode up and down in front of the rebel line, with the flag flying. His bravery inspired his men to turn and fight, saving the batteries and turning the charge.

Brayman and Fort Pillow, Tennessee.

  • In 1864, Brigadier-General Mason Brayman is assigned to protect the supply depots in Cario, Illinois, West Kentucky and West Tennessee. 

  • Unbeknown to Brayman the Knights of the Golden Circle (KGC) had plans to use him as their patsy, (someone to blame for the defeat of the Union Army.) There well laid plan involved men crossing the Ohio and Mississippi River, to join General Forrest. A corridor had been opened for General Forrest so that he could ride out of Mississippi into Tennessee. He was to capture the supply depots, and then use the arms for the men that crossed the river. With this new force of men, he would cross over to Cario and take the last, and largest depot. 

  • General Sherman emptied the depots of seasoned soldiers, taking them south of Memphis and up the Red River. What was left in the depots were faulty equipment, traitors, and a small force of colored troops. Convinced that they could be easily conquered, General Forrest entered West Tennessee. His first conquest was the depot at Union City, where the commander, a traitor, surrendered to him. The attacks against Paducah and Columbus failed. The men that were to cross the Mississippi and Ohio Rivers were unable to do so. Cairo was never attacked.

  • The details that describe why the Mississippi and Ohio rivers could not be crossed involves the heroic actions of Brigadier-General Mason Brayman. And why the depots could not be taken involves the heroic actions of loyal colored troops.  Their story has been reserved for the Movie: The Secret behind the Mystery.

  • BRIGADIER-GENERAL MASON BRAYMAN was ordered to investigate the cruelties at Fort Pillow, Tennessee. The order came from the Secretary of War and General Sherman. To a less discerning person it would appear a normal request. Brayman quickly realized there was a violation of the order of command.  What were the Secretary of War and General Sherman up to? Why order him to send the report to the Secretary of War, Stanton, and General Sherman, and not to General Grant? Smelling a rate, Brayman made a secret copy of the report. Likely, this copy was intended for President Lincoln. When Lincoln was murdered, Brayman had to find a way to hide the report for future generations. What he did was ingenious. (The copies sent to the Secretary of War and General Sherman, and another to the chairman leading the Congressional Investigation of Fort Pillow, Senator Wade, were either destroyed, or hidden. Stanton, Sherman, and Wade, withheld any mention of having the Military Report.) After 140 years, Brayman's copy has been found.


About the Author

Truth has Power

Truth has power to change the way we think and feel. Among the ones that are convinced of this are our enemies. Their work involves misinformation, altering and destroying records, even people. Our work is based on discovering firsthand primary sources. Our greatest discovery is the missing 1864 military investigation of the Cruelties at Fort Pillow, Tennessee.  

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Historical Society


At the Historical Society

Picture was taken to confirm that the documents were copied and given to me.


With the help of an Attorney, will inform the Historical Society that what was copied was the 1864 military investigation of the cruelties at Fort Pillow, Tennessee. At the time, I suspected this is what I had, but could not confirm it until the papers were studied and put in logical order.

Message from the Author

The Name "Ndilei"

My family immigrated to the United States in the 1850's from East Prussia. During World War I my grandfather left for Canada, where my father was born. After the war, they returned to the United States where I was born. 

In the late 1980's and early 1990's I was in Africa. Here, in Africa, I lived with a family whose husband had served as the Secretary of Education. He was like an older brother to me and I respected him. This wonderful man gave me the name "Ndilei". It is a name that he said describes me, and I am proud to be known by that name. The "N" is silent, and when pronounced, the name sounds like "Delay". The word means "cool heart". Not easly vexed, but cool, meaning, "calm" and "restrained" under evil,


A historical researcher, with no political agenda.

In the fall of 1990, a friend told me that his oldest grandmother was born a slave in 1841 and died in 1959, at the age of 118. After the Civil War she remained in a town not far from Fort Pillow. Another member of his family served as a valet to a General that rode with General Forrest. The secrets held in trust by a family that was loyal to the Confederacy, is what made me a researcher.

Did research at the National Archives, U.S. Army Military History Institute, the Tennessee State Library and Archives, and 6 Universities.

Made over 26 field trips to towns and cities to examine court records, and information at local libraries and historical societies.

Why did I Write?

There are 4 reasons why I wrote: 

  • Love of truth. 

  • An obligation. People have the right to know the truth. 

  • The discovery of the missing 1864 military investigation of Fort Pillow, Tennessee.

  • This forced a decision. To withhold what was discovered would be a great injustice. Should I participate in the coverup? No! I do not want to be linked with people like that.


Author was in Africa, Costa Rica, and more than 29 sites in the United States.