Hiram Lumpkin was soldier with the UnionSixth U.S. Colored Heavy Artillery. He was also a former slave. He participated at the Battle of Fort Pillow. He was able to surrender to the Confederates primarily because his captor was out of ammunition. As he went back behind the lines, he encountered Nathan Bedford Forrest himself. Ironically, Lumpkin had passed through Forrest's slave pens on at least one occasion. While Forrest couldn't remember Lumpkin's name, he did remember Lumpkin's face, and the fact that Lumpkin's good teeth had fetched an excellent price.
Lumpkin informed Forrest that Major Lionel F. Booth had been killed early in the fighting, and that Forrest had been treating with Major William Bradford. Forrest confirmed Lumpkin's name, and ordered that he be treated fairly by the Confederates.