Fort Pillow: Was It a Massacre? Essays

Fort Pillow: Was It a Massacre? Essays

Length: 1005 words (2.9 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Strong Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

The War Between the States was full of atrocities that Americans had not

experienced before. One incident that stirred up the Union occurred at Fort Pillow,

Tennessee. The numbers of those who perished at Fort Pillow were relatively small

compared to battles such as that at Fort Donelson where casualties numbered

17,398.1 The total dead after Confederate forces took Fort Pillow over was more than

half of the Union soldiers, the majority of them being black. The high death rate

caused Union officials to call it an outright massacre. Was it a massacre or a result of

The battle that came under scrutiny occurred about forty miles from Memphis on

the Tennessee side of the Mississippi River at Fort Pillow. The Union continued to

maintain garrisons all over the south due to Confederate raiders, though most of the

fighting was then focused in Georgia, with an eye on the taking of Atlanta. Those

involved in the battle at Fort Pillow and the result of the fight there came under scrutiny

of the United States Congress with controversial results.

Union forces at Fort Pillow were under the command of Major Lionel F. Booth

who had been a member of the regular army before the outbreak of the war. During the

battle between Booth’s troops within the fort and those of the attacking Confederate

troops, command of the fort came under Major William Bradford. Major Bradford took

charge when Major Booth was killed by a sharpshooter as he was making rounds and

giving encouragement to his troops.

General Nathan Bedford Forrest, a cavalry commander from the state of

Tennessee, was in command of the Confederate troops that attacked Fort Pillow. He had

been in the area...

... middle of paper ...

...rved for the Union that the United States

Congress was forced to make inquiries into the event. After an investigation that

contained both personal and written testimony, Congress’ final decision of the incident

did nothing to change what occurred in the minds of the families of the slain and Union

forces that took up the rally cry, “Remember Fort Pillow” as they charged into battle.

Works Cited

2 General Thomas Jordan and J.P. Pryor, Campaigns of General Nathan Bedford Forrest and of Forrest’s Cavalry (New York: Da Capo Press, 1996), 422, 423
4 Robert Selph Henry, Nathan Bedford Forrest First with the Most, (New York: Konecky and Konecky, 1992), 250.
6 Jordan and Pryor, 424, 425

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

The Battle At Fort Pillow Essay

- The battle at Fort Pillow, changed the perspectives of many on the relationship between black and whites, specifically the abolition of slavery, during the Civil War. Grotius R. Giddings, writing to his father Joshua R. Giddings, a former congressman, stated, “that the [engagement] was a horrible massacre … at Fort Pillow. It shows a barbarity that I had not dreamed they had” (Tap 66), when the knowledge of the massacre spread from the south to the north. Fort Pillow, “a small fort on the banks of the Mississippi river, north of the city of Memphis” (Tap 1), occurred on April 12, 1864, involving “1500 Confederate soldiers” (Tap 1) and a minimum of 600 Union soldiers, half white and the other...   [tags: American Civil War, Emancipation Proclamation]

Strong Essays
951 words (2.7 pages)

A Massacre or a Riot? Essay examples

- Was the Boston Massacre really a massacre. In history, there are many events where the exact occurrences are not clear. The Boston Massacre, which took place on the evening of March 5, 1770, was absolutely no exception. Evidence is spotty, details can be lacking, and testimonies are often told from a personal and bias perspective. Determining the bias of each testimony is key to learning the motivations behind each witness, which in turn is key in deciphering the actual events of the Boston Massacre....   [tags: Boston Massacre, American History]

Strong Essays
1552 words (4.4 pages)

The Nanking Massacre Essays

- The Rape of Nanking, also known as the Nanking Massacre was a six week period when mass numbers of Chinese men and woman were killed by the Japanese. Embarrassed by the lack of effort in the war with China in Shanghai, the Japanese looked for revenge and finally were able to win the battle. The Japanese moved toward the city of Nanjing also known as Nanking and invaded it for approximately six months. Even though the people of Nanjing outnumbered the 50,000 Japanese, they were not as masterful in warfare as their opponents....   [tags: Nanking Massacre, Chinese]

Strong Essays
1148 words (3.3 pages)

Essay on The Dade Massacre: Florida Memory

- Treaties associated with Payne’s Landing and Fort Gibson in 1832, under the Andrew Jackson administration were written, to remove Seminole Indians out of Florida to the Westside of the Mississippi River. The Seminole Indians were to be made part of the Muscogee Creek Nation and would be given a piece of the countryside, and re-admitted to all privileges as members of the same. After years of no progression to the end state, a show of military presence was necessary and was placed into order. On 21, December 1835, six companies throughout the Florida peninsula, were ordered to go to Fort Brooke in Tampa Bay to aid in the eviction of the Seminole Indians....   [tags: seminole indians, payne's landing, fort gibson]

Strong Essays
1365 words (3.9 pages)

The Boston Massacre And American History Essay

- The Boston Massacre was one the most controversial massacre in American history that teased the coming of the American Revolution. People were taunting a British soldier who was standing “in front of the Boston Custom House” who got very frustrated to the point where he hit somebody. The soldier got overwhelmed by people who came after he hit one of them, called help from his fellow soldiers. When Captain Preston and his soldiers arrived at the scene, people were coming from everywhere, some were trying to fight them and some were just there to watch....   [tags: American Revolution, Boston Massacre]

Strong Essays
751 words (2.1 pages)

Essay on The Columbine High School Massacre

- On the morning of April 20, 1999, Eric Davis Harris and Dylan Bennet Klebold went into the Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado, and went on a rampage killing spree leaving 12 students and 1 teacher dead and over 20 people injured before killing themselves. This crime is known as one of the most deadliest school massacres in the United States history (Pittaro). On the day of the Columbine High School Massacre, previously to the attack both Erick D. Harris and Dylan B. Klebold placed a decoy bomb in a field; they had set the bombs to explode at 11:14 to distract police officials....   [tags: Columbine High School massacre]

Strong Essays
1806 words (5.2 pages)

The Columbine Massacre : Columbine Essay

- Researching The Columbine Massacre On April 20, 1999, hundreds, thousands, even millions of lives were changed. On this tragic day in history in Littleton, Colorado, two high school boys went on a shooting spree at Columbine High School. Eric Harris, 18, and Dylan Klebold, 17, went into their high school with loaded guns and determination to commit one of the most disturbing crimes ever. The two students rushed in and did as much damage as they possibly could. After taking 13 lives and injuring over 20 more, the two students took their own lives....   [tags: Columbine High School massacre]

Strong Essays
1623 words (4.6 pages)

My Lai Massacre Of 1968 Essay

- The My Lai Massacre of 1968 was a horrific blemish of brutality on America’s past. During this massacre, a company of American soldiers callously massacred the majority of the South Vietnamese hamlet of My Lai civilians, including women, children, and elderly. To this day, it remains unclear precisely how many South Vietnamese lives were taken during the massacre, but it was estimated to be as many as 500 civilians. (My Lai Cover-up Attempt) Higher-ranking U.S. Army officers covered up the events at My Lai and downplayed the fatalities among other soldiers....   [tags: My Lai Massacre, Vietnam War, William Calley]

Strong Essays
1205 words (3.4 pages)

Saint Valentines Day Massacre Essay

- The 1920's were a time of Prohibition, Illegal Gambling, and Prostitution. The 18th amendment made the sale and distribution of alcohol illegal. Many people including Al Capone were involved in those illegal activities. Al Capone was notorious for this illegal activity. He got rich by manufacturing and distributing alcohol. He also owned many illegal bars. Many other gangs were doing the same illegal activity. There was competition over the alcohol. Every gang wanted it since that was how they made their money....   [tags: Al Capone St Valentine Massacre]

Free Essays
1185 words (3.4 pages)

The Empty pillow Essays

- Using the theory of reason action-Fishbein and applying it on a 5 min. scene of the movie by: AlomaniQ8 THE EMPTY PILLOW This is a love story that it’s events occur, in Egypt, in the fifties, where there were strict traditions about love between non married lovers, and where the word of the parents rules the lives of their sons and daughters. In that movie, a young man (salah) who is still a student falls in love with a beautiful girl (Sameha), whom she is also an eighteen years old student, they are both college students, that get supported by their families....   [tags: essays research papers]

Free Essays
1641 words (4.7 pages)