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Fort Pillow Massacre

The Civil War

The Battle of Fort Pillow
A Massacre
(April 12, 1864)

           In April 1864, the Union garrison at Fort Pillow, a Confederate-built earthen fortification and a Union-built inner redoubt, overlooking the Mississippi River about forty river miles above Memphis, comprised 295 white Tennessee troops and 262 U.S. Colored Troops, all under the command of Maj. Lionel F. Booth. Confederate Maj. Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest attacked the fort on April 12 with a cavalry division of approximately 2,500 men. Forrest seized the older outworks, with high knolls commanding the Union position, to surround Booth's force. Rugged terrain prevented the gunboat New Era from providing effective fire support for the Federals.

The garrison was unable to depress its artillery enough to cover the approaches to the fort. To make matters worse, Rebel sharpshooters, on the surrounding knolls, began wounding and killing the Federals, including Booth, who was killed. Maj. William F. Bradford then took over command of the garrison. The Confederates launched a determined attack at 11:00 am, occupying more strategic locations around the fort, and Forrest demanded unconditional surrender. Bradford asked for an hour for consultation and Forrest granted twenty minutes. Bradford refused surrender and the Confederates renewed the attack, soon overran the fort, and drove the Federals down the river's bluff into a deadly crossfire.

Casualties were high and only sixty-two of the U.S. Colored Troops survived the fight. Many accused the Confederates of perpetrating a massacre of the black troops, and that controversy continues today. The Confederates evacuated Fort Pillow that evening so they gained little from the attack except to temporarily disrupt Union operations. The Fort Pillow Massacre became a Union rallying cry and cemented resolve to see the war through to its conclusion.

 

 
Report of Acting Master William Ferguson, U. S. Navy, of the capture of Fort Pillow.
MARCH 16-APRIL 14, 1864.--Forrest's Expedition into West Tennessee and Kentucky
O.R.-- SERIES I--VOLUME XXXII/1 [S# 57]


U.S. STEAMER SILVER CLOUD,
Off Memphis, Tenn., April 14, 1864.

Major-General HURLBUT.

       SIR: In compliance with your request that I would forward to you a written statement of what I witnessed and learned concerning the treatment of our troops by the rebels at the capture of Fort Pillow by their forces under General Forrest, I have the honor to submit the following report:
       Our garrison at Fort Pillow, consisting of some 350 colored troops and 200 of the Thirteenth Tennessee Cavalry, refusing to surrender, the place was carried by assault about 3 p.m. of 12th instant.
       I arrived off the fort at 6 a.m. on the morning of the 13th instant. Parties of rebel cavalry were picketing on the hills around the fort, and shelling those away I made a landing and took on-board some 20 of our troops (some of them badly wounded), who had concealed themselves along the bank and came out when they saw my vessel. While doing so I was fired upon by rebel sharpshooters posted on the hills, and 1 wounded man limping down to the vessel was shot.
       About 8 a.m. the enemy sent in a flag of truce with a proposal from General Forrest that he would put me in possession of the fort and the country around until 5 p.m. for the purpose of burying our dead and removing our wounded, whom he had no means of attending to. I agreed to the terms proposed, and hailing the steamer Platte Valley, which vessel I had convoyed up from Memphis, I brought her alongside and had the wounded brought down from the fort and battle-field and placed on board of her. Details of rebel soldiers assisted us in this duty, and some soldiers and citizens on board the Platte Valley volunteered for the same purpose.
       We found about 70 wounded men in the fort and around it, and buried, I should think, 150 bodies. All the buildings around the fort and the tents and huts in the fort had been burned by the rebels, and among the embers the charred remains of numbers of our soldiers who had suffered a terrible death in the flames could be seen.
       All the wounded who had strength enough to speak agreed that after the fort was taken an indiscriminate slaughter of our troops was carried on by the enemy with a furious and vindictive savageness which was never equaled by the most merciless of the Indian tribes. Around on every side horrible testimony to the truth of this statement could be seen. Bodies with gaping wounds, some bayoneted through the eyes, some with skulls beaten through, others with hideous wounds as if their bowels had been ripped open with bowie-knives, plainly told that but little quarter was shown to our troops. Strewn from the fort to the river bank, in the ravines and hollows, behind logs and under the brush where they had crept for protection from the assassins who pursued them, we found bodies bayoneted, beaten, and shot to death, showing how cold-blooded and persistent was the slaughter of our unfortunate troops.
       Of course, when a work is carried by assault there will always be more or less bloodshed, even when all resistance has ceased; but here there were unmistakable evidences of a massacre carried on long after any resistance could have been offered, with a cold-blooded barbarity and perseverance which nothing can palliate.
       As near as I can learn, there were about 500 men in the fort when it was stormed. I received about 100 men, including the wounded and those I took on board before the flag of truce was sent in. The rebels, I learned, had few prisoners; so that at least 300 of our troops must have been killed in this affair.
       I have the honor to forward a list of the wounded officers and men received from the enemy under flag of truce.

I am, general, your obedient servant,
W. FERGUSON,
Acting Master, U.S. Navy, Comdg. U.S. Steamer Silver Cloud


 
 

 
Report of Lieut. Col. Thomas H. Harris, Assistant Adjutant-General, U. S. Army, of the garrison at Fort Pillow, etc.
MARCH 16-APRIL 14, 1864.--Forrest's Expedition into West Tennessee and Kentucky.
O.R.-- SERIES I--VOLUME XXXII/1 [S# 57]


   HEADQUARTERS SIXTEENTH ARMY CORPS,
   Memphis, Tenn., April 26, 1864.

           SIR: I wish to state that one section of Company D, Second U. S. Light Artillery (colored), 1 commissioned officer and 40 men, were sent to Fort Pillow about February 15, as part of the garrison.
           The garrison at Fort Pillow, by last reports received, consisted of the First Battalion, Sixth U.S. Heavy Artillery (colored), 8 commissioned officers and 213 enlisted men; one section Company D, Second U.S. Light Artillery (colored). I commissioned officer and 40 men; First Battalion, Thirteenth Tennessee Cavalry, Maj. W. F. Bradford, 10 commissioned officers and 285 enlisted men. Total white troops, 295; total colored troops, 262; grand total, 557. Six field pieces--two 6-pounders, two 12-pounder howitzers, and two 10-pounder Parrotts.

   T. H. HARRIS,
   Lieutenant-Colonel and Assistant Adjutant-General.

   [Inclosure No. 1.)

   HEADQUARTERS SIXTEENTH ARMY CORPS.
   Memphis, Tenn., March 28, 1864.


 
 

 
Reports of Maj. Gen. Stephen A. Hurlbut, U.S. Army, commanding Sixteenth Army Corps, of the capture of Fort Pillow.
MARCH 16-APRIL 14, 1864.--Forrest's Expedition into West Tennessee and Kentucky.
O.R.-- SERIES I--VOLUME XXXII/1 [S# 57]


HEADQUARTERS SIXTEENTH ARMY CORPS,
Memphis, Tenn., April 15, 1864.

Maj. Gen. J. B. MCPHERSON,
Commanding Department of the Tennessee.

       GENERAL: Fort Pillow, garrisoned by four companies Alabama Siege Artillery, under Major Booth, and about 250 recruits for Thirteenth Tennessee Cavalry, under Major Bradford was attacked by a heavy body of the enemy, commanded by Major-General Forrest in person, on the morning of the 12th instant.
       A surrender was demanded and refused and the fort was held until about 3 p.m., at which time the enemy in overwhelming numbers carried the fortifications by assault. Resistance was gallantly made until the last moment, notwithstanding the loss of Major Booth, the brave commander, at an early period of the engagement. After resistance had ceased the enemy, in gross violation of all honorable warfare, butchered in cold blood the prisoners and wounded.
       For the proof of these charges I refer you to the official report of Acting Master W. Ferguson, U.S. Navy, and of Lieutenant Van Horn, Sixth U.S. Heavy Artillery (colored troops), late First Alabama Siege.
       The list of killed and wounded, so far as received, accompanies this report, and demonstrates the severity of the action. It is unquestionably true that the colored troops fought desperately and nearly all of them are now killed or wounded; but few are held as prisoners.
       The armament of the fort: Two 10-pounder Parrotts, two 6-pounder field guns, two 12-pounder howitzers, with about 100 rounds to the piece, were captured in good order by the enemy, and are now held by them.
       I received notice of the attack about 7 p.m. of the 12th, and immediately ordered the Fifty-fifth U.S. Infantry, colored troops, to embark on the Glendale; but within an hour after issuing the order authentic intelligence of the capture of the fort and garrison and of the force of the enemy was received, and the order countermanded.
       I am this day informed that the rebels have abandoned the neighborhood of Fort Pillow, and I therefore allow the boats which have accumulated here to pass up the river. I cannot conclude this report without very earnestly calling the attention of the War Department through you to the necessity of some vigorous action on their part to insure the treatment due to soldiers to our colored troops. Not only is it due to our good name, but it will be necessary to preserve discipline among them. In case of an action in which they shall be successfully engaged, it will be nearly impracticable to restrain them from retaliation.
       Among the officers killed in this engagement I was personally acquainted only with Maj. L. F. Booth, Sixth U.S. Heavy Artillery, colored. He was a good soldier and brave officer, and fell honorably in the gallant discharge of duty.

I have the honor to be, general, your obedient servant,
S. A. HURLBUT,
Major-General.


 
 

 
Report of Brig. Gen. James R. Chalmers, C. S. Army, commanding First Division Cavalry, of the capture of Fort Pillow.
MARCH 16-APRIL 14, 1864.--Forrest's Expedition into West Tennessee and Kentucky.
O.R.-- SERIES I--VOLUME XXXII/1 [S# 57]


   HDQRS. FIRST DIVISION, FORREST'S CAV. DEPARTMENT,
   Verona, May 7, 1864.

   Maj. J.P. STRANGE,
   Assistant Adjutant-General.

           MAJOR: I have the honor to submit the following report of the actions of the troops under my command in the recent capture of Fort Pillow, Tenn.:
           In obedience to orders from Major-General Forrest, I directed Col. J. J. Neely, commanding First Brigade of this division, to move his command, on the morning of the 10th April, from Whiteville southward in the direction of Memphis, instructing him to produce the impression that he was the advance of General Forrest's command, and that our whole force was in his rear, and to make preparations for constructing pontoon bridges across Wolf River at Raleigh and one or two other points, and to make such demonstrations as would induce the enemy to believe that our whole force was about to attack Memphis. At the same time I ordered Col. John McGuirk, Third Regiment Mississippi State Cavalry, to move with his own regiment and the First Mississippi Partisans, under Major Park, northward from the Tallahatchie River toward Memphis, and to report that Major-General Lee was advancing from the south of that place. It gives me pleasure to report that both of these officers executed these orders with promptness and success.
           I then assumed command of a division composed of McCulloch's brigade of my division and Col. T. H. Bell's brigade of Buford's division.
           On the morning of the 11th instant, I moved this division from Sharon's Ferry, on Forked Deer, in the direction of Brownsville, and on the same morning moved Lieutenant-Colonel Chalmers' battalion through Brownsville on the Memphis road, and thence by a circuitous route back again to the Fort Pillow road. I moved from Brownsville in person, at 3.30 p.m., on the 11th and reached Fort Pillow, a distance of 40 miles, at daylight next morning. Colonel McCulloch, commanding advance, surprised the enemy's pickets and captured 4 of them. My orders from General Forrest were to invest the place, and I proceeded to do so as follows: McCulloch's brigade moved down the Fulton road to Gaines' farm; thence north to the fort on a road running parallel with the Mississippi River; Wilson's regiment, of Bell's brigade, moved on the direct road from Brownsville to Fort Pillow, and Colonel Bell with Barteau's and Russell's regiments moved down Coal Creek to attack the fort in the rear.
           The works at Fort Pillow consisted of a strong line of fortifications, originally constructed by Brigadier-General Pillow, of the C. S. Army, stretching from Coal Creek bottom, on the left, to the Mississippi River on the right, in length about 2 miles and at an average distance of about 600 yards from the river. Inside of this outer line and about 600 yards from it stood an interior work on the crest of a commanding hill, originally commenced by Brigadier-General Villepigue, C. S. Army, which covered about 2 acres of ground. About 300 yards in rear of this, above the junction of Coal Creek and the Mississippi River, stood the last fortification, which was a strong dirt fort in semicircular form, with a ditch in front of it 12 feet wide and 8 feet deep.
           The enemy did not attempt to hold the outer line, but trained their artillery so as to play upon the only roads leading through it.
           The fight was opened at daylight by McCulloch. He moved cautiously through the ravines and short hills which encompassed the place, protecting the men as much as possible from the enemy's artillery, five pieces of which from the fort, aided by two gun-boats on the river, played furiously upon him. Moving in this manner he succeeded about 11 o'clock in taking the work, which I have spoken of as having been commenced by General Villepigue, and the flag of the Eighteenth Mississippi Battalion, Lieutenant-Colonel Chalmers commanding, which had been the first regiment to enter the fort, was quickly flying above it.
           While Colonel McCulloch had been moving up on the left, Colonel Bell moved up on the right and rear, and Colonel Wilson moved up on the center, taking advantage of the ground as much as possible to shelter their men. Affairs were in this condition, with the main fort completely invested, when Major-General Forrest arrived with Colonel Wisdom's regiment of Buford's division. After carefully examining the position he ordered a general charge to be made. The troops responded with alacrity and enthusiasm, and in a short time took possession of all the rifle-pits around the fort, and closed up on all sides within 25 or 30 yards of the outer ditch. Here a considerable delay occurred from the ammunition being exhausted. A supply, however, was obtained as quickly as possible from the ordnance train and everything was made ready for another advance. To prevent the unnecessary effusion of blood Major-General Forrest now demanded, under flag of truce, the surrender of the place, which after a parley of about thirty minutes was refused. The bugle then sounded the charge, a general rush was made along the whole line, and in five minutes the ditch was crossed, the parapet scaled, and our troops were in possession of the fort.
           The enemy made no attempt to surrender, no white flag was elevated, nor was the U.S. flag lowered until pulled down by our men. Many of them were killed while fighting, and many more in the attempt to escape. The strength of the enemy's force cannot be correctly ascertained, though it was probably about 650 or 700. Of these, 69 wounded were delivered to the enemy's gun-boats next day, after having been paroled. One hundred and sixty-four white men and 40 negroes were taken prisoners, making an aggregate of 273 prisoners. It is probable as many as half a dozen may have escaped. The remainder of the garrison were killed.
           I cannot speak too highly of the conduct of the troops under my command. Colonels McCulloch and Bell deserve especial mention for the gallantry with which they led their respective brigades, and the troops emulated the conduct of their leaders. Lieutenant-Colo-nel Reed, temporarily commanding the Fifth Mississippi Cavalry, was pre-eminently daring, and fell mortally wounded while standing on the rifle-pits and encouraging his men to the charge, and Lieutenant Burton was killed at his side. Lieutenant Ryan, of Willis' Texas Battalion; who had won for himself the character of being the best soldier in his regiment, was killed by a shell, and Captain Sullivan, commanding the same battalion, was mortally wounded while most gallantly leading his command. Lieutenant Hubbard, of the Eighteenth Mississippi Battalion, a young but promising officer, was also mortally wounded and has since died.
           I cannot conclude this report without mentioning in an especial manner the gallant conduct of Capt. C. T. Smith, commanding my escort company, who led the charge as we moved from the first to the second fort, or without paying a tribute to Private Samuel Allen, of my escort, who was killed in the charge.
           I have already furnished a detailed report of the killed and wounded of my command, amounting to 14 killed and 86 wounded. A report of captured property has been called for from the two brigades, and will be forwarded as soon as received.
   I herewith submit reports of subordinate commanders.

   I have the honor to be, major, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
   JAS. R. CHALMERS,
   Brigadier-General, Commanding


 
 

 
Report of Maj. Gen. Nathan B. Forrest, C. S. Army, commanding Cavalry, of the Capture of Fort Pillow
MARCH 16-APRIL 14, 1864.--Forrest's Expedition into West Tennessee and Kentucky.

   HEADQUARTERS FORREST'S CAVALRY DEPARTMENT,
   Jackson, Tenn., April 26, 1864.

   Lieut. Col. THOMAS M. JACK,
   Assistant Adjutant-General.

           COLONEL: I have the honor respectfully to forward you the following report of my engagement with the enemy on the 12th instant at Fort Pillow:
           My command consisted of McCulloch's brigade, of Chalmers' division, and Bell's brigade, of Buford's division, both placed for the expedition under the command of Brig. Gen. James R. Chalmers, who, by a forced march, drove in the enemy's pickets, gained possession of the outer works, and by the time I reached the field, at 10 a.m., had forced the enemy to their main fortifications, situated on the bluff or bank of the Mississippi River at the mouth of Coal Creek. The fort is an earth-work, crescent shaped, is 8 feet in height and 4 feet across the top, surrounded by a ditch 6 feet deep and 12 feet in width, walls sloping to the ditch but perpendicular inside. It was garrisoned by 700 troops with six pieces of field artillery. A deep ravine surrounds the fort, and from the fort to the ravine the ground descends rapidly. Assuming command, I ordered General Chalmers to advance his lines and gain position on the slope, where our men would be perfectly protected from the heavy fire of artillery and musketry, as the enemy could not depress their pieces so as to rake the slopes, nor could they fire on them with small-arms except by mounting the breast-works and exposing themselves to the fire of our sharpshooters, who, under cover of stumps and logs, forced them to keep down inside the works. After several hours' hard fighting the desired position was gained, not, however, without considerable loss. Our main line was now within an average distance of 100 yards from the fort, and extended from Coal Creek, on the right, to the bluff, or bank, of the Mississippi River on the left.
           During the entire morning the gun-boat kept up a continued fire in all directions, but without effect, and being confident of my ability, to take the fort by assault, and desiring to prevent further loss of life, I sent, under flag of truce, a demand for the unconditional surrender of the garrison, a copy of which demand is hereto appended, marked No. 1, to which I received a reply, marked No. 2. The gun-boat had ceased firing, but the smoke of three other boats ascending the river was in view, the foremost boat apparently crowded with troops, and believing the request for an hour was to gain time for re-enforcements to arrive, and that the desire to consult the officers of the gun-boat was a pretext by which they desired improperly to communicate with her, I at once sent this reply, copy of which is numbered 3, directing Captain Goodman, assistant adju-tant-general of Brigadier-General Chalmers, who bore the flag, to remain until he received a reply or until the expiration of the time proposed.
           My dispositions had all been made, and my forces were in a position that would enable me to take the fort with less loss than to have withdrawn under fire, and it seemed to me so perfectly apparent to the garrison that such was the case, that I deemed their [capture] without further bloodshed a certainty. After some little delay, seeing a message delivered to Captain Goodman, I rode up myself to where the notes were received and delivered. The answer was handed me, written in pencil on a slip of paper, without envelope, and was, as well as I remember, in these words: "Negotiations will not attain the desired object." As the officers who were in charge of the Federal flag of truce had expressed a doubt as to my presence, and had pronounced the demand a trick, I handed them back the note saying: "I am General Forrest; go back and say to Major Booth that I demand an answer in plain, unmistakable English. Will he fight or surrender ?" Returning to my original position, before the expiration of twenty minutes I received a reply, copy of which is marked No. 4.
           While these negotiations were pending the steamers from below were rapidly approaching the fort. The foremost was the Olive Branch, whose position and movements indicated her intention to land. A few shots fired into her caused her to leave the shore and make for the opposite. One other boat passed up on the far side of the river, the third one turned back.
           The time having expired, I directed Brigadier-General Chalmers to prepare for the assault. Bell's brigade occupied the right, with his extreme right resting on Coal Creek. McCulloch's brigade occupied the left, extending from the center to the river. Three companies of his left regiment were placed in an old rifle-pit on the left and almost in the rear of the fort, which had evidently been thrown up for the protection of sharpshooters or riflemen in supporting the water batteries below. On the right a portion of Barteau's regiment, of Bell's brigade, was also under the bluff and in rear of the fort. I dispatched staff officers to Colonels Bell and McCulloch, commanding brigades, to say to them that I should watch with interest the conduct of the troops; that Missourians, Mississippians, and Tennesseeans surrounded the works, and I desired to see who would first scale the fort. Fearing the gun-boats and transports might attempt a landing, I directed my aide-de-camp, Capt. Charles W. Anderson, to assume command of the three companies on the left and rear of the fort and hold the position against anything that might come by land or water, but to take no part in the assault on the fort. Everything being ready, the bugle sounded the charge, which was made with a yell, and the works carried without a perceptible halt in any part of the line. As our troops mounted and poured into the fortification the enemy retreated toward the river, arms in hand and firing back, and their colors flying, no doubt expecting the gun-boat to shell us away from the bluff and protect them until they could be taken off or re-en-forced. As they descended the bank an enfilading and deadly fire was poured into them by the troops under Captain Anderson, on the left, and Barteau's detachment on the right. Until this fire was opened upon them, at a distance varying from 30 to 100 yards, they were evidently ignorant of any force having gained their rear. The regiment who had stormed and carried the fort also poured a destructive fire into the rear of the retreating and now panic-stricken and almost decimated garrison. Fortunately for those of the enemy who survived this short but desperate struggle, some of our men cut the halyards, and the United States flag, floating from a tall mast in the center of the fort, came down. The forces stationed in the rear of the fort could see the flag, but were too far under the bluff to see the fort, and when the flag descended they ceased firing. But for this, so near were they to the enemy that few, if any, would have survived unhurt another volley. As it was, many rushed into the river and were drowned, and the actual loss of life will perhaps never be known, as there were quite a number of refugee citizens in the fort, many of whom were drowned and several killed in the retreat from the fort. In less than twenty minutes from the time the bugles sounded the charge firing had ceased and the work was done. One of the Parrott guns was turned on the gun-boat. She steamed off without replying. She had, as I afterward understood, expended all her ammunition, and was therefore powerless in affording the Federal garrison the aid and protection they doubtless expected of her when they retreated toward the river. Details were made, consisting of the captured Federals and negroes, in charge of their own officers, to collect together and bury the dead, which work continued until dark.
           I also directed Captain Anderson to procure a skiff and take with him Captain Young, a captured Federal officer, and deliver to Captain Marshall, of the gun-boat, the message, copy of which is appended and numbered 5. All the boats and skiffs having been taken off by citizens escaping from the fort during the engagement, the message could not be delivered, although every effort was made to induce Captain Marshall to send his boat ashore by raising a white flag, with which Captain Young walked up and down the river in vain signaling her to come in or send out a boat. She finally moved off and disappeared around the bend above the fort. General Chalmers withdrew his forces from the fort before dark and encamped a few miles east of it.
           On the morning of the 13th, I again dispatched Captain Anderson to Fort Pillow for the purpose of placing, if possible, the Federal wounded on board their transports, and report to me on his return the condition of affairs at the river. I respectfully refer you to his report, numbered 6.
           My loss in the engagement was 20 killed and 60 wounded. That of the enemy unknown. Two hundred and twenty-eight were buried on the evening of the battle, and quite a number were buried the next day by details from the gun-boat fleet.
           We captured 6 pieces of artillery, viz., two 10-pounder Parrott guns, two 12-pounder howitzers, and two brass 6-pounder guns, and about 350 stand of small-arms. The balance of the small-arms had been thrown in the river. All the small-arms were picked up where the enemy fell or threw them down. A few were in the fort, the balance scattered from the top of the hill to the water's edge.
           We captured 164 Federals, 75 negro troops, and about 40 negro women and children, and after removing everything of value as far as able to do so, the warehouses, tents, &c., were destroyed by fire.
           Among our severely wounded is Lieut. Col. Wiley M. Reed, assigned temporarily to the command of the Fifth Mississippi Regiment, who fell severely wounded while leading his regiment. When carried from the field he was supposed to be mortally wounded, but hopes are entertained of his ultimate recovery. He is a brave and gallant officer, a courteous gentleman, and a consistent Christian minister.
           I cannot compliment too highly the conduct of Colonels Bell and McCulloch and the officers and men of their brigades, which composed the forces of Brigadier-General Chalmers. They fought with courage and intrepidity, and without bayonets assaulted and carried one of the strongest fortifications in the country.
           On the 15th, at Brownsville, I received orders which rendered it necessary to send General Chalmers, in command of his own division and Bell's brigade, southward; hence I have no official report from him, but will, as soon as it can be obtained, forward a complete list of our killed and wounded, which has been ordered made out and forwarded at the earliest possible moment.
           In closing my report I desire to acknowledge the prompt and energetic action of Brigadier-General Chalmers, commanding the forces around Fort Pillow. His faithful execution of all movements necessary to the successful accomplishment of the object of the expedition entitles him to special mention. He has reason to be proud of the conduct of the officers and men of his command for their gallantry and courage in assaulting and carrying the enemy's work without the assistance of artillery or bayonets.
           To my staff, as heretofore, my acknowledgments are due for their prompt and faithful delivery of all orders.

   I am, colonel, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
   N. B. FORREST,
   Major-General, Commanding


 
 

 
Report of Lieut. Gen. Stephen D. Lee, C. S. Army,
commanding Department of Alabama, Mississippi, and East Louisiana, of the capture of Fort Pillow, etc.
MARCH 16-APRIL 14, 1864.--Forrest's Expedition into West Tennessee and Kentucky.
O.R.-- SERIES I--VOLUME XXXII/1 [S# 57]

HDQRS. DEPARTMENT ALA., MISS., AND EAST LA.,
Meridian, Miss., May 27, 1864.

General S. COOPER,
Adjt. and Insp. Gen., C. S. Army, Richmond, Va.

       GENERAL: I have the honor to forward herewith, by Col. T. W. White, Ninth Mississippi Regiment, 1 flag captured from the enemy at Union City, Tenn., and 4 garrison flags and 8 guidons captured at Fort Pillow, Tenn., all by Maj. Gen. N. B. Forrest's cavalry command in April last.
       It would be superfluous for me here to advert to the skill and gallantry displayed by Maj. Gen. N. B. Forrest and the officers and men under his command in the engagements above referred to, in which such a handsome addition has been made to the trophies we have wrested from the enemy. Few cavalry raids have been productive of such brilliant results to our arms or of such disastrous discomfiture to the enemy as that which has rendered famous the expedition whence General Forrest's command has just returned. I will direct that Union City and Fort Pillow be inscribed on the colors of those organizations which distinguished themselves in these engagements.

I am, general, yours, respectfully,
S. D. LEE,
Major-General, Commanding Department.


 
Date Last Modified: 1/16/2017
 
 
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