Battle of Fort Pillow

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The American Civil War is still referred to by historians as one of the bloodiest stains on the nation’s sociopolitical landscape. From beginning to end, the normal fanfare of atrocities that any war brings such as poverty, starvation, and bloodshed were made more gruesome by the reality that neighbors were fighting neighbors and brothers raising arms against one another. Caught between both sides was an entire race of people; though there were many political ideologies involved, the issue of slavery and the rights of African Americans lit the fuse and kept the fire burning. Incidents involving the terrorizing of black Americans were numerous throughout the course of the Civil War, though none was more controversial than the Confederate…show more content…
Pillow. Texas was not the only southern state to encourage and enforce this disposition; embitterment toward Union sympathizers was spread across the Confederacy and struck the hardest in areas of Virginia, North Carolina, and Tennessee. While these states were considered part of the South, they were divided with a considerable amount of support for the Union. Yet still, media such as the Lynchburg Republican published a statement noting, “We should ask no quarter at the hands of the vandal Yankee invaders…our motto should be an entire extermination of everyone who has set foot upon our sacred soil.”# This sentiment was echoed in other newspapers repeating the slogan of “no quarter”. Not only was the Southern attitude one of showing no mercy but also one of expecting and welcoming the same in kind from the Union. It was to be a no holds barred war with no one meant to be left standing. Encountering former slaves as freed men and soldiers simply fomented the aggression. Across the confederacy, the rule for dealing with captured black soldiers was to either return them to the slave owner if possible, enforce them back into slavery elsewhere, or execute them as seditionists from the southern states. In a letter dated July 30th, 1864, Col. William Hardeman reported the wounding and capture of a fellow Union soldier who was
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