The Battle Of The American Civil War

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Three years after the attack on Fort Sumter, one of the most controversial battles of the American Civil War was fought in West Tennessee. The battle at Fort Pillow, located near the Mississippi River about 50 miles north of Memphis, was a bloody slaughter of a mixed Union garrison. The garrison was comprised of 557 men total, about half of those men were African American 's in the 6th U.S. Regiment Colored Heavy Artillery, and the 2nd Colored Light Artillery, commanded by Major Lionel F. Booth. The other half was made up of white soldiers from the 14th Tennessee Cavalry, a Federal regiment, lead by Major William F. Bradford.The fort became engulfed by Confederate personal resulting into a tactical stalemate. However, when giving chance to…show more content…
Pillow, placed there to prevent the U.S. Navy from moving along the river into major Confederate cities, such as Memphis and New Orleans. The fort was to raised onto a natural bluff with several entrenchments arranged into a crescent moon facing inland. The fort was massive, and had a four foot parapet that extended on the backside of the bluff for protection; ironically, the wall made for defensive purposes would be its down fall during the battle.2 In June of 1861, Confederate forces abandoned Fort Pillow because of the U.S.Army and the U.S. Navy seizing control of west Tennessee. On June 6, 1861, Union forces took control of the fort, but were ordered to leave the fort six months later by Union General William T. Sherman. Commanding officer Major General Stephen A. Hurlburt originally followed Sherman 's, and order his troops to discard the strong hold. Questioning orders, Hurlbert repealed his order and commanded troops retrieve Fort Pillow in early February, 1862.3
Only four months later, the unthinkable happened. On April 12, 1864, the fort was surrounded by 1500 Confederate troops, lead by Major General Nathan Bedford Forrest. A situation that could have been avoid had Major General Hurlbert not re-stationed troops at the location. By roughly 3:00 in the afternoon, Confederate soldiers bunkered down around the perimeter of the fort. The Union garrison stationed at Fort Pillow, was trapped behind their defenses, avoiding contact with the upsurge of
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