1864 – Confederate Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest captured Fort Pillow, in Tennessee and slaughters the black Union troops there


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An account of the Fort Pillow Massacre in a Letter from Naval Officer Robert S. Critchell, published in the New York Times on 3 May 1864  —  The following letter has just been received by Mr. BLOW,  a member of Congress in Washington, D.C from Missouri, respecting the treatment of our soldiers after the surrender of Fort Pillow:
Wood engraving depicting the Fort Pillow Massacre.
Wood engraving depicting the Fort Pillow Massacre.
image: Library of Congress, Washington, D.C. (neg. no. LC-USZ62-42018)

Fort Pillow Massacre, Confederate slaughter of African American Federal troops stationed at Fort Pillow, Tennessee, on April 12, 1864, during the American Civil War. The action stemmed from Southern outrage at the North’s use of Black soldiers. From the beginning of hostilities, the Confederate leadership was faced with the question of whether to treat Black soldiers captured in battle as slaves in insurrection or, as the Union insisted, as prisoners of war.

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