Restricted Forrest Bust at Tennessee State Capitol.

DanSBHawk

1st Lieutenant
Joined
May 8, 2015
Location
Wisconsin
Did you not see post #90?- https://civilwartalk.com/threads/forrest-bust-at-tennessee-state-capitol.183282/page-5#post-2389073

Surgeon Fitch, 13th Tennessee Cavalry: "...the women, children, and most of the Citizens of the Fort, had got into a Coal Barge, and were towed by Gun Boat, No. 7, Up the River, above the mouth of Coal Creek." According to the log of the New Era this was at 8:15 a.m.

Something strange about that Achilles V. Clark letter - it has no signature.
Apparently not everyone agrees with your numbers of the black troops. Others say it was 292.

I don't understand the defense of this massacre. Confederate sources say it happened. Union sources say it happened. And the crew and passengers of the steamers say it happened. It happened. Period.
 

19thGeorgia

1st Lieutenant
Joined
Apr 4, 2017
Apparently not everyone agrees with your numbers of the black troops. Others say it was 292.
It's not my numbers.

Who are others?...and why do they say 292?

harrisreport.jpg
 

DanSBHawk

1st Lieutenant
Joined
May 8, 2015
Location
Wisconsin
I'm not defending a massacre. There were too many survivors for it to have been a massacre.
If you're just questioning the terminology, there are other words that the witnesses and participants used: Slaughter, horrible carnage, murder, butchery, etc.

Words to describe the victims: Unarmed, wounded, pleading for mercy, etc.
 

DanSBHawk

1st Lieutenant
Joined
May 8, 2015
Location
Wisconsin
It's not my numbers.

Who are others?...and why do they say 292?

View attachment 396654
I should have specified numbers in the black "units." That would include white officers and non-comm's, many of whom were also murdered for their association with the black troops. 292 men in the black units, according to the previously-mentioned book by George Burkhardt.
 

Pete Longstreet

Sergeant Major
Forum Host
Silver Patron
Joined
Mar 3, 2020
Location
Hartford, CT
As I said before - one number looks like a massacre, but the other one doesn't.

The Union fumed and fussed about Fort Pillow, but there was no retaliation. Neither Forrest nor anyone else was ever charged with a war crime. Perhaps those higher up (Lincoln, Grant, Sherman) knew there was a good bit of exaggeration going on.
Grant had Sherman investigate the incident and charge whomever at fault. It's well known Sherman disliked Forrest... so if Sherman had enough evidence to charge Forrest... I'm sure he would have.
 
Last edited:

unionblue

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
Member of the Year
Joined
Feb 20, 2005
Location
Ocala, FL (as of December, 2015).
Grant had Sherman investigate the incident and charge whomever at fault. It's well known Sherman disliked Forrest... so if Sherman had enough evidence to charge Forrest... I'm sure he would have.
From the book, River Run Red, Wade And Gooch: The Joint Subcommittee On The Conduct Of The War, April 15-May 5, 1864, page 311-312:

"...One of the arguments Forrest's defenders would make to prove that even the Union command did not believe reports of a massacre at Fort Pillow was the fact that even such harsh and remorseless generals as Grant and Sherman never ordered reprisals. But by April 23, Sherman had concluded that Northern threats and condemnations would prove entirely useless and so proposed that the question of reprisals be quietly left up to "the negroes themselves." The Confederate army "cares no more for our clamor than the idle wind," he wrote Stanton, "but they will heed the slaughter that will follow as the natural consequence of their own inhuman acts." The truth, he said, was that the rebels' savage hatred of black troops "cannot be restrained." Thus far black troops had been "comparatively well behaved, and have not committed the horrid excesses and barbarities which the Southern papers so much dreaded." But eventually "the effect will be of course to make the negroes desperate, and when in turn they commit horrid acts of retaliation," he wrote with characteristically brutal pragmatism, "we will be relieved of the responsibility." He doubted the wisdom "of any fixed rule by our Government, but let soldiers affected make their rules as we progress. We will use their own logic against them, as we have from the beginning of the war."
 

atlantis

Sergeant Major
Joined
Nov 12, 2016
From the book, River Run Red, Wade And Gooch: The Joint Subcommittee On The Conduct Of The War, April 15-May 5, 1864, page 311-312:

"...One of the arguments Forrest's defenders would make to prove that even the Union command did not believe reports of a massacre at Fort Pillow was the fact that even such harsh and remorseless generals as Grant and Sherman never ordered reprisals. But by April 23, Sherman had concluded that Northern threats and condemnations would prove entirely useless and so proposed that the question of reprisals be quietly left up to "the negroes themselves." The Confederate army "cares no more for our clamor than the idle wind," he wrote Stanton, "but they will heed the slaughter that will follow as the natural consequence of their own inhuman acts." The truth, he said, was that the rebels' savage hatred of black troops "cannot be restrained." Thus far black troops had been "comparatively well behaved, and have not committed the horrid excesses and barbarities which the Southern papers so much dreaded." But eventually "the effect will be of course to make the negroes desperate, and when in turn they commit horrid acts of retaliation," he wrote with characteristically brutal pragmatism, "we will be relieved of the responsibility." He doubted the wisdom "of any fixed rule by our Government, but let soldiers affected make their rules as we progress. We will use their own logic against them, as we have from the beginning of the war.
So his plan is to Santo Domingo the south and exterminate white southerners.
 

unionblue

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
Member of the Year
Joined
Feb 20, 2005
Location
Ocala, FL (as of December, 2015).
From the book, River Run Red, Wade And Gooch: The Joint Subcommittee On The Conduct Of The War, April 15-May 5, 1864, page 311-312:

"...One of the arguments Forrest's defenders would make to prove that even the Union command did not believe reports of a massacre at Fort Pillow was the fact that even such harsh and remorseless generals as Grant and Sherman never ordered reprisals. But by April 23, Sherman had concluded that Northern threats and condemnations would prove entirely useless and so proposed that the question of reprisals be quietly left up to "the negroes themselves." The Confederate army "cares no more for our clamor than the idle wind," he wrote Stanton, "but they will heed the slaughter that will follow as the natural consequence of their own inhuman acts." The truth, he said, was that the rebels' savage hatred of black troops "cannot be restrained." Thus far black troops had been "comparatively well behaved, and have not committed the horrid excesses and barbarities which the Southern papers so much dreaded." But eventually "the effect will be of course to make the negroes desperate, and when in turn they commit horrid acts of retaliation," he wrote with characteristically brutal pragmatism, "we will be relieved of the responsibility." He doubted the wisdom "of any fixed rule by our Government, but let soldiers affected make their rules as we progress. We will use their own logic against them, as we have from the beginning of the war."
So his plan is to Santo Domingo the south and exterminate white southerners.
No, he's saying that Confederate soldiers hate black soldiers so much that nothing the Union government says or do will stop such massacres by Confederates and don't be surprised when black Union soldiers retaliate in kind in future actions.

You did read the same section in my post above as I did, didn't you?

The excuse that Sherman and Grant took no hard action was not because they believed no massacre had taken place at Ft. Pillow, has been shown not to be the case at all. Sherman just knew the Confederates wouldn't stop such actions because the Union said it was wrong. He said that the actions of black Union troops in future actions would become just as deadly.
 

19thGeorgia

1st Lieutenant
Joined
Apr 4, 2017
From the book, River Run Red, Wade And Gooch: The Joint Subcommittee On The Conduct Of The War, April 15-May 5, 1864, page 311-312:

"...One of the arguments Forrest's defenders would make to prove that even the Union command did not believe reports of a massacre at Fort Pillow was the fact that even such harsh and remorseless generals as Grant and Sherman never ordered reprisals. But by April 23, Sherman had concluded that Northern threats and condemnations would prove entirely useless and so proposed that the question of reprisals be quietly left up to "the negroes themselves." The Confederate army "cares no more for our clamor than the idle wind," he wrote Stanton, "but they will heed the slaughter that will follow as the natural consequence of their own inhuman acts." The truth, he said, was that the rebels' savage hatred of black troops "cannot be restrained." Thus far black troops had been "comparatively well behaved, and have not committed the horrid excesses and barbarities which the Southern papers so much dreaded." But eventually "the effect will be of course to make the negroes desperate, and when in turn they commit horrid acts of retaliation," he wrote with characteristically brutal pragmatism, "we will be relieved of the responsibility." He doubted the wisdom "of any fixed rule by our Government, but let soldiers affected make their rules as we progress. We will use their own logic against them, as we have from the beginning of the war."
OK, where are the statements by Lincoln, Stanton and others within the administration that they agreed with Sherman's view and decided to "let it go" and let things run its course? -the "slaughter that will follow."

The author of River Run Red (Andrew Ward) is wanting us to believe this - but is it true?
 

unionblue

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
Member of the Year
Joined
Feb 20, 2005
Location
Ocala, FL (as of December, 2015).
OK, where are the statements by Lincoln, Stanton and others within the administration that they agreed with Sherman's view and decided to "let it go" and let things run its course? -the "slaughter that will follow."

The author of River Run Red (Andrew Ward) is wanting us to believe this - but is it true?

I suggest you check out the book for yourself.

I do know Stanton wanted to go tough on the Confederacy because of the reports about the Ft. Pillow massacre, even to the point of urging

"Lincoln to hold hostage a number of imprisoned Confederate officers equal to the number of Union soldiers killed at Ft. Pillow, releasing them only after Forrest and his officers were given over to Federal authorities to stand trial. He also demanded that Forrest and Chalmers be exempted from any amnesty or exchange."

Source: The River Run Red, A Choice Of Evils: Retaliation, May 1-25, 1864, page 322.

President Lincoln was reported by Frederick Douglass to have said, "He said he could not take men out and kill them in cold blood for what was done by others, " Douglass wrote. "If he could get hold of the persons who were guilty of killing the colored prisoners in cold blood, the case would be different. But he could not kill the innocent for the guilty."

Source: Same as above, page 323.

Within the same section of the book are the reactions of many of Lincoln's cabinet and others who comment on the massacre.
 
Last edited:

19thGeorgia

1st Lieutenant
Joined
Apr 4, 2017
"Lincoln to hold hostage a number of imprisoned Confederate officers equal to the number of Union soldiers killed at Ft. Pillow, releasing them only after Forrest and his officers were given over to Federal authorities to stand trial. He also demanded that Forrest and Chalmers be exempted from any amnesty or exchange."
...but after the war neither Forrest nor Chalmers were ever charged or tried by any authority, military or civilian. So what happened?
 

19thGeorgia

1st Lieutenant
Joined
Apr 4, 2017
I suppose the reason they didn't have a trial of Forrest and/or Chalmers was because of several contradictions and inconsistencies in the testimony collected by Congressmen Wade and Gooch. Also, there were reports that Wade and Gooch left out because it didn't fit their 'official' version of events. Such a trial would probably fall apart.
 
Top