Saltville Massacre Oct. 1864

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#1
Everyone likes to talk about the Ft Pillow massacre but lets not forget the massacre at Saltville, Virginia after the Battle of Saltville, Oct 2, 1864. The confederate soldiers murder troops form the 5th U.S. Color Cavalry, wantonly....

A links.....to the story...

http://home.comcast.net/~5thuscc/massacr.htm

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emory_and_Henry_College_Hospital

The book...

http://www.amazon.com/Saltville-Massacre-Civil-Campaigns-Commander/dp/1886661057

One of the Murders....

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Felix_Huston_Robertson


Confederates were just plain old cowardly murders.....
 

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#2
On the other hand, when Champ Ferguson was tried for murdering both civilians and US soldiers, only one name appears on any rosters I've checked. The USCTs he is alleged to have murdered were all "unknowns." And only one of the white troops had a name that can be matched to a roster. Champ denied killing any black troops at Saltville. I guess my thesis would be that murder of USCTs at Saltville is an allegation that has not been proven. Is is possible? Yes, but in this country, if there is evidence for a crime, we bring charges and have a trial. Only Champ Ferguson was ever tried and convicted for what happened at Saltville.
 
#3
On the other hand, when Champ Ferguson was tried for murdering both civilians and US soldiers, only one name appears on any rosters I've checked. The USCTs he is alleged to have murdered were all "unknowns." And only one of the white troops had a name that can be matched to a roster. Champ denied killing any black troops at Saltville. I guess my thesis would be that murder of USCTs at Saltville is an allegation that has not been proven. Is is possible? Yes, but in this country, if there is evidence for a crime, we bring charges and have a trial. Only Champ Ferguson was ever tried and convicted for what happened at Saltville.


Champ Ferguson was charged with 53 counts of murder but was aquitted of the Saltville murders. His conviction and subsequent hanging by the military court was for a murder that was not connected to the Saltville incident.
 

larry_cockerham

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#4
Champ Ferguson was charged with 53 counts of murder but was aquitted of the Saltville murders. His conviction and subsequent hanging by the military court was for a murder that was not connected to the Saltville incident.
That's the way I remembered it? Champs deal was guerilla warfare in the plateau region of Tennessee, mostly revenge against a Kentucky company that had harmed his family severely. Champ had a list. Saltville was a mighty long walk up the Holston Valley to have had anything to do with Champs' problems.
 

kansas

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#5
Im going to believe Basil Duke on the Saltville murders. He was there, saw evidence of it, and tried to stop it, or at least some of it. He claimed Mr. Champs men were involved with it but never said Champ himself was. Duke never hid the fact he disliked Champ and his men but he got along with him when working together.
 
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#6
Champ Ferguson was charged with 53 counts of murder but was acquitted of the Saltville murders. His conviction and subsequent hanging by the military court was for a murder that was not connected to the Saltville incident.
I don't think he got a fair trial, even though he had good lawyers. Thurman Sensing's book has been brought out again and is a good one. Did he murder Lt. Elzy Smith in the Emory Hospital at Saltville? Yes he did. So he was guilty of that for sure. I'm not aware that he was found not guilty of any of the charges. When he was hanged, they read all of the specifications to him, and he nodded to the ones he did and shook his head to the ones he didn't do. It was a pretty long list. My real thesis is that the evidence presented in the trial is suspect, and were that trial to be held today, we would have a much better idea of what really happened.
 
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#7
That's the way I remembered it? Champs deal was guerilla warfare in the plateau region of Tennessee, mostly revenge against a Kentucky company that had harmed his family severely. Champ had a list. Saltville was a mighty long walk up the Holston Valley to have had anything to do with Champs' problems.
The heat was on so bad in the Plateau area for Champ that when Dibrell headed east to rejoin Wheeler. Ferguson and some of his boys tagged along. Dibrell had amassed about 1000-1200 men, only about 700-800 of whom were armed. These men were stragglers lost behind the lines and young boys of 16 in some cases. They got ambushed at Readyville in September and pretty much scattered. But Dibrell was able to round up the ones that didn't get killed or captured and make for the mountains. Had Ferguson been scouting for the column, he might have discovered the ambush, but as it was, he just seems to have been tagging along.
 

larry_cockerham

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The heat was on so bad in the Plateau area for Champ that when Dibrell headed east to rejoin Wheeler. Ferguson and some of his boys tagged along. Dibrell had amassed about 1000-1200 men, only about 700-800 of whom were armed. These men were stragglers lost behind the lines and young boys of 16 in some cases. They got ambushed at Readyville in September and pretty much scattered. But Dibrell was able to round up the ones that didn't get killed or captured and make for the mountains. Had Ferguson been scouting for the column, he might have discovered the ambush, but as it was, he just seems to have been tagging along.
One of the beauties of this forum is that even old hardheads like me can learn. Thanks!
 
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#10
There were two sides to this brutal guerrilla war. If the South had won, Tinker Dave Beatty, Ferguson's nemesis, would have been hanged. Many of the pro-Union Tenn Cav regiments were little better than bushwhackers themselves. On March 12, 1864, at the Officer home in Overton County, a battalion of troopers from Stokes's cavalry surrounded the house. They were looking for Champ, having just missed him at his home, where his wife had bandaged his wounds. The Officers are ancestors of mine. Two sisters of another ancestor who served in the 28th Tenn were said by family lore to be secret couriers for Champ, and their house was also raided at about the same time. At any rate, there were seven of Wheeler's troopers in the Officer home. Stokes's men assaulted the house, killed all but one of the Confederates, wounded Mrs. Officer and dragged Lt. Bob Davis outside and tied him to the gatepost and executed him by firing squad. They then were in process of setting the house on fire when their captain decided they had done enough damage for one day. A family slave hid John H. Officer in the attic, then buried the bodies after the Feds left. John was able to return to his unit and was posted to Resaca. Both his story and that of the elderly slave pretty much agree. Photos of the gate post, riddled with bullets are shown in genealogy books from the area. Here's a photo of a ceremony honoring the men who were killed with Lt. Davis.
IMG_0049_00.jpg
 

larry_cockerham

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#11
I hope our northern friends who ask questions about Southern heritage will study closely the photograph in Terry's #10 post. These are descendants of Confederate soldiers, still proudly honoring the efforts of their ancestors from 150 years ago, lest their memory be forgotten. The young folks in the group are being taught the history of their family, not the stuff created by a confused press, but the truth, the evidence of which lies before them.
 
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#12
I hope our northern friends who ask questions about Southern heritage will study closely the photograph in Terry's #10 post. These are descendants of Confederate soldiers, still proudly honoring the efforts of their ancestors from 150 years ago, lest their memory be forgotten. The young folks in the group are being taught the history of their family, not the stuff created by a confused press, but the truth, the evidence of which lies before them.
Couldn't have said it better myself.
 
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#13
I really hate to jump in after you have spke so well but I was in Saltville in 04 and visited thier small musuem. I bought Blue Grass Confederate The headquarters Diary of Edward O Guerrant. Returning from Charleston West Virginia Book fair I was asked if I had the time to research a certain group that was to have fought under the Black Flag. As doing this of course I visited many descendents of the Saltville fight. As you mentioned there are many view points but it did happen. the appaling aspect is that they hung wounded soldiers no matter the color however they were black. In speaking with a few people I deserned still a bitter attitude after all these years of perhaps lies or truth. It is amazing how people can harbor things just from hear say.
Slatsville was interesting and a good place to research. In the local graveyard lies John Mosby's surgen Dr. as well as other points of interest.
To the thought against the Confederates for being cold blood murders both sides did nore than thier share. West Virginia found that out when so called Northern Troops Lincoln sent as protectors for those that voted against seperation.
I found in visiting these posterites they were dead set on people knowing too much about thier business. No diggers on my properity! Words you might hear if they will talk to you.
Now that was then I am not sure about today.
Thank you for allowing my two cents and yes you are right on. it is done right refreshing seeing the Confed ancestors keeping thier history alive. I only wish that moder day political society would do the same about WW2 fight against( Fascism)
 
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#14
I hope our northern friends who ask questions about Southern heritage will study closely the photograph in Terry's #10 post. These are descendants of Confederate soldiers, still proudly honoring the efforts of their ancestors from 150 years ago, lest their memory be forgotten. The young folks in the group are being taught the history of their family, not the stuff created by a confused press, but the truth, the evidence of which lies before them.
Come on Larry,

History, has record the history you, others and those in the picture choose to ignore.....There is no chivalry in the action of people like Ferguson, Forrest, Quantrill and the other southern bushwhackers. The picture is nothing more then people honoring traitors to our dear republic....
 

larry_cockerham

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#15
Come on Larry,

History, has record the history you, others and those in the picture choose to ignore.....There is no chivalry in the action of people like Ferguson, Forrest, Quantrill and the other southern bushwhackers. The picture is nothing more then people honoring traitors to our dear republic....
Please pull Forrest from that list. You can have the other two. Come spend some time in the South and meet these people. You will conclude otherwise. If you think we ignore slavery, dead wrong. Our focus is on the soldiers in the photo who where caught up in a war.
 

Nathanb1

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#16
Come on Larry,

History, has record the history you, others and those in the picture choose to ignore.....There is no chivalry in the action of people like Ferguson, Forrest, Quantrill and the other southern bushwhackers. The picture is nothing more then people honoring traitors to our dear republic....
Like Larry, I see no reason to include NBF in that list. Operating as a legitimate unit and operating as guerrillas are two different things.
 
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#17
My main point in all this is to reiterate that the guerrilla war was as much between people who had scores to settle as it was anything else. Real Hatfields and McCoys stuff. Both sides often gave no quarter in this fight. LT Bob Davis's last words were, "You ought not to do this, for I've done only my duty as a soldier." He and his men were gunned down before they could get to their stacked arms, while John H. was being hidden in the attic. I'm sure no demand for surrender was ever made and talking this rabble out of burning down the house was no easy task. People who are self-righteously indignant over Ferguson's actions have simply not looked into what the pro-Union bushwhackers were dong at the same time. Davis and his men deserve the respect shown them, and I am very proud that they have headstones provided by the US govt.
 
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#18
Like Larry, I see no reason to include NBF in that list. Operating as a legitimate unit and operating as guerrillas are two different things.

Lets look, Ferguson(Saltville), Quantrill(Lawrence), and Forrest(Ft. Pillow) all are related by a word "massacres". They were all leaders of confederate cavalry units that can be tied to these "massacres" and Forrest may be the worst for he was regular army.

If the Color Troops had not won their fights at Ft. Pocahontas and Milliken Bend, we would have had two more massacres to add to the list and names like Fritz Lee and Henry McCulloch to the list, too. Everyone wants us to think union militia units were just as bad as the confederate ones and in many ways they were except, in one way. How many large scale massacres can be tied to union militia units or regulars???? NONE....
 

larry_cockerham

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#19
Lets look, Ferguson(Saltville), Quantrill(Lawrence), and Forrest(Ft. Pillow) all are related by a word "massacres". They were all leaders of confederate cavalry units that can be tied to these "massacres" and Forrest may be the worst for he was regular army.

If the Color Troops had not won their fights at Ft. Pocahontas and Milliken Bend, we would have had two more massacres to add to the list and names like Fritz Lee and Henry McCulloch to the list, too. Everyone wants us to think union militia units were just as bad as the confederate ones and in many ways they were except, in one way. How many large scale massacres can be tied to union militia units or regulars???? NONE....
Maybe they were inept? Forrest didn't massacre anyone at Ft. Pillow. Read some more.
 
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#20
Maybe they were inept? Forrest didn't massacre anyone at Ft. Pillow. Read some more.
Someone did at Ft Pillow? Someone gave no quarter to the Color troops at Ft. Pillow? I think Forrest seems to the best one to figure for the the massacre at Ft Pillow...unless Forrest was jest a figure head of a leader instead of a pillar leadership everyone makes him out to be...If he was the leader everyone makes him out to be then he would of know about giving no quarter to the Color troops..He murder those color troops the same way Manson murder Ms. Tate. Forrest like Manson may not have been there at the act but was their in his direction and leadership of his followers.....Do you think his men would have murder those Color troops? If they did not think Forrest would have approved of it...
 

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