Guess Who’s Flagging Fort Pillow?

You guessed it: the Mid South Flaggers, another one of those “flagging” groups that most recently flagged Oxford, Mississippi, in the wake of the incident involving the statue at Old Miss commemorating James Meredith’s entry into the university.

And guess when they are doing it? Why, April 12, 2014, the 150th anniversary of the battle.

I’m sure they all take great pride in what Nathan Bedford Forrest and his men did that day.

18 thoughts on “Guess Who’s Flagging Fort Pillow?

  1. Bob Nelson March 31, 2014 / 8:29 am

    Are these folks ever going to understand that their efforts are counter productive, that they piss off more people than they attract? Perhaps they subscribe to the theory that bad press is better than no press at all. What’s next? Maybe they’ll flag the NCAA finals next week if Florida is playing. Too bad none of our teams made the Final Four. Else we could “flag” the venue with Arizona and/or Michigan state flags. Oh well. Maybe next year.

      • Bob Nelson March 31, 2014 / 12:20 pm

        GO BADGERS!!!

        • John Foskett March 31, 2014 / 2:50 pm

          Are you kidding? Bucky shafted me in the office Frozen Four pool – as usual. I need to learn that these things aren’t Eaves-y. 🙂

          • Bob Nelson March 31, 2014 / 6:18 pm

            LOL John.

    • Andy Hall April 1, 2014 / 7:30 am

      “Are these folks ever going to understand that their efforts are counter productive, that they piss off more people than they attract?”


  2. Bob Nelson March 31, 2014 / 9:20 am

    Perhaps the flaggers should consult a dictionary. The online “Idiom Dictionary” defines “rub salt in a wound” as “to deliberately make someone’s unhappiness, shame or misfortune worse.” lists a number of synonyms including “aggravate,” “inflame,” “provoke,” “irritate,” “fan the flames,” “add insult to injury” and “push one’s button.”

  3. taxsanity March 31, 2014 / 9:41 am

    I wonder how much of this nonsense would have ever got started, if we had told the candid horrible truth about the Civil War, from the start.

    Like the Southern leaders loud proud demands to slavery for GOD — and the war ultimatums of 1861, that made headlines in Southern papers boasting of them.

    Like the slave ledgers and dirty letters from guys like Robert E Lee. Like Jeff Davis bragging that the “inferior race” were “so inferior”:: they were not humans, not persons (specifically not persons) but property, and as property, no one could stop slave owners from taking their property anywhere — including Kansas. Kansas “must” accept and respect slavery, even though in one vote, 98% of white males in Kansas voted against slavery.

    Like the fact by 1861, Southern leaders had repudiated state’s rights to decide slavery issue- – a basic fact Lincoln spoke about often, and Jeff Davis bragged about, but is simply not discussed, at all, in US text books.

    Like the many rapes, even at places like Arlington, where over half, the slaves were mulatto,, and Lee paid 600% higher prices for slave girls that were lighter skinned. And how whites were actually, literally enslaving other light skinned folks, which showed the slave owners whipping and selling white looking flesh, were never about enslaving blacks, they wanted power and the ability to rape and get rich. That was the motivation, but even guys like Henry Steele Commager, a “liberal” historian tried to pass slavery off as a benevolent enterprise by honorable men,

    And idiotically, even guys like Bruce Catton blamed the “radical abolitionist” for the CIvil War, and never once — not once in any writing — even mentioned the Southern demands to spread slavery, the war ultimatums, or the boasting the new states had no right to keep out slavery, even if 98% of the vote was anti slavery.

    Why — please tell me — why are these basic facts not taught? They were headlines at the time, they were in editorials, books, men like Davis BOASTED of them. But it’s the abolitionist who were radical? And so what if they were? The extremist were the lunatics whipping girls, selling babies, and promising war if they could not push slavery against the will of the people in Kansas.

    Too complicated? This is over Bruce Catton’s head? HS Commager couldn’t read Jeff Davis own book, bragging of it? Text book publishers never heard of newspapers in Richmond? None of them knew about the Cornerstone speech, and the Southerners on US Supreme Court official and proud declaration that blacks are “so inferior” they were not human persons?

    Someone hide all these documents for 75 years?

    Like the personal cowardice of both Robert E Lee and Jeff Davis, when they were in danger. Yes, both were cowards, contrary to the myth of bravery.

    We have allowed an Orwellian bizarro world of nonsense flood our US text books, never once in any US text book that Ive seen, even mention the war ultimatums to spread slavery for GOD that made headlines in RIchmond. Never once did any US text book show the Dred Scott decision official declaration that blacks are “so inferior” they were NOT HUMAN PERSONS. Instead, US text books give claptrap nonsense about “citizenship”. No — it was a declaration that blacks were NOT HUMAN PERSONS but property, and therefore Kansas could not reject slavery.

    I could go on and on.

    The entire narrative we teach in schools could have come directly out of Jeff Davis slick sociopathic writings of himself as selfless hero, caring only for liberty and state’s rights.

    It makes me sick we have “experts” on Civil War belt buckles, and others running around reenacting battles, while the basic and bragged about truths — what Southern leaders bragged about loudly and proudly and over time — is just ignored.

    Just put out there what Southern leaders bragged about, in their own words, loudly and proudly spoken. That’s what was going on, and if you don’t know that, you don’t know anything basic about the US Civil War. Go study your belts and run around picking up rusted buttons.

    • Bob Nelson March 31, 2014 / 1:27 pm

      We must have different editions of Catton.

      In “The Coming Fury,” I find about 100 references to slavery including this. “For the tragedy of the Negro, and of the America to which he had been compelled to come as a valuable but undesirable immigrant, was that his detention in servitude involved emotions deeper than the pit and blacker than midnight, convulsive stirrings in the nerve system that went beyond anything with which men of that day could cope intellectually. Beyond everything else, slavery was a race problem. It was THE race problem.”

      Or this. “As cotton prices went on up and new western lands came into production, new men could enter the magical planter class and, entering it, could make money. The very symbol of a man’s chance to get on in life became the possibility that he could acquire new land and more slaves. When men like Yancey insisted that anything that menaced slavery menaced all the South, they were talking to the hard new men who were on the make as well as to the old aristocrats lounging on the storied verandas of Charleston.”

      Yes, Catton puts some of the blame on the abolitionists as in this. “… [T]he abolitionist who declared that slavery was morally wrong was not contributing much because he was ignoring all of the complexities that made the case so difficult.” And what made it so difficult, Catton asks, was what was to be done with all the freedmen should emancipation come. “Even many of the Northerners who were most anxious to free the Negro were ready to agree that he ought to be deported as soon as he lost his chains.”

      As for textbooks I do not know anything about Southern texts. During my 30+ years as a teacher and administrator in Michigan, however, I cannot recall being on a single U.S. History textbook-adoption committee (and there were many) that did not cite slavery as the major cause of the Civil War.

      Finally, a question. On what do you base your assertion that Lee paid 600% more for slave girls who had lighter skin? That’s quite a remarkable statement to say the least.

  4. Applebaum March 31, 2014 / 1:25 pm

    That would be way more persuasive if Lincoln hadn’t routinely degraded and dehumanized African-Americans by calling them ni**ers all the time. And when Thomas Jefferson was systematically raping his little slave girls, that basic fact should be taught too, right? And when Stephen Douglas of Illinois openly proclaimed negro inferiority, that too should be told? And when Grant said that the “ni**er will never disturb the country again, tell that too? I could go on and on and on….

    • Bob Nelson March 31, 2014 / 1:54 pm

      While I may agree with some of what you and “Taxsanity” wrote (above), the fact is that the Civil War is simply not taught much any more, at least not in Michigan. Why? Because there are no questions on the state assessment test (the MEAP) regarding the war or its causes. One of my pet peeves. Ask Brooks. “U.S. History” back in my day (the 1960s) used to end with WWII. Now it largely starts there. The biggest event in U.S. History IMO, the Civil War, is simply not covered. Oh sure, some history teachers with a special interest in the CW bring it in tangentially when they can. Perhaps in your neck of the woods things are different. I hope so.

  5. Pamela DiVanna March 31, 2014 / 2:38 pm

    All this complaining. The world is changing, we do have our 1st African American president! I recently visited the museum of the Confederacy at Appomattox and was pleasantly surprised at display comments from key Mosby, that help dispel this myth. Not going to happen overnight. We must keep on pushing.

  6. travis reynolds March 31, 2014 / 3:48 pm

    This letter was received by the Memphis Daily Appeal, June 23, 1864, following the victory at Brice’s Crossroads. We hear much about Fort Pillow, but nothing about this event. This newspaper article describes the atrocities committed to innocent Southern citizens, women and children by the Federal troops under Yankee General Sturgis heading down to Mississippi from Memphis, in revenge for Fort Pillow.


    … Strategy, Forrest’s name, and confidence in their leader, won the day. The Yankees and negroes supposed Forrest in Middle Tennessee, and came forth simply to slaughter the helpless, to plunder and desolate the country…

    Before the battle, fugitives from the counties through which Sturgis and his troops were advancing, came into our camp detailing incidents which made men shudder who are accustomed to scenes of violence and bloodshed. I cannot recite the stories of these poor frightened people. Robbery, rapine, and the assassination of men and women, were the least of crimes committed while the “Avengers of Fort Pillow” over ran and desolated the country.

    Rude unlettered men, who had fought at Shiloh, and in many subsequent battles, wept like children when they heard of the enormities to which their mothers, sisters and wives had been subjected by the Negro mercenaries of Sturgis. The mildest, most peaceable of our soldiers became madmen when they heard how the person of their kinswomen were violated. The Negroes were regardless of the age, condition, sex or entreaties of the victims. In one instance, the grandmother, daughter and grand-daughter, were each, in the same room, held by the drunken brutes and subjected to outrages, by the bare recital of which humanity is appalled.

    A young wife, enceinte, taken to a negro encampment and tied to stakes driven in the ground, was made to minister to the hell-born passion of a dozen fiends. Death, in mercy, came to her relief. A little boy, who sought to defend his mother, was brutally bayoneted. When their savage lusts were gratified, the victims here and there were burned in their dwellings. Insanity, in some instances, came to the relief of suffering such as never before were inflicted upon human creatures by remorseless fiends in human shape. Terror, and the agony of hopeless shame, and famine, and fire and blood, and the assassination of the helpless and unoffending, marked the progress of the “Avengers of Fort Pillow.” It is not strange that negro prisoner were “lost”. The whites who led them on and incited them to these damnable deeds deserve a more terrible punishment…

    You have head that our soldiers buried negroes alive at For Pillow. This is true. At the first fire, after Forrest men scaled the walls, many of the negroes threw down their arms and fell as if they were dead. They persisted in the pretense and could only be restored at the point of the bayonet. To resuscitate some of them, more terrified than the rest, they were rolled into the trenches made as receptacles for the fallen. Vitality was not restored till breathing was obstructed, and then the resurrection began. On these facts is based the pretext for the crimes committed by Sturgis, Grierson and their followers. You must remember, too, that in the extremity of their terror, or for other reasons, the Yankees and negroes in Fort Pillow neglected to hall down their flag. In truth, relying upon their gunboats, the officers expected to annihilate our forces after we had entered the fortifications. They did not intend to surrender.

    A terrible retribution, in any event, has befallen the ignorant deluded Africans. Furnish with arms, besotted by whiskey, misled by lies, maddened by hopes which they can never realize, they have committed crimes which makes the blood run cold, and must shock the moral sentiment of the age. The world will hardly know which to condemn most, the falsehood of the report of the committee of Federal Congressmen which investigate the “Fort Pillow Massacre,” or the conduct of the savage brutes employed to avenge it. If all that is alleged in the congressional report be true, there would be found no justification for the unheard enormities practiced upon helpless women, more helpless old age, and hopeless poverty, by the mob of murderers and lawless miscreants who followed Sturgis from Memphis…

    Source: Memphis Daily Appeal, June 23, 1864
    Link to Library of Congress archive newspaper:

    All I’m saying is let’s tell all the truth. Travis [><]

  7. Bob Nelson March 31, 2014 / 6:45 pm

    To be sure there were atrocities on both sides. I don’t think you can say that one was “worse” or “better” than another. It’s like asking which side, the North or the South, had the worst prison camps. They were all terrible. How do you account for the fact that the percentage of killed at Fort Pillow was 8 times higher than the percentage of killed at other Confederate victories such as Second Manassas, Chancellorsville or Fredericksburg? Whether Forrest ordered it or simply lost control of the situation doesn’t change the numbers. FWIW, I remember you (I think) from the old Lee & Jackson Yahoo group. Nice to run into you again and see that you are still fighting the good fight.

  8. Nancy Winkler April 1, 2014 / 9:17 am

    It was my impression that Mosby did not join the Republican Party, but that he was a Virginia Conservative. Not having enough strength to defeat the Democrats at the polls, the Conservatives cozied up to the Republicans (to co-opt them, in a sense) to keep the Dems out. That meant Mosby hit the campaign trail *for Grant* surprisingly enough, in the presidential election of 1872.

    • Talmadge Walker April 13, 2014 / 10:39 am

      Party labels were a bit more confusing than that in the South during Reconstruction, but otherwise you’re close to the target. Mosby urged cooperation with white Republicans to prevent black Republicans from coming to power in Virginia, though I don’t know if he ever stated it that baldly. Later he did serve under Republican administrations as consul to Hong Kong, and in the Departments of Justice & Interior.

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