Quotes of the Week: April 6-12, 2014 (A Fort Pillow Remembrance)

Here’s what one defender of Confederate heritage had to say about the sesquicentennial of Fort Pillow:
Hall on Forrest

Yup, this fellow.

And, thanks to Andy Hall, we have a description of what happened to the defenders of Fort Pillow:

All the wounded who had strength enough to speak agreed that after the fort was taken an indiscriminate slaughter of our troops was carried on by the enemy with a furious and vindictive savageness which was never equaled by the most merciless of the Indian tribes. Around on every side horrible testimony to the truth of this statement could be seen. Bodies with gaping wounds, some bayoneted through the eyes, some with skulls beaten through, others with hideous wounds as if their bowels had been ripped open with bowie-knives, plainly told that but little quarter was shown to our troops. Strewn from the fort to the river bank, in the ravines and hollows, behind logs and under the brush where they had crept for protection from the assassins who pursued them, we found bodies bayoneted, beaten, and shot to death, showing how cold-blooded and persistent was the slaughter of our unfortunate troops.

Of course, when a work is carried by assault there will always be more or less bloodshed, even when all resistance has ceased; but here there were unmistakable evidences of a massacre carried on long after any resistance could have been offered, with a cold-blooded barbarity and perseverance which nothing can palliate.

Something to think about when we are told that it’s all about “restoring the honor.”

31 thoughts on “Quotes of the Week: April 6-12, 2014 (A Fort Pillow Remembrance)

    • Brooks D. Simpson April 13, 2014 / 6:01 pm

      And so Connie Chastain now sanctifies war atrocities. What a surprise.

      However, Connie, you might recall Sherman’s actual comment, delivered in 1879 at a commencement at a military academy:

      I’ve been where you are now and I know just how you feel. It’s entirely natural that there should beat in the breast of every one of you a hope and desire that some day you can use the skill you have acquired here. Suppress it! You don’t know the horrible aspects of war. I’ve been through two wars and I know. I’ve seen cities and homes in ashes. I’ve seen thousands of men lying on the ground, their dead faces looking up at the skies. I tell you, war is Hell!

      Sherman would later return to this theme at a veterans’ reunion in 1880:

      The war now is away back in the past, and you can tell what books cannot. When you talk, you come down to the practical realities just as they happened. You all know this is not soldiering here. There is many a boy here today who looks on war as all glory, but, boys, it is all hell. You can bear this warning voice to generations yet to come. I look upon war with horror, but if it has to come, I am there. 

      Sherman doesn’t celebrate atrocity and cold-blooded murder, as you do: he deplores it. Indeed, you think it’s funny, as your “Ha!” on your blog suggests (next to your claim that I would not post your comment).

      That’s enough. Back in your hole now.

      • Al Mackey April 13, 2014 / 7:51 pm

        “And so Connie Chastain now sanctifies war atrocities. What a surprise.”

        If a racist needs to be defended, our buddy Connie is there in a flash.

        • Brooks D. Simpson April 13, 2014 / 8:20 pm

          Oh, I’m not surprised. But you will note that the more some people say they are not racist, the more we see otherwise.

          • Rob Baker April 13, 2014 / 8:23 pm

            I love her backtracking on her own blog. She posted her comment for derision. And now proclaims it wasn’t meant to be taken as such, and accuses Sherman of being politically correct. She is a curious bitter old woman indeed.

          • Brooks D. Simpson April 13, 2014 / 8:29 pm

            No one takes Connie at her word any more. She has a long track record of defending or excusing bigotry, racism, and advocates of violence against women. And perhaps that’s why the Flaggers like her so much.

          • christophershelley April 13, 2014 / 10:23 pm

            It occurs to me that they are so immersed is racism that they don’t even understand how they are racist.

          • Kristilyn Baldwin April 14, 2014 / 3:14 am

            I completely agree. I often wonder what they’re parents were like and if they were taught the same things.

      • christophershelley April 13, 2014 / 10:50 pm

        It’s called “context.” She should look up this very valuable word.

  1. Will Hickox April 13, 2014 / 12:39 pm

    Hall, I’m sure, would be proud to know his opinion is essentially that of Forrest and other Confederates at the time (before they switched to claiming it wasn’t a massacre).

    People at the time and since have criticized Union eyewitnesses and the Committee Report for their strong biases, but the report remains a valuable document if used carefully. The evidence overwhelmingly points to a massacre. I believe it was Kevin Levin a few years ago who asked: if the event had happened in any country other than America, would there be any question that it was a massacre?

  2. Bob Huddleston April 13, 2014 / 3:35 pm

    There was a massacre of the surrendering troops at Fort Pillow and the “massacre” was not an invention of Yankee propaganda. Forrest was responsible, both as the commanding officer and because the blood-lust that got out of control was an expression of his own personality. “[It] was brutal slaughter beyond what should have occurred. People died who were attempting to surrender to surrender and should have been spared. … Although he lost control over the fighting at Fort Pillow, the Confederate cavalry commander clearly did not disapprove of the results.” (Wills, p. 196)

    There are three well written and, more importantly, well-researched accounts of the massacre at Fort Pillow: the oldest was Albert Castel’s first published work, “The Fort Pillow Massacre: A Fresh Examination of the Evidence,” _Civil War History_ March 1958. The second is an article by John Cimprich and Robert C. Mainfort, Jr. published also in _Civil War History_ (December 1982). The third is _An Unerring Fire: The Massacre at Fort Pillow_ by Richard Fuchs (Stackpole, $22.95) (See the review at http://www.civilwarnews.com/reviews/bookreviews.cfm?ID=341 ). To quote the reviewer, “this tragic episode could have easily been avoided, but that racial hatred prevailed and that the demons that drove Nathan Bedford Forrest all his life were unleashed in a climactic feeding frenzy hitherto not seen on an American battlefield.”

    Separately I am posting several of the letters which John Cimprich and Robert C. Mainfort, Jr reprinted in their article. The essence of their arguments is that the historian should be cautious about anything written after the allegations of massacre began, but that we can learn a lot by seeing what participants wrote before those charges were made.

  3. Bob Huddleston April 13, 2014 / 3:36 pm

    In an article in Civil War History as long ago as 1982, John Cimprich and Robert C. Mainfort, Jr., two Southern college professors, reprinted some contemporary evidence about the alleged massacre at Fort Pillow on April 12, 1864. In their introductory comments, they remark that all federal evidence taken after the Congressional hearings began on April 22 and all Confederate evidence gathered after the Rebels became aware of the massacre charges (roughly April 25 at the latest) should be viewed with suspicion. The material they reprinted was all written before those dates.

    The editors also pointed out that the casualty figures alone indicate that a strong case may be made for a massacre: 36% of the white Unionists and 66% of the blacks were killed, some of the highest overall death rates in any battle of the Civil War.

    Cimprich and Mainfort print three Southern newspaper accounts, two letters by Forrest’s men, one to the writer’s sisters, and the other to the writer’s wife, and a previously unpublished official report by the commanding officer of the Sixth U.S.C. Heavy Artillery (he was not in the fort at the time of the battle).

    I have edited them and reprint the relevant portions relating to the aftermath of the assault and capture below. You can go to _Civil War History_, vol. 28:4 (December 1982), pp. 293-306, to read the complete correspondence and the editors’ comments on the material.

    Report by “Vidette,” Mobile [AL] _Advertiser and Register_, April 17, 1864:

    Fort Pillow, Tenn., April 12; via Holly Springs, April 16. Gen. Forrest attacked this place with Chalmer’s division yesterday. The garrison consisted of three hundred whites and four hundred negroes. They refused to surrender, and the place was carried by storm. . . Indiscriminant slaughter followed-about a hundred prisoners were taken, the balance were slain. The fort ran with blood; many jumped into the river and drowned or [were] shot in the water. . . Our loss was about seventy-five killed and wounded.

    Letter of Sgt. Achilles V. Clark, Twentieth Tennessee Cavalry:

    My Dear Sisters,
    Camp near Brownsville April 14th 1864

    I write you a few hurried lines to inform you that I am quite well and have just passed safely through the most terrible ordeal of my whole life. I guess that you know what I mean as you doubtless have before this heard of the taking of Fort Pillow. In as much as I am a member of Forrest’s Cavalry modesty would direct that I should say nothing in our praise nor will I but will tell you in as few words as possible what was done and leave you to judge whether or not we acted well or ill. . . we marched on foot in sight of the fortifications which were said to be manned by about seven hundred renegade Tennesseans and negroes. . . Gen. Forrest demanded a surrender and gave twenty minutes to consider. The Yankees refused threatening that if we charged their breast works to show no quarter. The bugle sounded the charge and in less than ten minutes we were in the fort hurling the cowardly villains howling down the bluff. Our men were so exasperated by the Yankees’ threats of no quarter that they gave but little. The slaughter was awful. Words cannot describe the scene. The poor deluded negroes would run up to our men fall upon their knees and with uplifted hands scream for mercy but they were ordered to their feet and then shot down. The white men fared but little better. Their fort turned out to be a great slaughter pen. Blood, human blood stood about in pools and brains could have been gathered up in any quantity. I with several others tried to stop the butchery and at one time had partially succeeded. but Gen. Forrest ordered them shot down like dogs and the carnage continued. Finally our men became sick of blood and the firing ceased. The result. The report kept in the Post Adjutants office shows that there were seven hundred and ninty men for duty on the morning of the fight. We brought away about one hundred and sixty white men and about seventy five negroes. Two transports came down the morning after the fight and took off the badly wounded Yankees and negroes about thirty or forty in all. The remainder were thrown into the trench before which two hours previous they had stood and bade open defiance to Forrest and all his ragged hounds, and were covered up about two feet deep.

    Letter of Surgeon Samuel H. Caldwell, Sixteenth Tennessee Cavalry

    Camp Near Brownsville, April 15, 1864.

    My Dear Darling Wife,

    We are just from Fort Pillow which fort we attacked on Tuesday the 13th. 1864 & carried by storm. It was garrisoned by 400 white men and 400 negroes & out of the 800 only 168 are now living So you can guess how terrible was the slaughter. It was decidedly the most horrible sight that I have ever witnessed- They refused to surrender-which incensed our men & if General Forrest had not run between our men & the Yanks with his pistol and sabre drawn not a man would have been spared-We took about a hundred & 25 white men & about 45 negroes the rest of the 800 are numbered with the dead-They sure [lay] heaped upon each other 3 days-.

    Nothing more but remain your devoted husband.
    S. H. Caldwell.

    Report by “Memphis,” _Atlanta Memphis Appeal_, May 2, 1864

    Jackson, Tenn., April 18, 1861

    The enemy announced their determination not to surrender, and were accordingly defiant and insolent in their demeanor. They ridiculed the idea of taking the fort, and intimated that the last man would die before surrendering. Gen. Forrest told them that in order to prevent the effusion of blood he had demanded the surrender, but now the consequences were upon their own heads.

    Then the work of slaughter and death commenced. The sight of negro soldiers stirred the bosoms of our soldiers with courageous madness. The moment our men were seen upon the wall, the foe, which a few minutes ago was so defiant and insolent, turned to cowards. Still they would not surrender. Those that were hid or protected still kept firing upon and killing our brave boys; but our troops still rushed upon them, all the time fighting and killing. The sight was terrific-the slaughter sickening. Wearied with the slow process of shooting with guns, our troops commenced with their repeaters, and every fire brought down a foe, and so close was the fight, that the dead would frequently fall upon the soldier that killed. Still the enemy would not or knew not how to surrender. The Federal flag, that hated emblem of tyranny was still proudly waving over the scene.

    Seeing that nothing could be gained by further fight the enemy rushed to the Coldwater for the purpose of swimming across; but the troops stationed here by Gen. Forrest opened upon them, and hundreds were killed in the water endeavoring to escape. Others rushed to the passage between the fort and the river for the purpose of passing down the river towards Memphis. But the troops stationed here by Gen. Forrest to guard this very contingency, opened fire upon them, and the enemy rushed upon a coal barge and endeavored to push it off; but a concentrated fire from our whole column, soon put an end to this experiment. Several hundred were shot in this boat and in Coldwater, while endeavoring to escape. The number in the water was so great, that they resembled a drove of hogs swimming across the stream. But not a man escaped in this way. The head above the water was a beautiful mark for the trusty rifle of our unerring marksmen. The Mississippi River was crimsoned with the red blood of the flying foe. Our soldiers grew sick and weary in the work of slaughter, and were glad when the work was done.

    General Forrest begged them to surrender, but he was told with an air of insulting defiance that he could not take the place, and that they asked for no quarter. Not the first sign of surrender was ever given. Gen. Forrest expected a surrender after entering the fort, and anxiously looked for it, as he witnessed the carnage; but no token was given.

    • John Foskett April 14, 2014 / 7:00 am

      It appears that Forrest and Joachim Pieper had more in common than simply wearing a gray uniform.

      • Jerry Sudduth April 14, 2014 / 7:32 am

        Replace the gray uniform with a red or green one and you could add Banastre Tarelton to the list of men who couldn’t rein in the conduct of their men after surrenders in small unit actions against US soldiers.

        Not a leader among the three…

        • John Foskett April 14, 2014 / 9:15 am

          Mel Gibson notwithstanding, Old Ban never fired a church with women and children inside. But he did have enough of a problem with handling surrendered opponents that the phrase “Tarleton’s Quarter” took hold.

  4. Bob Huddleston April 13, 2014 / 3:38 pm

    The idea that the refusal of a commander to surrender his post places the blame on him for any subsequent atrocities of the attackers is ludicrous. Bradford had an obligation to resist an enemy attack, even if it was helpless and to meekly surrender just because Forrest says to would make Bradford subject to a court martial after his exchange. After all, helpless resistances often turn out to be successful and any resistance will delay the attacking force and possibly lead to its demise later on. The United States Army calls this an “Alamo Defense,” and teaches the concept to its officers.

    The Confederates committed the massacre because of their racism and hatred of the idea that slaves or African-Americans would dare to resist a white man. But a compounding factor was Forrest’s use of a surrender demand coupled with the threat of no quarter if the demand was rejected. This threat was in violation of the “Rules of War” as they were understood in 1864.

    Only a week before Pillow, at Paducah, KY, on March 25, Col. Samuel Hicks, Fortieth Illinois, faced with the same “no quarter” demand from Forrest, rejected it and the Confederates were repulsed with heavy losses, including the death of a brigade commander. Hicks’ troops consisted of three companies of the 122nd Illinois, part of the 16th Kentucky Cavalry and the 1st Kentucky Heavy Artillery (colored), a total of 665 men. Against them was Forrest’s division. Hicks lost 14 killed and 46 wounded. He claimed that Forrest lost 300 killed and 1,000 to 1,300 wounded. Forrest admitted to 50 killed and wounded. (!)

    After the initial assaults, Hicks found he was running out of ammunition so he ordered bayonets fixed, and told his men “to receive the enemy on the point of the bayonet.” The order was received by his men “with loud cheers and shouts.”

    His troops were as green as those at Pillow, only the three companies of the 122 ever having been under fire before. (See 57 OR 548ff for Hicks report.)

    Forrest biographers tend to ignore Paducah. :>)

    The Confederate attack on Pillow may have been aggravated by their embarrassment at the failure of the assault on Paducah.

    • Z Y Dezelle April 21, 2014 / 5:38 pm

      Was Fort Pillow the only atrocity? I have read of many that occurred during the Civil War but to use Ft. Pillow as a latter to climb the North to a loftier hight for sympathy and victimization, while at the same time, an attempt to raise the South to a loftier hight of villainy and scorn, is rather lame when you consider the war had many atrocities and coming from the North as many and as often as the accusations that have been leveled against the South. Nobody should be surprised that the incident at Fort Pillow happened. Human emotion being as overwhelming as it is on record as being, the event at Fort Pillow is one of millions in human history and one of hundreds if not thousands in American history.
      I agree that the Union commanders at the time (George H. Lanning using the alias Lionel F. Boothe and the other commander that took his place when Lanning/Boothe was killed, William F. Bradford) could be accused of fostering a situation that would put their black men at risk for a massacre.

      Lieutenant Daniel Van Horn of the 6th U. S. Heavy Artillery (Colored) stated in his official report “There never was a surrender of the fort, both officers and men declaring they never would surrender or ask for quarter.”

      The Union flag was still flying over the fort, which indicated that the force had not formally surrendered. A contemporary newspaper account from Jackson, Tennessee, states that “General Forrest begged them to surrender,” but “not the first sign of surrender was ever given.” Similar accounts were reported in both Southern and Northern newspapers at the time.

      I cannot see how a person can say that a definition of massacre did not happen. My understanding of what a massacre is, would have to include the event at Fort Pillow. That being said, any attempt to showcase the incident as an example of the South’s dominion on the subject of racism is laughable.
      The New York Draft Riots is worth mentioning here. Those blacks were definitely non-combatants. They were not issued firearms for their protection. Nor had they declared or accepted an invitation to such a physical contest. If some people’s hearts is going to bleed and their eyes are going to cry for mistreated blacks (as it pertains to a massacre), then let us not forget Fort Pillow but add to it, the New York Draft Riots. Racism was the sole driving force.
      At least 11 black people were estimated to have been killed (some lynched). The mobs had ransacked or destroyed numerous public buildings, two Protestant churches, the homes of various abolitionists or sympathizers, many black homes, and the Colored Orphan Asylum at 44th Street and Fifth Avenue, which was burned to the ground.

      Now it will be typical for somebody to push the violence off on the new Irish immigrants and that they were not “real” Northerners, so they will claim that the event of the NYDR does not count against the North. Try convincing black folks of that argument. Those Irish chose the North to live in and not the South. That could make them Northerners (and definitely white), in the eyes of Afro-Americans.

      In addition. On August 13, 1861, Secretary of War Simon Cameron received a letter containing information about United States military forces “committing rapes on the negroes.”

      In the Official Records on the War of the Rebellion vol. XVI, pt. II, p.319, it says that part of the brigade “quarter in the negro huts for weeks, debauching the females.”

      Same source: The activities of the 3rd Ohio Cavalry in August of 1862 included this entry: “negro women are debauched.”

      Same source: Report from Memphis on April 7, 1864 : “The [white] cavalry broke en masse in the camps of the colored women and are committing all sorts of outrage.”

      General Rufus A. Saxton sent a report to Secretary of War Edwin Stanton on December 30, 1864, in which he describes the attitude of the Northern soldiers: “I found the prejudice of color and race here in full force, and the general feeling of the army of occupation was unfriendly to the blacks. It was manifested in various forms of personal insult and abuse, in depredations on their plantations, stealing and destroying their crops and domestic animals, and robbing them of their money….. The women were held as the legitimate prey of lust….. “The recruiting of [ Southern slaves] went on slowly, when the major-general commanding ordered an indiscriminate conscription of every able bodied colored man in the department. The order spread universal confusion and terror. The negroes fled to the woods and swamps…..They were hunted…..Men have been seized and forced to enlist having large families…..Three boys, one only 14 years of age, were seized in a field where they were at work and sent to a regiment……without the knowledge of their parents.

      May 12, 1862, the following report was sent to the United States Secretary of the Treasury concerning the forced induction of black Southerners: The negroes were sad….Sometimes whole plantations, learning what was going on, ran off to the woods for refuge. Others, with no means of escape, submitted passively…..This mode of [conscription] is repugnant.”
      The next day’s report included this comment: “The colored people became suspicious of the companies of our soldiers…..They [the blacks] were taken from the fields without being allowed to go to their houses even to get a jacket…… On some plantations the wailing and screaming were loud and the women threw themselves in despair on the ground. On some plantations the people took to the woods and were hunted up by the soldiers…….A letter about this incident written to the Federal agent stated, “This conscription….has created a suspicion that the Government has not the interest in the negroes that it has professed, and many of them sighed yesterday for the “old fetters” [their old lives as slaves] as being better than the new liberty”

      Huntsville, Alabama: Gen. U.S. Grant received a communique on February 26, 1864, informing him that “A major of colored troops is here with his party capturing negroes, with or without their consent……They are being conscripted”. Notice the term used is “capturing negroes,” not enlisting or drafting them.

      New Bern, North Carolina: Gen. Innis Palmer reported to Gen. Benj. Butler on the 1st of Sep. 1864, reported the difficulty he was having convincing Southern blacks to help in the fight for their liberation. He stated, “The negroes will not go voluntarily, so I am obliged to force them…. The manner of collecting the colored men for laborers has been one of some difficulty but I hope to send up a respectable force….They will not go willingly…..They must be forced to go……this may be considered a harsh measure, but……we must not stop at trifles.” What is it called when someone forces another human being to labor against their will – sounds like slavery to me but the Northerners called it “trifles”.

      Various debates on numerous topics, as it pertains to the Civil War, can easily fall into the category of “the pot calling the kettle black” and neither one wanting to admit it or they just continue to claim that the other one is “blacker”.

      If the history of the United States, as taught in the government school system for generations, included instead of omitting the details and entire topics that we debate about as adults, I think relations between all of our citizens would be better than they are now. It could be the ignorance that is allowed to exist on the subject, by only teaching carefully selected parts of it, that causes us to suffer such apprehension to let it go and carry forward some hard feeling about it after all these years. The way the history of our country is formally taught to us in childhood, perpetuates the Civil War into our adulthood because of the contradictions that can be found in the child’s version.

      • Brooks D. Simpson April 22, 2014 / 1:59 pm

        “If the history of the United States, as taught in the government school system for generations, included instead of omitting the details and entire topics that we debate about as adults, I think relations between all of our citizens would be better than they are now.”

        And part of the record would be the massacre of black soldiers by Confederates at Fort Pillow, Tennessee, on April 12, 1864.

        • Z Y Dezelle April 22, 2014 / 8:09 pm

          I am sure it would, as Northern historians would push for it’s inclusion while at the same time, try to suppress the facts of negro women of the south being raped by Union Soldiers and the forced conscription of Southern black men to serve in the Union Army. The lynching of Northern free Blacks during the New York Draft riots would also be included or suppressed. Add to that, Sherman ordered Atlanta’s unburned sections shelled to ruins. One shell passed down through a house and blew off the legs of a man named Warner. The same shell cut his daughter in half. Sherman personally saw his men rape and murder unyielding slaves throughout the march and gave no order to stop this.

          The idea that the atrocities of the North would ever reach formal, public education, is all fantasy though, as the government version has not allowed it nor ever will. With the victory goes the history and the government version of American History will remain protected and continue to be misleading because of it’s bias.

          The massacre at Fort Pillow was just that, a massacre, based on numbers of death in such a short period of time. Had they taken down the US flag and hoisted the white flag of surrender and a massacre still ensued, then what happened at Fort Pillow would be less of a debate, as to it’s military illegality and barbarism. It would be that much more apparent and undebatable had the massacre been carried out after showing the flag of surrender. That is not the case, as the facts have been recorded that the US flag was still flying after it was over. There was no formal show of surrender. If they did not hoist a white flag, showing their want for surrender, then maybe they died in part either because of their own military sloppiness or pride.

          How could you not know you were putting your black men in harms way, for all out, emotionally driven brutality?
          Being a Union officer of colored troops, didn’t make you the envy of the every officer in Union Army. Maybe the Union officers did not have the highest regard for the lives of black soldiers, given the pervasive racism that existed among the majority of whites of both sections at that time.

          It’s been written that many of the black Union soldiers were former slaves and understood the personal consequences of a loss to the Confederates— an immediate return to slavery and a lesser chance of being treated as a prisoner of war. It’s also been written, that some Confederates had threatened to kill any Union black troops they encountered. Confederate anger at the thought of blacks fighting them, and their initial reluctance to surrender (maybe because some of the black troops believed they would only be killed if they surrendered in Federal uniform) resulted in a tragedy. It was generally understood that black soldiers in the Union Army, were at an elevated risk of being the object of unbridled hostility, when in the hands of the enemy. The paramount focus should have been that of prevention or at least minimizing the risk to your best abilities, when you are privy to the information that such an event can occur.

          Why would you escalate a situation that would make the likelihood of a massacre more probable? That is outright recklessness with the human lives that have been entrusted to you. Bradford could be accused of fostering a situation that would put his black men at risk for a massacre. Why would it be allowed for soldiers to man a fort that cannot sustain itself? In light of the results, it would have been in their best interests and shown better judgment, to surrender when they were asked to do so the first time.

          Like Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the enemy was asked to surrender and defied better logic to do so. They were also warned of the consequences if not compliant. The consequences had to be known to many of those black men and white officers at Fort Pillow. Maybe even as far back as when they first joined the Union Army. Their commander made a gross judgmental error by not surrendering when given the opportunity. Thus escalating the situation into a massacre that Forrest warned them of.

          Forrest sent a note demanding surrender: “The conduct of the officers and men garrisoning Fort Pillow has been such as to entitle them to being treated as prisoners of war. I demand the unconditional surrender of the entire garrison, promising that you shall be treated as prisoners of war. My men have just received a fresh supply of ammunition, and from their present position can easily assault and capture the fort. Should my demand be refused, I cannot be responsible for the fate of your command.” So, they were warned and Bradford refused this opportunity and a final reply was given: “I will not surrender.”

          Of the black members of the garrison, 58 (around 20%) were marched away as prisoners, (a number of wounded black soldiers were left to be tended to by the Union gunboats). One should be surprised that any were allowed to march away as prisoners. What kept the Confederates from killing all the black Union soldiers is a curiosity. Where did they find the restraint, when we are lead to believe that they were emotionally incapable of showing any.

          Secretary of the Navy Gideon Welles wanted to wait for the congressional committee to obtain more information. However, Welles expressed his disdain by writing in his diary: “There must be something in these terrible reports, but I distrust Congressional committees. They exaggerate.” He was probably very prudent in his view.

          Major Bradford did surrendered and was then paroled to bury his brother but violated his parole and was captured. He was reported to have been killed later while trying to escape. Maybe if Boothe had survived to make the decisions for the men of the fort, he could have brought about a more favorable outcome for his men. Bradford seems to be a little more emotionally impulsive and maybe was not the best man for the job but I don’t pretend to have known him.

          • Brooks D. Simpson April 23, 2014 / 1:30 am

            I’m sure you believe all this. Thanks for sharing your sense of reality.

          • John Foskett April 23, 2014 / 8:09 am

            “It was generally understood that black soldiers in the Union Army, were at an elevated risk of being the object of unbridled hostility, when in the hands of the enemy. ”

            Every so often, buried in a haystack of spin and deflection, we find the needle.

          • Andy Hall April 23, 2014 / 8:15 am

            My experience has been that the people who croak the loudest about what’s supposedly being taught in “government schools” usually have little direct, detailed knowledge of the actual curriculum.

            Setting aside that fact that social studies curricula and textbooks are developed and selected by state and local educational boards, can you point me to a widely-adopted high school level textbook that omits (as you suggest) the New York Draft Riots?

      • Bob Huddleston April 22, 2014 / 6:56 pm

        You will note the various quotes are reproduced from the ORs – no attempt to whitewash rape and murder by US troops. Compare with the hiding of Forrest’s massacres by the Confederate government.

        BTW, you left out the worse Civil War massacre, Sand Creek: the Congressional Committee on the Conduct of the War investigated Sand Creek and labelled it an atrocity. They also investigated Fort Pillow and labeled *it* also an atrocity.

  5. pam April 13, 2014 / 5:45 pm

    Interesting…..I didn’t know about Col Hicks, have to read about that situation.

  6. Ken Noe April 14, 2014 / 8:24 am

    Glenn Miller, the accused Overland Park shooter, published a book in 1999 entitled “A White Man Speaks Out.” The cover features him standing in front of a portrait of Forrest, not Sherman. His website also bears the headline “Hey Whitey, Why Don’t You And Your Friends Build Your Own White Club? It’s Not Against The Law To Be White, Yet”. [sic]. That reminded me of similar online slogans I read here recently.

    • Lyle Smith April 14, 2014 / 9:28 am

      Are they guilty of the shooting too, Professor Noe? I would agree with you that they’re simpatico in white supremacy and racism, but not in their actions. Some of the people who get derided here are on the record as being against violence. And most of them don’t appear to be neo-Nazis like Miller.

      Miller was also apparently influenced, if we’re going to go there, by Max Blumenthal, who is an out there anti-Zionist.


      • Ken Noe April 14, 2014 / 12:15 pm

        I said nothing about communal guilt, and there’s no need to change the subject. A previous poster tried to equate Forrest and Sherman. But as I pointed out, I don’t see Miller posing in front of Sherman. So why do you think that is?

        • Lyle Smith April 14, 2014 / 1:55 pm

          You didn’t say anything about communal guilt, but it seemed kind of implied by referencing other posters to Miller and his work.

          I think it’s pretty obvious why Miller isn’t posing with a picture of Sherman. It’s because, besides being an anti-Zionist neo-Nazi, he’s also a white supremacist who likes him some white supremacist Confederate heritage too. So some posters referenced here at Crossroads definitely share a similar weltanschauung with Miller, but they haven’t done anything like murder anyone. Some, maybe even most of them, even espouse non-violence.

          I applaud all who reject the violent acts of a man like Glenn Miller.

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