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Lot 0193
Civil War Union Documents
1864 Historical Civil War Book "Reports of the Committee on the Conduct of War - Fort Pillow Massacre, Returned Prisoners."
1864 Civil War Period Book titled, “Reports of the Committee on the Conduct of War - Fort Pillow Massacre, Returned Prisoners." with Historical Eyewitness Accounts of The Fort Pillow Massacre, Fine.
The Fort Pillow Massacre occurred on April 12, 1864, at Fort Pillow on the Mississippi River in Henning, Tennessee, during the American Civil War. The battle ended with a massacre of surrendered Federal black troops by soldiers under the command of Confederate Major General Nathan Bedford Forrest (1821-1877). According to David J. Eicher, a notable military historian, the Fort Pillow Massacre is "one of the bleakest, saddest events of American military history." Members of the House of Representatives were notified of the horrific crimes that transpired during the Fort Pillow Massacre in the following months with the release of the "Reports of the Committee on the Conduct of War- Fort Pillow Massacre, Returned Prisoners." Eyewitness testimony gathered from surgeons and Union and Confederate soldiers give vivid recollections of the massacre. One such recollection came from Surgeon Horace Wardner describing the condition of the Federal black troops in the hospital:

"They were the worst butchered men I have ever seen. I have been in several hard battles , but I have never seen men so mangled as they were; and nearly all of them concur in stating that they received all their wounds after they had thrown down their arms, surrendered, and asked for quarters. They state that they ran out of the fort, threw down their arms, and ran down the bank to the edge of the river, and were pursued to the top of the bank and fired on from above." (p. 13)

Another disturbing testimony came from Private Nathan Hunter (Colored), Company D, 6th United States Heavy Artillery describing the massacre as he and others fled the battlefield:

"They went down the hill, and shot all of us they saw; they shot me for dead, and I lay there until the next morning when the gunboat came along. They thought I was dead and pulled my boots off." (p. 16)

There are several engravings of six emancipated soldiers with name, parole date, and if they survived or not in the "Returned Prisoners" section of the report. Other horrific testimonies and much more can be found throughout the book.

The book itself measures 6" x 9" and has about 170 pages. The cover shows major print loss with the main title barley visible. There is also damage on the spine cover at the bottom. There is water damage to the front and back cover. Pages also appear to have water damage as well. Foxing on the pages can be found throughout the book as well. However, the print and engravings are in remarkable condition being over hundred and fifty years old. Fine condition.
It is interesting to note that Nathan Bedford Forrest later joined the Ku Klux Klan a year after the Civil War ended in 1866. Historians are still debating whether he actually served as the Grand Wizard.

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1864 Civil War Period Fort Pillow Massacre Book

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