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Lot 0123
A historic Civil War Era Confederate Flag from Ft. Pillow located in west Tennessee | Appears to have been used as an early Fort Pillow reunion flag (Circa 1881 - 1884) | Fort Pillow was the site of a battle on April 12, 1864 led by General Nathan Bedford Forrest against the Fort occupied by Union Soldiers | Fort Pillow is located on the Mississippi River in Henning, Tennessee north of Memphis. The one-sided flag is made of cotton and/or linen, with a large embroidered Red Letter "T" in the middle. Around the center of the flag are 4 embroidered patches with stencil type lettering. Some of the letters on the flag are faded - but our best guess on the text is as follows: Top Arch: "20th tenn av"; Left Side: "Fort Pillow"; Right Side: "okolona"; Bottom Arch: "Paducah"; and the letters directly above the Red "T" in the Center: "Co.I" Consequently, the item is likely an early reunion flag, dated to 1881 - 1884. If the anniversary was dated from the 1864 Battle of Fort Pillow, then the anniversary would have taken place in 1884. If the anniversary was dated either from the building of the Fort (1861), or the Confederate's abandonment of the Fort (1862), then the flag would be dated in 1881 or 1882 respectively. Research indicates that the text on the right side of the flag, "Okolona," refers to Okolona, Mississippi. While it's plausible that the reunion was held at one of these locations, or that the soldiers involved originally mustered from one of these locations, its likely that the three named locations on the flag (Okolona, Paducah & Fort Pillow) represent three major battles of Forrest's Calvary in early 1964. February 1864 saw the Battle of Okolona where Forrest defeated General William Sooy Smith(General Forrest's brother, Jeffery, was killed in the engagement). March 1864 saw the The Battle of Paducah when Gen. Forrest attacked Fort Anderson. And Finally, April 1864 saw Forrest's attack on Fort Pillow. Consequently, the flag was likely used / represented the 20th Anniversary Reunion of General Forrest's Calvary Corp (3rd Tennessee Cavalry) of the Army of Tennessee. Thus, the large Letter "T" more than likely represents the 3rd Tennessee Cavalry and/or the Confederate Army of Tennessee. Dimensions: 37" x 39"; Medium: cotton or linen; Provenance: From an important Nashville, Tennessee Collection. Battle of Fort Pillow:  Location: Lauderdale County Campaign: Forrest’s Expedition into West Tennessee and Kentucky (1864) Date(s): April 12, 1864 Principal Commanders: Maj. Lionel F. Booth and Maj. William F. Bradford [US]; Maj. Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest [CS] Forces Engaged: Detachments from three units (approx. 600) [US]; Brig. Gen. James R. Chalmers’s 1st Division, Forrest’s Cavalry Corps [CS] Estimated Casualties: 654 total (US 574; CS 80) Description: In April 1864, the Union garrison at Fort Pillow, a Confederate-built earthen fortification and a Union-built inner redoubt, overlooking the Mississippi River about forty river miles above Memphis, comprised 295 white Tennessee troops and 262 U.S. Colored Troops, all under the command of Maj. Lionel F. Booth. Confederate Maj. Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest attacked the fort on April 12 with a cavalry division of approximately 2,500 men. Forrest seized the older outworks, with high knolls commanding the Union position, to surround Booth’s force. Rugged terrain prevented the gunboat New Era from providing effective fire support for the Federals. The garrison was unable to depress its artillery enough to cover the approaches to the fort Rebel sharpshooters, on the surrounding knolls, began firing into the fort killing Booth. Maj. William F. Bradford then took over command of the garrison. The Confederates launched a determined attack at 11:00 am, occupying more strategic locations around the fort, and Forrest demanded unconditional surrender. Bradford asked for an hour for consultation, and Forrest granted twenty minutes. Bradford refused surrender and the Confederates renewed the attack, soon overran the fort, and drove the Federals down the river’s bluff into a deadly crossfire. Casualties were high and only sixty-two of the U.S. Colored Troops survived the fight. Many accused the Confederates of perpetrating a massacre of the black troops, and that controversy continues today. The Confederates evacuated Fort Pillow that evening so they gained little from the attack except a temporary disruption of Union operations. The “Fort Pillow Massacre†became a Union rallying cry and cemented resolve to see the war through to its conclusion. Result(s): Confederate victory

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Historic Civil War Era Confederate Flag of Fort Pillow

Estimate $4,250 - $5,313Jul 21, 2018