Harper's Weekly 04/30/1864


We give on page 284 a sketch of the horrible
Massacre at Fort Pillow. The annals of sav-
age warfare nowhere record a more inhuman, fiend-
ish butchery than this, perpetrated by the represent-
atives of the “superior civilization” of the States
in rebellion. It can not be wondered at that our
officers and soldiers in the West are determined to
avenge, at all opportunities, the cold-blooded mur-
der of their comrades; and yet we can but contem-
plate with pain the savage practices which rebel
inhumanity thus forces upon the service. The ac-
count of the massacre as telegraphed from Cairo is
as follows:

On the 12th inst. the rebel General Forrest appeared
before Fort Pillow, near Columbus, Kentucky, attacking
it with considerable vehemence. This was followed up by
frequent demands for its surrender, which were refused
by Major Booth, who commanded the fort. The fight was
then continued up until 3 P.M., when Major Booth was killed,
and the rebels, in large numbers, swarmed over the in-
trenchments. Up to that time comparatively few of our
men had been killed; but immediately upon occupying
the place the rebels commenced an indiscriminate butch-
ery of the whites and blacks, including the wounded.
Both white and black were bayoneted, shot, or sabred;
even dead bodies were horribly mutilated, and children of
seven and eight years, and several negro women killed in
cold blood. Soldiers unable to speak from wounds were
shot dead, and their bodies rolled down the banks into the
river. The dead and wounded negroes were piled in heaps
and burned, and several citizens, who had joined our forces
for protection, were killed or wounded. Out of the garri-
son of six hundred only two hundred remained alive.
Three hundred of those massacred were negroes; five were
buried alive. Six guns were captured by the rebels, and
carried off, including two 10-pound Parrotts, and two 12-
pound howitzers. A large amount of stores was destroyed
or carried away.

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