Confederates in Alabama want to Honor the Instigator of the Fort Pillow Massacre

I came across a headline on Yahoo this morning as I was checking out my e-mail.  The first article that caught my attention was in reference to David O. Dodd.  Mr. Dodd was 17 years old when he was captured by Union troops with secret codes lining his boots.  He refused to turn over the person responsible for giving him the coded and he was hung in 1864.  It was unfortunate due to his age but this was an unfortunate war.  I mighthave given him a break if I was a Union officer butthis was the mid point of the war and stakes were high.

The article next to this one also referenced a supposed hero of the Civil War.  Protesters had marched to delay the erection of a memorial to General Nathan Bedford Forrest in October 2012.  He was one of the founders of the Ku Klux Klan.  The protest was successful because the monument was delayed.  What the article didn't reference as the role that General Forrest played in the Massacre at Fort Pillow.  An excerpt from follows:

The Battle of Fort Pillow, also known as the Fort Pillow Massacre, was fought 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. Military historian David J. Eicher concluded, "Fort Pillow marked one of the bleakest, saddest events of American military history."

One of the disturbing incidents about this massacre was what was recounted after it was over:

Union and Confederate sources claimed that even though the Union troops surrendered, Forrest's men massacred them in cold blood. Surviving members of the garrison said that most of their men surrendered and threw down their arms, only to be shot or bayoneted by the attackers, who repeatedly shouted, "No quarter! No quarter!"[7] The Joint Committee On the Conduct of the War immediately investigated the incident and concluded that the Confederates shot most of the garrison after it had surrendered.

One of the underlying causes of the massacre was the fact that African American soldiers had begun to fight for their own freedom.  The  notion that they should have been happy living in servitude is baffling to anyone who has lived in freedom.  General Forrest was also know to have slaves working on his behalf.  I can imagine getting up everyday and being forced to fight for my oppressors.  Some of his conscripts might have served willingly.  I doubt that very seriously though.

I give the lost soldiers of the Confederate States of America their due.  The Civil War was devastating to our government,the families and soldiers involved.  I see a Confederate flag and even though I don't agree with it, the Southerners took a stand on slavery and lost.  We were not meant to be someones property in perpetuity.  General Forrest should not be honored in any public entity because he murdered innocent soldiers and civilians. 

Popular posts from this blog

Life in Venezuela is Terrible Right Now!

The Karankawas: An Extinct Indian Tribe that Lived and Walked in the U.S.

Charlottesville, VA is a Stain on Race Relations