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Leaming, Mack J. (1842-1893) [Unpublished manuscript relating events of the Battle of Fort Pillow, Tennessee]

Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC05080.01 Author/Creator: Leaming, Mack J. (1842-1893) Place Written: Great Falls, Montana Type: Typed document signed Date: 15 April 1893 Pagination: 1

Summary of Content: Colonel Leaming, former Adjutant of the 13th Tennessee Cavalry, reports the graphic details of the 12 April 1864 Battle of Fort Pillow. Describes Fort Pillow as "the stormy days, when, added to the ordinary intensity of civil strife, the masters for the first time, met their former slaves." States that the African American battalion of the 6th United States Heavy Artillery commanded by Major Lionel F. Booth was present, as well as a white battalion of the 13th Regiment commanded by Major William F. Bradford. Reports "Fort Pillow was a natural outgrowth of the slave system ... It told in plainer and more forcible language than mortal tongue can describe, how such a system could dwarf the moral sensibilities of its advocates ... " States that upon being given the opportunity to surrender by Confederate General Nathan Bedford Forrest, Major Bradford declined. Leaming attests that during battle, Confederate soldiers targeted and tortured African Americans both during and after the battle, violating honorable and acceptable conduct of war. Quotes Forrest's first dispatch following the battle: "It is hoped that these facts will demonstrate to the northern people that negro soldiers can not cope with Southerners." Includes hand written corrections.

People: Leaming, Mack J., 1842-1893.
Booth, Lionel F., d. 1864.
Bradford, William F., d. 1864.
Forrest, Nathan Bedford, 1821-1877.

Historical Era: Rise of Industrial America, 1877-1900

Keywords/Subjects: Fort Pillow Massacre, Fortification, Civil War, Military History, Union Forces, African American History, African American Troops, Slavery, Atrocity, Massacre, Prisoner of War, Confederate States of America, Confederate General or Leader, Battle, Battle of Fort Pillow (Fort Pillow Massacre), Morality and Ethics, Surrender, Death

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