U.S. Colored Troops and the Battle of Fort Pillow

U.S. Colored Troops and the Battle of Fort Pillow (HM28NF)

Location: Memphis, TN 38122 Shelby County
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Country: United States of America
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N 35° 10.426', W 89° 56.448'

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U.S. Colored Troops and the Battle of Fort Pillow

Buried in Memphis National Cemetery are the remains of 248 mostly unknown Union officers and soldiers including 109 graves representing the U.S. Colored Troops who fell at nearby Fort Pillow. In the spring of 1864, the Union outpost, located on a bluff overlooking the Mississippi River, included some 600 soldiers and an unknown number of civilians. The garrison was composed
of the 2nd U.S. Colored Light Artillery (35 men),the 6th US
Colored Heavy Artillery (269 men), and the 13th Tennessee Cavalry
(approx. 295 men). Early on April 12, 1,800 troops commanded
by General Nathan B. Forrest attacked the fort. Though
outnumbered three-to-one, the Federals defied Forrest's demand for surrender. Soon thereafter, the Confederates stormed the
breastworks and took the fort.

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Remember Fort Pillow
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In most Civil War battles, the number of wounded exceeded the number of dead. But at Fort Pillow these numbers were reversed. By the morning of April 13, nearly half of all Union officers and soldiers had been killed or mortally wounded. U.S. Colored Troops sustained the greatest number of casualties, losing two-thirds of their number.
Eyewitnesses reported that

black soldiers were killed despite putting down their weapons and surrendering in what the North
deemed a massacre. Additionally, wounded men were burned alive in hospital tents and buildings. The departing Confederates enslaved their black prisoners and transported their white captives to prison
camps. Few men escaped to rejoin their regiments. For the remainder of the war, "Remember Fort Pillow" became the rallying cry of the nearly 179,000 African-American soldiers who fought to free the country from the scourge of slavery.
HM NumberHM28NF
Year Placed2018
Placed ByW.E. A.L.L. B.E. Group Inc., USCT, Memphis ASLH, Joe Williams,Descendants and other African Americans
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Wednesday, June 20th, 2018 at 7:02pm PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)16S E 232175 N 3896274
Decimal Degrees35.17376667, -89.94080000
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 35° 10.426', W 89° 56.448'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds35° 10' 25.56" N, 89° 56' 26.88" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)901
Which side of the road?Marker is on the right when traveling North
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 3514 Townes Ave, Memphis TN 38122, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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