Forrest’s Confederate raiders capture Fort Pillow, Tenn.
Confederate raider Nathan B. Forrest attacked Fort Pillow in Tenn. on April 12, 1864 — 150 years ago during the Civil War. The fort located some 45 miles up the Mississippi River from Memphis, Tenn., was manned by hundreds of Union troops, including more than 200 African-American soldiers. Forrest’s cavalry of about 2,500 fighters seized the outer defenses and surrounded the fort. Union forces, after withering fire, refused to surrender and the Confederates waged an all-out attack and seized the fort. Only 62 of the African-American soldiers on the Union side survived amid high casualties and Union complaints of atrocities that the South denied. After the fight was over, Confederate raiders withdrew quickly and the Confederate battle victory did little strategically for the South to disrupt federal forces operating in the region.