Fort Pillow State Historic Site
(April 12th, 1864)
Battle/Siege of Fort Pillow has come down through history as one of the most
atrocious and controversial actions of the Confederate war effort. This
battle, which would later become known as the Fort Pillow Massacre, served only
to blight the reputation of C.S. General Nathan Bedford Forrest and strengthen
the resolve of African-American soldiers during the war. The controversial
battle began on April 12th, 1864, when General Forrest, in command of around
1,500 Confederate soldiers, besieged the Union-held Mississippi River Fort
Fort Pillow State Historic Site is located in Western Tennessee, on the Mississippi River. The battlefield is located off of Highway 51, on Highway 87 West.
Fort Pillow State Historic Site is owned and administered by the State of Tennessee. The Fort is actually quite secluded, and occupies a bluff overlooking the Mississippi River. As you enter the park, you drive by a series of impressive earthworks which were once used by the Union soldiers. A small museum interprets the battle for visitors, and then a short walk through the forest and over a swinging bridge leads to the restored fort where so many soldiers lost their lives so many years ago. The peaceful settings offer little insight into the horrors that were once experienced here.