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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2021 - 2022 Regular Session


Posted: March 8, 2022 12:01 PM
From: Senator Art Haywood
To: All Senate members
Subject: Remembering the Fort Pillow Massacre
In the near future, I will introduce a resolution to recognize 12 April 2022 as the 158th anniversary of the Fort Pillow Massacre.

The Battle of Fort Pillow occurred on 12 April 1864 in Fort Pillow, Tennessee during the American Civil War. At the time, the Fort was being held by a garrison of about 600 Union men, approximately half of whom were Black soldiers. Roughly 1,500-2,000 Confederate soldiers, led by General Nathan Bedford Forrest, attacked Union troops stationed at the Fort. After a furious Confederate assault, the majority of the Union troops finally surrendered. Instead of being taken as prisoners of war, however, some 300 Union soldiers were simply gunned down after attempting to surrender and killed, including 200-250 Black American servicemen. Survivors' accounts stated that many were shot point-blank in the head.

After the massacre at Fort Pillow, the Union refused to participate in further prisoner exchanges with the Confederacy. However, the massacre increased the resolve of other Black Union soldiers, many of whom proceeded to use “Remember Fort Pillow” as their battle cry.

Previous co-sponsors of this resolution last year (Senate Resolution 65) include HUGHES, SANTARSIERO, KEARNEY, STREET, ROBINSON, FONTANA, YUDICHAK, and COSTA.

Please join me by co-sponsoring this important resolution to remember the sacrifices of those fallen soldiers during the Fort Pillow Massacre who fought honorably for a more perfect union.

Introduced as SR267