Black Soldiers in Blue: African American Troops in the Civil War Era

By John David Smith | Go to book overview

7
THE BATTLE
OF SALTVILLE

Thomas D. Mays

On October 2,1864, near the Southwest Virginia town of Saltville, Confederate forces commanded by General John S. Williams repulsed an invading Union army under General Stephen Gano Burbridge. The battle would have been remembered as a small affair, confined to the footnotes of history, if it were not for what took place the next morning. What started as an inconsequential but intense mountain battle degenerated into a no-quarter racial massacre. When the fighting ended, Confederate troops, disregarding their commanders' orders, began killing many of the wounded black troops that had fallen into their hands. The murders would continue for almost a week. Both Union and Confederate eye-witness accounts and regimental records demonstrate that the murders at Saltville were among the worst atrocities of the American Civil War.1

Saltville was not, however, the only massacre of black troops in the Civil War. By the end of 1864 battlefield atrocities had become far too common. Confederates were known to have killed black Union prisoners on several occasions, one of the most infamous having been at Fort Pillow, Tennessee, on April 12,1864. Preeminent Civil War historian Bell I. Wiley, after editing a Southern confession to the executions at Saltville, noted, “It appears that Saltville deserves more than Fort Pillow to be called a massacre.” Although historians agree that Fort Pillow remains the most notorious racial massacre of the war, the Battle of Saltville should be rated as equally brutal.2

Most witnesses agreed that the Federal forces at Fort Pillow had refused an offer to surrender and that Confederates rushing the works granted no quarter to black troops defending the fort. Although Confederate general

-200-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Black Soldiers in Blue: African American Troops in the Civil War Era
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
/ 451

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.