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Lincoln, Abraham (1809-1865) to Gideon Welles

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Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC07698 Author/Creator: Lincoln, Abraham (1809-1865) Place Written: Washington, D.C. Type: Letter signed Date: 3 May 1864 Pagination: 1 p. ; 25.6 x 20.5 cm.

Summary of Content: Discussing the Battle of Fort Pillow, Tennessee, President Lincoln informs Welles, Secretary of the Navy, "it is now quite certain that a large number of our colored soldiers, with their white officers, were, by the rebel force, massacred after they had surrendered ... " Requests Welles counsel regarding the government's course of action following the Fort Pillow events. The letter was also sent to the rest of the cabinet, including Secretary of the Interior John P. Usher (see GLC05620). Signed by Lincoln. Written on Executive Mansion stationery.

Background Information: The battle of Fort Pillow occurred on 12 April 1864. It is estimated that 560 Union troops fought 1,500-2,000 Confederate soldiers in the Battle of Fort Pillow, Tennessee. Most of the Union soldiers ...killed at Fort Pillow, both during and after the battle, were African American. Much historical controversy exists regarding the historical facts of the Battle of Fort Pillow. All cabinet members agreed that the Confederate government should be called on to avow or disavow the massacre.See More

People: Lincoln, Abraham, 1809-1865
Welles, Gideon, 1802-1878

Historical Era: Civil War and Reconstruction, 1861-1877

Subjects: FortificationPresidentLincoln's CabinetCivil WarUnion ForcesAfrican American HistoryAfrican American TroopsBattle of Fort Pillow (Fort Pillow Massacre)BattleMassacreAtrocityConfederate States of AmericaPrisoner of WarSurrenderDeathGovernment and Civics

Sub Era: The American Civil War

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