MEMPHIS, Tenn. (localmemphis.com) - Thursday marks the 154th anniversary of one the greatest massacres of African-Americans in the nation, and it happened just 40 miles north of Memphis.
A wreath laying ceremony was held Thursday morning at the Memphis National Cemetery to remember of the victims of the Fort Pillow Massacre.
April 12th, 1864, troops led by Confederate General Nathan Bedford Forrest overtook the garrison at Fort Pillow, then killed them after they surrendered. Half of the garrison was black, but the exact number of those killed is not known.
“Of course, we can never get the correct total number because a number of the soldiers were buried into mass graves and their bodies were intermingled together,” said Jackie Murray with the Fort Pillow Commemoration Committee. “In fact, a lot their bodies are layered here in 2 and 3 deep coffins.”
The soldier's graves were moved to the Memphis National Cemetery in 1867.