The Fort Pillow Massacre
This chromolithograph was an artist's rendition showing black Union soldiers and civilians being killed by white Confederate soldiers. On April 12, 1864, Confederate troops attacked Fort Pillow, Tennessee, then occupied by Union troops, many of them black. Kurz and Allison were a major publisher of chromolithographs in the late nineteenth century and they depicted battles of the American Civil War in the 1880s. This was a period of recollection among veterans, and the publishing company of Kurz and Allison capitalized on this sentiment. A veteran of the war and native of Salzburg, Austria, Louis Kurz (1835–1921) designed a set of thirty-six battle scenes. The prints were highly inaccurate and considered fantasies. They did not pretend to mirror the actual events but rather attempted to tap people's patriotic emotions. Several of the Kurz and Alison Civil War prints featured black militiamen, which was unusual at this time.
Louis Kurz and Alexander Allison, Battles of the Civil War, 1861-1865. Courtesy of Anne S. K. Brown Military Collection, Brown University Library.
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"The Fort Pillow Massacre", Slavery Images: A Visual Record of the African Slave Trade and Slave Life in the Early African Diaspora, accessed May 29, 2020, http://www.slaveryimages.org/s/slaveryimages/item/2443