Memphis in Shelby County, Tennessee — The American South (East South Central)
Confederate States of America
The Confederacy was highly confident that Forts Jackson and St. Philip, below New Orleans, could repel any invasion, and half of their River Defense Fleet was sent north to Memphis to protect the Memphis-Charleston
After New Madrid and Island No. 10 had fallen, Fort Pillow and the small River Defense Fleet were Memphis' only protection. Local hopes rose when Confederate boats sank two Union vessels in an attack at Fort Pillow, but the retreat of Confederate forces from Corinth, Mississippi, after the Battle of Shiloh, left both Fort Pillow and Memphis outflanked. Fort Pillow was abandoned, and a federal flotilla steamed down river for the Battle of Memphis on June 6, 1862. As the citizens of Memphis watched from the bluff, Union gunboats and rams took an hour and a half to sink, burn, or capture seven of the eight River
Defense steamers. The defenseless city immediately surrendered. After the easy victories at Memphis and New Orleans, the Union forces were unable to complete their capture of the lower river for more than a year. Fortified Vicksburg proved to be a nearly impregnable position and surrendered only after a 7-week siege, on July 4, 1863. The Civil War continued for two more years, but Union control of the river divided the Confederacy, and proved to be a major turning point in the conflict. The war officially ended April 1865.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: War, US Civil. A significant historical month for this entry is April 1862.
Location. 35° 8.658′ N, 90° 3.566′ W. Marker is in Memphis, Tennessee, in Shelby County. Marker is on North Front Street. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 125 North Front Street, Memphis TN 38103, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Spain (here, next to this marker); Tennessee (here, next to this marker); North Carolina (a few steps from this marker); France (a few steps from this marker); Great Britain (a few steps from this marker); Memphis Queen II (approx. 0.2 miles away); Cobblestones (approx. 0.2 miles away); Civil War Hospital (approx. ¼ mile away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Memphis.
Also see . . .
1. The Battle of Fort Pillow (April 12, 1864). In April 1864, the Union garrison at Fort Pillow, a Confederate-built earthen fortification and a Union-built inner redoubt, overlooking the Mississippi River about forty river miles above Memphis, comprised 295 white Tennessee troops and 262 U.S. Colored Troops, all under the command of Maj. Lionel F. Booth. Confederate Maj. Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest attacked the fort on April 12 with a cavalry division of approximately 2,500 men. Forrest seized the older outworks, with high knolls commanding the Union position, to surround Booth's force. Rugged terrain prevented the gunboat New Era from providing effective fire support for the Federals (Submitted on March 20, 2012, by Sandra Hughes Tidwell of Killen, Alabama, USA.)
2. The Battle of Vicksburg - Vicksburg, Mississippi. The Battle of Vicksburg, Mississippi, was the culmination of a two year effort by Union armies and navies to wrest control of the Mississippi River from Confederate forces. (Submitted on March 20, 2012, by Sandra Hughes Tidwell of Killen, Alabama, USA.)
Credits. This page was last revised on August 27, 2020. It was originally submitted on March 20, 2012, by Sandra Hughes Tidwell of Killen, Alabama, USA. This page has been viewed 695 times since then and 18 times this year. Last updated on May 3, 2015, by J. Makali Bruton of Querétaro, Mexico. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on March 20, 2012, by Sandra Hughes Tidwell of Killen, Alabama, USA. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.