Truth Massacred: The Battle at Fort Pillow, Tennessee, April 12, 1864

Current Stock:
James Amos Moshier
Pub Date:
February 2019
Hardcover, 6 x 9
Images, maps, 432 pp.
Signed bookplates:
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eBook coming soon

About the Book

By Civil War standards, the day-long Battle of Fort Pillow, Tennessee (April 12, 1864) was a rather small affair, and yet it is one of the most debated and polarizing events of the entire war. Its infamy rests in what history has concluded was the wholesale massacre of the United States Colored Troops (U.S.C.T.) defending the fort. Author James Moshier’s Truth Massacred: The Battle at Fort Pillow, Tennessee, April 12, 1864, challenges this traditional belief and reaches some stunning conclusions.

Most studies of Fort Pillow focus on Nathan Bedford Forrest and rely on assumptions and conclusions based upon incomplete data and a shocking ignorance of the actual records. Truth Massacred boldly separates itself from those studies and the readily accepted post-surrender slaughter narrative. For the first time, the focal point rests on the African American soldiers at Fort Pillow—hard-fighting soldiers and heroes, not victims ripe for butchery.

The result of nearly 15 years of methodical study, Truth Massacred condenses thousands of pages of statements, reports, and Congressional record testimony to cover a wide range of material in an engaging fashion. Like a good courtroom drama, Moshier’s groundbreaking study, which includes a broad array of archival and other sources, sets forth each piece of the historical puzzle in its turn. One of his key pieces of evidence is the long-ignored battle report of Lt. Daniel Van Horn, a U.S.C.T. officer and Fort Pillow survivor. His official eyewitness account offers an entirely different view of the events we have come to believe and accept as true, and of the conduct of the U.S.C.T. soldiers.

As readers will experience firsthand, the original testimony of many of the battle participants was twisted or completely silenced or ignored. Brought to life in these pages, often for the first time, their voices draw us into the smoke and confusion of that terrible fight. Anyone with an interest in the Civil War in general or African American history and the United States Colored Troops (U.S.C.T.) in particular, will find these gripping detailed stories of valor and courage inspirational and educational.

Truth Massacred is an entirely new and unique perspective of the battle, and offers readers something fresh and new to think about.


James Moshier is a United States Army veteran, a graduate of Eastern Montana College (BA), Regis University (MLS), and Concordia Theological Seminary (MDiv). Moshier’s was awarded the Malcolm Knowles prize for his 2003 thesis on the Battle of Fort Pillow. He grew up in Wyoming, but has traveled extensively in the United States and toured many Civil War and other battle sites. He is a serving pastor in the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod. He and his wife reside in rural Nebraska.