Books: Episode at Fort Pillow

THE FALLING HILLS by Perry Lentz. 468 pages. Scribner. $6.95.

At sunrise on an April morning in 1864, General Nathan Bedford Forrest and 1,200 Confederate forces attacked the Union works at Fort Pillow in West Tennessee. Within hours the Rebs had butchered most of the ill-prepared garrison soldiers.

Fort Pillow had little or no military value. Manned by former Negro slaves pressed into Union blue and by stringy white Tennessee hillmen whom the Rebels considered traitors to the Southern cause, it was a special insult to Confederate pride. Thus it was almost fatally marked...

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