Sunday, December 8, 2013

The Battle of Saltville (Oct. 1 ~ Oct. 3, 1864)

This battle has been dubbed "The Saltville Massacre". An author named Thomas Mays wrote that up to 46 men of the 5th U.S. Colored Cavalry were murdered after the Battle of Saltville. He also makes the claims that Saltville stands as possibly the worst battlefield atrocity of the Civil War. In his book, "The Saltville Massacre" he says that in the morning, Confederate troops, including a company of ruffians under the command of Captain Champ Ferguson, advance over the battleground seeking out and killing the wounded black soldiers. What starts as a small but intense mountain battle degenerates into a no-quarter, racial massacre.
Members of the 5th U.S. Colored Cavalry

 A more realistic account is written by William Marvel, in Blue and Gray Magazine, that "Five black soldiers, wounded and helpless, were definetly murdered at Saltville on October 3, and as many as seven more may have suffered the same fate there that day". The latter happening at the hospital at nearby Emory and Henry College in Emory.
Above is Champ Ferguson, the most realistic culprit of the murders. I don't believe Thomas Mays' account of what happened on the battlefield. You can read more about Champ Ferguson HERE

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