A Sampler of Civil War Literature
»Blacks as Principal Characters

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Buried Alive (21)
Harper's Weekly, May 7, 1864
 
Synopsis of "Buried Alive"
A black soldier who was at Fort Pillow describes the skirmish there. He was a freed slave who joined the army out of loyalty to the Union. After a brave fight, the Union troops were overrun at the fort, and the Confederate soldiers began killing everyone in sight. Many ran down tot he river to hide, but most were found and killed or severely wounded. Though a few managed to escape, the story’s narrator was not one of them. He was wounded, then tossed still alive, into a mass grave. Others were alive as well, and, though wounded, they tried to claw their way out. The narrator managed to climb out of the grave, then awakened in a hospital. There, a comrade, who had just written a letter to his family, died. The narrator hopes to be well soon, so he can return to battle with a renewed vigor.
 
"Buried Alive" Story from Harper's Weekly
Buried Alive
Harper's Weekly, May 7, 1864, page 302 (1-2)
 
Additional Material Relevant to "Buried Alive"
 
Historical Background
The Massacre at Fort Pillow
Harper's Weekly, April 30, 1864, page 283 (4)
 
Military Background
General N. B. Forrest
Harper's Weekly, February 18, 1865, page 109 (3-4)
 
Commentary
Retaliation
Harper's Weekly, February 18, 1865
 
Illustrations
 


The Massacre at Fort Pillow
Harper's Weekly, April 30, 1864, page 284 (1-4)

 


Rebel Atrocities
Harper's Weekly, May 21, 1864, pages 328 (1) – 329 (4)

 


This is a White Man’s Government
Harper's Weekly, September 5, 1868, page 568 (1-4)

 

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