Daily Archives: March 11, 2008

Book Review: River Run Red; The Fort Pillow Massacre, Andrew Ward

The Fort Pillow Massacre dates to April 12, 1864, the fourth year of the American Civil War, on the banks of the Mississippi river in west Tennessee. I bought this 530 page hardback by Andrew Ward at Half Price Books at a bit of a steal for $3 or so:
River Run Red by Andrew Ward

The book is peculiarly interesting in that it reminds one that our current arguments over the rules of war, that is, the definition of enemy combatants, and the mistreatment of prisoners, were also the subject of great controversy 140 years ago.

Perhaps a sign of my maturity, or perhaps some other thing, it no longer bothers me when youngsters (those aged, say 20 to 30) make appalling statements regarding history. Instead, I simply assume that they’re just trying to piss me off, and I ignore it. This sentiment was brought up when I showed the book to a chess player at the Overlake Mall just after buying it. “The Civil War? Oh that’s one of my favorites. That was when the slaves were freed. Or was that World War I?” Under the assumption that the comment was rooted in ignorance rather than in wishing to see me blow a gasket, I write this book review.
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Filed under book review, History