Almanac – April 12

1864 – The Battle of Fort Pillow, also known as the Fort Pillow Massacre, was fought at Fort Pillow on the Mississippi River in Henning, Tennessee, during the American Civil War.

The battle ended with a massacre of surrendered Federal black troops by soldiers under the command of Confederate Major General Nathan Bedford Forrest.

The Joint Committee On the Conduct of the War immediately investigated the incident and concluded that the Confederates shot most of the garrison after it had surrendered.

Military historian David J. Eicher concluded, “Fort Pillow marked one of the bleakest, saddest events of American military history.”

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1961 ā€“ The Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin became the first human to travel into outer space and perform the first manned orbital flight, in Vostok 3KA-2 (Vostok 1).

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