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  • Writer's pictureTyGrayEL

Fort Pillow Massacre BOMA

On April 18, 1864 - More than 200 Black Union troops were massacred by Gen. Nathan Beford Forrest and his Confederate forces at Ft. Pillow, Tennessee. My name is Lightnin Gray and I gotta question for you; is you ever heard the story of Martha Rainwater? She was a great large woman, stood most of 6 foot tall and her skin was dark brown, looked like Tennessee whiskey. She had a full rumbling voice sound like it was comin’ outta a deep old canyon somewheres, and she had a piercin’ gaze that make you think twice ’fore you spoke to her. But the thing that would strike you most ‘bout Martha, after you got past them eyes, was her hands. She had great big ole hands. Her hands was unusual large for a woman. Hell, they’s unusal large for a man, for that matter.

But I’m gettin ahead of myself in this here story. Now she was born in Manchester (that is Eaglesville for you whippersnappers) in the year eighteen and thirty. Word was that she was part Chickasaw and that is how her family come by the name-o-Rainwater and also ’splain that whiskey tint to her skin. They say that Martha could swing a sledge hammer and drive a rail nail good as any man. But nail-drivin’ aint what give Martha the legend; it was them hands what did that.

At the Ft. Pillow Massacre that woman saved more than 50 men’s with them big ole hands…and I wish I had time enough…

This has been a Breath of My Ancestors Minute brought to you by the Institute of Radical


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