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June 2012
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Black American Union soldiers' story a compelling piece of history



Finally! Dust was blown from the pages of history and The Paducah Sun brought the remarkable feat of Paducah's Black American Union soldiers upon the Sun's front page.

General Nathan B. Forrest was the most calculating, cold, cruel Confederate commander, who bragged he never lost a battle. Forrest came to raid Paducah. Upon learning of Fort Anderson's Black troops, he became enraged and decided to attack the fort.

The most compelling piece of this history is the fact that Fort Anderson's Black troops repelled three attacks with cannon balls.

One historical marker at 6th and Park Avenue, recently removed, denotes that Col. Albert Thompson and many of his troops were killed by cannon balls.

Another, in front of the Katterjohn Building on Broadway, denotes that the Confederates lost 300 men and withdrew.

Those who honor their heritage say Forrest accomplished his mission by cutting off some supply lines and getting fresh horses and won the battle.

Others who are proud of the Americans who repelled Forrest's Confederates three times, causing many cannon ball casualities, say the Americans won.

Weigh the facts, and you decide.

Thanks to Murray State University's history professor Bill Mullican and Paducah's Jim Hank, a Civil War historian, for blowing off the dust.



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