Battle of plum point bend

Naval Battle of Fort Pillow
Part of American Civil War
. A Federal mortar boat is by the river bank in the lower right.
Date 10 May 1862
Location 4 mi (6.4 km) NW of Fort Pillow, at Plum Point Bend, Lauderdale County, Tennessee, near Osceola, Arkansas
Result Confederate victory
United States of America Confederate States of America
Units involved
Mound City, Carondelet, Cincinnati, Benton, Pittsburgh, Cairo, and St. Louis General Earl Van Dorn, General Sterling Price, General Bragg, General Sumter, Little Rebel, General M. Jefferson Thompson, General Lovell and General Beauregard

The naval battle at Fort Pillow, Tennessee (sometimes known as the engagement at Plum Point Bend) took place on the Mississippi River between ships of the Confederate River Defense Fleet, which consisted of a number of wooden sidewheel paddleboats converted to naval rams, and ships of the Union Mississippi River Squadron, which consisted of a number of ironclads, approximately four miles above Fort Pillow, Tennessee on May 10 1862, during the American Civil War.


Following the fall of Island No. 10 and other Confederate losses to the north and east of Confederate Fort Pillow, the Union squadron proceeded down river. Early in the morning on May 10, 1862, the Confederate River Defense Fleet surprised and attacked the Union squadron that had moved up to support mortar boat attacks on Fort Pillow. During the battle, the Union's Cincinnati and Mound City were rammed. The Union ships then moved away to shallow water. Unable to pursue due to deeper draft, the Confederate ships then withdrew. Cincinnati and Mound City were badly damaged and sunk. Although the Confederates were victorious, the Union squadron was able to proceed down river and attack the Confederate squadron during the Battle of Memphis the following month. Both Cincinnati and Mound City were later raised and placed back in service.


  • National Park Service history of Fort Pillow
  • Reports on the Naval Engagement at Plum Point

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