|Lionel F. Booth|
|Date of Death:||1864|
|Cause of Death:||Gunshot wound|
|Affiliations:||United States Army|
| Fort Pillow |
POD: Set in OTL
|Type of Appearance:||Direct|
Lionel F. Booth (d. 1864) was a soldier in the United States Army during the American Civil War. In April, 1864, he was in command of two Colored regiments, the Second U.S. Colored Light Artillery and the Sixth U.S. Colored Heavy Artillery, both of which had been sent to reinforce Major Bill Bradford's forces at Fort Pillow by General Stephen A. Hurlbut. Bradford quietly resented Booth's arrival for two reasons. First, although both were majors, Booth had been promoted before Bradford. Booth took overall command of the fort over from Bradford. Second, Bradford disdained the Negro troops that Booth commanded, and feared that they would be useless in the event of attack.
However, when attack did come, Booth proved tireless in exhorting his men, black and white, to fight to their utmost. He was not surprised at all when Sgt. Mike Clark informed him that the Negro guncrew he commanded handled themselves expertly. Indeed, Booth took this news as a matter of course.
Booth's initial strategy was to keep the Confederates out of the fort and wait for reinforcements from Memphis. This plan surprised Bradford, who ultimately agreed that the loss of skirmishers would be for the good of the overall fort. After making several such rounds of the fort, Booth was fatally shot in the chest. He died despite the efforts of his men, including Sgt. Ben Robinson, to save him.
After the fort fell, Confederate troops threw Booth's plundered his body and laid it in a pile with other troops, mostly Negroes. Ben Robinson, injured after the fort fell (though not fatally) was also thrown into this pile, next to Booth.