William Ferguson
Historical Figure
Nationality: United States
Occupation: Sailor
Military Branch: Union Navy
Turtledove Appearances:
Fort Pillow
Set in OTL
Type of Appearance: Direct

Acting Master William Ferguson was a sailor in the Union Navy during the American Civil War. The day after the Battle of Fort Pillow, Ferguson brought his ship, the Silver Cloud up the Mississippi River to shell Confederate troops still present. When Confederate Captain Charles W. Anderson appeared under a flag of truce, Ferguson when ashore to treat with him. With Anderson was Union Captain John Young, who'd been captured the day before

Anderson proposed that there be a ceasefire until five o'clock that day to allow the crew of the Silver Cloud to carry every survivor, white and black, aboard the ship. Ferguson was initially surprised that any blacks were alive. A nearby wounded Negro, Sgt. Ben Robinson confirmed that he was still alive. When Anderson agreed to move all Confederate troops back from the outer perimeter of the fort, Ferguson accepted the proposal, although he was perturbed when he learned that no one, including Captain Young, knew how many men still lived. Ferguson returned to his ship, and set about bringing all survivors aboard.[1]


  1. Fort Pillow, pgs. 270-272.

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