At dawn on September 24, 1864 Forrest opened up on the fort with eight large cannons. After shelling the fort Forrest sent in a white flag and demanded the fort’s commander General Wallace Campbell to surrender himself and his forces, men of the 106th, 110th and 111th U.S. Colored Troops. Campbell refused. So Forrest relied on a trick that had served him well in the past. He marched his men around the fort so as to appear in greater numbers than he actually had. The ruse worked and the 600-man garrison of Fort Henderson surrendered. But instead of butchering the surrendered black troops in cold blood as he had done at Fort Pillow in April 1864, Forrest spared the U.S. Colored Troops and returned them to slavery.
In 1907 the Trinity School, a school established by the American Missionary Association of New York to educate the children of freed slaves, was moved to the fort site.
In 1930 a segregationist era school, Trinity High School, was built on the remains of the fort. The school closed in 1970 after integration. Today a portion of the original fort and the remains of Trinity High School can be seen on the site located on Brown’s Ferry Street in Athens. Enjoy the slide show of photos below that I made during a visit to the site today.