Article on Forrest.

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ole

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
Retired Moderator
Joined
Feb 20, 2005
Location
Near Kankakee
Someone posted a good chunk of Forrest's testimony a good while back. I suck at searching, so I can't tell y'all how to find it.
 

cash

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
Joined
Feb 20, 2005
Location
Right here.
Garbage.....A sinner that accepts Salvation is no longer a sinner....His past, descpicable as it may be, though remembered, is not held against him towards his present or future
Maybe in a church. Not anywhere else.

....Say what you will about Forrest, an evil slave trader, a ruthless, blood-thirsty cut-throat..Yes, he was the Grand Wiazard of the KKK, BUT, he ORDERED it disbanded and, subsequently he renounced his affiliation with it
Recognizing that it had achieved its objectives and was now attracting too much negative attention throughout the country, not that it was wrong.

......But consider W. T. Sherman's assessment: "I think Forrest was the most remarkable man the civil war produced on either side. His opponents were professional soldiers, while he had no military training. He was never taught tactics yet he had a genius for strategy that was original and to me incomprehensible. I couldn’t calculate what he was up to, yet he always knew my intentions."
He was a remarkable man, for sure. That doesn't mean the two articles in the OP were wrong.

....That is why George S. Patton, early in the history of American Tank war-fare, designed U.S. tank tactics that substantially aide America in winning WWII
Uh, no. Patton was a great student of military history and he did study Forrest, but he also studied Sheridan, JEB Stuart, George Custer, and a host of others including Napoleon and Caesar. Just as much, if not more, came from them and others as from Forrest.


...Shelby Foote state that the Civil War produced two authentic geniuses: Abraham Lincoln and Nathan Bedford Forrest.....WHY did he say that??
Fellow Memphian. Shelby had a huge bromance with Forrest. He was highly biased.

....Crucify Forrest, if you must, for lack of anything else to do...or anyone else to point the finger at.....
Silly. Forrest was a complex character. There was a lot to admire with him, but there was a whole lot to criticize. He wasn't all good or all bad, but what was bad about him was really, really bad.
 
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cash

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
Joined
Feb 20, 2005
Location
Right here.
It's certainly groundbreaking. He's done a magnificent job. My own opinion is that if Forrest wanted to massacre all the survivors, there would have been very danged few left to tell the tale.....but you can see for yourself.
I agree. I tend to give Bedford some slack regarding Fort Pillow because the evidence is contradictory regarding what he ordered or didn't order, plus we have at least one Union source who says Forrest stopped the killing. But it is true that he was the commander of those troops, so he bears command responsibility, which is different from culpability from ordering it. Fort Pillow will always be connected to his record.
 

diane

Retired User
Joined
Jan 23, 2010
Location
State of Jefferson
Lol! :D This is such a classic Forrest thread!

Well, I'm rooting for the guy running from brother Bill's hounds, too. Some of the scouts were former slave catchers - they knew the countryside even better than others born and raised there. And, there is no such thing as a nice slave trader. Forrest took better care of his stock than most - got them health care, clothes, decent enough food, didn't beat them too much - that's from a post-war comment by a former occupant of his jail. Frankly, most of them were gone too fast to get into that much trouble! Thing was, it was like any livestock - you want top dollar, you see that your stock is in top dollar shape. Forrest was a high-end slave dealer - he went for the well-heeled planter. Now, is that repulsive? You bet. Was it legal then? You bet. Did he think blacks were farm stock? You bet. (And, in Brazil in 1995, some miners got off murdering some Amazonian Indians because they didn't know it was against the law. In 1997, Guatemala finally made it illegal to kill Indians.) Did the government take care of reservation Indians? Sure! Enough (sometimes) to eat, some clothes, some blankets... What I'm saying is everybody of color was treated as less than human for quite some time in this country, be it slavery or conquest.

Instead of rehashing all the wrongs of Forrest - I call it the 'evil things Forrest done' section of research - let's go in a slightly different course but still on topic. WHY is Forrest such a lightening rod for articles such as those in the OP? There weren't actually any real errors but the author was clearly inclined to spin for the worst. Of all the Confederate generals, Forrest is the one singled out for this sort of thing. He wasn't the only rebel general to join, lead and support the klan. He sure wasn't the only one who thought blacks ought to get themselves back to picking cotton. He wasn't the only ex-Confederate to participate in a counter-insurgency in the form of secret organizations. In fact, he was a lot more moderate in all these things than others. For example, Chalmers and his former troopers were called upon to quell a race riot, which they did - harshly. Chalmers (who, incidentally, was the commander actually on the ground at Ft Pillow) called, "Easy, boys! Don't kill to many n-rs - we need cotton pickers!" So, we have to ask the question - why is Forrest 'it'? He was no better or worse than any of his contemporaries, and better than some Union officers with racial issues! Why not write the same articles about Gordon? John B Gordon was a klan leader. Is Forrest paying for being the only Confederate general who was a slave trader? Others dabbled in it - John Hunt Morgan, for instance. Is it because he scared the pants off Grant and Sherman? He was the only cavalryman who got Grant rattled, by the way. Doesn't seem likely. Killed 30 Yankees in hand to hand combat? Wade Hampton killed 18. (He didn't count 'em all - just the hand-to-hand combat opponents.)

Does anybody have a suggestion or answer as to why these articles and others like them are written about this particular Confederate general? What is it about this man that generates such strong and such oppositional feelings?
 

cash

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
Joined
Feb 20, 2005
Location
Right here.
Lol! :D This is such a classic Forrest thread!

Well, I'm rooting for the guy running from brother Bill's hounds, too. Some of the scouts were former slave catchers - they knew the countryside even better than others born and raised there. And, there is no such thing as a nice slave trader. Forrest took better care of his stock than most - got them health care, clothes, decent enough food, didn't beat them too much - that's from a post-war comment by a former occupant of his jail. Frankly, most of them were gone too fast to get into that much trouble! Thing was, it was like any livestock - you want top dollar, you see that your stock is in top dollar shape. Forrest was a high-end slave dealer - he went for the well-heeled planter. Now, is that repulsive? You bet. Was it legal then? You bet. Did he think blacks were farm stock? You bet. (And, in Brazil in 1995, some miners got off murdering some Amazonian Indians because they didn't know it was against the law. In 1997, Guatemala finally made it illegal to kill Indians.) Did the government take care of reservation Indians? Sure! Enough (sometimes) to eat, some clothes, some blankets... What I'm saying is everybody of color was treated as less than human for quite some time in this country, be it slavery or conquest.

Instead of rehashing all the wrongs of Forrest - I call it the 'evil things Forrest done' section of research - let's go in a slightly different course but still on topic. WHY is Forrest such a lightening rod for articles such as those in the OP? There weren't actually any real errors but the author was clearly inclined to spin for the worst. Of all the Confederate generals, Forrest is the one singled out for this sort of thing. He wasn't the only rebel general to join, lead and support the klan. He sure wasn't the only one who thought blacks ought to get themselves back to picking cotton. He wasn't the only ex-Confederate to participate in a counter-insurgency in the form of secret organizations. In fact, he was a lot more moderate in all these things than others. For example, Chalmers and his former troopers were called upon to quell a race riot, which they did - harshly. Chalmers (who, incidentally, was the commander actually on the ground at Ft Pillow) called, "Easy, boys! Don't kill to many n-rs - we need cotton pickers!" So, we have to ask the question - why is Forrest 'it'? He was no better or worse than any of his contemporaries, and better than some Union officers with racial issues! Why not write the same articles about Gordon? John B Gordon was a klan leader. Is Forrest paying for being the only Confederate general who was a slave trader? Others dabbled in it - John Hunt Morgan, for instance. Is it because he scared the pants off Grant and Sherman? He was the only cavalryman who got Grant rattled, by the way. Doesn't seem likely. Killed 30 Yankees in hand to hand combat? Wade Hampton killed 18. (He didn't count 'em all - just the hand-to-hand combat opponents.)

Does anybody have a suggestion or answer as to why these articles and others like them are written about this particular Confederate general? What is it about this man that generates such strong and such oppositional feelings?
My speculation: Slave trading plus Fort Pillow plus the KKK plus a very public near outpouring of love for Forrest from many confederate heritage types causing a backlash.
 
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suzenatale

Sergeant Major
Joined
May 25, 2013
Lol! :D This is such a classic Forrest thread!

Why not write the same articles about Gordon? John B Gordon was a klan leader. Is Forrest paying for being the only Confederate general who was a slave trader? Others dabbled in it - John Hunt Morgan, for instance. Is it because he scared the pants off Grant and Sherman? He was the only cavalryman who got Grant rattled, by the way. Doesn't seem likely. Killed 30 Yankees in hand to hand combat? Wade Hampton killed 18. (He didn't count 'em all - just the hand-to-hand combat opponents.)

Does anybody have a suggestion or answer as to why these articles and others like them are written about this particular Confederate general? What is it about this man that generates such strong and such oppositional feelings?
Actually, I started a thread about Gordon before wandering over here to have a look at this one. You don't have to be slave catcher, slave trader and kkk member to get on my naughty list, any one of those things will do nicely.
 

diane

Retired User
Joined
Jan 23, 2010
Location
State of Jefferson
My speculation: Slave trading plus Fort Pillow plus the KKK plus a very public near outpouring of love for Forrest from many confederate heritage types causing a backlash.
Yes, agreed. But don't you think there's something else there? There's other groups besides 'confederate heritage types' who also use him. He turns up in very surprising places - like a wee controversy here over our planned casino! :unsure:(What Forrest has to do with an Indian casino in California is something I want to find out...:wink:)
 
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