Restricted Forrest Bust at Tennessee State Capitol.

shooter too

Private
Joined
Mar 4, 2021
My argument is not whether Forrest should have been held responsible for the crimes he is/was accused of. My argument is whether or not he was capable of changing. I do find it curious that so many today seem to want some sort of punishment against people like him, who his enemies in war seem not to have punished. That's just my own curiosity.


I respect that.

Best wishes.
 

PapaReb

First Sergeant
Joined
Feb 9, 2020
Location
Arkansas CSA occupied
Why would it amaze you? Do you not believe in the power of redemption, that a person can turn his life around and do good? Ever hear of the Apostle Paul (that murderer!)? How about John Newton (that slave trader!)?

I don't have a dog in any hunt that involves Nathan B. Forrest except as a human being. How can you be amazed that there was any good in him? The line between good and evil wasn't the Mason Dixon line, it's not between left and right, Union and Confederates. As Solzhenitsyn famously said, “If only there were evil people somewhere insidiously committing evil deeds, and it were necessary only to separate them from the rest of us and destroy them. But the line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being. And who is willing to destroy a piece of his own heart?"

The need to demonize people and make them pay for sins even their contemporary "enemies" didn't punish or prosecute or destroy them for makes me crazy. Who are any of us to say that policy was "misguided"? What do you want to do, dig him up and hang him?
I believe that someone rather well known once said, “Let he who is without sin among you cast the first stone.”

it’s very easy to look backwards and pontificate on the wrongs of others.
 

DanSBHawk

1st Lieutenant
Joined
May 8, 2015
Location
Wisconsin
It's not about "punishing" Forrest. He's dead. It's about choosing who we honor publicly.

Even if Forrest became a better person as time went on, it doesn't necessarily mean that he's deserving of being honored. Lot's of people throughout history were decent people when they died, and they don't all have statues in public places.
 

Scott1967

First Sergeant
Joined
Jul 11, 2016
Location
England
My argument is whether or not he was capable of changing. I do find it curious that so many today seem to want some sort of punishment against people like him, who his enemies in war seem not to have punished. That's just my own curiosity.
I think that all depends on what you believe in , Justice , Redemption , Forgiveness , Its all based on your belief and your life experience's.

Forrest died aged 56 in the last 15 months of his life he found god and all of a sudden became a better person why?.

Well after the war his business ventures failed he was universally hated by many who knew him and in the end we find him in a log cabin on leased land having his corn and crops grown by convicts he didn't have to pay.

Quite frankly he ran out of friends and lost the respect of the Southern press and community's who must have look at him as being totally hypocritical.

Change is brought on by traumatic stress in your life normally you get to a breaking point and suddenly you decide now is the time its extremely rare for people to just change without this happing.

I believe with Forrest it was a combination of things from Murdering people to Fort Pillow to losing the adulation of his soldiers and the South.

You may think he changed and that's your opinion but personally I don't think he did.
 

AshleyMel

2nd Lieutenant
Joined
Oct 26, 2016
Forrest was no stranger to religion or it's effects. The constant prayers of his wife definitely made a difference and while opinions are noted on this site all the time, a persons own religious conversion and the matters of their heart are their own.
I believe there are some threads in the Nathan Bedford Forrest forum that cover his religious conversion quite well, with all viewpoints considered.
 

Booklady

Sergeant
Joined
Mar 19, 2017
Location
New England
I think that all depends on what you believe in , Justice , Redemption , Forgiveness , Its all based on your belief and your life experience's.

Forrest died aged 56 in the last 15 months of his life he found god and all of a sudden became a better person why?.

Well after the war his business ventures failed he was universally hated by many who knew him and in the end we find him in a log cabin on leased land having his corn and crops grown by convicts he didn't have to pay.

Quite frankly he ran out of friends and lost the respect of the Southern press and community's who must have look at him as being totally hypocritical.

Change is brought on by traumatic stress in your life normally you get to a breaking point and suddenly you decide now is the time its extremely rare for people to just change without this happing.

I believe with Forrest it was a combination of things from Murdering people to Fort Pillow to losing the adulation of his soldiers and the South.

You may think he changed and that's your opinion but personally I don't think he did.

I do believe in the power of redemption and forgiveness. I certainly believe people can "hit bottom" and be transformed spiritually and in their sense of humanity by the experience. Read the autobiography of Charles Colson, for example, who went from occupying an office next to the President of the United States to a prison cell. Read the autobiography of Eric Clapton. Watch the movie "Hoosiers." There are just countless examples.

The key is humility, and for some people it takes drastic calamity and loss to find it.

You say Forrest "found [G]od and became a better person," but I feel like you are being a little snarky and don't really believe it. Maybe you just don't know anyone whose life has been transformed by the power of God. Why do you think it's impossible for Forrest?

I agree with @DanSBHawk, above, that changing doesn't necessarily mean Forrest deserves a statue. As I said, I have no dog in the Forrest statue hunt.
 

unionblue

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
Member of the Year
Joined
Feb 20, 2005
Location
Ocala, FL (as of December, 2015).
What rubric should we use to decide if someone is deserving?
Who develops it? Me, you, your neighbor, edited
I thought that it is history that teaches us to hope.

I note the word, teaches, as if we are to learn from history, to take it's teachings and apply them to our future, so that past mistakes would not continue based on ignorance or the forgetting of past mistakes.

Now, who decides if someone of the past is deserving of memorial or as an example to us in the present. It's a simple answer.

WE DO. All of us.

It seems the biggest problem with this simple solution is that some of us do not agree with the rest of us or the majority. There's the rub.

Now, I concede we should take the time to listen, to evaluate, to consider others point of view. But when a majority reach a consensus, no matter how upset or disappointed the rest become, all are going to have to live with the majority's choice.

This type of procedure has taken place all throughout US history. At one time, we said we owed obedience to the King. We don't anymore. At one time slavery was considered legal and the norm. We don't anymore. We could provide many other modern examples except for the rules of the forum, but we all know social and legal change is considered and decided by the people of the time.

History teaches us to hope, but more importantly, it teaches us that change is the only real constant in our lives. Whether we exercise any positive good on that constant is up to us.

Unionblue
 

Scott1967

First Sergeant
Joined
Jul 11, 2016
Location
England
but I feel like you are being a little snarky and don't really believe
Well I do say that in my post without being snarky.

I'm afraid we will have to beg to differ I certainly don't believe in redemption or forgiveness with a certain amount of common sense but I do believe in Justice.

But then again I'm not a man of god I like it that way at least I can never be a hypocrite to a certain extent.
 
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Booklady

Sergeant
Joined
Mar 19, 2017
Location
New England
Well I do say that in my post without being snarky.

I'm afraid we will have to beg to differ I certainly don't believe in redemption or forgiveness with a certain amount of common sense but I do believe in Justice.

But then again I'm not a man of god I like it that way at least I can never be a hypocrite to a certain extent.

I apologize. I wasn't sure if you meant it that way ("snarky") or not.

I hope you will look at some examples of true redemption and forgiveness in history and literature and change your mind.

Keeping the focus on Forrest, here is another CWT thread about him and a review of a book about his conversion. https://civilwartalk.com/threads/na...emption-by-shane-kastler.168196/#post-2187761
 
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