If Forrest said He Would NOT Go To Europe Where Did This Request Come From???

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diane

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
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Jan 23, 2010
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State of Jefferson
That came from Forrest, ucvrelics! I will need to do some research as I haven't visited this subject for a LONG time. Things were very, very dicey with Forrest after he surrendered - not entirely sure what was going on in his mind at that moment. It's possible, after such heavy combat and all the realities of defeat sinking in, that he simply had something like a panic attack. He had no problem fighting an enemy he could see, but this was something else. Canby - he was of Lincoln's view. If they all took a boat to someplace far, far away - fine! Particularly Forrest. He was a hot potato.
 
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diane

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
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Jan 23, 2010
Location
State of Jefferson
I've found a little more - indeed, if Forrest had a panic attack he had real good cause to have one. Attorney General Edward Bates had issued a declaration on May 4, 1865 that the Confederate government either take responsibility for Ft Pillow or say it was a personal matter they had nothing to do with - either way, there was an order to arrest Forrest and Chalmers. It's interesting that he wanted to take a route through Memphis and New York. It would have been quicker and easier to go to Europe via Mexico...but that might look to Federal authorities as if he was joining the renegade rebels already there.
 

ucvrelics

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The date is a little suspect to me and where is the request from Forrest. On July 1st he was in Jackson working on getting his parole so why would he want to go to Europe?
 

diane

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
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Jan 23, 2010
Location
State of Jefferson
The date is a little suspect to me and where is the request from Forrest. On July 1st he was in Jackson working on getting his parole so why would he want to go to Europe?
It's a telegram - and, looking at it further, it is unclear if this was Forrest's idea or Richard Taylor's. Attorney General Bates had issued a declaration that the CSA government take responsibility for Ft Pillow, or Chalmers and Forrest take responsibility for it. He intended to arrest both officers. The administration, particularly Stanton, still thought Lincoln's assassination was a widespread Confederate conspiracy and probably involved high ranking military men as well. Davis was captured during this period but it was thought others were loose - could be Forrest was one. There was just a mess of chaos going on. Within a few days Bates withdrew his threat. By that time, Forrest had made it clear he would remain in Tennessee and welcomed a trial. In fact, what I'm looking at now suggests Forrest might not even have known this avenue was being arranged for him. For one thing, if he had decided to go to Europe, he would not have taken Willie with him. Willie had nothing to do with Ft Pillow - he was with his uncle Jesse on a train raid - and Forrest would never have left Mary Ann without protection.

Thanks for bringing this up - I'd not looked at this for a really long time. I always love a good Forrest mystery, especially one that isn't characteristic!
 
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ucvrelics

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It's a telegram - and, looking at it further, it is unclear if this was Forrest's idea or Richard Taylor's
I know its a telegram but where is the request from Forrest. I think the telegram is a bogus attempt to have Forrest arrested before he could get back to Memphis. If you look at the date its the 12th of May just 2 days after he surrendered so he hadn't even made it home yet.
surrender.jpg
 

diane

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
Joined
Jan 23, 2010
Location
State of Jefferson
It's looking more to me like Taylor may have been trying to keep Forrest from being arrested. I'm thinking more and more that Forrest did not know of this little 'trip to Europe' option. He signed his parole and had every intention of following it. Wonder if there was a similar telegram regarding Chalmers?
 
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Nathanb1

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Wow. Just when you think you've seen everything. I kinda agree with both of you. (I'm wishy-washy that way). The fact that it mentions Willie, though--maybe, since NBF was such a poker player, he was keeping his options open. Obviously, I'd be pretty worried about my son being hanged/shot/in prison for years. I think the total uncertainty and craziness might have led him to say "Why not have it in place? Don't intend to...but..."
 
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