Post-War Interview With the Cincinnati Commercial

Nathanb1

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Sometimes you just find some gems--this one on WikiSource. I was afraid I might have to type the whole thing....

http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Interview_with_Nathan_Bedford_Forrest

Can we take this at face value? Not particularly....Forrest was "interviewed" by the guy while he was on his way home, stopping to throw up every so often. Some of it is probably from him--other parts are probably made up. I mean, I wouldn't go all the way home without a "scoop" if I were a reporter sent to get the skinny from the General.

But it's a good read.
 

Patrick H

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Obviously, a man who was not afraid to express his views! In particular, read his response under the question: "Feelings toward Uncle Sam." It's safe to say that many people would answer that question in more or less the same way down through the ages and into modern times. In reading the interview, I get the sense that Forrest was a pretty good judge of character and that the journalist presented himself in an honest way and had no trouble winning the general's confidence.
 

wayne jackson

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humble,texas
Sometimes you just find some gems--this one on WikiSource. I was afraid I might have to type the whole thing....

http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Interview_with_Nathan_Bedford_Forrest

Can we take this at face value? Not particularly....Forrest was "interviewed" by the guy while he was on his way home, stopping to throw up every so often. Some of it is probably from him--other parts are probably made up. I mean, I wouldn't go all the way home without a "scoop" if I were a reporter sent to get the skinny from the General.

But it's a good read.
you and my wife are the only ones i have heard using the-get the skinny-
 

DixieRifles

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The article starts with this intro statement.
Cincinnati Commercial, August 28, 1868 (also 40th Congress, House of Representatives, Executive Documents No. 1, Report of the Secretary of War, Chapter X, Page 193)

I searched for the House Document in Google Books but I could not find it. Was his interview published in that report?
 

DixieRifles

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Okay. I thought you just "discovered" this interview. It is new to me but then I don't believe all reporters.
 

diane

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State of Jefferson
The article starts with this intro statement.


I searched for the House Document in Google Books but I could not find it. Was his interview published in that report?

I think that's what happened. The Commercial published this in 1868, and it was brought into evidence in the 1871 investigation of the klan. Forrest had written the reporter to correct errors in the article, which strongly implied he knew a heck of a lot more about the klan than he should have. It was, actually, a bit of splash for the reporter and his paper - as Forrest himself figured - rather than a set-up of some kind. But, for a guy who was supposed to be the honcho of a secret insurgent organization, he sure blabbed a heck of a lot! He was too smart for that. For one thing, despite his popularity, he stood a good to excellent chance of getting shot by other klansmen let alone arrested by Brownlow.
 

Hunter

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Apr 23, 2016
I think that's what happened. The Commercial published this in 1868, and it was brought into evidence in the 1871 investigation of the klan. Forrest had written the reporter to correct errors in the article, which strongly implied he knew a heck of a lot more about the klan than he should have. It was, actually, a bit of splash for the reporter and his paper - as Forrest himself figured - rather than a set-up of some kind. But, for a guy who was supposed to be the honcho of a secret insurgent organization, he sure blabbed a heck of a lot! He was too smart for that. For one thing, despite his popularity, he stood a good to excellent chance of getting shot by other klansmen let alone arrested by Brownlow.

At the time he and other Confederates were involved in a violent struggle with the hostile Brownlow Unionist regime in Tennessee, and he may have been disclosing this information in order to intimidate the Unionist faction and force them to back off. The timing, however, could not have been worse. The interview took place in the months leading up to the 1868 presidential election and the Republicans were maintaining that the Klan represented a disloyal insurgency that was angling toward a second civil war. Heretofore almost all Confederates denied the existence of the Klan for this very reason, but Forrest's interview let the cat out of the bag and his later attempt to claim he was misquoted was dismissed.
 
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