Post-war Nathan Bedford Forrest question

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diane

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Forrest asked them if he had his fifth amendment rights. They said no, but he was to answer the questions. So, he did lie. It would have been interesting to see which questions he would have used that right, too, if he'd had it.
 
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larry_cockerham

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He lied. .........
Reminds me of the old tree in the forest concept. It ain't a lie until it's proven to be so. The proof wasn't there. Did he tell the whole truth? I doubt it, I probably wouldn't have if I weren't backed into a corner.
 

ole

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I don't figure it's a sin to lie to a Congress critter. When did we ever not get lied to by them?
 

Independence

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Reminds me of the old tree in the forest concept. It ain't a lie until it's proven to be so. The proof wasn't there. Did he tell the whole truth? I doubt it, I probably wouldn't have if I weren't backed into a corner.
He would give answers like;

Congress: "General Forrest,do you have knowledge of klu klux activities?"

Forrest: "I do"


Congress: "Where did you come to this knowledge?"

Forrest: "A person I heard talk of it"

Congress: "Who is this person?"

Forrest: "I didn't know him personally,I believe I heard he died in Bolivia"

HAHAHA!:veryhappy
 
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diane

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I don't see how Forrest could have answered much of any other way when the tables were rigged. Denying him his protection against self-incrimination was forcing him to fib. The Cincinnati Commercial did a lengthy article purporting to be an interview with him about the klan - pretty interesting - but Forrest denied saying most of what was written. Some of it checks out but it would be amazing if that information came from Forrest. (He said he'd met with the reporter but had one of his migraines and didn't say much. He left his office, telling the guy he was headed home, and threw up a couple times on the way, so it's really unlikely he said a lot. Anyone who has ever had a migraine would probably agree!)
 
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K Hale

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I don't see how Forrest could have answered much of any other way when the tables were rigged. Denying him his protection against self-incrimination was forcing him to fib.
Meh. Forrest was no more forced to lie than Lee was forced to resign and join the Virginia Volunteers. These guys made their choice, and whether I agree with the choice or not, I prefer to respect the fact that they had a choice to make, and made it.
 

larry_cockerham

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Trying to get in their minds and speculate on their feelings and reasoning for the actions they took is the challenge of this 'hobby'.
 
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diane

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I don't think Forrest and Lee were in the same boat when Forrest was testifying before Congress. Lee kept to the letter of his parole and had nothing to do with any organizations of any sort, so there was no need to question him. Forrest, however, had a friend in Congress who made sure his name was mentioned - Brownlow. Brownlow had been fighting the klan as governor of Tennessee for a long time and knew Forrest was in with them. At any rate, with or without his fifth amendment rights, Forrest wasn't about to rat anybody out or hang himself. He wasn't pushed too hard about it, either - hanging a general of Forrest's stature would have lit the South on fire, which was something even the most radical congressman didn't want. Brownlow figured as much but saw it as a good tool for squashing any political ambitions Forrest had - the last guy he wanted sitting next to him representing Tennessee was N.B. Forrest.
 

TerryB

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When it comes to taking the 5th, it's my understanding that you have to plead it on every question put to you. I could be wrong, but if I'm right, NBF would have not have answered any questions if allowed to plead the 5th.
 

Nathanb1

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Staying out of prison, maybe?
I think Forrest was much more vulnerable than Lee. I do believe he was truly at risk of being executed if people like Brownlow had their way, while I know Lee, after the initial fears he had as the war ended, knew prison might be a result. He wouldn't be the man many of us admire if he hadn't been smart enough to survive.
 
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larry_cockerham

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Forrest had another problem that Lee didn't really share. Because of Browlow and buddies, Tennessee was a civil disaster. Forrest was still able and willing to fight for the rights of Tennesseans to have a voice in government and to calm down folks who were facing a disaster of previously unequaled proportions... Reconstruction was by no means practical nor particularly positive to the man on the farm or in the small villages. Newly freed slaves weren't being helped either. The operative word was mess.
 

larry_cockerham

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When it comes to taking the 5th, it's my understanding that you have to plead it on every question put to you. I could be wrong, but if I'm right, NBF would have not have answered any questions if allowed to plead the 5th.
One must remember "innocent until PROVEN guilty". While not innocent, I certainly have never thought Forrest was guilty.
 
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