Should Nathan Bedford Forrest be considered "a great general and an honorable man"?

Should Nathan Bedford Forrest be considered "a great general and an honorable man"?


  • Total voters
    50
  • Poll closed .

(Membership has it privileges! To remove this ad: Register NOW!)
Joined
May 27, 2011
Messages
16,338
Location
los angeles ca
#2
Since Forrest won all but one battle then yes Forrest was a great general. Sherman himself said something to the effect about loosing 10k men but he must have Forrest.
Forrest post Civil War had some major fall out with his fellow ex Confederate's regarding railroad bonds. It almost came to blows.
Forrest tried after the failure of his railway ventures to make money renting out convicts ; not to dissimilar to owning slaves but for some reason unlike former Georgia Governor Joe Brown, Forrest couldn't make money at it.
Not a real big fan of calling slave owners honorable although Forrest was in a legal businesses.
Leftyhunter
 
Joined
Apr 4, 2017
Messages
7,758
Location
Denver, CO
#5
Nathan Forrest conducted several tactical victories. However he was easily baited.
In 1863 he was in Alabama when the action was in Mississippi.
In 1864 he was in Mississippi when the action was in Georgia.
In late 1864 he was in Mufresborough when the action was in Nashville.
Finally, in 1865 he got more people killed by daring General Wilson to come down with his sabres, forgetting that the US troopers also had carbines.
So as a commander he won by avoiding the main issue, but lost at Tupelo and Selma.
As far as honor, he put on a uniform for what he believed in. He took his chances openly for his cause.
It was a terrible cause, one of the worst for which a people ever fought, but he was not a sneak.
So the answer is no and yes, which means no in total, because of the bifurcated nature of the question.
 
Joined
Apr 4, 2017
Messages
7,758
Location
Denver, CO
#7
On the other hand, "why not" has merits too. Using the internet to wipe clean unpleasant history continues a well established practice from the post war period.
 

TomV71

Corporal
Silver Patron
Joined
Oct 26, 2018
Messages
486
Location
Norway
#8
I don't think his killing of hundreds of captured Black Union troops at Fort Pillow allows him into the category.
If Forrest actually ordered that atrocity, is still debated. I dont think so myself.
If he did order it, he would probably have faced the same fate as Champ Ferguson. Trial and execution for war crimes.
 

Specster

Sergeant Major
Joined
Sep 19, 2014
Messages
2,024
Location
Mass.
#9
I know that many soldiers forgave him post war including Sherman who stumpted for him when the Spanish American war was coming and NBF wanted in...but I dont see it. If he was just a good soldier and played by the rules ALWAYS...I would be all for it but I think he was complicit if not active in atrocities and I cannot forgive him on those grounds. (He died before the Spanish-American War started)
 
Joined
May 27, 2011
Messages
16,338
Location
los angeles ca
#10
I don't think his killing of hundreds of captured Black Union troops at Fort Pillow allows him into the category.
Jack Hurst in his biography of Forrest makes a strong argument that the Ft.Pillow massacre was not Forrest's fault. Not saying it wasn't Forrest's fault but Forrest suffered no post war recriminations for Ft.Pillow.
Leftyhunter
 
Joined
Oct 26, 2012
Messages
9,850
#12
I know that many soldiers forgave him post war including Sherman who stumpted for him when the Spanish American war was coming and NBF wanted in...but I dont see it. If he was just a good soldier and played by the rules ALWAYS...I would be all for it but I think he was complicit if not active in atrocities and I cannot forgive him on those grounds. (He died before the Spanish-American War started)
He was cleared of all charges.
 

cash

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
Joined
Feb 20, 2005
Messages
33,528
Location
Right here.
#15
Jack Hurst in his biography of Forrest makes a strong argument that the Ft.Pillow massacre was not Forrest's fault. Not saying it wasn't Forrest's fault but Forrest suffered no post war recriminations for Ft.Pillow.
Leftyhunter
The massacre was against black soldiers, so lack of postwar recriminations from the 1865 white power structure doesn't mean anything.
 

cash

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
Joined
Feb 20, 2005
Messages
33,528
Location
Right here.
#17
Not quite true , Tennessee Unionist troops were massacred as well.
Leftyhunter
The white troops were not massacred as the black troops were. They weren't shot after they had surrendered. They suffered casualties as a result of the battle, but once they surrendered they weren't butchered.
 

cash

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
Joined
Feb 20, 2005
Messages
33,528
Location
Right here.
#18
"Black troops suffered a casualty rate nearly double that of their white counterparts (64 percent compared to 31-34 percent)." [John Cimprich and Robert C. Mainfort, Jr., "The Fort Pillow Massacre: A Statistical Note," The Journal of American History, Vol. 76, No., 3, Dec., 1989, p. 835]
 
Joined
May 27, 2011
Messages
16,338
Location
los angeles ca
#20
"Black troops suffered a casualty rate nearly double that of their white counterparts (64 percent compared to 31-34 percent)." [John Cimprich and Robert C. Mainfort, Jr., "The Fort Pillow Massacre: A Statistical Note," The Journal of American History, Vol. 76, No., 3, Dec., 1989, p. 835]
I appreciate the citation but that doesn't mean that Unionist troops were not massacred. Maybe not in the same number as the black troops . Unionists were not popular with Confederate troops to say the least. I am not home right now but I will look up Hurst's book which if I recall does state that at least some Unionist troops were massacred.
Leftyhunter
 



(Membership has it privileges! To remove this ad: Register NOW!)
Top