"We Don't Have Enough Contempt for NBF"

Scott1967

First Sergeant
Joined
Jul 11, 2016
Location
England
Hmm I'm a bit conflicted about Forrest's abilities on the one hand he was personally brave led by example and was tactically ok however he also got caught with his pants down and got spanked on a few occasions.

The problem with Forrest is you cant pin down his role as he tended to cover them all , I agree with https://civilwartalk.com/members/lurid.25565/ In that nothing he did in the war really had an effect on changing Union doctrines apart from being a royal pain in the arse.

It does annoy me when men like Forrest are called Genius and men like Ben Grierson get ignored and forgotten about even though Grierson was the equal to Forrest in everything accept reckless personal bravery which is where Forrest really does get his legendary reputation from not his tactics or achievements which are meh at best imho.
 

lurid

First Sergeant
Joined
Jan 3, 2019
Hmm I'm a bit conflicted about Forrest's abilities on the one hand he was personally brave led by example and was tactically ok however he also got caught with his pants down and got spanked on a few occasions.

The problem with Forrest is you cant pin down his role as he tended to cover them all , I agree with https://civilwartalk.com/members/lurid.25565/ In that nothing he did in the war really had an effect on changing Union doctrines apart from being a royal pain in the arse.

It does annoy me when men like Forrest are called Genius and men like Ben Grierson get ignored and forgotten about even though Grierson was the equal to Forrest in everything accept reckless personal bravery which is where Forrest really does get his legendary reputation from not his tactics or achievements which are meh at best imho.

The best he did was divert resources. It is in the history books that the Union marched right down there and cut off the Mississippi. What good is being a tactical genius if it was applied to the wrong places and wrong times? What good are tactics when a strategy trumps it every time? Did his tactics bog down the Union Army in any way, shape or form? Was he even that brave? I was in the military infantry and using a spy network to locate the Union's whereabouts and then hit & run does not strike me as bravado. Hmm, my old unit 1/9 used to throw ace of spades with our insignia on casualties. Let the enemy know who did it. I just have different view on war performance. The gist is that if he was that great of a commander he would have at least bogged down the Union army somewhat, but he didn't. Ugh, I don't want to trample on this man's grave. I'm done with this thread.
 

atlantis

Sergeant Major
Joined
Nov 12, 2016
The best he did was divert resources. It is in the history books that the Union marched right down there and cut off the Mississippi. What good is being a tactical genius if it was applied to the wrong places and wrong times? What good are tactics when a strategy trumps it every time? Did his tactics bog down the Union Army in any way, shape or form? Was he even that brave? I was in the military infantry and using a spy network to locate the Union's whereabouts and then hit & run does not strike me as bravado. Hmm, my old unit 1/9 used to throw ace of spades with our insignia on casualties. Let the enemy know who did it. I just have different view on war performance. The gist is that if he was that great of a commander he would have at least bogged down the Union army somewhat, but he didn't. Ugh, I don't want to trample on this man's grave. I'm done with this thread.
Sorry to hear you are done with this thread as you have much to say that has merit.
 

Rebforever

Lt. Colonel
Joined
Oct 26, 2012
The best he did was divert resources. It is in the history books that the Union marched right down there and cut off the Mississippi. What good is being a tactical genius if it was applied to the wrong places and wrong times? What good are tactics when a strategy trumps it every time? Did his tactics bog down the Union Army in any way, shape or form? Was he even that brave? I was in the military infantry and using a spy network to locate the Union's whereabouts and then hit & run does not strike me as bravado. Hmm, my old unit 1/9 used to throw ace of spades with our insignia on casualties. Let the enemy know who did it. I just have different view on war performance. The gist is that if he was that great of a commander he would have at least bogged down the Union army somewhat, but he didn't. Ugh, I don't want to trample on this man's grave. I'm done with this thread.
Thought I would add a small item. Genera Forrest killed a lot of Yankees and no telling how many prisoners he captured.
 

wausaubob

Colonel
Joined
Apr 4, 2017
Location
Denver, CO
Hmm I'm a bit conflicted about Forrest's abilities on the one hand he was personally brave led by example and was tactically ok however he also got caught with his pants down and got spanked on a few occasions.

The problem with Forrest is you cant pin down his role as he tended to cover them all , I agree with https://civilwartalk.com/members/lurid.25565/ In that nothing he did in the war really had an effect on changing Union doctrines apart from being a royal pain in the arse.

It does annoy me when men like Forrest are called Genius and men like Ben Grierson get ignored and forgotten about even though Grierson was the equal to Forrest in everything accept reckless personal bravery which is where Forrest really does get his legendary reputation from not his tactics or achievements which are meh at best imho.
Grierson was not a genius. He was subordinate and efficient. That often counts for more. During his Mississippi raid he was in the right place in the right time. And his expedition was copied.
 

wausaubob

Colonel
Joined
Apr 4, 2017
Location
Denver, CO
Forrest will always be held in contempt by many.
Forrest will always be admired by many.

Such attitudes about a very controversial figure in history are not only normal, but are to be expected.

But over the last few years, one fact is very obvious ... Forrest is not about to be erased from history any time soon.
During the war, Sherman wanted him dead, not matter the cost. There is no higher compliment. But after the war he was treated like a survivor. People like Sherman made good on their word, that the south would have no better friend, once the war was over. And Nathan's wife loved him. That counts. And we can learn a lot about what Grant and Sherman thought of Forrest by the fact that they sent James Wilson and the largest cavalry force of the war to deal with Forrest in 1865.
 
Joined
Sep 28, 2013
Location
Southwest Mississippi
Grierson was not a genius. He was subordinate and efficient. That often counts for more.
Indeed !

I actually admire Grierson !

That man worked wonders deep within enemy territory.
His troopers were "living off the land" during the entire raid.

Although only my personal view, I've always thought General Sherman was using Grierson as a
guinea pig to see if his theory of breaking away from supply lines was feasible.

IMO, Grierson confirmed what Sherman had been thinking about.

About one year later, Sherman used the same tactics ( on a much larger scale) with his famous "March to the Sea".
 
Joined
Mar 16, 2014
Location
The South
Just a quick glance at some of his answers to questions: he didnt know anything about the klan except what people told him as he had no personal knowledge, he was never a member, he never organized any units off the Klan, that the klan only admitted gentlemen who did not drink or gamble or who would not break the law, he couldnt recall anyone who was ever a member of the klan, all his efforts with respect to the klan were to oppose it and to disband it. There are several more pages that go into the testimony but I think the above pretty well makes the case. As I quoted the author above, he characterized that about his testimony was "fiction", which is a nice way to say lies. He clearly was not going to testify that he was at one time the leader of the whole organization and travelled to promote it, as the author documents.
🙄
 
Joined
Mar 16, 2014
Location
The South
Lies or Truths its a fine line when dealing with historical figures.

Fort Pillow is a prime example of some people denying or dismissing the eye witness accounts as Northern Propaganda even when a Confederate serving with Forrest confirms the massacre directly after it happened its simply dismissed by the Forrest mob as lies and untruths.

Quote:

Two days after the battle Achilles V. Clark, a Confederate soldier, wrote his sister a letter about what he witnessed in the fight. Clark stated: " 'The poor deluded negroes would run up to our men fall upon their knees and with uplifted hands scream for mercy but they were ordered to their feet and then shot down. The white men fared but little better. Their fort turned out to be a great slaughter pen—blood human blood stood about in pools and brains could have been gathered up in any quantity. I with several others tried to stop the butchery and at one point had partially succeeded—but Gen. Forrest ordered them shot down like dogs and the carnage continued.' "


Its also interesting that nobody ever mentions Forrest a Paducah where he threatens the garrison with no quarter if they didn't surrender this was 4 months before Pillow but is completely ignored or brushed off by his idolizers.

Facts but ignored how else should we judge history?.
...and I suppose Sherman's butchery was acceptable. It doesn't really matter though does it. After all, this is just a discussion about two different political parties finally getting fed up with one another and deciding words weren't going to fix the problem.
 

Drew

Major
Joined
Oct 22, 2012
Do you have copies of their bank accounts, or proof where they stashed their money? No, so you claims are hearsay.

You should read Ludwell Johnson's work, Red River Campaign; Politics and Cotton in the Civil War.

The author spent years in the stacks at the Library of Congress and elsewhere, cultivating primary sources.

The book was published in the 1950s and is un-impeachable. No modern graduate student or internet sleuth has ever been able to punch a hole in his work.

Union officers were lining their pockets, stealing everything they could carry.

That is a fact, like it or not.
 

Scott1967

First Sergeant
Joined
Jul 11, 2016
Location
England
You should read Ludwell Johnson's work, Red River Campaign; Politics and Cotton in the Civil War.

The author spent years in the stacks at the Library of Congress and elsewhere, cultivating primary sources.

The book was published in the 1950s and is un-impeachable. No modern graduate student or internet sleuth has ever been able to punch a hole in his work.

Union officers were lining their pockets, stealing everything they could carry.

That is a fact, like it or not.
Just Union officers then?.

No excuses but the spoils of war has been around since the beginning of time soldiers see it as a right to help themselves I see it as no different than looting corpses which both sides did.

If the South had pushed further into the North I expect the same would have happened as it did in Pennsylvania.

Besides the South was selling Cotton to the North illegally and buying Northern goods , Both sides were corrupt not just the one.
 

wausaubob

Colonel
Joined
Apr 4, 2017
Location
Denver, CO
Just Union officers then?.

No excuses but the spoils of war has been around since the beginning of time soldiers see it as a right to help themselves I see it as no different than looting corpses which both sides did.

If the South had pushed further into the North I expect the same would have happened as it did in Pennsylvania.

Besides the South was selling Cotton to the North illegally and buying Northern goods , Both sides were corrupt not just the one.
Both sides were doing it. And the cotton was valuable in New England. My memory is that cotton was going out at Richmond, and Butler was sending money and food in return.
Probably most of the cotton traders were experts at playing both sides and crying foul when they lost a shipment.
 

lurid

First Sergeant
Joined
Jan 3, 2019
Yeah...

Union Troops
Station (and vicinity) June 30, 1864

Nashville 28,748
LaGrange, TN 12,896
Memphis 22,947
Chattanooga 7,779
Vicksburg 20,670
Columbus, KY 6,215
Total 99,255

Forrest's 5,000 cavalry was the only effective force that could threaten these places.
Even though you never articulated what you really meant it's obvious what you meant. This is precisely what I said earlier in this thread how some of you unrealistically view this man as a Homeric throwback with Superman capability. All you did was take an numbers from a hagiography that never explained how raiders or insurgence operate and applied it to his war performance without explaining any variables to insurgency. I'll take your word for it that those were the actually numbers, but can you expound on your post a little to explain why think those numbers he supposedly was up against were a big deal? What does stationed or in the vicinity mean? Are you insinuating that those are the actually numbers NBF fought? What metric are you using? Are you insinuating that Forrest and his 5,000 men fought 100% of men in each engagement in at every battle? If you study study hit & run and insurgent tactics you will come to a shocking conclusion that he probably held the number advantage in every engagement for a short period of time and then bugged out. That is what insurgences do. It is like the Talban hitting the 1st Marine Division. I severely doubt they went toe to toe with that wrecking machine. That's never the insurgence objective. An insurgence objective is to disrupt and cause some terror, and then disappear. If you understood insurgency you would understand that insurgence never fight those type of numbers and never hold in place and fight very long and fight those type of battles you alluded to.


Here is what NBR grand strategy was in a nutshell: He used the classic triad for guerilla warfare: an analogous net of sympathizers, supporters and actives. Intelligence is critical to irregular warfare. Wherever the Yankees went, there were rebel eyes watching them and then broadcasting over a network of neighbors and friends, a web connection over which news traveled fast. He knew when and where to hit when he knew he had the advantage then he would disappear, which was right. And that is exactly what insurgence do to be successful. He was good at it. But never insinuate that he overcame those numbers from battlefield standpoint because it is not realistic. Now you know how insurgency works, so you can throw your numbers on top the heap of junk of Lost Cause mythology. I'll stand by what I said: his claim to fame was he diverted resources

You should read Ludwell Johnson's work, Red River Campaign; Politics and Cotton in the Civil War.

The author spent years in the stacks at the Library of Congress and elsewhere, cultivating primary sources.

The book was published in the 1950s and is un-impeachable. No modern graduate student or internet sleuth has ever been able to punch a hole in his work.

Union officers were lining their pockets, stealing everything they could carry.

That is a fact, like it or not.

I'm a little confused with your post: you are lobbying for a book but never proved that the content was authentic. You just spouted out a lot of rhetoric backed by your opinion without any evidence. If you are going to do that you have to prove that book to be accurate, it is called historiography. You no longer want to engage in a trivial CW forum history exchange, but you used a book to try to convince me that you have the right goods, but I am not remotely convinced.

Lesson #1: History is the event or period and the study of it. Historiography is the study of how history was written, who wrote it, and what factors influenced how it was written. You have to prove that book is accurate. I don't have to debunk anything or prove anything because I wasn't the one who made any claims about that book. You made the claims, so you do the work. Are saying that you read all the critical critiques reviews on that book that was written in the 1950s? Back your assertions with the critical critiques that failed to debunk that book's authenticity. Post a Peer Review on that book on that subject that proves your assertions to be correct. Prove that authors credibility and that books accuracy. Yeah, you are graduating from being a 21st century blogger to an internet sleuth. Start by proving that books accuracy and that authors credibility. Please save the rhetoric, lip service and opining because historiography does not accept any of that noise. Historiography accepts proof that author was credible and the content was accurate. Until you prove it, that author and the content of that book are not accepted. Like it or not, your opinion, join date and overgeneralizations prove nothing. Your have a lot to learn about historiography, and that's because you haven't met graduate student criteria yet. Not even close...
 

lurid

First Sergeant
Joined
Jan 3, 2019
During the war, Sherman wanted him dead, not matter the cost. There is no higher compliment. But after the war he was treated like a survivor. People like Sherman made good on their word, that the south would have no better friend, once the war was over. And Nathan's wife loved him. That counts. And we can learn a lot about what Grant and Sherman thought of Forrest by the fact that they sent James Wilson and the largest cavalry force of the war to deal with Forrest in 1865.

I think you are overstating how bad Sherman wanted him dead. Sherman never personally killed anyone, and thought of those Confederates as Americans, instead of foreign combatants. IMO, that was a blind spot for Sherman. With those inhibitions aside, if NBF was that formidable Sherman would have woke up and put a huge bounty on him. Sherman's words and actions speak differently, because NBF's so-called operations never stopped a supply line from being secured. He diverted resources at best. If he was that big of a threat to Sherman's operations he would have been dead. Sherman could have put a $100,000 to $1,000,000 bounty on him. For that amount of money his own troops would have fragged him. Therefore, your Sherman wanted him dead no matter the cost statement is suspect. To my knowledge, there was never no bounty on NBF, therefore, he was not that big of a threat to the grand strategy in the Western front. Evidently he wasn't because the Union marched right down there and cut off the Mississippi.

Are you saying Wilson's raid sole purpose was to take out NBF? No, I think Wilson's mission was to destroy military installations throughout the deep south, and KIA NBF if he ran into him. NBF was not his primary goal. Wilson beat him twice within a month while he was destroying infrastructure. Wilson seemed to be indifferent about NBF anyway. Here's Wilson's own words about NBF in his diary: "Forrest did not impress me as I expected-neither as large, dignified nor striking as I expected-seemed embarrassed." Wilson thoroughly beat him and met him face to face, so I will take his word for it.
 

wausaubob

Colonel
Joined
Apr 4, 2017
Location
Denver, CO
I think you are overstating how bad Sherman wanted him dead. Sherman never personally killed anyone, and thought of those Confederates as Americans, instead of foreign combatants. IMO, that was a blind spot for Sherman. With those inhibitions aside, if NBF was that formidable Sherman would have woke up and put a huge bounty on him. Sherman's words and actions speak differently, because NBF's so-called operations never stopped a supply line from being secured. He diverted resources at best. If he was that big of a threat to Sherman's operations he would have been dead. Sherman could have put a $100,000 to $1,000,000 bounty on him. For that amount of money his own troops would have fragged him. Therefore, your Sherman wanted him dead no matter the cost statement is suspect. To my knowledge, there was never no bounty on NBF, therefore, he was not that big of a threat to the grand strategy in the Western front. Evidently he wasn't because the Union marched right down there and cut off the Mississippi.

Are you saying Wilson's raid sole purpose was to take out NBF? No, I think Wilson's mission was to destroy military installations throughout the deep south, and KIA NBF if he ran into him. NBF was not his primary goal. Wilson beat him twice within a month while he was destroying infrastructure. Wilson seemed to be indifferent about NBF anyway. Here's Wilson's own words about NBF in his diary: "Forrest did not impress me as I expected-neither as large, dignified nor striking as I expected-seemed embarrassed." Wilson thoroughly beat him and met him face to face, so I will take his word for it.
Sherman's more precise intent was that he wanted a successful operation to disable Forrest' command, despite the fact that large cavalry operations were extremely expensive and Stanton was complaining about the cost. Grant seemed to agree with Sherman, and Stanton temporarily agreed.
 

Drew

Major
Joined
Oct 22, 2012
Even though you never articulated what you really meant it's obvious what you meant. This is precisely what I said earlier in this thread how some of you unrealistically view this man as a Homeric throwback with Superman capability. All you did was take an numbers from a hagiography that never explained how raiders or insurgence operate and applied it to his war performance without explaining any variables to insurgency. I'll take your word for it that those were the actually numbers, but can you expound on your post a little to explain why think those numbers he supposedly was up against were a big deal? What does stationed or in the vicinity mean? Are you insinuating that those are the actually numbers NBF fought? What metric are you using? Are you insinuating that Forrest and his 5,000 men fought 100% of men in each engagement in at every battle? If you study study hit & run and insurgent tactics you will come to a shocking conclusion that he probably held the number advantage in every engagement for a short period of time and then bugged out. That is what insurgences do. It is like the Talban hitting the 1st Marine Division. I severely doubt they went toe to toe with that wrecking machine. That's never the insurgence objective. An insurgence objective is to disrupt and cause some terror, and then disappear. If you understood insurgency you would understand that insurgence never fight those type of numbers and never hold in place and fight very long and fight those type of battles you alluded to.


Here is what NBR grand strategy was in a nutshell: He used the classic triad for guerilla warfare: an analogous net of sympathizers, supporters and actives. Intelligence is critical to irregular warfare. Wherever the Yankees went, there were rebel eyes watching them and then broadcasting over a network of neighbors and friends, a web connection over which news traveled fast. He knew when and where to hit when he knew he had the advantage then he would disappear, which was right. And that is exactly what insurgence do to be successful. He was good at it. But never insinuate that he overcame those numbers from battlefield standpoint because it is not realistic. Now you know how insurgency works, so you can throw your numbers on top the heap of junk of Lost Cause mythology. I'll stand by what I said: his claim to fame was he diverted resources



I'm a little confused with your post: you are lobbying for a book but never proved that the content was authentic. You just spouted out a lot of rhetoric backed by your opinion without any evidence. If you are going to do that you have to prove that book to be accurate, it is called historiography. You no longer want to engage in a trivial CW forum history exchange, but you used a book to try to convince me that you have the right goods, but I am not remotely convinced.

Lesson #1: History is the event or period and the study of it. Historiography is the study of how history was written, who wrote it, and what factors influenced how it was written. You have to prove that book is accurate. I don't have to debunk anything or prove anything because I wasn't the one who made any claims about that book. You made the claims, so you do the work. Are saying that you read all the critical critiques reviews on that book that was written in the 1950s? Back your assertions with the critical critiques that failed to debunk that book's authenticity. Post a Peer Review on that book on that subject that proves your assertions to be correct. Prove that authors credibility and that books accuracy. Yeah, you are graduating from being a 21st century blogger to an internet sleuth. Start by proving that books accuracy and that authors credibility. Please save the rhetoric, lip service and opining because historiography does not accept any of that noise. Historiography accepts proof that author was credible and the content was accurate. Until you prove it, that author and the content of that book are not accepted. Like it or not, your opinion, join date and overgeneralizations prove nothing. Your have a lot to learn about historiography, and that's because you haven't met graduate student criteria yet. Not even close...

Mkay, in other words, you believe what you want to believe. Asking anyone to "prove" Ludwell H. Johnson was a credible historian is the funniest thing I've heard all week.

It's probably best you produce credible evidence that he was wrong. Hint: There isn't any.
 

Scott1967

First Sergeant
Joined
Jul 11, 2016
Location
England
Mkay, in other words, you believe what you want to believe. Asking anyone to "prove" Ludwell H. Johnson was a credible historian is the funniest thing I've heard all week.

It's probably best you produce credible evidence that he was wrong. Hint: There isn't any.
Your completely ignoring the fact that the CSA sold Cotton to the North instead you focus on a few Northern General's who undoubtedly saw their capture of Cotton as spoils of war.

I don't dispute the fact that officers and men from both sides made money as did civilians but to label one side as looters and the other as righteous angels that butter would not melt in their mouths is Naive at best if not the height of ignorance.

Its estimated the Kingdom of Kirby Smith alone generated over 30 million dollars in illegal cotton sales in under 2 years I wonder how much of that money found its way into Confederate Coffers?.

People in Glass houses should not throw stones and that includes Historians.

Quote:

By the author's estimation, more than two-thirds of the some 1.5 million bales of cotton shipped out of the Confederacy went to the North and not Europe. Lincoln, had he been aware of these figures, would have been pleased with the result.

In 1863 that it had badly miscalculated with its ill-conceived cotton embargo and shifted to an aggressive policy of seizing as much cotton as it could and exporting it through the Union blockade in return for goods and specie from Europe, the price of cotton had skyrocketed to the point where the Confederate government was receiving in return six times or more what a given bale of cotton would have earned early in the war. As Lincoln explained to more than one angry Union general, every bale that went to the North, regardless of the corruption and shady private gain involved, was one less bale that could be converted by the Confederacy into financial and possible diplomatic support from Europe.

End Quote.
 

wausaubob

Colonel
Joined
Apr 4, 2017
Location
Denver, CO
Your completely ignoring the fact that the CSA sold Cotton to the North instead you focus on a few Northern General's who undoubtedly saw their capture of Cotton as spoils of war.

I don't dispute the fact that officers and men from both sides made money as did civilians but to label one side as looters and the other as righteous angels that butter would not melt in their mouths is Naive at best if not the height of ignorance.

Its estimated the Kingdom of Kirby Smith alone generated over 30 million dollars in illegal cotton sales in under 2 years I wonder how much of that money found its way into Confederate Coffers?.

People in Glass houses should not throw stones and that includes Historians.

Quote:

By the author's estimation, more than two-thirds of the some 1.5 million bales of cotton shipped out of the Confederacy went to the North and not Europe. Lincoln, had he been aware of these figures, would have been pleased with the result.

In 1863 that it had badly miscalculated with its ill-conceived cotton embargo and shifted to an aggressive policy of seizing as much cotton as it could and exporting it through the Union blockade in return for goods and specie from Europe, the price of cotton had skyrocketed to the point where the Confederate government was receiving in return six times or more what a given bale of cotton would have earned early in the war. As Lincoln explained to more than one angry Union general, every bale that went to the North, regardless of the corruption and shady private gain involved, was one less bale that could be converted by the Confederacy into financial and possible diplomatic support from Europe.

End Quote.
When the US bought or captured the cotton they were in control. The generals preferred that if there was going to be a cotton trade, that the traders pay with greenbacks. They could also control what was going into the Confederacy at points like Memphis.
 
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