Were gen. Sherman and Gen Forrest war criminals?

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leftyhunter

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I got this link from @bankerpapaw on a thread abot Forrest but I decided to open up the conversation a bit. Professor of Political Science John Tures LaGrange Collge Ga agrues they are. Professor Tures to be fair and balanced in another article in the Huffington post does state the case that Forrest did turn away from the violence of the KKK late in his life.
So what say ye all?
huffingtonpost.com/john-a-tures/william-t-sherman-and-nathan-bedford-forrest-civil-war-criminals_b_7552816.html
Leftyhunter
 

Bruce Vail

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I got this link from @bankerpapaw on a thread abot Forrest but I decided to open up the conversation a bit. Professor of Political Science John Tures LaGrange Collge Ga agrues they are. Professor Tures to be fair and balanced in another article in the Huffington post does state the case that Forrest did turn away from the violence of the KKK late in his life.
So what say ye all?
huffingtonpost.com/john-a-tures/william-t-sherman-and-nathan-bedford-forrest-civil-war-criminals_b_7552816.html
Leftyhunter
Far more interesting is the question that Prof. Tures poses: Are Sherman and Forrest over rated as generals?

Seems clear to me that both were guilty of criminal acts. I'll leave it to better-qualified commenters to weigh in on the more interesting question.
 
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leftyhunter

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What criminal acts was Sherman guilty of?
Forrest?
I would have to let the good professor speak for himself. I can state that in Jack Hursts biography of Forrest , Hurst does not blame Forrest for the Ft.Pillow massacre and even credits Forrest for trying to stop the massacre for being worse. Interestingly enough if I am not mistaken Jack Hursts GGGf was the commanander of the 6th Tennessee Cavalry Union.
Leftyhunter
 
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I would have to let the good professor speak for himself. I can state that in Jack Hursts biography of Forrest , Hurst does not blame Forrest for the Ft.Pillow massacre and even credits Forrest for trying to stop the massacre for being worse. Interestingly enough if I am not mistaken Jack Hursts GGGf was the commander of Forrests main nemesis the bad boys of the 13th Tennessee Cavalry Union.
Leftyhunter
I think you mean Col. Fielding Hurst, 6th TN Cav.....My GG Grandfather was Sergeant, Company A of that unit.
 

leftyhunter

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Far more interesting is the question that Prof. Tures poses: Are Sherman and Forrest over rated as generals?

Seems clear to me that both were guilty of criminal acts. I'll leave it to better-qualified commenters to weigh in on the more interesting question.
I would argue what ever Sherman's sins of command where his March through Georgia and the Carolina's was simply brilliant and made up for all his past mistakes. Sherman has many have mentioned before really tire the Confederate's guts out.
Leftyhunter
 
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Bee

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True but I thought Professor Tures had an interesting point of view.
Leftyhunter
It is my opinion that the article is mis-titled. It should have been "who were two of the most overrated generals North and South". Perhaps I missed something, but the content says little to nothing about either man being a war criminal.
 
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leftyhunter

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It is my opinion that the article is mis-titled. It should have been "who were two of the most overrated generals North and South". Perhaps I missed something, but the content says little to nothing about either man being a war criminal.
The word war criminal is in the official computer link.
Leftyhunter
 
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I am a bit surprised I thought you were more related to the other side although by now many Southerners are related to both sides. Did your GGGf fight for both sides which was quite common in the Civil War?
Leftyhunter
No, he joined up after the battle of Shiloh, the 6th was Mustered into service in either Sept or Oct of 1862 (I forget which), though some acted as scouts for the Union, prior to the formation of the 6th. He served throughout the war with them to Discharge. Thanks for asking! :smile:
 
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SquirrelHudson

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It is my opinion that the article is mis-titled. It should have been "who were two of the most overrated generals North and South". Perhaps I missed something, but the content says little to nothing about either man being a war criminal.
I wouldn't consider Forrest "overrated". He earned his praise through a natural understanding of military tactics without ever attending a military academy. A barely literate self-made man rising from the ranks of private to lieutenant-general is pretty impressive. This being said this also means his bandwagon is long and wide. Others ride it through and through to the point to where Forrest is portrayed as a demi-god of sorts so I understand your point.
 

Kenneth Almquist

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The word war criminal is in the official computer link.
Leftyhunter
Which may be the work of a Huffington Post editor rather than the writer of the article. I agree with Bee; the Huffington Post's headline doesn't reflect the content of the article. Professor Tures' thesis is that Sherman and Forest are overrated as generals. He doesn't have anything useful to say about whether they were war criminals.
 
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Bruce Vail

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What criminal acts was Sherman guilty of?
Forrest?
There can be no argument that Sherman was guilty of arson and that Forrest permitted his men to murder enemy soldiers attempting to surrender. These were criminal acts under the laws of the day, aside from any consideration of more modern concepts of war crimes.
 
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