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Thread: Just who was N.B. Forrest and what did he stand for?

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    Default Just who was N.B. Forrest and what did he stand for?

    Myths of Nathan Bedford Forrest

    http://www.nathanbedfordforrest.net/index.htm

    A speech given to a civil rights group "Jubilee of Pole Bearers" on July 5, 1875

    Many things have been said about me which are wrong, and which white and black persons here, who stood by me through the war, can contradict. Go to work, be industrious, live honestly and act truly, and when you are oppressed I'll come to your relief. I thank you, ladies and gentlemen, for this opportunity you have afforded me to be with you, and to assure you that I am with you in heart and in hand." (Prolonged applause.)

    End of speech.
    http://www.jacksonville.com/tu-onlin..._7020282.shtml

    Forrest was a successful slave dealer, but renowned for his humane policies. He purchased broken families and reunited them. He purchased slaves from abusive masters to protect them. He refused to sell slaves to people he knew to be abusive. He gave newly purchased slaves passes so they could seek out their new masters.

    When the war started, 45 male slaves chose to ride with Forrest on the promise of freedom if the South won. They served as combat soldiers and Forrest's personal armed bodyguards.

    Eighteen months after the war started, Forrest became convinced the South would lose and he would die in combat, so he freed these men. All of them stayed with him.
    It seems the General has been falsely smeared just to keep the pot stirred.

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    “Courage is not simply one of the virtues but the form of every virtue at the testing point, which means at the point of highest reality. “ C.S Lewis

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    I remember a story about him calling some Confederate General (Bragg I believe) he was under a bastard and a scoundrel and that he would kill him if he ever had a chance; I always thought that was funny.

    Honestly other than that I don't know much about him other than he is considered by some as the first Grand Wizard of the KKK (which because it is so disputed I won't judge, but if he was then any respect I have for him goes down the drain).

    So I'm not arguing here GA, so no need to embarass me. Oh and thanks for giving some life back to this forum again and you know the CW topics can bring that along.

    You just didn't pick the right topic to get me to bite on.
    "It is from numberless diverse acts of courage and belief that human history is shaped. Each time a man stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope..." -- Robert Kennedy

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    Quote Originally Posted by sking29 View Post
    I remember a story about him calling some Confederate General (Bragg I believe) he was under a bastard and a scoundrel and that he would kill him if he ever had a chance; I always thought that was funny.

    Honestly other than that I don't know much about him other than he is considered by some as the first Grand Wizard of the KKK (which because it is so disputed I won't judge, but if he was then any respect I have for him goes down the drain).

    So I'm not arguing here GA, so no need to embarass me. Oh and thanks for giving some life back to this forum again and you know the CW topics can bring that along.

    You just didn't pick the right topic to get me to bite on.
    I know just what you mean and the main reason I posted this in the first place. There are the wisperers who would bring anyone down, it matters not who that person might be, just the thought of their goodness is enough to bring down the hammer of judgment.

    I'll put my faith in congress on this one because they wanted blood yet were unable to find any on both counts of his "so called" misdeeds.

    In 1871, Congress convened a committee to investigate Fort Pillow. Chairman William Tecumseh Sherman, Forrest's greatest enemy, was quoted before the hearing began as saying "We are here to investigate Forrest, charge Forrest, try Forrest, convict Forrest and hang Forrest."

    When the committee considered written evidence and firsthand testimony, it concluded there was no Fort Pillow Massacre.
    SO:

    Forrest did have his "Nuremberg trial" and was found innocent.
    And as for the KKK thing:

    We can again thank the 1871 congressional investigation for resolving that allegation.

    The official conclusions were that Forrest did not found the KKK, that he was not its first Grand Wizard and that he was working to have it disbanded.
    P.S. Sorry I'll try and do better next time. How about Jeff Davis, that awful "non" person?

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    “Courage is not simply one of the virtues but the form of every virtue at the testing point, which means at the point of highest reality. “ C.S Lewis

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    Thanks for the education brother.
    I LOVE it when I exit a thread being smarter than I was going into it

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    Quote Originally Posted by azfinfanmang View Post
    Thanks for the education brother.
    I LOVE it when I exit a thread being smarter than I was going into it
    GA is good for doing that.
    "It is from numberless diverse acts of courage and belief that human history is shaped. Each time a man stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope..." -- Robert Kennedy

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    Hmm, a humane slave owner. Oxymoron, anyone?

    In all seriousness, I applaud the foresight to have some interest of the families he reunited and treated better then everyone else. But being the best slave owner isn't a real compliment.



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    Quote Originally Posted by Boik14 View Post
    Hmm, a humane slave owner. Oxymoron, anyone?

    In all seriousness, I applaud the foresight to have some interest of the families he reunited and treated better then everyone else. But being the best slave owner isn't a real compliment.
    WADR if you are judging from todays standards then you might have a leg to stand on but judging from where he stood I would put him far ahead of the curve.

    Let me ask you this seriously, in your opinion, who is the better person the one who sees a problem and says its wrong but does nothing else or the person who sees that same problem and does his best to correct it by taking action?

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    Quote Originally Posted by gafinfan View Post
    WADR if you are judging from todays standards then you might have a leg to stand on but judging from where he stood I would put him far ahead of the curve.

    Let me ask you this seriously, in your opinion, who is the better person the one who sees a problem and says its wrong but does nothing else or the person who sees that same problem and does his best to correct it by taking action?
    I dont put him far ahead of anything. A slave owner still owns slaves whether he's humane towards them or not. Whether he was nice or not they were still property, not equals. There were free African Americans in this country even prior to the civil war; not many, but some.

    How did he correct the problem by still owning slaves? He didn't suddenly free them until he felt he was going to die. Lets not make him in to something he isnt. He's not a hero nor should he be viewed as one. He may have been nicer and more hospitable then the rest of the slave owners but he was by no means ahead of the curve. Its more like everyone else was really that far behind the curve.



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    Quote Originally Posted by Boik14 View Post
    I dont put him far ahead of anything. A slave owner still owns slaves whether he's humane towards them or not. Whether he was nice or not they were still property, not equals. There were free African Americans in this country even prior to the civil war; not many, but some.

    How did he correct the problem by still owning slaves? He didn't suddenly free them until he felt he was going to die. Lets not make him in to something he isnt. He's not a hero nor should he be viewed as one. He may have been nicer and more hospitable then the rest of the slave owners but he was by no means ahead of the curve. Its more like everyone else was really that far behind the curve.
    There were about 10 % (over 500,000) of the African Americans in this country who were free split almost 50-50 North and South in 1860 (with a few 1000 more in the South). Most of the slaves were in the South by then, of course, but you have several blots, if you will, on those newly non slave owners in the North. Did they free their slaves? Sadly enough no they did not, they sold them to Southerners who would buy them. One other non talked about issue of slavery is that of those African Americans who were free in the South 28% owned slaves themselves. In point of fact 2 of the largest slave owners in the South were Black and each owned over 150 slaves: A woman outside of New Orleans and a man outside of Charlston.

    IMHO the issue is not so cut and dry as it appears today. If that fact were true then we would have never had slavery to begin with, don't you think? I'm not trying to paint our ancestors as angels or demons, they were a product of their times, no more no less, just as we are today. I will be willing to bet 150 years from now we will be looked at with the same judgemental eye as we judge those of 150 years ago. I wonder just what names they will call us?

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    "It is from numberless diverse acts of courage and belief that human history is shaped. Each time a man stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope..." -- Robert Kennedy

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    Quote Originally Posted by gafinfan View Post
    There were about 10 % (over 500,000) of the African Americans in this country who were free split almost 50-50 North and South in 1860 (with a few 1000 more in the South). Most of the slaves were in the South by then, of course, but you have several blots, if you will, on those newly non slave owners in the North. Did they free their slaves? Sadly enough no they did not, they sold them to Southerners who would buy them. One other non talked about issue of slavery is that of those African Americans who were free in the South 28% owned slaves themselves. In point of fact 2 of the largest slave owners in the South were Black and each owned over 150 slaves: A woman outside of New Orleans and a man outside of Charlston.

    IMHO the issue is not so cut and dry as it appears today. If that fact were true then we would have never had slavery to begin with, don't you think? I'm not trying to paint our ancestors as angels or demons, they were a product of their times, no more no less, just as we are today. I will be willing to bet 150 years from now we will be looked at with the same judgemental eye as we judge those of 150 years ago. I wonder just what names they will call us?
    It doesn't matter IMO, you can not be considered progressive and still own slaves because you didn't beat them. Especially given the fact that more then likely the slaves would have no place to go anyways.
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    Quote Originally Posted by gafinfan View Post
    There were about 10 % (over 500,000) of the African Americans in this country who were free split almost 50-50 North and South in 1860 (with a few 1000 more in the South). Most of the slaves were in the South by then, of course, but you have several blots, if you will, on those newly non slave owners in the North. Did they free their slaves? Sadly enough no they did not, they sold them to Southerners who would buy them. One other non talked about issue of slavery is that of those African Americans who were free in the South 28% owned slaves themselves. In point of fact 2 of the largest slave owners in the South were Black and each owned over 150 slaves: A woman outside of New Orleans and a man outside of Charlston.

    IMHO the issue is not so cut and dry as it appears today. If that fact were true then we would have never had slavery to begin with, don't you think? I'm not trying to paint our ancestors as angels or demons, they were a product of their times, no more no less, just as we are today. I will be willing to bet 150 years from now we will be looked at with the same judgemental eye as we judge those of 150 years ago. I wonder just what names they will call us?
    There's no way the figure of free blacks could have been that high. How can you be free when you aren't allowed to be literate and in most states couldnt own land or anything else for that matter? Even the free ones were dependent on doing the work that slaves do to get paid because that was the only skill they were allowed to have.

    Youre right that issue is not as cut and dry as it appears now. The need for cheap labor to help with agriculture was a necessity then. However the way we went about it as a country certainly left a lot to be desired.



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    Quote Originally Posted by Boik14 View Post
    There's no way the figure of free blacks could have been that high. How can you be free when you aren't allowed to be literate and in most states couldnt own land or anything else for that matter? Even the free ones were dependent on doing the work that slaves do to get paid because that was the only skill they were allowed to have.

    Youre right that issue is not as cut and dry as it appears now. The need for cheap labor to help with agriculture was a necessity then. However the way we went about it as a country certainly left a lot to be desired.
    Those figures are from the US 1860 census, I didn't pull them out of my hat.

    Couldn't agree with you more.

    Quote Originally Posted by unluckyluciano
    It doesn't matter IMO, you can not be considered progressive and still own slaves.
    From his speech to the civil rights group meeting he was invited to speak to in 1875, link above:

    I believe I can exert some influence, and do much to assist the people in strengthening fraternal relations, and shall do all in my power to elevate every man, to depress none.
    (Applause.)
    I want to elevate you to take positions in law offices, in stores, on farms, and wherever you are capable of going. I have not said anything about politics today. I don't propose to say anything about politics. You have a right to elect whom you please; vote for the man you think best, and I think, when that is done, you and I are freemen. Do as you consider right and honest in electing men for office. I did not come here to make you a long speech, although invited to do so by you. I am not much of a speaker, and my business prevented me from preparing myself. I came to meet you as friends, and welcome you to the white people. I want you to come nearer to us. When I can serve you I will do so.
    Sounds pretty progressive to me, better than some things I've read here.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gafinfan View Post
    From his speech to the civil rights group meeting he was invited to speak to in 1875, link above:
    Sounds pretty progressive to me, better than some things I've read here.
    He spoke like he was progressive, but he still owned slaves, therefore he was not progressive. not to mention he was part of the confederacy, which all reasons aside, if he had helped succeed, would have guaranteed the inequality of the blacks. It would be the equivalent to me speaking before glad, saying I think they deserve no different then straight families, then voting against a gay marriage act, or supporting a candidate who didnt support such an act.
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    Quote Originally Posted by gafinfan View Post
    Those figures are from the US 1860 census, I didn't pull them out of my hat.

    Couldn't agree with you more.



    From his speech to the civil rights group meeting he was invited to speak to in 1875, link above:



    Sounds pretty progressive to me, better than some things I've read here.
    By no means am i saying you made the figures up bro. I respect you too much to say that. I am saying though those figures aren't legit because less then 500,000 African Americans were actually literate and or owned land. You couldn't be free back then if you couldn't read and write or own land; how would you support yourself when agriculture and literature (or professions that involved being literate) were pretty much the two biggest industries after slavery. Not to mention the fact blacks couldn't own anything in most states. Isn't the ability to own land and possessions part of being free?

    While Forrest was better then his neighbors, being the best of the worst doesn't really make you any good.



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    Quote Originally Posted by Boik14 View Post
    There's no way the figure of free blacks could have been that high. How can you be free when you aren't allowed to be literate and in most states couldnt own land or anything else for that matter? Even the free ones were dependent on doing the work that slaves do to get paid because that was the only skill they were allowed to have.

    Youre right that issue is not as cut and dry as it appears now. The need for cheap labor to help with agriculture was a necessity then. However the way we went about it as a country certainly left a lot to be desired.
    GA and I discussed the numbers in another thread and here was my break down via the post link:

    http://forums.thephins.com/showpost....4&postcount=10

    Actually that whole thread "Why Was The Civil War Fought" discussed this quite a bit. It may be useful or it may not, just referencing it.

    GA and I agreed in the end.
    "It is from numberless diverse acts of courage and belief that human history is shaped. Each time a man stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope..." -- Robert Kennedy

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    Quote Originally Posted by sking29 View Post
    GA and I discussed the numbers in another thread and here was my break down via the post link:

    http://forums.thephins.com/showpost....4&postcount=10

    Actually that whole thread "Why Was The Civil War Fought" discussed this quite a bit. It may be useful or it may not, just referencing it.

    GA and I agreed in the end.
    Not everything there is entirely accurate. 100% of blacks in the north were not free. Certain northern states did allow slavery though it was frowned upon.

    Also how can you be free when you arent equals? Whites didnt have to put up with this kind of stuff: "In the South free blacks had curfews and restrictions against purchasing alcohol and firearms. They were not allowed to testify in a court case against a white person. In Florida and Georgia free men had to report to white guardians periodically. All of these laws and codes were designed to keep African Americans in a subordinate role in US society. Most free blacks, denied the education and opportunities open to whites, lived in poverty. "



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    Quote Originally Posted by Boik14 View Post
    Not everything there is entirely accurate. 100% of blacks in the north were not free. Certain northern states did allow slavery though it was frowned upon.

    Also how can you be free when you arent equals? Whites didnt have to put up with this kind of stuff: "In the South free blacks had curfews and restrictions against purchasing alcohol and firearms. They were not allowed to testify in a court case against a white person. In Florida and Georgia free men had to report to white guardians periodically. All of these laws and codes were designed to keep African Americans in a subordinate role in US society. Most free blacks, denied the education and opportunities open to whites, lived in poverty. "
    Well yeah if you want to get picky about it states like Delaware, Maryland, and other border states that were later in the Union were slave states as of the 1860 census. Perhaps I should have phrased it "free states" or something similar or better yet I may have misunderstood you entirely.
    "It is from numberless diverse acts of courage and belief that human history is shaped. Each time a man stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope..." -- Robert Kennedy

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    I remember from reading his biography in grade school, the quote attributed to him: "get there fustest with the mostest."
    I always thought the South had the better leaders overall, but the North had the manpower and manufacturing base to wear them down, which they eventually did.
    The page says he was the greatest American cavalry leader. I guess that is somewhat subjective and could be true. Was he better than John Mosby or JEB Stuart? Or was he better than George Custer, who whipped Stuart at Gettysburg? Or does the LBH debacle taint Custer's legacy enough that he could never be rated the greatest?

    Some folks may say the greatest American cavalry leader ever was Crazy Horse.
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