Myths of Nathan Bedford Forrest
A speech given to a civil rights group "Jubilee of Pole Bearers" on July 5, 1875
http://www.jacksonville.com/tu-onlin..._7020282.shtmlMany 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.
It seems the General has been falsely smeared just to keep the pot stirred.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.