Skip to comments.That elusive common ground (Dig up General Nathan Bedford Forrest)
Posted on 07/26/2005 10:06:51 PM PDT by zipper
Editorial 07/26: That elusive common ground July 26, 2005
Extreme points of view tend to get most of the ink, but those who seek the middle ground should not be discouraged.
Such is the case in the dispute over the recommendation by the Center City Commission and Shelby County Commissioner Walter Bailey to rename Memphis parks whose names suggest continued allegiance to the Confederacy...
Memphis attorney Karl Schledwitz, perhaps best known for leading the campaign to bring pandas to the Memphis Zoo, is the architect of this very different sort of move.
Schledwitz said he had the necessary parties on board for a plan to move the bodies of Nathan Bedford Forrest and his wife, along with a statue of Forrest aboard his horse, from what is now known as Forrest Park to a more appropriate site at Elmwood Cemetery....
The Schledwitz solution might not be perfect, but it deserves a fair hearing. Council member Carol Chumney expressed the hopes of many: that "there can be some kind of a win-win scenario created where this community can walk away feeling united and positive."
Win-win scenarios seem to show up with the approximate frequency of ivory-billed woodpeckers, but that doesn't mean we shouldn't look for them. Fortunately, Memphis has people who are willing to stick their necks out in the effort to find solutions that will defuse volatile situations.....
The choice before the community now is whether to give those who advocate reconciliation a chance to make their case or keep the sabers rattling.
(Excerpt) Read more at commercialappeal.com ...
In a related development:
July 23, 2005
International Sons of Confederate Veterans
SONS OF CONFEDERATE VETERANS
TO FUND MEMPHIS PARKS LITIGATION
The $10,000 represents the first installment of cash from the national organization to the Forrest Camp, is unfettered, and will be used for any and all defense purposes including litigation. Commander-in-Chief Denne Sweeney of Dallas, Texas, stated this outrageous affront to our Southern heritage will be met with every financial and legal means available to the Sons of Confederate Veterans. The park renamings and monument removals are tantamount to an ethnic cleansing.
The Sons of Confederate Veterans is a 35,000 member national organization headquartered in Columbia, Tennessee, and is dedicated to accurate history and the protection of the good name of the Confederate soldier. Great Southern historical figures such as Nathan Bedford Forrest and Jefferson Davis are sacred to not only our membership but to millions of Americans who will object on a large scale should any further attempt be made by the Memphis City Council to revise history and vilify Confederate leaders.
Anyone desiring information concerning this press release should contact Brag Bowling at 804.389.3620.
National Press Officer
Sons of Confederate Veterans
So they finally dare to disturb his bones. Dead 100 + years, I guess they figure its finally safe.
Hey, great idea. Also, let's disinter Thomas Jefferson and throw the slaveowning bastard's bones into a landfill. While we're at it, let's exhume the body of Charles Lindbergh and expunge his memory from our national consciousness.. sure, he was an aviation pioneer and an American hero, but he was rabidly isolationist and had sympathies for the Third Reich. Also, let's urinate all over the grave of Martin Luther King, Jr., and remove his moniker from every street which bears his name, because he was an adulterer and had links to the Communists. Because, after all, everybody knows that perfection is the only relevant standard, and to be imperfect is to be loathsome.
defenders of history ping
Memphis government is corrupt and full of room temperature IQ's. For all intents and purposes, the city is a hell hole.
Exactly! Oh and don't forget MLK was a plagiarist, but who's counting.
Glad you brought that up. From what I've read another common discrediting argument about Thomas Jefferson is specious-- it is true (through DNA) that some of his genes were found in offspring of one of his slaves (Sally Hemmings, I think her name was (?)-- but the father could have been another male in his lineage, such as his uncle, brother, etc., and it likely was. So there's no proof, just innuendo. But enough innuendo for history books to be re-written by the lefties writing and selecting textbooks for the public schools.
They will probably try to erase all the white peoples' names of the past off public property because they are considered racist in some way. I'm sure they will start with the city's founders, because they probably must have owned slaves.The City Memphis has serious problems with its schools, revenue, and government officals. Changing the name of the parks draws attention away from all that. When Walter Bailey runs for mayor he can claim that he saved the city from dead Confederate heroes.
Run Nathan Bedford Forrest, RUN!
That's funny, I don't care who you are...
That's gotta be the funniest thing on the internet tonight. Of course, now you've got me wondering what Nathan Bedford's mama is willing to do to keep her son resting in peace in his current spot . ..
While I understand your bitter humor with the whole scenario, this is still ugly and without merit in a society that prides itself on openness and free expression.
Revisionism is anathema to a free society, and PC-ism is merely the latest attempt of the genuine fascists to undermine free expression.
A POX upon those who oppose the ideals of freedom!
He was an effective general, for sure, but "great" implies more than good, and Forrest was a ruthless slave trader who executed surrendering negro Union soldiers at Fort Pillow. He was a very bad man -- not a "great" general at all, and no one should be surprised that the decendants of the people he treated so brutally should desire to remove any place of honor bestowed on him or his remains.
Forrest was "ruthless" exactly how?
Yes, he traded slaves. For those to whom this is all that matters, well, this is all that matters.
But since you call him a "ruthless" slave trader, you are at least pretending to say more.
So what, exactly, is your additional implication?
This is far from an objectively established fact. The Union forces suffered a defeat at the hands of Forrest's forces, to be sure. But whether any were executed is, to my estimation, unknowable to us.
Moving the graves and statue to Elmwood Cemetery almost guarantees that they will be vandalized. Elmwood is in a very bad area of town, and these sleazy lawyers and politicians know damn well that there would be virtually no security to maintain the gravesites or the statue.
I think that the SCV should move the Forrest graves and statue to the Shiloh battlefield, and have a huge ceremony proclaiming the final surrender of Memphis to political correctness. The SCV can turn the tables on Memphis by letting the city wallow in it's own financial and spiritual bankruptcy.
Memphis is a town undergoing serious urban decay. The SCV can help accelerate the death of this sorry excuse for a city.
Let Memphis rot, and let Nathan Bedford Forrest reside on far more hallowed ground.
Shove it up your
Yankee Ass. Forest was a great man.
Memphis city government is corrupt and only interested in preserving racial disharmony and their graft.
Forrest was one of the first men, if not the first, to grasp the doctrines of " (Click link for more info and facts about mobile warfare) mobile warfare" that became prevalent in the (Click link for more info and facts about 20th century) 20th century. His one directive to his men was to "get there firstest with the mostest", even if it meant pushing his horses at a killing pace, which he did more than once. One report states that Forrest led a mounted cavalry of 2500 troops 100 miles in only two days. (*) A total of 29 horses were shot out from under him.
Forrest's victory at Brice's Cross Roads became the subject of a class taught at the French War College by Marshal (Click link for more info and facts about Ferdinand Foch) Ferdinand Foch before (A war between the allies (Russia, France, British Empire, Italy, United States, Japan, Rumania, Serbia, Belgium, Greece, Portugal, Montenegro) and the central powers (Germany, Austria-Hungary, Turkey, Bulgaria) from 1914 to 1918) World War I, and his mobile campaigns were studied by the (A person of German nationality) German general (German field marshal noted for brilliant generalship in North Africa during World War II (1891-1944)) Erwin Rommel, who as commander of the (Click link for more info and facts about Afrika Korps) Afrika Korps in (A war between the Allies (Australia, Belgium, Bolivia, Brazil, Canada, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Czechoslovakia, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Ethiopia, France, Greece, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, India, Iran, Iraq, Luxembourg, Mexico, Netherl) World War II emulated his tactics on a wider scale, with tanks and trucks.
Shortly after the war, Lee was asked to identify the best soldier he ever commanded. Although Forrest only came under his command in the last month of the war, when Lee became overall Confederate commander, Lee replied: "A man I have never met, sir. His name is Forrest."
We first moved to Memphis in the early seventies. It was a wonderful place to raise children.
The minute bussing came into being, it all changed, and finally we had to move just to stay alive.
Yeah, I'm kind of thinking that Forrest would want to get out of that dump, if he had a say in the matter.
Even if your allegations have some merit, does this justify the actions taken? Is there any evidence of a debate in the Memphis media over General Forrest's military record? Was there a proper military investigation to document these allegations? You seem to be falling down the same slippery slope as the Thomas Jefferson detractors and others-- the mere fact they ever owned slaves is enough to impugn their legacy. And even worse-- the mere allegation of an improper act is enough for the politically-correct crowd to whip up hysteria.
The fact is, General Forrest is only remembered by the PC crowd for his involvement with the KKK, not for the allegations you mention. That legacy is best addressed here:
Embittered by the state of his homeland after the war, in May 1866, Forrest became "Grand Wizard" of the (A secret society of white Southerners in the United States; was formed in the 19th century to resist the emancipation of slaves; used terrorist tactics to suppress Black people) Ku Klux Klan, an organization of Confederate veterans. Because of Forrest's prominence, the organization grew rapidly under his (The activity of leading) leadership. In addition to aiding Confederate widows and orphans of the war, many members of the new group began to use force to oppose the extension of voting rights to blacks, and to resist (The activity of constructing something again) Reconstruction-introduced measures for the ending of segregation. In 1869, Forrest, disagreeing with its increasingly violent tactics, ordered the Klan to disband. However, many of its groups in other parts of the country ignored the order and continued to function.
July 4, 1875
Source "Black Southerners in Gray" - edited by Richard Rollins, Rank and File, 1994.
"Nathan Bedford Forrest was invited to speak by the Jubilee of Pole Bearers, a political and social organization in the post-war era comprised of Black Southerners. Miss Lou Lewis was introduced to General Forrest then presented him with a bouquet of flowers and said: 'Mr. Forrest - allow me to present you this bouquet as a token, of reconciliation, an offering of peace and good will.'
"General Forrest received the flower with a bow, and replied: To the General Forrest Tribute Website
'Miss Lewis, ladies and gentlemen - I accept these flowers as a token of reconciliation between the white and colored races of the South. I accept them more particularly, since they come from a lady, for if there is any one on Gods great earth who loves the ladies, it is myself. This is a proud day for me. Having occupied the position I have for thirteen years, and being misunderstood by the colored race, I take this occasion to say that I am your friend. I am here as the representative of the Southern people - one that has been more maligned than any other. I assure you that every man who was in the Confederate army is your friend. We were born on same soil, breathe the same air, live in the same land, and why should we not be brothers and sisters.
When the war broke out I believed it to be my duty to fight for my country, and I did so. I came here with the jeers and sneers of a few white people, who did not think it right. I think it is right, and will do all I can to bring about harmony, peace and unity. I want to elevate every man, and to see you take your places in your shops, stores and but I want you to do as I do - go to the polls and select the best men to vote for. I feel that you are free men, I am a free man, and we can do as we please. I came here as a friend and whenever I can serve any of you I will do so. We have one Union, one flag, one country; therefore, let us stand together. Although we differ in color, we should not differ in sentiment. Many things have been said in regard to myself, and many reports circulated, which may perhaps be believed by some of you, but there are many around me who can contradict them. I have been many times in the heat of battle - oftener, perhaps, than any within the sound of my voice. Men have come to me to ask for quarter, both black and white, and I have shielded them. Do your duty as citizens, and if any are oppressed, I will be your friend. I thank you for the flowers, and assure you that I am with you in heart and hand.'"
The Memphis Daily Avalanche reported this event on July 6, 1875.
His record aside-- at this point you need to be reminded there are three parks whose names are under consideration for renaming, not one.
You're probably right about there being better places for his (and his wife's) grave, but it would be viewed as a "strategic withdrawl" and a victory for the PC crowd. Encouraged by this, they will go on to undertake other projects of ethnic cleansing our historical legacies.
Velvetdoug's post provides the probable source of that lie; the North hated Forrest because they feared him. Then as now they libeled freely whenever it suited them.
Since you seem interested in history, I recommend Shelby Foote's A Narrative History of the Civil War, for an honest and balanced account of the battle. In fact, the massacre occurred in Forrest's absence, and he stopped it.
Lefties view the Civil War as the triumph of good over evil and a step in the advancement of humanity toward an essentially Marxist ideal: abolition of property and absolute economic equality. This is the Ken Burns ideology and he owes much to Macphearson's Battle Cry of Freedom, a 60's era manifesto, still regarded valid in the liberal academy and propaganda mill.
For those pansies in Memphis, 100 years is barely enough.
Even after all this time, Gen. Forrest is STILL more of a man than any of them!
Forrest was a very bad man if you were a Yankee fighting against him. If you were from Tennessee and wished to drive the invader from your land he was held in great esteem. I have a great personal fondness for the General since he married my "cousin" Mary Anne Montgomery. Forrest's wife and I share the same Grandfather a few generations back. DEO VINDICI
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