Skip to comments.Nathan Bedford Forrest and Racial Reconciliation
Posted on 08/08/2010 3:04:04 AM PDT by GonzoII
Easily the most controversial figure in the Civil War, probably the most controversial figure in American history, Nathan Bedford Forrest has always been the subject of fierce debate. Self-made millionaire who rose from poverty with much of his money made as a slaver trader; a semi-literate whose tactics and strategies as the most successful cavalry commander of the Civil War are still studied at military academies around the world; a brilliant general celebrated by the South and condemned by the North as the perpetrator of a massacre at Fort Pillow; a man who killed in combat 31 Union soldiers in the War but who after the War constantly had former Union soldiers visit him to shake his hand; and a racist who helped found the Ku Klux Klan after the War, but who also made a remarkable speech near the end of the life.
In 1875 Forrest was invited to address a meeting of the Independent Order of Pole Bearers, an early black civil rights organization in Memphis, at their Fourth of July barbecue on July 5. Forrest was told by many whites that he should not accept, but Forrest went. Just before he spoke he was presented a bouquet of flowers by Miss Flora Lewis, a daughter of one of the members of the Pole Bearers. Here is Forrests speech.
Ladies and Gentlemen, I accept the flowers as a memento of reconciliation between the white and colored races of the Southern states. I accept it more particularly as it comes from a colored lady, for if there is any one on Gods earth who loves the ladies I believe it is myself. (Immense applause and laughter.) I came here with the jeers of some white people, who think that I am doing wrong. I believe I can
(Excerpt) Read more at the-american-catholic.com ...
Forrest was indeed a fascinating individual and I think there is much more to be learned from an examination of his biography than that which is broadcast by the establishment media.
For those who are the more, I've written about Forrest and his application for conservatives on my about page which is to be arrived at simply by clicking on "Nathan Bedford." I think most of the comments at the foot of the original article have been anticipated on the about page.
Wow... I never knew about this.
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 dont 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.
Obviously a conservative racist whose lying to the black folk as usual.
(tyical leftist response)
Man-o-man, have I seen you take a beating over the years for you picking your FR screen name after this man.
Personally, I'd bookmark this thread, or save the original article, to throw in some faces at a future time. And that time will come again (unfortunately).
CSA cavalry's favorite weapon...
A man I would gladly have followed into battle.
And the yankees will being showing up shortly to contradict this ,,,,,,
Not this one again. I’ve seen the organization identified as “Independent Order of Pole Bearers” and the “Jubilee of Pole Bearers”. It’s been called a fraternal organization and at civil rights organization and a para-military organization. But the only time it is ever mentioned in any documentation I’ve ever seen is in connection with this alleged Forrest speech. No other mention of any kind. The story is most likely apocryphal.
Here’s a reference to the organization in a 2001 reference book. I would assume it was a genuine paramilitary group.
Whether Forrest ever made such a speech to it is of course an entirely separate question. I’d like to see some contemporary reportage.
Nathan Bedford Forrest memorial and grave in Memphis, Tennessee
When the Civil War began, Forrest offered freedom to 44 of his slaves if they would serve with him in the Confederate army. All 44 agreed. One later deserted; the other 43 served faithfully until the end of the war. Although they had many chances to leave, they chose to remain loyal to the South and to Forrest. Part of Forrest’s command included his own Escort Company (his “Special Forces”), made up of the very best soldiers available. This unit, which varied in size from 40-90 men, was the elite of the cavalry. Eight of these picked men were black soldiers and all served gallantly and bravely throughout the war. All were armed with at least 2 pistols and a rifle. Most also carried two additional pistols in saddle holsters. At war’s end, when Forrest’s cavalry surrendered in May 1865, there were 65 black troopers on the muster roll. Of the soldiers who served under him, Forrest said of the black troops: Finer Confederates never fought.
A man I would gladly have followed into battle.
Not me, he was libel to get you killed to the point where one of his own men tried to kill him for that very tendency.
What was Forrest famous quote about it?
"No man kills me and lives to tell the tale."
This sounds similar to what Glenn Beck refers to as a person's pivot point.
The pivot point occurs when a person experiences an epiphany of conscience or a life altering event that turns them.
Beck looked for and found a pivot point in Shirley Sherrod but he can't find it in Van Jones or Andy Stern.
And what Lost Cause fantasy site did you dredge that up from?
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