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December 14, 2008

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Welcome to West Tennessee.

If you haven't been through Memphis yet, be sure to visit Nathan Bedford Forrest Park (which serves as the final resting place of the old bastard) right outside of downtown and about a mile and a half from where Dr. King was murdered.

This is the south. These sorts of outrages litter the landscape.

And it's not just the postwar Klan connection that makes Forrest such a nasty character to commemorate. He was responsible for the most memorable battlefield atrocity of the Civil War: the cold-blooded massacre of over 200 black soldiers who had surrendered to his forces at the Battle of Fort Pillow on April 12, 1864.

Maybe the Tennessee park service feels that it's OK to have a Bedford Forrest State Park because they also have a Fort Pillow State Park on Route 87--so both sides are, you know, represented.

Also, according to Wikipedia, Forrest did business as a slave trader before the war, putting him in one of the "professions" that the civilized world regards as hostis humani generis.

Maybe that should explain why certain contemporary political leaders think history will vindicate them, too.

Changing the park's name involves admitting "we were wrong". How likely is that?

The latest of many attempts to change the name of NB Forrest High School here in Jacksonville, FL was just shot down.

Arlington, Virginia, which is right across the Potomac from D.C. and thus un-American by Sarah Palin's standards, has a Robert E. Lee Highway and soemthing named after Stonewall Jackson. Even Baltimore, the majority of whose residents are descended from slaves, has a Robert E. Lee Park. In Germany today, nothing is named after Hitler or other leading Nazis, because the Germans are capable of feeling shame.

In 2003, the unveiling of a statue of Lincoln in Richmond, Va. caused an utter sh!tstorm among, um, certain types of people. Google "Richmond Virginia Lincoln Statue" and you'll find all kinds of bitter-ender, unreconstructed racist, secessionist goodness.

And they didn't even take the opportunity to name it the Nathan Bedford Forrest Forest. What a shame; if you're going there, you may as well go all the way.

In regards to Henry's comment, I understand the sentiment, but I think it is mistaken to lump Robert Lee (and perhaps Stonewall Jackson) with Forrest.

Stone Mountain, GA, the Confederate Mt. Rushmore.

There are lots of people in the south who still, 150 years later, have not quite decided that they want to be part of the United States of America.

There are Russians who are still nostalgic for the days of Stalin, Germans (and non-Germans) who still consider Hitler a misunderstood genius, and Italians who think a little of the spirit of Mussolini wouldn't be such a bad thing (how else to explain Berlusconi).

Some dreams seem hardly worth the candle, but people keep dreaming them anyway.

Thanks -

it is mistaken to lump Robert Lee (and perhaps Stonewall Jackson) with Forrest.

Lee led a war for slavery that killed 625,000 men. That easily outdoes Forrest.

There are lots of people in the south who still, 150 years later, have not quite decided that they want to be part of the United States of America.

Tell me about it. Even here in the non-South part of the southern US, Orlando, you see the occasional pickup truck sporting a Confederate flag or three.

Not that I think they're serious about secession; just reflexively paying homage to an extinct idea because their daddies did, and their daddies before them.

FWIW, I don't think Robert E. Lee and NB Forrest occupy the same moral ground, and neither one of them is Hitler. Neither man was squeaky-clean by today's standards, but one did more personal evil than the other.

There are Russians who are still nostalgic for the days of Stalin

yes indeed.

according to the latest Harpers Index, 37% of Russians today approve of the way Russia was handled under Stalin. Stalin beats Bush.

Stalin beats Bush.

Stalin also beats Congress! If Stalin could just edge out SCOTUS, it'd be a trifecta.

Lee didn't lead a war for slavery, that was Jefferson Davis

The park is named after Forrest because he was the leading Confederate commander in the Battle of Johnsonville, a minor engagement in which the cavalry officer succeeded in burning significant quantities of Union supplies. Add to the list Forrest City, Arkansas. Forrest County, Mississippi. Or, a little closer to home, Forrest High School in Chapel Hill, Tennessee, the good general's birthplace. There are 32 memorials or markers to Forrest's memory in the State of Tennessee.

In 1990, the United States Postal Service issued stamps commemorating the Civil War - including stamps honoring Jefferson Davis, Robert E Lee, Stand Watie, Stonewall Jackson, and Raphael Semmes.

Notably absent from that list? General James Longstreet. There's hardly a memorial in the South to the Confederacy's leading strategic thinker and Lee's key lieutenant. It took until 1998 for a statute to be erected at Gettysburg. There were, by that time, 914 separate markers or memorials on the battlefield. And in Tennessee? What great tributes have been dedicated to the hero of Chickamagua, the man who dealt the Union its greatest defeat in the Western Theater of the entire struggle? Danged if I can find so much as a single statue. A portrait of Longstreet, donated by his wife, resides at the Chicakmagua visitors center - but it's not on public display.

Whenever people wax rhapsodic about the military exploits of Confederate leaders, and talk poetically about honoring their service and sacrifice and a lost way of life, I think about James Longstreet. If that were actually the goal of Confederate memorials, surely a giant of the Cause like James Longstreet should have ten - no, a hundred - times as many memorials as a relatively minor commander like Nathan Bedford Forrest.

But Longstreet, you see, committed great sins. After the war, he decided to move forward - embracing reunification. He joined the Republican Party, and served in a series of prominent appointive offices. He was willing to accommodate himself to racial equality, at least in some measure. And he was willing to look back on the war with some measure of honesty, identifying errors. Not for him, the cult of the Lost Cause.

This is the great lie of southern memory. The innumerable Confederate memorials have never been about honoring the dead or their sacrifice. They are about memorializing a way of life, built upon racial subjugation of staggering dimensions, and about attempts to extend that subjugation long after the war was lost. Thus, Forrest is everywhere remember, and Longstreet everywhere shunned. It's worth bearing in mind.

By sheer coincidence, I'm in the middle of reading this, on the Colfax massacre and its legal aftermath. Until a couple of years ago, I really had no idea at all how horrible the reconstruction era was, and that it wasn't just a period of periodic violence against African-Americans and the odd Yankee (which would have been bad enough), but something very much like war.

I sometimes wonder how much general amnesia about Reconstruction played into policy-makers' failure to see what the aftermath of war in Iraq might be like. Certainly, if what we were taught in school was something like: a lot of people in the South did not accept the Union victory, and were willing not just to shoot or lynch the odd person, but to e.g. violently overthrow elected legislatures, terrorize whole populations, etc., to undo its effects, it might have given them pause.

In what other nation would you ever see this kind of adoration for a war criminal who primarily became famous for slaughtering American citizens?

There are tons of Confederates who, despite choosing the wrong side, contributed great things to American history. The only thing Nathan Bedford Forrest ever did was hate, terrify, and murder black people.

cynic,
that's a great point, and I don't necessarily disagree with that, but Longstreet also was notable in that the blame of Gettysburg was often focussed on him. It would be interesting to know if that would have been enough to get him place on the blacklist, absent his postwar career. With the canonization of Lee, it was inevitable that someone had to take the fall for the defeat at Gettysburg.

I came to this blog through TNC's blog, and I posted a longer comment there, but people here might want to check out my article from a few years ago that lays out some of these issues: Court Carney, “The Contested Image of Nathan Bedford Forrest,” Journal of Southern History, Vol. LXVII, no. 3 (August 2001): 601-30. I am currently working on a book on these issues--I'm an assistant professor of history--so any public furor over Forrest makes my job easier.

liberal japonicus, you are right about what you say reagrding Longstreet and Gettyburg. Even though it was Lee's command and decisions, Longstreet was blamed because after gettysburg he faulted Lee for the defeat and especially Pickett's disastrous charge. He was never forgiven.

I was amazed on a recent trip to Charlottesville, Va and home to TJ and THE University of Virginia to see a statue of Stonewall Jackson on the courthouse grounds in central "downtown" Charlottesville. I found that truly amazing for a supposedly forward thinking and liberal (kind of) town and University. It must have been dedicated during the civing rights movement in the late '50's and early '60's. It is amazing what you find in some of our southern towns.

Even here in the non-South part of the southern US, Orlando, you see the occasional pickup truck sporting a Confederate flag or three.

You get them in southern New Jersey, just a few minutes drive outside Philadelphia. Granted, it's also a short drive to the Mason-Dixon Line, but still.... I suspect you can find these trucks in many other northern locales as well. I always figure southerners might have some excuse, however poor, but what's up with non-southerners who sport the Stars and Bars? I can hazard a couple of guesses.

Longstreet was my favorite character in Killer Angels. I love the synopsis of their lives at the end where he showed up at a confederate memorial service he wasn't invited to. So that's a great question: why are there no memorials to him?

I also can't help but wonder if that's the same Forrest George Allen's son is named for. No wonder he had a macacca moment.


I guess i'm agreeing with you...but the comparison to the buddhas of Bamyan, 1500 year old statues that depict religious symbols that stood for peace and tranquility is plain retarded...seriously man, im so on you're side...but skip the comparison...it's not even close....

Thanks, lj. Admittedly, I suffer from upbringing and hometown bias, as both Lee and Jackson are buried here.

They were not the alabaster saints I was taught about in my childhood. Jackson's practice of "total war" more than obliterates his Sunday school instruction at the Lexington Presbyterian Church, for instance.

But neither man is remotely comparable to the vile Nathan Bedford Forrest, much less Adolph Hitler.

@Henry: If you're sensitive to things being named after Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson, I'd advise you not travel south of Arlington (itself named after Lee's home, which was taken by the federal government and converted to the famous cemetery). You'll definitely want to turn back before you hit Rockbridge County.

Hilzoy: I sometimes wonder how much general amnesia about Reconstruction played into policy-makers' failure to see what the aftermath of war in Iraq might be like. Certainly, if what we were taught in school was something like: a lot of people in the South did not accept the Union victory, and were willing not just to shoot or lynch the odd person, but to e.g. violently overthrow elected legislatures, terrorize whole populations, etc., to undo its effects, it might have given them pause.

That's an interesting point. A lot of us liberal southerners who grew up in the 1960s became aware of this actual history of Reconstruction through the civil rights movement and its reverberation through history departments since.

What is taught in school now about Reconstruction?

@Cynic: Thanks very much for your comment. I'm ashamed to say that when Shelby Foote came to Lexington shortly after the PBS Civil War series was first shown, he was given a very hard time about his truth-telling wrt Longstreet. People here have a hard time accepting criticisms of St. Robbie.

I should clarify that the Foote/old Lexingtonian controversy was entirely focused on Gettysburg, not postwar events.

I suspect you can find these trucks in many other northern locales as well.

Welcome to New Hampshire.

Thanks -

On the plus side, it does seem to be located on "Pilot Knob Road", which, at least from a UK English perspective, is completely hilarious.

according to the latest Harpers Index, 37% of Russians today approve of the way Russia was handled under Stalin.

You saw that too? Same source, 2 in 5 Americans favored censorship of political satire when it criticizes the government.

Those are close enough to each other to be within the margin of error.

Maybe there's a 40% Fascist Factor in a given population.

On the plus side, it does seem to be located on "Pilot Knob Road", which, at least from a UK English perspective, is completely hilarious

"Pilot Knob" is the name of a particularly bloody Confederate repulse in Missouri, not involving Gen. Forrest. Why a road in Tennessee has that name is something of a mystery.

"In Germany today, nothing is named after Hitler or other leading Nazis, because the Germans are capable of feeling shame."

Posted by: Henry | December 15, 2008 at 08:17 AM

This is a completely asinine comment. I'm married to a German and have lived and worked in Germany for over 20 years. First off there are landmarks named after Hitler - not many but they exist. Second, well let's just say Nathan Bedford Forrest would be proud of Henry's logic.

there's a Pilot Knob in NY (on Lake George), and one in NC (near Mt Airy), too.

i suspect you'll find one anywhere there's a knobby mountain.

@publius:

Didn't want to leave this thread without giving props for the post title. Good one!

There are a couple of points to take in mind...

1) Robert E Lee was well served by revanchist historians. He's like certain other generals that are better thought of, politically, than they should, like Rommel, for instance. Yes, his place does belong with Nathan Bedford Forrest, who whatever his other deep flaws verging onto evil, did have certain virtues to a limited extent. There is not a little "but if only the Czar knew what his Cossacks did" element when it comes to Lee.

2) If Reconstruction was bad, Post-Reconstruction era was even worse.

And another thing...
Chicamaugua was not really a victory in the proper sense. One of the great generals of the Civil War, Henry Thomas held off Longstreet long enough for an orderly retreat back to the city. It didn't change the strategic or even tactical landscape much

Along the lines of George Tenet Fangirl's suggestion, it would be amusing if they named it the "Nathan Bedford Forest," and then, if pressed, claimed it was named after the struggling movie extra.

That's southern heritage I can believe in.

People here have a hard time accepting criticisms of St. Robbie.

Biggest truth: Grant was a much better general.

Chicamaugua was not really a victory in the proper sense. One of the great generals of the Civil War, Henry Thomas held off Longstreet long enough for an orderly retreat back to the city.

George Thomas. He was a Virginian who remained with the Union after secession. He's a fascinating story, and a true patriot. As a child, he and his family had to flee from Nat Turner's rebellion, which he later said that he hoped he would have joined had he been a slave.

Along similar lines, I always found it odd that an army base is named after Braxton Bragg.

There is even a Fort Pickett near Blackstone VA...

I never really understood why Lee is so revered by the South.

He lost the war. Regardless of the disadvantages, and advantages, Lee had, the point of war is to win.

No one memorializes Cornwalis.

Not only Fort Braggg, and Fort Pickett, but also Fort Hood and Fort Lee.

No one memorializes Cornwalis.

http://jrshelby.com/lordcornwalisa.jpg

(The memorial is in Ghazipur, India; Cornwallis was twice governor general, as well as Lord Lieutenant of Ireland)

I'm married to a German and have lived and worked in Germany for over 20 years. First off there are landmarks named after Hitler - not many but they exist.

I have spent ample time in Germany and am pretty sure this is not true. Can you name, say, three?

I wrote, above, "In Germany today, nothing is named after Hitler or other leading Nazis, because the Germans are capable of feeling shame." Richard and Phil are debating whether anything is named after Hitler, and I will remain neutral on the point. But I am fairly certain that, in Germany, public statements of anti-Semitism, swastikas, Holocaust denial, and even Mein Kampf are illegal. I oppose such censorship, but at least it shows that the Germans feel greater shame for the Nazis than Americans who display the Confederate-flag and name roads after Robert E. Lee feel for our heritage of slavery. And whether Forrest or Lee were as bad as Hitler is completely beside the point. They were all evil.

Again, Henry, I don't completely disagree, but the Civil War ended in 1864, WWII (in Germany) ended in 1944, so even if there were absolute congruences in the various shame reflexes of different cultures, the passage of time really makes the comparison problematic.

I'm presuming that you are from the North, and, not trying to make any claims about the guilt of the South, lumping Robert E. Lee, N.B. Forrest and Hitler in the same pot sounds like the sort of self righteous Yankee that Southerners get a lot of mileage out of.

lumping Robert E. Lee, N.B. Forrest and Hitler in the same pot sounds like the sort of self righteous Yankee that [white] Southerners get a lot of mileage out of.

Fixed that for you.

Because obviously, there's a lot of difference between rounding people up, enslaving them, and killing them, for being Jewish, and rounding people up, enslaving them, and killing them for being black. Oh wait: Hitler was German! That makes another big difference.

Lots of great points made since I last posted.

Yes, it's perfectly true that Longstreet was long held accountable for failures - both real and imagined - at Gettysburg. But there's solid evidence for that being effect, rather than cause. Longstreet was never wildly popular during the war; personal tragedy made him taciturn and withdrawn, and his theory of defensive warfare had little appeal for the heirs of the cavalier tradition. But no one, to the best of my knowledge, voiced open criticism of his actions on the field at Gettysburg until 1872 - well after he had cast his lot with Reconstruction. In other words, although he was certainly among those who made mistakes at Gettysburg, they weren't held against him until he chose reconciliation. That makes the later critiques of his battlefield performance a mere pretext. And indeed, as historians have come around to see Reconstruction as a noble-minded yet deeply-flawed enterprise, they have also reassessed Longstreet, both during the war and after, and his reputation has undergone a significant revival. He is, in that sense, an almost perfect parallel with Forrest - both reputations ostensibly rest on wartime deeds, but in fact have largely been determined by shifting assessments of their postwar careers.

I didn't mean to slight the Rock of Chickamagua, but his performance that day merely forestalled catastrophe. Longstreet correctly evaluated the tactical situation, identified a gap in the lines, and exploited it rather brilliantly. Only Thomas' poise and Bragg's hesitance prevented a complete victory - but the outcome was still a far cry from a draw.

Cynic, not to disagree with you, but...

1) In wars, particularly long ones, what has mattered on a tactical-to-strategic level has always been how well one loses, not how well one wins. The side that manages orderly withdrawals well in a defeat has a huge advantage over one that has to win every single conflict.

2) Yeah, southerners have been ideological for a *very* long time. Those people have trashed real-thinking southerners since before the Civil War. It's only now that we are getting a clear picture of much that involved the Civil War and Reconstruction/Post Reconstruction.

Um... NS... don't forget, he sold Black people, too. Just want to keep the list complete.

lumping Robert E. Lee, N.B. Forrest and Hitler in the same pot sounds like the sort of self righteous Yankee that [white] Southerners get a lot of mileage out of.

Fixed that for you

Jes, you forgot the coda

Because I'm not going to let some newbie come along and usurp me as queen of the self-righteous!

^^)/


Cynic,
that's very true, and I didn't mean to suggest that the some metric of battlefield competence was the sole factor in determining Longstreet's place in history. I don't think anyone's place in history is determined only by facts, but they have to be plugged into the narrative and the narrative makes use of various points, real or imagined.

Also, I wonder if the open criticism was merely a pretext, or if it had been circulating after the war. Also, about the point that Longstreet was insufficiently offensively minded to be lauded brings to mind that Albert Sidney Johnston had similar notions, and is similarly unheralded.

the Civil War ended in 1864, WWII (in Germany) ended in 1944

Just for the record, those dates should be 1865 and 1945.

the Civil War ended in 1864, WWII (in Germany) ended in 1944

Just for the record, those dates should be 1865 and 1945.

Nathan Bedford Forrest Was A Dedicated Soldier Who Busted His Ass To Go From A Private To General In Just A Few Years,How Many Of You Can Say That?

This is a completely asinine comment. I'm married to a German and have lived and worked in Germany for over 20 years. First off there are landmarks named after Hitler - not many but they exist.

I suspect that Richard is not telling the truth here.

"In Germany today, nothing is named after Hitler or other leading Nazis, because the Germans are capable of feeling shame."

I am a German and I know of no such places (at least none gloryfying him). Nonetheless there are a number of locations named after quite unsavoury characters from that era and the debate about (re)naming military barracks (and ships) that is a recurrent feature in German politics is not pretty either. There is still the powerful meme of the "clean" Wehrmacht that was abused by the evil Nazis. Considering place/street names memorializing Germans from the 19th century there are also names that are highly controversial (e.g. the antisemites Stöcker and Treitschke).
Formally there is a ban on naming streets etc. after persons connected to certain kinds of "misbehaviour" but the enforcement leaves a lot to be desired. Just recently such a naming was averted at the last minute, when it was belatedly realized what the proposed "local patriots" had actually done (not mentioned in the petitions of course). While most remember Hitler and therefore would not accept naming a street after him, the local synagogue arsonist may slip through, when he is presented as the person who rebuild the church, as a victim of the communist purges post-WW2 etc.
At least there is not much of an open cult.Gloryfying the military is, thank whateverhigherbeing, out of fashion here (and the recent attempts to revive the Iron Cross did not get off the ground).

"In Germany today, nothing is named after Hitler or other leading Nazis, because the Germans are capable of feeling shame."

I am a German and I know of no such places (at least none gloryfying him). Nonetheless there are a number of locations named after quite unsavoury characters from that era and the debate about (re)naming military barracks (and ships) that is a recurrent feature in German politics is not pretty either. There is still the powerful meme of the "clean" Wehrmacht that was abused by the evil Nazis. Considering place/street names memorializing Germans from the 19th century there are also names that are highly controversial (e.g. the antisemites Stöcker and Treitschke).
Formally there is a ban on naming streets etc. after persons connected to certain kinds of "misbehaviour" but the enforcement leaves a lot to be desired. Just recently such a naming was averted at the last minute, when it was belatedly realized what the proposed "local patriots" had actually done (not mentioned in the petitions of course). While most remember Hitler and therefore would not accept naming a street after him, the local synagogue arsonist may slip through, when he is presented as the person who rebuild the church, as a victim of the communist purges post-WW2 etc.
At least there is not much of an open cult.Gloryfying the military is, thank whateverhigherbeing, out of fashion here (and the recent attempts to revive the Iron Cross did not get off the ground).

Nathan Bedford Forrest Was A Dedicated Soldier Who Busted His Ass To Go From A Private To General In Just A Few Years,How Many Of You Can Say That?

What is this, a song title?

Thanks -

as irritating as the self righteous smugness one can find daily on the drudge report is the same crap one gets from the p.c. crowd. for the record, forrest was the original grand wizard of the kkk. also for the record, when he became aware of some of this new organization's tendencies toward lawlessness, he resigned and recommended that it disband. and finally for the record, he was one of the greatest soldiers this country has ever produced. that is why he was honored. say what you will, that is a fact.

p.s.: if you insist on your righteous indignation, the forrest's stint as grand wizard wasn't a patch to what happened at fort pillow.

I am sure that I am opening myself up to loads of criticism here. But I think it is important to note that the Congressional inquiry at the time into the doings of the Klan found that Forrest's involvement was "...limited to trying to get it to disband..." I seem to remember hearing somewhere that Forrest was nominated and crowned Grand Wizard in absentia, although I could very well be mistaken about this.

I am in no way arguing that Forrest was a saint or a person deserving of reverence or memorials or anything. But I think he is among that cadre of historical figures who are likely targets of demagoguery when their reality seems to have been more nuanced and complex than that.

There is a certain self-righteousness in condemning the South that kind of sticks in my craw. Although I wholeheartedly agree that the cause of Slavery is and was a wholly despicable one, not everyone who stood for it was an evil scum-sucking maggot; nor were the abolitionists necessarily pure of heart and worthy of praise in their racial egalitarianism.

In the Reconstruction period, I have read some literature which indicates that the racial climate was much less contentious in the South than in the North in the 1870's (pre-Jim Crow, basically). While some of the moral issues are black and white (pardon the pun), the cultural, historical, and political ones are not, and it does a disservice to all to have them treated as such.

flyerhawk said: "I never really understood why Lee is so revered by the South.

He lost the war. Regardless of the disadvantages, and advantages, Lee had, the point of war is to win.

No one memorializes Cornwalis."

Ah, but there is glory in fighting well, even in defeat. For example, Napoleon Bonaparte ultimately lost his wars but is revered in France and respected around the world as a brilliant general.

Hell, park shmark. There's a bust of Forrest in the Tennessee state capitol. I have a picture of it somewhere; I took it in disbelief.

Ah, but there is glory in fighting well, even in defeat.

In a football game, perhaps. But there is no glory in fighting a war that killed 625,000 men in an effort to enslave millions.

Ah, but there is glory in fighting well, even in defeat.

In a football game, perhaps. But there is no glory in fighting a war that killed 625,000 men in an effort to enslave millions.

as irritating as the self righteous smugness one can find daily on the drudge report is the same crap one gets from the p.c. crowd.

If opposing slavery and treason is now "p.c.," consider me guilty.

You posted this just to provoke me, didn't you? :)

Like the first commenter, I live in West Tennessee, Midtown Memphis, specifically, and we do indeed have Forrest Park right in the middle of our medical district.

A couple of years ago, it caused a kerfuffle because some black leaders wanted it changed, while other black leaders had sort of an "oh, please, let's focus on important things" reaction. The mayor fell into the latter category, as I remember. It was like, "you want us to spend taxpayer dollars to...move a statue and...rename a park while we have all this poverty and crime to contend with?"

Anyway, the park remains.

In Nikki Tinker's pathetically unsuccessul race-baiting campaign against Steve Cohen (the Jewish liberal who has been representing the majority black constituency in Memphis in one way or another for years), she used Cohen's own opposition to the statue-removal/park-rebranding to call him a racist. Fortunately, by an 80-18 margin, the 9th district weren't that stupid.

" but what's up with non-southerners who sport the Stars and Bars? I can hazard a couple of guesses."

I've never seen a non-Southerner display the Stars and Bars on a pickup truck. You must mean the Confederate Battle Flag (the "Southern Cross") which is now the symbol of every "rebel" and white supremist in the country. Sorry if I sound picky.

I grew up not too far from where NB Forrest was born and raised and word there was that Forrest was a nasty SOB, no two ways about it. He was also a brilliant natural calvaryman and a hero to many. I can't say that I admire the things he did, but he was an historical figure who compels people to notice and comment, especially in the mid-South. An equally brilliant Federal general, Grierson, was also a natural soldier (he was a music teacher prior to the war, not quite as bad as Forrest)but he did not engender the same adulation in his home state of Indiana probably because he was not defending it. (They made a John Wayne movie about his exploits in the war - the Horse Soldiers - but changed his name. He went on to command the Buffalo Soldiers during the Indian wars.)

By the way, we always called it Nathan Bedford Forrest Forest.

I think what you see most on pickup trucks is the (second) Confederate Naval Jack, which is not the same as the Battle Flag; the Battle Flag being square in shape.

Not saying you don't ever see the Battle Flag, but it's not as common I think.

Hey, let's not forget Nathan Bedford Forrest's most well-known, if fictional, namesake, Forrest Gump. Do you think Tom Hanks knew the history of Forrest when he decided to play all-American idiot?

An interesting collection of flags. I wonder if the EU knows that their flag appears to have been inspired by the Confederacy's first navy jack.

the point that Longstreet was insufficiently offensively minded to be lauded brings to mind that Albert Sidney Johnston had similar notions, and is similarly unheralded.

Surely you mean Joseph A. Johnston, not Albert Sidney?

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