Different takes on Nathan Bedford Forrest



Forrest was born poor, and received little education. Yet his native intelligence and spirit allowed him to win a fortune before the war. He never received a military education like most of the Confederate generals, so when the war broke out he enlisted as a private — and worked his way up to Lieutenant General.

He formed his own cavalry units and fought them with such brilliance and insight that a number of his methods fundamentally reformed the training and doctrine for the U.S. cavalry for decades to come. As motorized units came into play later, they became the foundation of our understanding of maneuver warfare: the kind of warfare still practiced today. US Army and Marine Corps front-line combat units take pride in their distinction as “maneuver units,” a distinction that we really owe to Forrest.

At Brice’s Crossroads, Forrest destroyed an enemy army more than twice the size of his own, using tactics that he invented without any formal training.

In other news, a dissenting view.

Z:A large number of African Americans lived under Jim Crow, and were denied equal opportunities in education and jobs, and felt first-hand the sting of bigotry and discrimination. These are not historical slights, but living memory. Some people are still bigots. Others are just incredibly insensitive (such as considering Nathan Bedford Forrest for a license plate in Mississippi). The new generation is more able to rise above these divisions, but they still remain.



The link won’t help out Zach, cause he refuses to learn anything that might contradict his assumptions, but for those of Southern born or Northern inclinations, read some of the material in the link about cavalry tactics to better understand why Nathan Bedford Forrest is known as one of the greatest military leaders of the US Civil War.

Then read the wiki pedia article, easily found online, concerning NBF.

It is no mystery why the South respects him. And there is no question that the Left hates him. Then again, the Left hates many people that got in their way, including Bush, Palin, the last Shah of Iran, Diem of South Vietnam, Batista, the white rulers of Rhodesia, and of course… the Chilean benevolent dictator that is called by the name “Pinochet”.

Never, ever, believe at face value the lies the Left says about historical figures. They are never telling you the whole truth. They aren’t interested in telling you the whole truth. That is not what they are paid for.

For a short summary of what NBF was:
Forrest started from uneducated origins and got rich by taking risks. He became a major planter of the South, owning and selling slaves, given that the Southern economy was based upon cotton, mostly. And cotton required slaves. He enlisted in the war to fight the Union as a private, when at the time major planters were “given exemptions” on being drafted into the army. Yea, you guessed it right. The huge plantation owners, the slave masters de jure, those who benefited most from winning the war, were in fact the ones ordering everybody else to suffer and die, while they sat safely. Until the Union came for them, at least. Forrest is a killer. He’s brave. He’s undaunted. He is very charismatic. He had a pure, unrefined, quality that allowed him to ignore social status and get right to what’s importance. This quality is part of his charisma. And it’s why he didn’t even think of himself as somebody exempt from war or someone entitled to a commission just because he had money and status.

In terms of personal qualities. Forrest had 90% of Democrats (here and now) already beat. For his time, Forrest was better than 90% of his fellows (of his time). In military courage and skill, better than 95%. And in certain reckless valor, better than 99%.

At the time the war was lost, this was what he said.

Civil war, such as you have just passed through naturally engenders feelings of animosity, hatred, and revenge. It is our duty to divest ourselves of all such feelings; and as far as it is in our power to do so, to cultivate friendly feelings towards those with whom we have so long contended, and heretofore so widely, but honestly, differed. Neighborhood feuds, personal animosities, and private differences should be blotted out; and, when you return home, a manly, straightforward course of conduct will secure the respect of your enemies. Whatever your responsibilities may be to Government, to society, or to individuals meet them like men. The attempt made to establish a separate and independent Confederation has failed; but the consciousness of having done your duty faithfully, and to the end, will, in some measure, repay for the hardships you have undergone. In bidding you farewell, rest assured that you carry with you my best wishes for your future welfare and happiness. Without, in any way, referring to the merits of the Cause in which we have been engaged, your courage and determination, as exhibited on many hard-fought fields, has elicited the respect and admiration of friend and foe. And I now cheerfully and gratefully acknowledge my indebtedness to the officers and men of my command whose zeal, fidelity and unflinching bravery have been the great source of my past success in arms. I have never, on the field of battle, sent you where I was unwilling to go myself; nor would I now advise you to a course which I felt myself unwilling to pursue. You have been good soldiers, you can be good citizens. Obey the laws, preserve your honor, and the Government to which you have surrendered can afford to be, and will be, magnanimous. N.B. Forrest, Lieut.-General
Headquarters, Forrest’s Cavalry Corps
Gainesville, Alabama
May 9, 1865

After the war, he convinced the first Klu Klux Klan organization of self defense militias to disband, something the Democrat party never even tried since it would have required the principle of obedience to the law. Afterwards, the Democrats took over the KKK unofficially and used them to kill white Republicans and black slaves to prevent them from voting in Republican reps in the South. This caused the Republican regimes to fall, ushering in Jim Crow and “no blacks allowed” policies.

It mattered little what Nathan Bedford Forrest thought of negroes, blacks, or Union whites in the beginning of the war. Many Southerners thought poorly of Northerners. Believing that the North lacked any spine for real fighting. After 4 years of Civil War, neither side could say of the other that they lacked the guts to kill and die for their beliefs.

In line with a post written before about the Left’s need to sow weakness, this is the same issue.

Why does the NAACP attempt to stop license plates honoring Nathan Bedford Forrest? Does the NAACP lobby Congress to deny Robert Byrd official recognition because Byrd filibustered the Civil Rights Act and was actually part of the violent, mob death squad KKK as their Kleagle? If the NAACP is fine with Robert Byrd, for much of the time Byrd was alive, what makes them so hot and bothered about Nathan Bedford Forrest. Is it so hard to honor a dead enemy that fought with valor and skill?

It is impossible, I say, for weaklings like the NAACP or Leftist cult members to act anything other than as insecure children. Creating a better future requires personal confidence and strength. The NAACP has none of that. The New Black Panthers has none of that. The Left has none of that. If they ever got it, they would eject that person from their group for fear that the taint will spread.

Strong leaders, alphas of their pack, do not become hot and bothered over the honoring of dead enemies. They don’t begrudge people’s need to believe in a strong and glorious past. especially not when it is also part of the past of the country they are supposed to be leading. They don’t try to control how people feel by making them worship only “approved symbols”. They don’t sit around thinking up ways to make people worship the state religion’s god. They don’t use violence to win arguments. And they sure as hell don’t make up lies believing they are real.

Yet, all of these weak as hell acts are present amongst the Left. Why is that do you think?

Explore posts in the same categories: History, War

5 Comments on “Different takes on Nathan Bedford Forrest”

  1. Very good piece here on Mr. Forrest.

    I’ll link to it today.

  2. M Says:


  3. Kevin Says:

    You don’t seem to have mentioned Fort Pillow in your paen to Forrest. Odd, as that’s the single battle that he is most famous for. Like SS officer Joachim Peiper, people are remembered for their accomplishments.

  4. Ymarsakar Says:

    That’s like mentioning Abu Ghraib for Rumsfeld and Bush II.

    Too controversial to make much of what is called true history.

  5. […] from Nathan Bedford Forrest, we get to this issue on the US Civil War. I was raised north of the Mason-Dixon, in Illinois, the […]

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