I, Too, Stand For Nathan Bedford Forrest

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

I, too, stand for Nathan Bedford Forrest. 

Looked down upon by other Confederate officers, this unlikely candidate for fame, having only a sixth-grade education and no formal military training, did more with less than any other Confederate commander. An example is the way he celebrated his 41st birthday on July 13, 1862 by snatching the important railroad town of Murfreesboro, Tn. from the grasp of Union troops. Using a combination of bold aggression and subterfuge, he divided and conquered his opponents, ending the battle with more captives than he had troops. He also seized all the equipment, weapons and supplies the Unionists had. In the course of fighting the Union troops, he freed from the local jail several citizens who were slated for execution later that day. 

No racist, Forrest had no qualms about using black soldiers in his cavalry; all he asked was for them to fight alongside the others. In Memphis after the war,  he was revered by the black community as he encouraged them to become actively involved in business and professions. After being named the leader of the KKK without his presence or knowledge, he called for that group's disbanding. He was truly a champion of  former slaves. 

The misplaced condemnation of him today is unfounded and despicable. This man deserves to be remembered and respected. 

Carl Mark Barker

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