The Tennessee in the Civil War Message Board

Re: Nathan Bedford Forrest

I have studied the Civil War for over 65 years (really since age 12).

Many of my Virginia-born mother's kinsmen were Confederate soldiers. I was born in Kansas.

I have found I have to take a "two-tier" approach in evaluating the principal actors in the war.

1) In rating generals, one can evaluate their skill on the battle-field and in camp. None rated higher than old Bedford Forrest.(for relatively small units).

2) How history will rate their political views. In so far as they supported the terrible institution of slavery, history will condemn them. Every Conferate soldier objectively supported slavery. In that respect., Forrest was far from a hero.

However, we must all agree that all of us are a product of the time and place we were born. Few can overcome that "pull".

-- Ken


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Re: Nathan Bedford Forrest