Sunday, July 8, 2007

Nathan Bedford Forrest

Before work I watched TV a few minutes, and Burns PBS Civil War documentary was on, and the tale of Southern Cavalry Officer Bedford Forrest. At first I thought the tale was about a Northern officer, but no, he was an exceptional Southerner. And of course historian Shelby Foote had some things to say, and he said Forrest was a born genius for cavalry somewhat like Keats was a born genius for poetry. Well, that made my ears perk up and I thought all day what in the world kindof correspondences there are between soldiering and poetry!!

After work, I google up Beford, and it's quite a tale. Foote is often referring to Keats, one of his favorite authors, and all the google tonight was worth this quote, and a bit about Forrest Gump.

Nathan Bedford Forrest
"A fact is not a truth until you love it."
John Keats

In the 1994 motion picture Forrest Gump, the eponymous Tom Hanks character states that he was named after his ancestor General Nathan Bedford Forrest, and there is an edited sequence from the 1915 pro-Klan film, Birth of a Nation, showing Hanks as the General in Klan robes.

I'm not sure how eponymous is being used there!!??

Homer would have had it that Forrest had a god with him. Somewhat like Poets with their Muse.
And this is pertinent:
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
Then again, maybe not, Al Quida's list of grievances always seems to end with "unveiled women". But many of the Arab states have landed on civil rights watch lists for, of all things, slavery.
Forrest made some of his fortune selling slaves.
Steven Segal back to back...with Hollywood's invincibility...and a speech about the oil cartels!!
Tree in the Door
July 8, 2007

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