A Reminder of Nathan Bedford Forrest’s Greatest Battlefield Defeat

Nathan Bedford Forrest Monument Selma

Selma Police Department’s Sgt. Tori Neely dusts for prints in March 2012 after the bronze bust of Nathan Bedford Forrest was stolen from the monument that is placed in Old Live Oak Cemetery.

Earlier this week a settlement was reached in Selma, Alabama surrounding a monument to Nathan Bedford Forrest. You can read the story here.

Whether the photographer intended to or not, the accompanying image serves as a reminder that regardless of the battles that Forrest may have won during the Civil War, ultimately, he lost. And that is something that all of us can be thankful for today.

Happy Thanksgiving!

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11 thoughts on “A Reminder of Nathan Bedford Forrest’s Greatest Battlefield Defeat

  1. Christine M. Smith

    This is much like when we visited the McLean house at Appomattox several years ago. The young lady who greeted us and gave us the info we needed to see the house, was African-American. It was a pleasure to see her there, as a reminder of the momentous day and all it stood for in American history. I’ve often wondered if I was the only one who noted the significance.

    Reply
    1. Kevin Levin Post author

      There is something very comforting about the fact that it’s an African American man who is protecting the property and free speech rights of those who wish to honor a man whose signature accomplishments steered this nation away from the reality reflected in this very photograph.

      Reply
  2. Steve

    I find nothing surprising about the photo, an American doing his job! What difference does the color of his skin make? Why, why do people always have to point out a persons skin color? Did not MLK say we should look at one character not the color of his skin? This man could very well of had an ancestor ride with NBF! DEO VINDICE

    Reply
    1. Kevin Levin Post author

      Well, if you followed this story at all you would know that race is at the very center of this controversy.

      Reply
  3. Steve

    Living out here on the left coast, we do not get all the scoop on anti-southern issues. So you are correct, I have not followed the entire story, what I have read, the vandalism would be against a monument dedicated to a great southern General, honored by many southerners. A hate filled, ignorant individual, vandalized this monument and the city had to pony up! The writer loses creditability in the first paragraph stating Nathan Bedford Forrest was a Klansman, there is nothing to support that statement, a lie for the last 150 years! Surprising to many people, many African-Americans, realize what they have been taught the last 150 years is very biased to say the least. The reason the SCV has black members and the SUVCW does not. I would venture say the “racism” is against the South, not African-Americans. I now go back to my original comment, what difference does the color of ones skin make, the man is doing his job!

    Reply
    1. Kevin Levin Post author

      The writer loses creditability in the first paragraph stating Nathan Bedford Forrest was a Klansman, there is nothing to support that statement, a lie for the last 150 years!

      I suggest you pick up a copy of Brian Steel Wills’s biography of Forrest. Thanks for taking the time to comment.

      Reply
      1. Steve

        Brian Steele Wills states in his book, ” if he ( Forrest) did not command the Ku Klux Klan, Bedford Forrest certainly acted like it”… Forgetting Forrest was a commander by nature and habit!
        Wills also references two pages of Robert S. Henry’s biography of Nathan Bedford Forrest. Henry says the connection of Forrest and the Klan is a matter of tradition and folk belief. Again no hard evidence Forrest was a klansman! Wills does not produce any real evidence of the connection between Forrest and the KKK in his biography, shabby research.

        Read Dr. Michael R. Bradley’s articles on N.B. Forrest . Very enlightening!

        Reply
        1. Kevin Levin Post author

          Wills is very clear that Forrest was a member of the Klan, but does question his official position. I am referring to p. 336.

          Reply
          1. Raymond Smith

            Forrest in his own testimony before the House stated he was not a member of or the founder of the klan, he was a member of the Order of Pale Faces. not the klan,.

            Reply
  4. Steve

    What is his proof? What document, proof, other than other books, does Wills reference to support his assumption Forrest was in the KKK? Just because it is in a “book” does not make it true.

    Reply
    1. Kevin Levin Post author

      On that particular page Wills cites Forrest’s own testimony, which suggests that he was a member. I don’t claim to be an expert on Forrest and have not read the Hurst book that you cite. Most scholars that I’ve read have claimed that Forrest was a member. Perhaps they are all wrong. At this point I think we’ve exhausted this thread. Thanks again for taking the time to comment.

      Reply

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