Today is the 150th anniversary of the Fort Pillow Massacre. Should it be remembered as a Confederate massacre of black soldiers, a moment in the long history of racial violence between black and white Americans or both?
Nathan Bedford Forrest made a fortune selling slaves before the war. So, isn’t it fitting that the final act in the changing of the name of Forrest Park in Memphis, Tennessee could very well involve a sale. Continue reading “Selling Nathan Bedford Forrest”
Today I am writing from the North Shore in Lynn, MA, where in a few hours I will be speaking at the G.A.R. Museum. I took the scenic route and made my way through a few small towns to check out their Civil War monuments. Just head straight to the town center and you are bound to find one. Continue reading “Odds and Ends in Lynn, MA”
I have much to be thankful for this year. Thanks for your continued support and for making Civil War Memory part of your online travels. Hope all of you will have a chance to spend part of the Holiday Season with family and friends. Wishing all of you a Merry Christmas and a very Happy New Year.
Bonus: Feel free to caption this lovely Christmas card.
H.K. Edgerton is known for irrational outbursts, but never before has he managed to string together so many back-to-back. You decide.
According to Edgerton, a school official on Wednesday tried to get him to leave, but he refused. Ultimately, though, Edgerton said he could not stay in Florida through Monday’s deciding school board vote. Edgerton sent TPM a copy of an open letter he wrote, containing what he had hoped to say at Monday’s meeting.
The letter begins (perhaps sarcastically?) by arguing that Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. — because he “broke the sacred vows of a minister,” “consorted” with Communists, and “staged the so called bus debacle” with Rosa Parks — should not have streets or monuments named after him. The letter accuses “United States Colored troops and their White Yankee Officers” of committing “many heinous crimes against the Southern people.” And it defends Forrest as a “friend to the African people.”
“The Honorable General Nathan Bedford Forrest would be called a nigger lover, but never to his face, because of the oft spoken love and affection that he showed in his actions to the African people and especially to those men who rode with him during the war and who would attest to his courage, compassion, and the many lies spoken about him after the war to a man would deny,” Edgerton wrote. “Delight in this madness against a friend to the African people if you must, but heed my warning for very soon you will not be in the drivers seat as your time of sacrifice will come. And you will have to say goodbye to those you hold sacred as those of us who are loyal to the memory of those Southern men and women, be they freed or indentured, Red, Yellow, Black and White who made an honorable Stand against a man who would breach the contract that they forged together.”
First, what does Martin Luther King have to do with this issue? What exactly is he referring to as a “bus debacle”? There is something so disturbing about this that I don’t even know where to start. I am actually beginning to feel sorry for this man. Somebody close to H.K. needs to step in on his behalf.
I would love to read this letter in its entirety. Come to think of it…
Update: Click here for H.K.’s letter in its entirety.