Nathan Bedford Forrest controversy rides again

Today’s Tennessean has a piece on the neverending fracus kicked up by the infamous “Wizard of the Saddle.” This latest episode was kicked off by the Middle Tennessee State University Student Government Association, which passed a resolution calling on the University to remove the name of Nathan Bedford Forrest from the Army ROTC building.

Forrest represents a conundrum for Tennesseans. He was indisputably a great tactician and commander–no less than Shelby Foote said that the Civil War produced two geniuses, Forrest and Abe Lincoln–but the former Memphis alderman’s involvement with the Fort Pillow massacre and subsequent leadership of the Ku Klux Klan tarnishes his image.

One thing that Forrest fanciers and opponents can agree on, however, is that the fiberglass depiction of him erected alongside I-65 in Nashville is, hands down, the singlemost hideous Civil War statue ever created.


4 Responses to Nathan Bedford Forrest controversy rides again

  1. tennesseeguy says:

    Forrest’s name will remain on the MTSU building. According to the December 5 Tennessean, the student senate reversed itself. “The vote to rescind came after student Matthew Hurtt presented a list with 1,350 names on it, said Gretchen Jenkins, the student senator who sponsored the vote to rescind the previous decision. Not all those who signed it were MTSU students.”

  2. John Burkitt says:

    It looks like it was designed by a Yankee, and with malice of forethought….

  3. tim johnston says:

    I wholly concur with Mr. Burkett concerning the quality of the sculpture Forrest was a Man,aPatriot. and a First rate soldier. If he played too rough for some , let me say that from my own experience in Vietnam, War is not rpt not an Olympic Sport

  4. Kenny Clark says:

    The fact of the matter is, during reconstruction the original Klan was to help protect the southern families from the carpetbaggers, unsupervised union soldiers, and vindictive Negroes. It was not a hate group and when it did in some cases become such, Forrest resigned. The Fort Pillow account has been told many ways. So without the having the facts, how can you blame Forrest. Knowing what I know about Nathan’s character I seriously doubt is it was he who ordered the killing. Go Blue Raiders, Kenny

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