DrDeth and politicized inanities

In this thread, DrDeth issues this tripeful bullshit waste of space: “Even when he massacred the Black Union soldiers?” In reference to Nathon Bedford Forrest. Forrest’s morality was not the issue. It was not even tangentially related to the thread at hand. And I am pissed.

This is yet another crapful threadshitting. The comment added nothing and was not even meant as serious debate. It was “Fuck You!” disguised as commentary, with no other purpose but to disput the debate. We’ve had threads about Forrest before, and he was indeed a harsh and nasty man, is a courageous and perceptive one, during the war, though he may have redeemed himself afterward. And starting such a thread would be fine.

More to the point, this comment failed to even make logical sense. It was patently obvious that the preceding comment re: Forrest had been about his military capacity. Secondly, if DrDeth actually knew his ass from his elbow regarding the Civil War, he’d probably know that Fort Pillow had frag-all to do with Bragg.

In short, the entire comment lacked appropriateness, relevance, usefulness, and importance. It fails to rise to the level of nitpickery, for God’s sake. DrDeth, I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul.

I know relatively little about the Civil War. Was the massacre in question in obedience to Bragg’s orders, or not?

At any rate, it seems germane to the point Sampiro was making. Sampiro claimed that Forrest was always right when he disobeyed Bragg.

If Bragg ordered or approved of the slaughter, then that would argue that Forrest should have disobeyed Bragg more than he did. If Bragg didn’t approve, then Forrest was sometimes wrong when he disobeyed, too.

If, as seems likely, Forrest committed the massacre on his own initiative, without involvement from Bragg, then that argues against the idea that Forrest was a good soldier. This kind of rogue behavior is one of the things that Sampiro mentions was a disadvantage to the South in the Civil War.


Forrest wasn’t under Bragg’s command by the time of the Battle of Fort Pillow. He had an independent command at that point.

Thanks for the clarification, CA.

smiling bandit, if you are arguing that massacres have nothing to do with Forrest’s military judgment, I suppose that is a defensible point. Otherwise, it seems to address the idea that Forrest’s judgment independent of Bragg was sound.

Because it sounded like the discussion was heading toward the conclusion that Forrest’s independent judgment was generally sound. If he ordered the massacre on his own initiative, ISTM to be a legitimate counter-point, albeit a little obscure.


The thing is, For Pillow is still a pretty contentious debate. It’s an open debate to what extent soldiers attempting to surrender were killed, and even more than that, Forrest’s degree of culpability in the deaths.

here’s a site with both Uniuon and Confederate reports of the battle:


I only read the Wiki entry, which mentions the Congressional inquiry which concluded that most of the soldiers were killed after they threw down their arms.

The entry mentions Confederate accounts which mention both the slaughter and Forrest’s culpability for it -

Given Forrest’s racial attitudes, I think it more likely than not that it was as bad as concluded.

Like I say, I know relatively little about the Civil War.


And that’s fine, Shodan, but you’ve missed the point. It was threadshitting comment which was, at best, tangential to the debate.

His racial attitudes were pretty complex. OT1H, he made a fortune as a slave trader and a slave master and became president of the KKK after the war. OTOH, he resigned from the Klan because he saw it as what we would call a terrorist organization and did a LOT of work to foster race relations after the war.

But the most germane point is that Bragg had absolutely nothing to do with Fort Pillow. Forrest was by then independent and Bragg had been demoted by then anyway. The reference to Fort Pillow was strictly a gratuitous “here come Southerners venerating racist murderers again” tweak of the sort that gets tiresome on the board. (This is the same board where some members exonerated the Union general Jefferson Davis [not a typo] from any culpability at Ebeneezer Creek and blamed it on the Confederacy alone, and the same one that led me to purchase my first ever rebel flag.)

For what it’s worth, from what I’ve read of Ft. Pillow I think there was definitely murder of some black troops. I don’t think Forrest ordered it but I seriously doubt he was that grieved about it either: “War means fightin’ and fightin’ means killin’”. I’m not exonerating him when I say that like his archnemesis/greatest admirer William T. “Make Georgia Howl” Sherman, Forrest understood that psychological terror was a necessary weapon in war and that thousands of armed men to some degree are going to do whatever the hell they want to; even if Fort Pillow did infuriate him. Also, in addition to the always elasticized ethics of war, you’re talking about a division that was usually starving and would go months at a time without their pay [which was worthless anyway] and choosing it as a time to inflict severe discipline would not have been a wise move strategically.