Voice from the Commonwealth
Commentary, World Views and Occasional Rants from a small 'l' libertarian in Massachussetts

"If ye love wealth greater than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest for freedom, go home and leave us in peace. We seek not your council nor your arms. Crouch down and lick the hand that feeds you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen." - Samuel Adams

Monday, April 15, 2002

To those who say war just propogates war, remeber what Nathan Bedfore Forrest told his men as he faced them for the last time as their leader. This was a man who was fanatical in his devotion to the South and his hatred of the Yankees. A man completely untrained in war, barely literate and despised by his enemy for his brutal and unorthodox methods. A true guerrilla leader, he often faced an opposing force, larger, better mounted, better armed, better fed and less weary than his own. Yet emerged victorious time and again, the only soldier on either side who started as an enlisted private and attained the rank of Lieutenant General. A man who was a slave owner and trader before the outbreak of war and the first Grand Wizard of the KKK after the war.

In the face of the undeniable defeat of The Cause at the hands of the Union troops, he told his men:

"Men, you may all do as you please, but I'm a-going home. Any man who is in favor of a further prosecution of this war is a fit subject for a lunatic asylum, and ought to be sent there immediately."

Forrest was also a man who in his final years called for the dissolution of the Klan, denounced the racial hatred it espoused, spoke out for an end to racial discrimination and spoke in favor of social and political advancement for the freed slaves.

Sometimes, war and overwhelming defeat can ensure safety and indeed change the outlook of individuals.

< email | 4/15/2002 07:40:00 PM | link

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