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Nathan B. Forrest: genius or mere show

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  • #61
    The only thing I usually recall about Van Dorn is he got caught by a husband and shot. Too bad he could not live with more restraint.

    Pruitt





























    Pruitt, you are truly an expert! Kelt06

    Have you been struck by the jawbone of an ASS lately?

    by Khepesh "This is the logic of Pruitt"

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    • #62
      You are forcing me to once again uphold the historical record of a Confederate General all in the name of respectable notice of his legacy as he lay in his grave. Surely, you are aware it was CSA General Van Dorn who in very Napoleonic style assaulted the Federal Army at Pea Ridge with a not so Napoleonic army of Confederates of various sorts. His high level fanciful style ended in complete disaster. But he did carry out the first and only successful movement of a significant number of troops from Trans-Mississippi Department from Arkansas to Mississippi early in the War when it was possible to do so. He was also in charge of the disaster at Corinth Mississippi if I am not mistaken. He got many Confederates killed and disabled. His assassination by a jealous husband was a blessing to the Confederacy.

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      • #63
        I feel compelled to provide my list of six reasons Bedford Forrest is NOT A GENIUS:

        (1) You can not claimed a commander an "authentic, original, and instinctive" genius just because he adopted a well known and long tradition of North American Indian small scale warfare used by hundreds of leader throughout history. In general warfare it is not a good trait to be "instinctive" which is the same as impulsive and acting on emotion. It being true that Bedford did act mainly on instinctive emotional impulse.

        (2) Bedford's record of insubordination is very clear to historians.

        (3) Bedford did not "save" Hood's Army at Nashville. Hood's Army was virtually destroyed. Only about 15,000 refugees nearly naked and mainly barefooted ran to the stopping point in eastern Mississippi. Many having thrown down their weapons. They were not a functioning military force at the time. Bedford did assist in the survival of this pitiful small group as they fled the Federal Army. They lost a huge amount of their artillery.

        (4) The saying Bedford "performed reconnaissance for himself" simply reflects foolishness and ignorance for a suppose high commander. It does fit a small scale commander for maybe a very small brigade but even that was reckless.

        (5) Bedford did cause "fear" as he was a murderous thug.

        (6) Bobby Lee could easily have "praised Forrest" as Lee did not have to supervise him in Lee's Army. Bedford could not be easily supervised due to him being an ignorant man. That explains why the Confederate High Command often had him assigned to small backwater areas by himself like West Tennessee.

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        • #64
          Bo Archer,

          I would only point out two things. First on point 3. Hood said this, I didn't. Next on point 5. Murderous? He was indeed a killer. But a thug? I suppose we could spend pages debating the definition of thug but suffice it to say that it usually carries the connotation of an assassin or gangster who only shows spunk when the odds are in his favor. Forrest would stand up and fight you unit to unit or man to man whether the odds were in his favor or not.

          Funny thing, Bo Archer, neither you nor I have made up anything. i don't think either of us are alleging facts - what happened, happened, and the record is what the record is. We're both interpreting the record. And you certainly have as much right to advocate your interpretation as I do.





          "Shoot for the epaulets, boys! Shoot for the epaulets!" - Daniel Morgan

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          • #65
            [QUOTE=Bo Archer;n5075598]I feel compelled to provide my list of six reasons Bedford Forrest is NOT A GENIUS:

            (1) You can not claimed a commander an "authentic, original, and instinctive" genius just because he adopted a well known and long tradition of North American Indian small scale warfare used by hundreds of leader throughout history. In general warfare it is not a good trait to be "instinctive" which is the same as impulsive and acting on emotion. It being true that Bedford did act mainly on instinctive emotional impulse.
            Yes you can.

            1. Your comparison of NBF's tactics, to that of the North American Indian is totally wrong.

            2.General Lee, commander of the ANV, has been quoted by many ACW historians as being able to "predict what the enemy was doing or going to do"

            (2) Bedford's record of insubordination is very clear to historians.
            He was insubordinate because his superiors, in every case of said insubordination, were idiots that, despite being formally educated in waging war, displayed none of leadership qualities of NBF, regardless of their West Point military education.

            (3) Bedford did not "save" Hood's Army at Nashville. Hood's Army was virtually destroyed. Only about 15,000 refugees nearly naked and mainly barefooted ran to the stopping point in eastern Mississippi. Many having thrown down their weapons. They were not a functioning military force at the time. Bedford did assist in the survival of this pitiful small group as they fled the Federal Army. They lost a huge amount of their artillery.
            NBF did his utmost in support of Hoods Nashville campaign. Again NBF was not in charge here and was a subordinate. Perhaps, If he was in charge of the 30,000 soldiers under Hood, the campaign would have succeeded.

            One example is NBF's crossing of the Tennessee River on 17 November and subsequent large cavalry patrols to the northeast to deny Union cavalry reconnaissance of Confederate strength, locations, and intentions.

            Another example is NBF's consistent engagements with Union cavalry on 29 November, forcing the retreat of Schofields infantry columns. Union cavalry commander Major General James C. Wilson, at odds with the strength of Confederate troops near Hurts Crossroads (Spring Hill) withdrew almost all the way back to Franklin. By doing this Wilson did not cover the retreat of Schofields men, a duty of the cavalry.


            (4) The saying Bedford "performed reconnaissance for himself" simply reflects foolishness and ignorance for a suppose high commander. It does fit a small scale commander for maybe a very small brigade but even that was reckless.
            What??…. NBF's personal reece, and those of his subordinates were exceptional, bordering on extraordinary, throughout the entire war.

            (5) Bedford did cause "fear" as he was a murderous thug.
            WRONG. murderous thug is your personnel opinion and not based on fact but emotion. Get over it.

            NBF CAUSED FEAR. SEE FACTUAL STATED HISTORICAL REMARKS BY UNION COMMANDER U.S. GRANT AND W.T. SHERMAN!

            (6) Bobby Lee could easily have "praised Forrest" as Lee did not have to supervise him in Lee's Army. Bedford could not be easily supervised due to him being an ignorant man. That explains why the Confederate High Command often had him assigned to small backwater areas by himself like West Tennessee.
            Lee was correct in his praise of Forrest and Forrest was used in the west because he knew the country there like the back of his hand. And are you aware of the many large campaigns that took place in "backwater areas"

            Theo mir ist die munition ausgegangen ich werde diesen ramman auf wiedersehen uns in walhalla

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            • #66
              Originally posted by Bo Archer View Post
              It appears no one is going to correct the historical record so I am going to do so belatedly. We also must address the insult imposed upon CSA General Van Dorn whereas American87 did in fact state wrongly that Bedford Forrest was the one responsible for the destruction of Holly Springs Depot thus forcing Grant's first Vicksburg campaign to abort. Van Dorn must be turning over in his grave in great anger at this insult. Let us grant to CSA General Van Dorn his famous (his only famous military feat) successful raid upon Grant's supply depot! I must also point out that Bedford Forrest did indeed sack a few Union garrisons in Tennessee but he also had a number of failures to sack a number of Union garrisons which is not implied or disclosed in the fairness of truth. Most famously was the great failure at Paducah KY just to name one.
              Thank you, Bo Archer. You have set both me and the record straight. I meant no foul to Earl Van Dorn, it was just a slip in my memory. Hopefully he can rest easy in his grave now.
              "It is a fine fox chase, my boys"

              "It is well that war is so terrible-we would grow too fond of it"

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              • #67
                I wish to commend you upon such professional and responsible reply and it is warmly received. You are in appearance a Southern Gentleman at least here and in this thread. I believe Van Dorn is peaceful at Rest.

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                • #68
                  Deleted the quote of, and response to a 10 year old post. The OP was not directed at you to begin with, as your post implied, nor was it germane to the current discussion. That person no longer posts here at ACG.

                  ACG Staff



                  Ok- based on Canadian experience there are two very different types of Calvary commanders- In a wide open setting against columns of inexperienced troops, hit and run sharpshooter cavalry can be devastatingly effective the early part of the Boer war bought this home ..
                  In that time, however, these soldiers became experts at their craft. Their knowledge of minor tactics, their skill at camouflage, their ability to ride long distances living off the country matched that of the Boer enemy. As well, the 1 CMR had been renamed the Royal Canadian Dragoons (RCD) effective, 1 August 1900. This was the result of a request made by the commanding officer, Lieutenant-Colonel Louis Lessard, and stemmed from the fact that 1 CMR had been built around an RCD cadre, just as 2 CMR (now simply called the CMR) had been built around the North West Mounted Police.6

                  Against experienced, steady entrenched infantry you need a different disciplined cavalry.

                  Nathan Forrest, by these excellent postings, would have been an excellent Boer war Cavalry commander..
                  Last edited by D1J1; 04 Dec 18, 04:42.
                  The trout who swims against the current gets the most oxygen..

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                  • #69
                    Originally posted by marktwain View Post
                    Nathan Forrest, by these excellent postings, would have been an excellent Boer war Cavalry commander.
                    Yes, of course. The Boers were essentially mounted infantry and it's been noted that Forrest was an innovative and effective commander of mounted infantry. Even his detractors will often acknowledge that.

                    But the point some of us have tried to make on this thread is that Forrest could and did perform conventional cavalry tasks also. Especially rear guard actions, one of the most traditional and critical of all cavalry functions. Forrest was indeed an excellent commander of mounted infantry but he was not limited to that.

                    Why, Forrest was even an obedient and effective subordinate a time or two. As long as the person he was subordinating himself to was not an idiot.
                    "Shoot for the epaulets, boys! Shoot for the epaulets!" - Daniel Morgan

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                    • #70
                      Thanks KRJ.

                      NB Forrest appears to have adapted quickly to the 'rifle Revolution' of the civil War- First the Minie Ball , which increased range three fold, then the repeating rifle, which made cavalry mass charges over open ground - problematic.

                      Which is more than some Generals managed for the whole conflict- or the French managed at Sedan.
                      Last edited by marktwain; Yesterday, 10:33.
                      The trout who swims against the current gets the most oxygen..

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                      • #71

                        Civil war cavalry, esp. In the South, had to be expert foragers. By 1864, successfull raiding had to compensate for scanty supply wagons....
                        what impressed about the man was his rescue of Men and supplies form Nashville before it fell:
                        ( from Wikipedia)

                        A few days after the Confederate surrender of Fort Donelson, with the fall of Nashville to Union forces imminent, Forrest took command of the city. All available carts and wagons were impressed into service to haul six hundred boxes of army clothing, 250,000 pounds of bacon, and forty wagon-loads of ammunition to the railroad depots to be sent off to Chattanooga and Decatur.[61][62] Forrest arranged for the heavy ordnance machinery, including a new cannon rifling machine and fourteen cannons built at Brennan's machine shop, as well as parts from the Nashville Armory, to be sent to Atlanta for use by the Confederate Army
                        Last edited by marktwain; Yesterday, 13:38.
                        The trout who swims against the current gets the most oxygen..

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                        • #72
                          A lot depended where in the South you went. The first time an army went through it was usually good foraging. Some areas like the Sugar Cane area (Lafourche) were turned into a wilderness because the food was stripped away and the Slaves ran away. In the Southern Appalachians the areas never recovered after the first strip. Tennessee was notorious for killing horses through starvation...

                          Pruitt
                          Pruitt, you are truly an expert! Kelt06

                          Have you been struck by the jawbone of an ASS lately?

                          by Khepesh "This is the logic of Pruitt"

                          Comment

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