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 Posted: Fri Feb 23rd, 2007 03:36 pm
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ole
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Young meanin im 36 lobo= souix translation for wolf


Actually it's a Spanish derivation of the Latin, lupus. And 36 qualifies as a grown up (as opposed to many of us in our sunset glory). But I  digress. Forrest is the topic and I do find any discussion of the man fascinating. By the way, younglobo, this is not directed at you, I'm simply using your post as a springboard. (However, having been reared in the land of the Lakotah, I do take issue with your spelling of "Sioux."

Re: His warning.The "if you don't surrender, I can't be responsible" line was standard in demands for surrender. Nearly everyone in a position to ask for surrender used it. Ergo, fair warning at Fort Pillow is not a factor.

Forrest did take Negro prisoners at Fort Pillow after he stopped the slaughter, but there is one factor that is often ignored at that incident: casualties. Casualty numbers indicate the severity of fighting. If "x" percent of a regiment is killed in a battle, "y" percent is wounded and "z" percent is missing (ran, captured or body not found), you have a fair concept of the fighting that took place. When that "x" percent spikes way above an average, you may well figure that a bit more killing went on than just fighting. Look at the numbers. When "killed" exceeds wounded and captured, you have a questionable action.

I've said before that I am unwilling to call Ft. Pillow a massacre. But I'm equally unwilling to overlook the fact that there was some excessive killing going on there. It would be welcome if, for one brief moment, partisanship could be removed from the discussion (am I sounding like Dubya or Pelosi?). There is ample evidence of Confederate abuse of the defenders of Ft. Pillow, and that Forrest halted it when he regained control.

To make a short story longer, I'd like to talk more about the man. He fought for the losing side. As did Lee and a number of other truly good people. Actually, I compare Forrest with Lee when the war finally ended. It was their attitude -- kinda like "OK, we've been whipped and fairly. We are now obliged to make our way as best we can under the conditions we earned." Forrest confirmed, for me, his basic good sense in complying with the inevitable. He put his copious energies into repairing the breech. He worked with the Klan when it had a purpose, and he shed it when it no longer met with his goals. He qualifies, in my judgement, as a great leader of men.

Ole (that's quite enough for one morning's ramblings)

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