footnoteinhistory:

The governor of Tennessee signed a proclamation declaring today, July 13, a day to honor Nathan Bedford Forrest, Confederate general, leading slave trader of his era, and first grand wizard of the KKK. So here are just a few quotes to help everyone remember what kind of monster Forrest was:

  • “The affair at Fort Pillow was simply an orgy of death, a mass lynching to satisfy the basest of conduct – intentional murder – for the vilest of reasons – racism and personal enmity.” Richard L. Fuchs, An Unerring Fire: The Massacre at Fort Pillow
  • “The rebels commenced an indiscriminate slaughter, sparing neither age nor sex, white nor black soldier nor civilian. The officers and men seemed to vie with each other in the devilish work. Men, women and their children, wherever found, were deliberately shot down, beaten and hacked with sabres. Some of the children, not more than ten years old, were forced to stand up and face their murderers while being shot. The sick and wounded were butchered without mercy, the rebels even entering the hospital buildings and dragging them out to be shot, or killing them as they lay there unable to offer the least resistance.” The New York Times, 6 May 1864
  • “The slaughter was awful. Words cannot describe the scene. The poor deluded negros would run up to our men fall on their knees and with uplifted hands scream for mercy but they were ordered to their feet and then shot down. The whitte men fared but little better. The fort turned out to be a great slaughter pen. Blood, human blood stood about in pools and brains could have been gathered up in any quantity. I with several others tried to stop the butchery and at one time had partially succeeded but Gen. Forrest ordered them shot down like dogs and the carnage continued.” -Sergeant Achilles Clark, a Confederate officer, in a letter to his family, quoted in Benton Rain Patterson’s Ending the War Early: The Bloody Year from Grant’s Promotion to Lincoln’s Assassination
  • “A mulatto man, who was the servant of one of the officers of the Union forces, was brought to Forrest on horseback. The latter inquired of him, with many [curses], what he was doing there. The mulatto answered that he was a free man… Forrest, who was on horseback, deliberately put his hand to his holster, drew a pistol, and blew the man’s brains out. The Confederate officer… denounced the act as one of cold-blooded murder, and declared that he would never again serve under Forrest.” –The New York Times quoting Union Major General David S. Stanley, in Eddy W. Davidson’s Nathan Bedford Forrest: In Search of the Enigma
  • “The general [Forrest] reasoned that a Dead n—– in federal uniform was more valuable to the Confederacy than a live one.” -Davidson, Nathan Bedford Forrest
  • “It is in connection with one of the most atrocious and cold-blooded massacres that ever disgraced civilized warfare that his name will for ever be inseparably associated. ‘Fort Pillow Forrest’ was the title which the deed conferred upon him, and by this he will be remembered by the present generation, and by it he will pass into history.-The New York Times’ obituary of Forrest, 1877