Seeing the past through fuzzy lens of history

Terry Garlock's picture

During the week before Memorial Day, radio host Herman Cain read to his audience an excerpt of what he described as the finest Memorial Day speech in American history even though it was given on Nov. 19, at Gettysburg, Penn., in 1863, four months after the bloodiest battle ever fought on American soil.

Herman read, “... we cannot dedicate, we cannot consecrate, we cannot hallow this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract.” President Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address was, indeed, a masterpiece of insight, eloquence and brevity. But there is more for those willing to look below the surface.

The event was the dedication of a 17-acre national cemetery, established for the purpose of re-burying dead from the July Battle of Gettysburg. The aftermath of the battle had been a nightmare for the small Pennsylvania town. Nearly 9,000 bodies lay over a wide area, many torn apart, all bloating and decomposing in the sun, never mind the hundreds of dead horses, flies by the trillions and overpowering stench.

While the locals struggled with persistent disgusting odors and worry about disease, burial squads worked relentlessly to get bodies temporarily under the dirt and politicians hatched the idea to seek a federal solution, with the resulting Gettysburg National Cemetery. Now it was November, time to cut the ribbon and get on with the re-burial process.

Organizers of the dedication event wanted a powerful speaker, but they swiftly overlooked President Lincoln since he was so unpopular. They chose Edward Everett of Massachusetts, a statesman with a long resume, flowing white mane and booming voice well-practiced in oratory.

President Lincoln was grudgingly invited as an afterthought to add his “remarks” after the main speaker, but the invitation was given with expectations and hope he would be too busy to attend. Lincoln, however, badly wanted to attend to boost political support in Pennsylvania.

On the day of the dedication the swelling crowd of 15-20,000, reminded of the cemetery’s purpose by lingering odors, would have to listen well since they were so many and there was no microphone.

With scant entertainment in those days, the crowd gathered not to see the President, but to pass the time listening to a long speech by headliner Edward Everett.

He did not disappoint, heaping his flowery prose and blistering vilification of the Confederacy on the crowd for two hours.

When he was finished, President Lincoln rose, removed his stovepipe hat and the crowd grew very silent as he spoke just 271 words lasting all of two minutes.

Lincoln finished with, “... that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion — that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain — that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom — and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”

The crowd remained silent, perhaps not quite ready for such a short delivery, perhaps lost in thought over the insights they had just heard.

Lincoln said to an associate, ”That speech won’t scour ...“ thinking it a failure in the view of the crowd and referring to a bad plow that won’t properly turn the earth.

But of course he was wrong. Everett was the intended orator of the day, but those of us who dutifully memorized Lincoln’s words in school know otherwise.

Fast-forward to today. Lincoln’s words at Gettysburg are familiar to any competent student, and that cemetery is a national attraction to pay homage to the incredible courage and enormous loss at the Battle of Gettysburg. But something important was missing.

Maybe Herman Cain has the same question so many visitors ask when they visit Gettysburg National Cemetery, “Where are the Confederate graves?” Park rangers answer with what I would call a sugar-coated half-truth, “They were relocated back to Confederate states.”

Well, that is more like a cover story. The truth is the cemetery, the dedication, and our president’s eloquent words, were for the Union dead, and by design excluded the Confederate dead from all such honors.

Like many Americans, for a long time I assumed the solemn occasion and Lincoln’s insightful words were for the 8,900 dead from the battle fought four months prior.

But the Confederate dead were not only excluded from honors on the day Lincoln spoke, their bodies had been hastily buried in shallow graves along the roadsides, shoved into trenches and mass graves, some left to rot in the fields.

Lincoln’s famous speech marked a state and national effort to prepare a resting place of honor for the Union dead while Confederate bodies were left unattended, their graves unmarked, with no intention to do otherwise.

In the words of one newspaper reporter, “The poor Confederate dead were left in the fields as outcasts and criminals that did not merit decent sepulture.” I had to look up that word; it means burial or internment, a final resting place prepared with respect. In simple terms, the Confederate dead didn’t count.

I can understand the good people of Pennsylvania dismissing Confederates as foreign invaders deserving no sympathy from locals. Such is war.

But I did expect more than disrespect from a deep-thinking president who had passionately argued that Southerners were inescapably Americans, part of the Union with no right to secede, no right to be left alone.

I wonder how he squared that with ignoring thousands of Confederate war dead nearby while honoring Union dead from the same battlefield with his speech. Calling that a stretch would be more than kind.

The park rangers are right that most Confederate dead were removed to Southern states, but not by any effort of the Gettysburg organizers, or the state of Pennsylvania or the feds in Washington, D.C.

In 1872, nine years after the battle and seven years after the end of the war, 15 wagons were arranged at Rockett’s Landing on the James River in Richmond, Va. A steamship was delivering the remains of Confederate dead from the Gettysburg battlefield, a result of a Richmond group having raised funds to relocate these Confederate sons to a place of honor in the vast Hollywood Cemetery, so named for holly trees.

The procession was somber, buildings draped in black, wagons draped in mourning and each wagon escorted by two former Confederate soldiers with muskets carried in reverse as they marched.

The procession included politicians and other leaders, the funeral march echoing off the buildings of Main Street as they made their way to the cemetery with citizens gathered in lines on either side, watching in silence with glassy eyes as what was left of their sons and brothers and husbands finally came home.

There was no presidential speech this time, just a simple prayer as the remains of these young men were laid to rest in a place of honor and respect.

In all, 3,320 Confederate remains were removed from the Gettysburg battlefield, the vast majority interred in Hollywood Cemetery in Richmond, lesser numbers returned to Raleigh, N.C., Savannah, Ga., and Charleston, S.C. There may have been others moved.

We like our history, and our heroes, to be one-dimensional, black and white, simple and clear. The truth, on the other hand, is frequently complicated, a little dirty at the edges even though we like to think in pristine terms.

Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address, and the disrespect of that event to Confederate war dead, would be a wonderful civics lesson that the truth is rarely the pretty, short, surface version we hear in school, that we need to be cynical enough to dig for reality.

If I have an opportunity to visit Gettysburg to pay respects to the Union dead buried there, I should ask the park rangers about the Confederate dead and not let them get away with sugar-coating.

I should also remind myself to visit Richmond’s Hollywood Cemetery where more than 18,000 Confederate war dead are buried.

Both deserve our respect.

[Terry Garlock of Peachtree City occasionally contributes a column to The Citizen. His email is terry@garlock1.com.]

Davids mom
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Respect, sympathy, understanding for all by all

Respect, sympathy, understanding for all by all. Americans died at Gettysburg. Those who were considered the ‘losers’ were treated with disrespect. The relatives and beneficiaries of the Confederate dead today feel the hurt and disrespect of those times. Why do some not understand the feelings of the relatives and beneficiaries of the slaves of those times? We have come a long way since the Civil War. Our history books are open to all – and we are finding out that history certainly has been told with the slant favoring the ‘victor’ or the ‘oppressor’.

The hope of many Americans today is that the 20 and 21st centuries will be looked upon as the healing of a nation – and the implementation of the true brotherhood that the words of The Constitution and its amendments promise. Yes, the Civil War is over. Harsh lessons hopefully were learned. We are a different people today in the south, north, east, and west – soon to be united far more than in the times of the Civil War. We have a common enemy who wishes to kill us. That enemy has found our Achilles Heel in some refusal to accept all Americans as one regardless of the color of one’s skin.

It took many years for the lives of slaves to be acknowledged when visiting plantations in the south. Even today, foreign visitors are quickly directed away from the ‘slave quarters’ – and unless they ask a question, the topic is ‘skipped’.

It is good to share the feelings of disappointment when one’s history is ‘overlooked’; disrespected, etc. It makes all aware that we never want the situation again to arise when we appear callous to the contributions of others to our ‘complex’ history. The positive aspect of this situation is that it is HISTORY. All American soldiers are today treated with respect and dignity – I hope.

BobbyBiplane
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Suck it up ...

History as always been written by the victors and bodies have always been left to rot. You will get no sympathy from this southern born AMERICAN.

I have no use for folks still fighting the civil war. Grow up and move on.

Bob

Spyglass
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The Yankees i know are much

More concerned with race etc than the Southerners for sure.

Lets all move on.

AtHomeGym
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Bob 2-wings & "sympathy"

How do you translate "respect" into "sympathy"?

S. Lindsey
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Terry I was there 10 years ago...

...and did ask that very question.

I was advised all dead from that battle were buried there. After a little re-education and some debate. He conceded that only Union Soldiers were interred. I had a book by James McPherson titled "Battle Cry of Freedom". In it, the scene you described above was clearly talked about. This was not the only incidence of the Conquering North disrespecting Confederate dead and the not so dead btw. I gave the "Ranger" that book.

It also talked about some of the real reasons Lincoln went to War.. Slavery only became an issue years into the war to try to gain support in a very unpopular war. Most States actually felt the South had EVERY right to secede.

I grew up with this stuff... My town still has the only standing Confederate Armory. In Sherman's march of destruction and vengeance through the South... They tried to take the Armory... but after months of failing to breech the walls- 4 foot thick river stone- they left it. It still stands today. You can even see the cannon shot evidence by the pock marks in the walls.

Anyway you are correct. One of the reasons we Sons of the South have always called the not so Civil War the war of "Northern Aggression".

MajorMike
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S. Lindsey - "War of Yankee Aggression"

The term "civil war", in this instance, is a misnomer anyway. The South never had any intention of conquering the North.

G35 Dude
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MajorMike-I agree
Quote:

The term "civil war", in this instance, is a misnomer anyway. The South never had any intention of conquering the North.

You are correct. The South believed and many historians agreed that the states had a right to succeed. They never saw succession as a declaration of war. I often wondered what would have happened if the Confederacy had sued for succession rights in the courts of that time? But then I remembered that Lincoln issued an arrest warrant for Chief Justice Roger B. Taney after the 84-year-old judge issued an opinion that only Congress, not the president, can suspend the writ of habeas corpus. It (the arrest) never happened because no federal marshal would perform the duty of dragging the elderly chief justice out of his chambers and throwing him into the dungeon-like military prison at Fort McHenry. I doubt that Lincoln would have followed any finding by the courts other than his desired outcome. So I like the term Mr Lincoln's war.

S. Lindsey
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G35 Lincoln was no Reagan...

...Or a George Washington for that matter.

History treats him well, others know differently.

http://www.worldfreeinternet.us/news/nws198.htm

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The reality is the South....

lacked the wherewithal to mount a sustained effort outside of its borders other than Confederate Heartland Offensive -1862 and Lee's march into Pennsylvania - 1863.

MajorMike
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Cyclist - winning

Yet the South came close to winning the war on several occasions. At one point Confederate artillery was well within effective bombardment range of Washington but the order to fire never came. One analyst remarked that "it would have been a simple matter to catch the Congress fleeing out of the far side of the city like rats abandoning a burning ship".

The South, due to lack of resources (as you pointed out), greatly utilized lightning raids. One of my favorite articles, which I did not expect to find online (all praise to Google), is Frozen in Place: December 1861 and concerns a Confederate raid on Dam #5 on the Potomac and discusses the North's precarious position and the general high level lack of confidence in Lincoln.

Partial article: http://www.smithsonianmag.com/history-archaeology/The-Civil-War-December... I have hardcopy of the original should anyone be interested.

While most "studies" rate Lincoln as our greatest president based on the fact that he "freed the slaves", those same academic studies are little more that politically correct fantasies. Lincoln didn't free the slaves, he started a war between the states ..... over the cotton tariff. He was arguably the worst President this country has ever seen (if you discount Obumbles).

Even poor ole Georgie McClellan referred to Lincoln as "a good natured baffoon" in a letter to his wife.

G35 Dude
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MajorMike
Quote:

Yet the South came close to winning the war on several occasions. At one point Confederate artillery was well within effective bombardment range of Washington but the order to fire never came. One analyst remarked that "it would have been a simple matter to catch the Congress fleeing out of the far side of the city like rats abandoning a burning ship".

The south could have won that war if the mind set had been to fight a war instead of just defend the homeland. I think the instance you're referring to above was right after the battle at Shiloh? But by not finishing off the Union when they had the chance they let the lack of resources come into play and the tide turned.

suggarfoot
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this was a man worth respect.. feared and smeared by the North
Larry.Sussberg
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Nathan Bedford Forrest

There's no question that Nathan Bedford Forrest was a brave officer during the War of North Aggression.
Unfortunately, part of his fame is from what happened after the war when he served as the first Grand Wizard of the KKK.

During the American Civil War there were many Catholic, Jewish and other minorities who bravely served in The Confederacy and who were later persecuted by the KKK. What the KKK evolved into and represents atleast in the 20th century is not a bright spot in U.S. history.

Clearly the Battle for Fort Pillow can be interpreted in different ways based upon which side you were on, and he did not start the KKK and he disbanded it in 1869 but it was a terror organization against reconstruction then and was restarted in the early 1900s for terror against minorities. Sad but true.

Sorry

MajorMike
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Larry.Sussberg - Nathan Bedford Forrest

As I've said before: much of that that is served up as history is nothing more than fantasy. In the case of 20th century KKK and the Civil Rights movement - I was there, I watched much of it! The KKK in the 40's and 50's was many things: some good, some bad. In 1952 I watched the KKK horsewhip a man (exact location: 8414 10th Avenue S. Birmingham Alabama). The whippee was white, mid thirties, married with young children, a Christian, and worked as a milkman. Not a likely target so what was his sin?

For months and months before that incident my brother and I would listen at night as the man's wife and children would scream and beg not to be beaten by the drunken milkman. The police had been to the house many times yet nothing was done. My father allowed my brother and I to go out in the front yard and watch the whipping.

Three white sheets, one purple silk sheet, NO HOODS. Sunday afternoon after church they arrived in a 1930 something sedan and drug the milkman out of his house. Five strokes were administered with a (6 ft) snake whip. After much crying, begging and pleading by the milkman, they convinced him that they would be happy to make a return visit. Nights became quiet and three months later the family moved. All of this occurred at a time when we were being taught in Birmingham city schools that the "Civil" war was fought over slavery (single issue).

Don't even get me started on the communist philanderer MLK Jr. Even his historic "I have a dream" speech was plagiarized.

John Kennedy once said that before he left office he was going to tell the American people who really ran this country ...... six month's later he was dead.

If you really want to know about Nathan Bedford Forrest and KKK and even civil rights then start reading military history rather than social history. Forrest was an honorable man to the day he died.

BTW Larry, take note: Reconstruction is not over. The carpetbaggers are now Federal judges and the NAACP is .... well, you get the picture.

Larry.Sussberg
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Major Mike - And the KKK

Well, we lived through the same period, but through different eyes. Sorry but one example does not justify any good for the KKK not to mention they had no right to deliver their form of justice.

Let's not try to put a "tuxedo on a pig" by telling the story of one milkman then point fingers at ML King. How about looking at everything in total including the firebombing of churches that killed black children, murder of freedom riders, hangings of Blacks, Jews and Catholics.

As for Birmingham, besides the killings, in the 1960s what about when Jewish merchants refused the KKK orders not to serve blacks at their lunchette counters, the KKK terrorized the merchant families for refusing and continuing to serve black patrons. It included and was not limited to destruction of property, death threats, wooden cross burning on the lawn, harrassing and threatenng of their children and beatings. I'm sure you know where that happened, downtown and in Mountain Brook where the Jews lived!

The mayor of Durham, Emmanuel Evans, who served from 1951 to 1963 who owned of a chain called Evans United Department Stores, was repeatedly threatened, and even ordered by a county judge to build a wall in his lunchettes to separate seated white patrons from black patrons. He refused and pulled out the seats and raised the counters to side step the court order so everyone had to stand as they sat - integrated. He and his family was repeatedly threatended but he stood up and did what was socally right. Are they communists for supporting Blacks and ML King? How about the Catholic priests who were beaten by the KK because they supported the needs of minorities. All of this was done at the hands of the modern KKK. Not Bedford's KKK but the KKK.

Let's be realistic about the Civil Rights movement and Klan history. There is 0 justfication for the actions of these people.

Please reread my posts on Bedford again too. Carefully!

I guess history/fantasy is how you view things and if you have lived with discrimination, witnessed it and feared it for the safety of your family. or not.

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Larry.Sussberg - The race card

There's a BIG/HUGE difference between living through the same time period and being there, seeing it, and being a part of it. You are the one who needs to be rereading posts (and not just mine). I knew the minute that you pulled the race/ethnic card that you really didn't have a clue.

See if you can look up Rose Hill. It was a remote suburb of Birmingham that was poor, integrated, and violent. It really doesn't exist anymore, it's remains are buried under I20 about five miles east of the airport. Insurance companies would not write a policy to anyone who lived there. That's where I was born. In the late 40's Mom & Dad moved us into five points south just below Vulcan and adjoining Old Birmingham, Mountain Brook, & Homewood - all with large Jewish communities (at that time). In 49 they bought a house in Eastlake where you could, if you so desired, watch the annual KKK parade as the Klaverns passed the Lake. More Klaverns were still forming up at 1st and 1st in downtown Birmingham while the lead elements were 90 city blocks and hours away in East lake and headed for Huffman.

In 55 dad went with NASA and we moved to Huntsville where I watched more of the civil rights marches replete with large contingents of young black men with razor blades mounted in the front soles of their shoes. The leading element of those marches were always serious looking groups of clergy and civil rights notables and that was what the news media focused on. Past that it was always a clown show - a very dangerous clown show for white women. Those early thugs would kick a white woman but not a white man. Amazing how little has changed.

In the mid 60's, as a transmitter & microwave engineer for public television, I was reluctantly carrying a firearm to work because our remote transmitter sites were being shot up after Federal Judge Frank Johnson berated APT for having no black transmitter engineers.

So you see Larry, there IS a huge difference between politically correct fantasy and actually being there and living there. The South is still suffering ongoing "reconstruction" with it's main solace/revenge the foisting of Jimmeee Carter on a largely unsuspecting nation.

Larry.Sussberg
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Major Mike

Actually, no one pulled the "race card" but you and you pulled it loud and clear!

I pointed out that General Bradford was the first Grand Wizard and you went into gear defending The Klan and not even the The Klan of Bedford in 1866-1869 which was not racist. Sadly, you reference the new Klan that was and is still racist!

It's all in your perspective and viewpoint on what civil rights was for and if it was needed. Should Blacks ride in the back of the bus, be segregated in schools, bathrooms, retaurants, how about the right to vote?

Race card or simple human rights as citizen of the U.S. Civil Rights Fantasy?

MajorMike
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Larry.Sussberg - Perspective

Symantec's won't get you out of this one Larry. What I pointed out was that there was good and bad on both side of the equation. Now you attempt to equate perspective of events to historical cause. Translation: If you don't agree with me then you're a racist!. And THAT Larry, is how the current Fayette district voting battle evolved.

The mindset of a liberal keeps him constantly challenging, constantly battling. The danger to that same liberal, or and other mindset for that matter, has always been that sooner of later he has to attempt to substantiate his fantasies.

The next time you're tempted to play the race card Larry, before you do, talk to people that HAVE been there and done that. and, as I suggested, start reading military histories as opposed to those "histories" written by social historians.

Either that or stick to bashing politicians (and political hopefuls). Those two groups, of necessity, are compelled to be somewhat more constrained in their responses.

Finally, here's a quirky note for you: If you go back in time in the Citizen blogs, you will see where Suggarfoot and I got into a somewhat lengthy discussion on the Scots Irish. I then mentioned my maternal grandmother: Mary Adele Sherman-Powell Woods. YEP! William Tecumseh Sherman was grandma's great uncle (maternal side). Conclusion: Don't mess with Sugarfoot on matters of history.

Larry.Sussberg
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MajorMike

I totally agree there are good and bad on all sides in any movement, right or wrong.

Spending 1/2 of my time in Charleston, I am an advid reader of Civil War history. Political, social and military.

As for bashing politicians, some deserve it and one shows no restraint in anything including telling the truth.

suggarfoot
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Nathan Bedford, the man and the myth

Union Major General William T. Sherman investigated the allegations and did not charge Forrest with any improprieties. Since we were a defeated country and Forrest a citizen of it, the cards would have been stacked against him if they could indeed find anything that showed him at fault. Truth was they didn't.
There were a lot of people who wanted to smear him as he was bigger than life.

I have no less than 5 very thick books on him. As for the KKK, he did not support lynching by KKK members and believed that the Klan was a noble and honorable group. Indeed, in the beginning, it was. The south was being run over by carpet baggers, trash, etc. When it changed from what he felt was its original purpose as a helpful and admirable group, he quit and asked it to disband.

If you read any reputable books on him you would know he was a wonderful man. He tried to unite the races after the war. When he died he had little money left as he and his wife, Mary Ann Montgomery Forrest, gave to any of his old soldiers who needed. He took care of all till the end of his life.

You need to read this:

Nathan Bedford Forrest Racist? Read On

Forrest's speech during a meeting of the "Jubilee of Pole Bearers" is a story that needs to be told. Gen. Forrest was the first white man to be invited by this group which was a forerunner of today's Civil Right's group. A reporter of the Memphis Avalanche newspaper was sent to cover the event that included a Southern barbeque supper.

Miss Lou Lewis, daughter of a Pole Bearer member, was introduced to Forrest and she presented the former general a bouquet of flowers as a token of reconciliation, peace and good will. On July 5, 1875, Nathan Bedford Forrest delivered this speech:

"Ladies and Gentlemen, I accept the flowers as a memento of reconciliation between the white and colored races of the Southern states. I accept it more particularly as it comes from a colored lady, for if there is any one on God's earth who loves the ladies I believe it is myself. (Immense applause and laughter.) I came here with the jeers of some white people, who think that I am doing wrong. I believe I can exert some influence, and do much to assist the people in strengthening fraternal relations, and shall do all in my power to elevate every man, to depress none.

(Applause.)

I want to elevate you to take positions in law offices, in stores, on farms, and wherever you are capable of going. I have not said anything about politics today. I don't propose to say anything about politics. You have a right to elect whom you please; vote for the man you think best, and I think, when that is done, you and I are freemen. Do as you consider right and honest in electing men for office. I did not come here to make you a long speech, although invited to do so by you. I am not much of a speaker, and my business prevented me from preparing myself. I came to meet you as friends, and welcome you to the white people. I want you to come nearer to us. When I can serve you I will do so. We have but one flag, one country; let us stand together. We may differ in color, but not in sentiment. Many things have been said about me which are wrong, and which white and black persons here, who stood by me through the war, can contradict. Go to work, be industrious, live honestly and act truly, and when you are oppressed I'll come to your relief. I thank you, ladies and gentlemen, for this opportunity you have afforded me to be with you, and to assure you that I am with you in heart and in hand." (Prolonged applause.)

End of speech.1

Nathan Bedford Forrest again thanked Miss Lewis for the bouquet and then gave her a kiss on the cheek. Such a kiss was unheard of in the society of those days, in 1875, but it showed a token of respect and friendship between the general and the black community and did much to promote harmony among the citizens of Memphis

Seems a strange action the racist he was painted to be don't you think? Also, it is undeniable he had black soldiers that fought under him from the beginning of the war, till the end. No doubt, many times they had the opportunity to desert and didn't. I also have pictures of them coming to the reunion of his soldiers years later. Again, strange for someone who was suppose to be such a racist to be so loved by his black soldiers.

The victors always get to rewrite history.

Larry.Sussberg
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Nathan Bedford

I suggest you go back and reread what I wrote, its pretty clear and careful not to make accusations. So let's clarify...

1) He was not the founder of the KKK.
2) He was it's first Grand Wizard though.
3) It was formed as a terror group against the North and Reconstuction and carpetbaggers which did take away lands and property from the South.
4) He did disband the KKK in 1869 when he believed the work was done.

5) And unfortunate for Gen. Bedford, the KKK was reformed not as a terror group against the Reconstuction and carpetbaggers but for terror against minorities.

That is the history - North or South, just plain old American history and Gen. Bedford is written into it as a brave general and the first Grand Wizard of the KKK.

Like Forrest Gump, just misunderstood.

suggarfoot
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"I suggest you go back and

"I suggest you go back and reread what I wrote, its pretty clear and careful not to make accusations. So let's clarify..."

1) He was not the founder of the KKK.
2) He was it's first Grand Wizard though.
3) It was formed as a terror group against the North and Reconstuction and carpetbaggers which did take away lands and property from the South.
4) He did disband the KKK in 1869 when he believed the work was done"

By bringing it up the ..way..you did, you are implying, he did the wrong thing and is to be looked down on for it.

" And unfortunate for Gen. Bedford, the KKK was reformed not as a terror group against the Reconstuction and carpetbaggers but for terror against minorities."

It wasn't unfortunate for him. He wasn't a part of it any longer so he wasn't responsible for what it did later!

The difference between him and someone like you, is heroes will always step forward and try for the sake of all. When they find it was the wrong way to do it, they will stop and redirect themselves, which he did.

Armchair quarterbacks will find the flaws in those that tried. Somehow inferring they themselves are better people for not making the same mistakes as those they are criticizing when in fact they never do anything. If it wasn't for the Nathans, the weaker armchairs couldn't survive.

http://www.freeinfosociety.com/article.php?id=184

Larry.Sussberg
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Suggarfoot

I never thought Gen Bedford was a racist. The North didn't smear him, what did was history for being the first Grand Wizard of the KKK. Its in every history book and posted even under "Southern" blogs. Unfortunately its rarely qualified with the history of the Klan.

You seem to have more of a problem with this issue than anyone else and if you are that sensitive why bring him up? The war ended 148 years ago. Or, better still, bring up the fact that he was a General and history has smeared him and why.

And if it make you feel free to call me an armchair quarterback, to soothe your soul, feel free.

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