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30266Re: That " Devil" Forest

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  • James2044
    Mar 5, 2005
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      --- In civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com, "Tom Mix" <tmix@i...> wrote:
      > That is a very controversial topic but from what I know Forrest
      had the
      > upper hand in the battle. He controlled the high ground looking
      into the
      > "fort". The fort was really some earth works created with in the
      > original previously built by Confederates. The inhabitants were
      not just
      > Black soldiers but also white Union supporters from Western
      > The fort had an open rear inviting envelopment. Forrest was in
      > to over run the fort and did what he always did; inform the Union
      > commander that if he did not surrender the inhabitants would be
      put to
      > the sword. He meant the Union soldiers in general not just the
      > Union soldiers. In the past that had been enough for a quick
      > but this time his terms were rejected. This surprised Forrest but
      > ordered the attack. It ended up being a shooting gallery. They
      > over ran the earth works and fired down upon the Union troops. It
      > virtually impossible to not kill their targets. The Union
      commander died
      > early leaving the Union command structure in a mess. No one really
      > assumed command. The US troops were like fish in barrel. Forrest
      and his
      > officers rode down to the battle and ordered the firing to cease.
      > Eventually the firing stopped but it was too late. A horrible and
      > inaccurate legend had been born.
      > Grant ordered Sherman to investigate the fight after the war.
      > exonerated Forrest. The troops had simply got out of control.
      > reigned until Forrest arrived personally to put a stop to it which
      > did.
      > After the war Forrest worked to increase the rights of the newly
      > slaves. He especially worked hard in the area of elections. The
      pre and
      > post war Forrest's were two different men all together.
      > We won't discuss the Klan here but suffice it to note that he
      > when they became a hate group. No more should be said on this forum
      > regarding it per our rules which I respect and agree with.

      Tom has presented a very good overall description of the "battle".
      I would like to add that the loss of command & control on the Union
      side made a general surrender impossible. More than once, Union
      troops fired on men accepting a surrender of other Union troops.
      Regional & racial hate did play into the problems but the loss of
      C&C was the major reason.

      For an excellent discussion of the surrender process during battle,
      see John Keegan's "The Face of Battle".

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