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Did Forrest REALLY threaten Bragg ?

Discussion in 'History Forum' started by robycop3, Sep 24, 2019.

  1. robycop3

    robycop3 Well-Known Member
    Site Supporter

    Jul 31, 2000
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    In 1899, John Wyeth wrote in his book about the life of CSA Gen. Nathan B. Forrest that, after a mixup after the battle of Chickamauga, that Forrest supposedly told CSA Gen. Braxton Bragg, "“I have stood your meanness as long as I intend to….You have played the part of a d****d scoundrel, and are a coward, and if you were any part of a man I would slap your jaws and force you to resent it. You may as well not issue any more orders to me, for I will not obey them, and I will hold you personally responsible for any further indignities you endeavor to inflict upon me….If you ever again try to interfere with me or cross my path it will be at the peril of your life.”

    New material has come to light about their relationship & supposed feud. it was no secret that Forrest was displeased with Bragg for not following Gen. Rosecrans' defeated Union army after Chickamauga, but that army wasn't as bad-off as Forrest believed, while Bragg's own army, including Forrest's cavalry, had taken quite a few casualties as well. Forrest soon realized this as well.

    In fact, by all accounts of those who served with Bragg, he valued Forrest highly, and Forrest appreciated Bragg. But one general Forrest didn't like was Joseph Wheeler, Bragg's senior cavalry commander. Forrest DID tell Wheeler that he'd be in his grave before he ever served under him again, & requested Bragg to transfer him. Bragg didn't want to lose Forrest, so he granted his request, allowing him to operate independently of Wheeler. Later, when Forrest was transferred from Bragg's army, he sent Bragg a letter telling Bragg how much he had liked serving under him.

    Now, Forrest had his faults; he was a racist & after the war, became Grand Imperial Wizard of the KKK & his men had committed the massacre of surrendered black federal soldiers at Fort Pillow, but he was no liar & didn't hold back his feelings about anyone. He sent Bragg that letter because he MEANT it.

    It is unknown why Wyeth wrote about the supposed feud, except to embellish his book. Perhaps he had a dislike for Bragg, who was known as one of the poorest CSA generals. (While Forrest was rated one of the best.) But at any rate, that 120-yr. old story about a feud between Forrest & Bragg appears to be apocryphal.