Article Comment 

Wallace Dabbs: The Old South




A recent thoughtful column by Columbus editor Birney Imes, which appeared in The Commercial Dispatch and The Clarion-Ledger in Jackson, contained a reference to Confederate Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest and President Abraham Lincoln. 


Mr. Imes pointed out in his column that Civil War historian Shelby Foote of Greenville, had, during his research for his Civil War books, reached the conclusion that the war had produced two "authentic" geniuses, General Forrest and President Lincoln. 


Foote decided to share his opinion of the two men with a distant relative of General Forrest, an elderly lady who lived in Memphis. 


Foote said he telephoned the lady in Memphis to tell her this. Foote said that after identifying himself and telling her of his opinion, there was a long pause on the phone. 


Finally, Foote said, a sweet voice replied: "Thank you very much for calling, Mr. Foote, but we don''t hold Mr. Lincoln in high regard in our family." 




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Reader Comments

Article Comment titus commented at 3/11/2011 4:25:00 PM:

Love it!


Article Comment walter commented at 3/13/2011 3:17:00 PM:

Nate was good for those whose views he mirrored and in their opinion, he was and is still held in "high regard." Not so, for the hapless Black men abd women, innocent of any crime, who were viciously assaulted and often killed for no reason at all. The offsprings of the latter, if Nate was living today, would stretch his tail from kingdom can to kingdom come.

The idea of even mentioning Lincoln's name and Nate's in the same sentence, as here, is blasphemy. Foote, as good a historian as he has proven to be over the years, should be more careful in his fading years to protect his sterling reputation of intelligence and common-sense, as a writer of past events and personages.


Article Comment sandallvr commented at 3/15/2011 9:57:00 AM:

Mr. Foote, unfortunately for those who enjoyed his whit and whimsical style, is deceased. And if memory serves correctly, Mr. Foote actually made those comments during a meeting with the General's Great-Granddaughter. As to the mentioning of the President in the same sentence with the General, one might want to look into Dr. Louis Gates' introspective study of Lincoln the man and Lincoln the myth. The two are not even close per Dr. Gates' study. That the two men rose to promience is a statement to their abilities and genius. That they were also flawed is without doubt. But I suppose that flys in the face of revisionist history. Both men were what they were; products of their past, their time, and their challenges.


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