Wallace Dabbs: The Old South

March 11, 2011 2:29:00 PM

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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."