Dear Ms. Mathiowetz,
I must admonish you to have a little more research under your belt before you publish. It is well known that the great general, Nathan Bedford Forrest had agreed to reside as president over the chartering of the notorious klan, but it is also well publicized that he did quit that duty upon his discovery that it had turned violent against Southerners of African descent. Your entry reads as though you have done nothing much more than watched the introduction to the film, "Forrest Gump." With a little inquire, you may discover a completely different picture of the man who gambled everything he owned to assist in the establishment of Constitutionally based democracy, as many of the fifty six signers of the Declaration of Independence did in 1776. That same democracy seems to be a little lost these days, so if you want to insight your readers into a lather, give them something else to think about, other than to cite one individual, as blame for this country’s ethnic troubles.
One excellent source that you may choose to investigate is titled Black Southerners in Confederate Armies; a collection of Historical Accounts, compiled and edited by J.H. Segars and Charles Kelly Barrow. Within this text are several allusions to Forrest as a champion of Africans, before, during and well after the War for Southern Independence. Further research may lead you to a greater understanding of the subject that you so violently seem to in opposition to.
Southerners have a right to celebrate their heroes, just as Yankees have a right to theirs. I am certain that there are monuments to Lincoln, Sherman, and even Sheridan, who in the light of today’s military ethics, could qualify as war criminals. There is no great cry in the South to pull those monuments down, so why should there be a cry to stop the construction and restoration of those for great Southern heroes in Alabama?
Enjoy your research.
Respectfully, your humble servant
Kermit Lee Albritton