Date: Feb 15, 2017
Subject: General Nathan Bedford Forrest
Cc: ,


I watched the PBS documentary, Accidental Courtesy, earlier this week and must applaud your approach to racial conciliation. If everyone could just learn to listen as you do, the world would certainly be a better place. The fact that you have managed to convert several KKK members is an amazing feat.


I found the documentary extremely interesting and three days later I am still thinking about it, in particular, the segment relating to your allegation that General Forrest “was a slave trader who went on to murder his slaves instead of freeing them, like all other Confederate generals did at the end of the Civil War.” I assume that you have good reasons for your allegation, but the statement really astonished me. I did a very brief Google search and could not find anything to support that allegation. The only possible blemish that I could find against General Forrest was the Fort Pillow incident where there seem to be as many allegations for him as against him, depending upon what report you read. He was exonerated by the Army but I know that doesn’t necessarily mean that he was innocent of all blame.


While doing my “research” I came upon the web site for Southern Heritage 411, Inc. The home page describes the organization as follows:


Southern Heritage 411 Inc. is a corporation founded to inform the public about Southern Heritage from the perspective of the hundreds of thousands of black people who love and support the South, its people, its customs, and its history.


The President of “Southern Heritage 411” is H.K. Edgerton, a black Confederate activist who works tirelessly to bring the real truth of our heritage to people of all races. H.K. Edgerton has walked thousands of miles carrying his large Confederate Battle Flag through cities and towns and down country roads. He speaks at venues all over the South exposing the many myths of Yankee history and setting the record straight regarding blacks role in the history of the South.


H.K. Edgerton and Southern Heritage 411 strive to illuminate the truth as it pertains to the relationships and experiences of blacks and whites in the South as they have struggled together to maintain the principles of a limited, democratic and representative government as espoused by America’s founding fathers.


I’d like to bring to your attention an article on the Southern Heritage 411 web site which deals with General Forrest and paints an entirely different picture of the general than the one portrayed in the documentary. Please see:

I am really at a loss as to what to believe. If Mr. Edgerton is correct, then it is truly a shame that the general is now being vilified. If you are correct, then it is not right that he is being honored as a hero. Perhaps the two of you can meet some day and work out the truth of the matter. It is hard to believe that you are both talking about the same man.


Thank you for your consideration and good luck with your continuing efforts to unite black and white.


Patricia (Pat) Dye
Lafayette, IN


Responding to PBS Independent Lens production, Accidental Courtesy: