Roland Martin talks with Malika Sanders-Fortier about a "bigger and better than ever" monument to early KKK leader and Civil War general Nathan Bedford Forrest that will be built on public property.


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One thought on “Roland Martin Talks with Malika Sanders-Fortier

  1. southron_98 on said:

    It is too bad Malika Sanders-Fortier has not taken the time to research her hatred driven petition. I and a friend are writing a book on Civil War myths. Please allow me to provide you some examples of what we have discovered and hopefully you can share with friends and family. Yes, by the way I have extensive documentation for anything I will relate to you, it is just due to space and time, I did not figure you would be interested in detailed correspondence. I did however think you would want these involved to know the truth!


    Thomas Jackson was “fragged” killed by his own soldiers (by one Preston Layman ) in retaliation for a slight against the soldiers’ family.

    Marsh Lee had no last words!

    William Mack Lee was not as claimed, General Lees cook, slave, confidant.

    Grant never said “If I thought this war was to abolish slavery, I would resign my commission and offer my sword to the other side”.

    Lee never said “Governor, if I had foreseen the use those people designed to make of their victory, there would have been no surrender at Appomattox Courthouse; no sir, not by me. Had I foreseen these results of subjugation, I would have preferred to die at Appomattox with my brave men, my sword in my right hand”.

    Keep in mind this was a different era, men had integrity, duels were still being fought. Forrest had killed several men (one with a pen knife) over his honor and courage. Remember in this day and age he could have said or done anything, what he did was support the โ€œJubilee of Pole Bearers” the pre-runner of the NAACP.

    The myth as it pertains to Bedford Forrest. the Library of Congress where I verified this very subject or I am available to respond to any question.

    In 1871, Gen. Forrest was called before a congressional Committee. Forrest testified before Congress personally over four hours .

    Here’s part of the transcript of Forrest’s testimony to that 1871 hearing:
    “The reports of Committees, House of Representatives, second session, forty-second congress,” P. 7-449.

    “The primary accusation before this board is that Gen. Forrest was a founder of The Klan, and its first Grand Wizard, So it shall address those accusations first.”

    Forrest took the witness stand June 27th,1871. Building a railroad in Tennessee at the time, Gen Forrest stated he ‘had done more , probably than any other man, to suppress these violence and difficulties and keep them down, had been vilified and abused in the (news) papers, and accused of things I never did while in the army and since. He had nothing to hide, wanted to see this matter settled, our country quiet once more, and our people united and working together harmoniously.’

    Asked if he knew of any men or combination of men violating the law or preventing the execution of the law: Gen Forest answered emphatically, ‘No.’ (A Committee member brought up a ‘document’ suggesting otherwise, the 1868 newspaper article from the “Cincinnati Commercial”. That was their “evidence”, a news article.)

    Forrest stated ‘…any information he had on the Klan was information given to him by others.’

    Sen. Scott asked, ‘Did you take any steps in organizing an association or society under that prescript (Klan constitution)?’

    Forrest: ‘I DID NOT’ Forrest further stated that ‘..he thought the Organization (Klan) started in middle Tennessee, although he did not know where. It is said I started it.’

    Asked by Sen. Scott, ‘Did you start it, Is that true?’

    Forrest: ‘No Sir, it is not.’

    Asked if he had heard of the Knights of the white Camellia, a Klan-like organization in Louisiana,

    Forrest: ‘Yes, they were reported to be there.’

    Senator: ‘Were you a member of the order of the white Camellia?’

    Forrest: ‘No Sir, I never was a member of the Knights of the white Camellia.’

    Asked about the Klan :

    Forrest: ‘It was a matter I knew very little about. All my efforts were addressed to stop it, disband it, and prevent it….I was trying to keep it down as much as possible.’

    Forrest: ‘I talked with different people that I believed were connected to it, and urged the disbandment of it, that it should be broken up.'”

    The following article appeared in the New York times June 27th, “Washington, 1871. Gen Forrest was before the Klu Klux Committee today, and his examination lasted four hours. After the examination, he remarked than the committee treated him with much courtesy and respect.”

    Gen. Forrest was NOT the ‘first Grand Wizard of the KKK’. For the correct information on that, here are the actual documented facts :
    Actually, the “kuklos” was started in Pulaski, Tennessee, just before Christmas 1865, by six ex-Confederate officers, and was a sort of social club for Confederate officers.
    Nathan Bedford Forrest had absolutely nothing to do with the founding of the Ku Klux Klan.
    And even within the history of the Klan, differences must be noted between the Klan of the 1860s and the Klan of today. The KKK that was reorganized in 1915 had a reputation as a bigoted and sometimes violent organization, fueled by hate and ignorance and thriving on fear and intimidation. But that wasn’t always the case. The original KKK of the 1860s was organized as a fun club, or social club, for Confederate veterans. Many historians agree that if a YMCA had been available in the town of Pulaski, Tenn., the KKK might never have existed.

    Then we have Fort Pillow.
    Fort Pillow

    More than fifty Union soldiers that were present at this battle who gave sworn testimonies contradicting these findings first presented in the press.

    LT Van Horn’s report makes no mention of any “massacre” or misconduct on the part of Forrest or his men and was for a time a prisoner himself, reporting “I escaped by putting on citizen’s clothes, after I had been some time their prisoner. I received a slight wound of the left ear”

    LT Van Horn reported that “Lieutenant John D. Hill, Sixth U. S. Heavy Artillery, was ordered outside the fort to burn some barracks, which he, with the assistance of a citizen who accompanied him, succeeded in effecting.” This accounts for the barracks allegedly burned by Confederates in which wounded Union soldiers were supposed to have perished.

    Union officers were in charge of burials and made no such report of living burials.

    The report of Lieutenant Daniel Van Horn, Sixth U. S. Colored Heavy Artillery confirmed this in which he reported: “There never was a surrender of the fort, both officers and men declaring they never would surrender or ask for quarter.”

    โ€œSome of our men were killed by both whites and Negroes who had once surrendered”

    Numbers 16. Report of Lieutenant Daniel Van Horn, Sixth U. S. Colored Heavy Artillery, of the capture of Fort Pillow – Federal Official Records, Series I, Vol. 32, Part 1, pp. 569-570

    Fort Pickering, Memphis, Tenn., April 14, 1864.
    COLONEL: I have the honor to submit the following report of the battle and capture of Fort Pillow, Tenn.: At sunrise on the morning of the 12th of April, 1864, our pickets were attacked and driven in, they making very slight resistance. They were from the Thirteenth Tennessee Cavalry
    Major Booth, commanding the post, had made all his arrangements for battle that the limited force under his command would allow, and which was only 450 effective men, consisting of the First Battalion of the Sixth U. S. Heavy Artillery, five companies of the Thirteenth Tennessee Cavalry, and one section of the Second U. S. Light Artillery (Colorado, Lieutenant Hunter.

    Arrangements were scarcely completed and the men placed in the rifle-pits before the enemy came upon us and in ten times our number, as acknowledged by General Chalmers. They were repulsed with heavy loss; charged again and were again repulsed. At the third chargee Major Booth was killed, while passing among his men and cheering them to fight. The order was then given to retire inside the fort, and General Forrest sent in a flag of truce demanding an unconditional surrender of the fort, which was returned with a decided refusal.

    During the time consumed by this consultation advantage was taken by the enemy to place in position his force, they crawling up to the fort. After the flag had retired, the fight was renewed and raged with fury for some time, when another flag of truce was sent in and another demand for surrender made, they assuring us at the same time that they would treat us as “prisoners of war.”

    Another refusal was returned, when they again charged the works and succeeded in carrying them. Shortly before this, however, Lieutenant John D. Hill, Sixth U. S. Heavy Artillery, was ordered outside the fort to burn some barracks, which he, with the assistance of a citizen who accompanied him, succeeded in effecting, and in returning was killed. Major Bradford, of the Thirteenth Tennessee Cavalry, was now in command. At 4 o’clock the fort was in possession of the enemy, every man having been either killed, wounded, or captured.

    There never was a surrender of the fort, both officers and men declaring they never would surrender or ask for quarter. [emphasis added, ed.] As for myself, I escaped by putting on citizen’s clothes, after I had been some time their prisoner. I received a slight wound of the left ear. I cannot close this report without adding my testimony to that accorded by others wherever the black man has been brought into battle. Never did men fight better, and when the odds against us are considered it is truly miraculous that we should have held the fort an hour. To the colored troops is due the successful holding out until 4 p. m. The men were constantly at their posts, and in fact through the whole engagement showed a valor not, under the circumstances, to have been expected from troops less than veterans, either white or black.

    The following is a list of the casualties among the officers as far as known: Killed, Major Lionel F. Booth, Sixth U. S. Heavy Artillery (colored); Major William F. Bradford, Thirteenth Tennessee Cavalry; Captain Theodore F. Bradford, Thirteenth Tennessee Cavalry; Captain Delos Carson, Company D, Sixth U. S. Heavy Artillery (colored); Lieutenant John D. Hill, Company C, Sixth U. S. Heavy Artillery (colored); Lieutenant Peter Bischoff,* Company A, Sixth U. S. Heavy Artillery (colored). Wounded, Captain Charles J. Epeneter, Company A, prisoner; Lieutenant Thomas W. McClure, Company C, prisoner; Lieutenant Henry Lippettt, Company B, escaped, badly wounded; Lieutenant Van Horn, Company D, escaped, slightly wounded.

    I know of about 15 men of the Sixth U. S. Heavy Artillery (colored) having escaped, and all but 2 of them are wounded.

    I have the honor to be, very respectfully, &c.,
    2nd Lieutenant Company D, Sixth U. S. Heavy Artillery (colored).
    Lieutenant Colonel T. H. HARRIS,
    Assistant Adjutant-General

    Source Library of Congress; Congressional Investigation held by Senator Sherman. Gary.

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