Nathan Bedford Forrest "The Wizard Of The Saddle” His tactics on the battlefield are still studied by military academies today

“I wish none but those who desire to be actively engaged. Come on boys, if you want a heap of fun and to kill some yankees” 

  •  29 horses shot from under him, killed or seriously wounded at least thirty enemy soldiers in hand-to-hand combat, and had been himself wounded four times.
  • In the motion picture Forrest Gump, Tom Hanks’s character Forrest Gump states that he was named after a “General Forrest”
  • Forrest’s victory at Brice’s Cross Roads became the subject of a class taught at the French War College by Marshal Ferdinand Foch before World War I.
  • His mobile campaigns were studied by the German general Erwin Rommel, who as commander of the Afrika Korps in World War II, emulated his tactics on a wider scale, with tanks and trucks.

Not only did he lack formal military training, but had very little formal education in his youth. Forrest was the eldest, and the head of seven brothers and three sisters. His father, a blacksmith, died while Forrest was still a young man, necessitating that he forego a formal education and help to raise the family. As a young business man, Forrest overcame his lack of schooling, entering the war as a private with an estimated wealth of a million and a half. During the war, he was an avid reader, scanning the newspapers daily to keep abreast of military information.

Years after the war, General Sherman said, "I think Forrest was the most remarkable man the civil war produced on either side. His opponents were professional soldiers, while he had no military training. He was never taught tactics yet he had a genius for strategy that was original and to me incomprehensible. I couldn’t calculate what he was up to, yet he always knew my intentions."

His lack of education became most noticeable in his poor spelling and punctuation of personally written dispatches and reports. The words such as “skeer,” “git” and “thar” were some examples. Described as urbane and polished in his mannerisms, most of the grammatical distortions in his speech were products of his staff officers and their leg-pulling tales of Forrest. However, in anger or excitement, his no nonsense approach to the English language would become evident. Once, having received a soldier’s repeated request for leave, Forrest responded in writing: “I have told you twict goddamit No!” 

He continued to be surrounded by controversy for the remainder of his life. He continued to be active in civic and political events until his health declined prior to his death. On May 14, 1875 he presence was conspicuous at a reunion of the Seventh Cavalry in Covington. Requested to make a speech, he did so from horseback. “…Comrades, through the years of bloodshed and weary marches you were tried and true soldiers. So through the years of peace you have been good citizens, and now that we are again united under the old flag, I love it as I did in the days of my youth, and I feel sure that you love it also….It has been thought by some that our social reunions were wrong, and that they would be heralded to the North as an evidence that we were again ready to break out into civil war. But I think that they are right and proper, and we will show our countrymen by our conduct and dignity that brave soldiers are always good citizens and law-abiding and loyal people.”

Colorized photo by Stacey Palmer thecivilwarparlor

On September 15, 1963, four Klu Klux Klan members bombed the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama, a rallying point and meeting place and voter registration site.  The bombing killed four girls:  Addie Mae Collins, 14; Denise McNair, 11; Carole Robinson, 14; and Cynthia Wesley, 14.

via NAACP Facebook page.


PRICHARD, Alabama — Volunteers cried and hugged each other on Thursday afternoon after the body of missing 8-year-old Hiawayi Robinson was found near Rebel Road.

Around 1 p.m., a statewide missing child alert was canceled. According to the Alabama Department of Public Safety, Hiawayi had been located.

News of the discovery started trickling down shortly after officials released images of a person of interest in the case. The images were taken on Wednesday,one day after Hiawayi was last seen, Baldwin said.

In the parking lot which served as search headquarters, a volunteer hugged loved ones.

Yvonne Whitlock said she was part of the search party on Thursday and Hiawayi’s body was found behind an abandoned building on Rebel Road.

"We went out with the intent to find little Hiawayi to put her back in her mother’s arms," Whitlock said. "I have an 8-year-old son and my heart is at the bottom of my feet."

Earlier on Thursday, Hiawayi’s father, Hiawatha Robinson, pleaded for information on his daughter’s whereabouts. He said she had called on Tuesday to ask for money ahead of her birthday on Sept. 24.

She told him she was going to go play with her cousin but her grandmother, Brenda Populus, said her cousin wasn’t home.

"I just want her to come home and talk about my bald head," he said as he recalled her jovial nature. "I miss all that."



"Light Rails" - Birmingham, Alabama
by Bill Fitzgibbons

We’ve been seeing a lot of great public art like this in Atlanta, both in terms of murals and in terms of installation art using light. Glad it’s happening elsewhere. -Wendy

From a feature on Tulsa Public Radio:

A San Antonio artist has won a prestigious national award. Light, in fact, is the medium of the piece created by Bill FitzGibbons.

“I installed in downtown Birmingham, Alabama; a public artwork called Light Rails,” FitzGibbons said. “It was put in an art deco 1930s railroad underpass.”

The place was a wide and very dark railroad bridge separating downtown Birmingham from a neat new park and ball field the city built. But as FitzGibbons explained, it was not an inviting place.

“[It was] rather dark and had some transients hanging out in it, and there were some safety issues,” he said.

Birmingham could have just added lights to the area, but instead they had FitzGibbons add art that was full of light.

"And the art deco architecture was just perfect for a light installation," he said. "I wanted to respect the architecture, at the same time turn it into a dynamic, energized artwork.”

Republican Federal Judge Caught Brutally Beating His Wife In Horrifying 911 Call (AUDIO)

Republican Federal Judge Caught Brutally Beating His Wife In Horrifying 911 Call (AUDIO)

On August 9, 2014, Atlanta police responded to the hotel room of federal district court Judge Mark Fuller of Alabama only to find his wife severely roughed up.

At the Ritz-Carlton that night, officers found Fuller’s wife badly beaten in a room that had the stench of alcohol. Fuller, on the other hand, didn’t have a scratch on him. Police secured Mrs. Fuller and took Judge Fuller into custody.…

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Seeing Percy

The following narrative was submitted by reader in 2009 to Phantoms and Monsters:

When I was 10 years old, my grandmother started to recall stories about a special friend, by the name of Percy, who she had when she was a girl. My grandmother lived in the same house since she was born, a huge old Antebellum era house just outside of Elba, Alabama.

Apparently, Percy was a young adult and she was 10 years old when she met him. She would sometimes see him on the edge of the woods not far from the house and when she would tell her family to look they would see nothing. After a while people started to think she was crazy, saying ‘it’s just your imagination’. So she eventually gave up saying she was just playing a joke, though she still continued to see him. She would say that he was very nice and kind, as well as very handsome.

When I was 12, I was staying at my grandmother’s house during my summer vacation. I was unpacking my suitcase in one of the bedrooms. As I tried to pull open one of the dresser drawers, it wouldn’t budge at all. I yanked, groaned and moaned but to no avail. After about 5 minutes of desperation, I heard a low pitched chuckle. I turned around, but nothing was there. I was completely puzzled because I knew what I heard, but decided to brush it off.

Several years later my grandmother passed away. My family and I decided to stay at my grandmother’s house during the time of her viewing and funeral since we lived about 5 hours away.

The funeral was conducted at her house in the large front living room. After the ceremony, the pallbearers carried her casket to the hearse parked in the front when I noticed out of the corner of my eye someone quickly running into the bushes at the edge of the woods. I thought it may have been one of the neighbors though the nearest farm was about a mile or so away.

That night I was in the same room where I usually slept at my grandmothers house, which was her old bedroom when she was a child. As I laid in the bed, I heard soft moans and whimpering. The sound was coming from the direction of the window and balcony. The evening was very dark and with moonlight peaking through the trees, the only source of illumination. As my eyes adjusted I could make out the figure of a man, but more of a shadow instead of a solid body. The spectre was sitting down on the balcony floor, it’s elbows resting on it’s knees and it’s head hung down in it’s hands.

After a few moments, the figure became somewhat clearer and I realized that this was Percy. I called out ‘Percy?’ The spirit raised it’s head and slowly looked in my direction. He was exactly as my grandmother had described though I only saw his face for a second as he quickly vanished. I didn’t know whether it had been a dream or what, so I decided to keep my mouth shut, not wanting people to think I was delusional.

The next night while I slept, I felt a cold brush-by on my cheek. My eyes snapped open and the young man I had seen the night before was looking at me. He appeared blurry but still recognizable with light brown hair and bright blue eyes. He stared at me and smiled, then quickly dissipated.

The next morning we prepared to leave for home. I sat on the edge of the bed and thought about what had transpired the previous days. A few minutes later, we were in the car ready to pull away when I decided to look out the side window towards the woods. There he stood, arms by his side but staring directly at me. He quickly turned and vanished into the bushes. I just knew I would never see him again.

I later found out that Percy was the son of a wealthy land owner who built and lived in my grandmother’s house in the 1850’s. One day, at the age of 20, Percy simply disappeared and was never heard from again. There had been a rumor that he was killed by a slave who worked on a nearby plantation but a body was never recovered.

That was 15 years ago, but I still see Percy in my mind’s eye. I was able to talk to the current owner of the house recently who says they occasionally hear someone talking softly on moonlit nights. I have little doubt that Percy is still at home.

Michelle - Asheville, NC

[Phantoms and Monsters]