Love-Hate Mail 

With friends like these...?
As stated in the article about Nathan Bedford Forrest, the best balanced account of this expert Confederate Cavalry commander is the 1993 bio by Jack Hurst ("The Devil You Don't Know," Nov. 5).

Hurst quotes from the Memphis newspaper Commercial Appeal which reported how colored people honored Forrest at the time of his death with over 500 men, women and children viewing the body in one day with nothing said that was not in praise of the general. After the war he had worked black convicts on an island in the Mississippi River, raising cotton and cutting timber. One convict told the minister who came to visit the ill Forrest that if he died the blacks would "lose their best friend."

While a founder of the Ku Klux Klan, it was needed at first because of the lawlessness after the war, but as things were stablized, he withdrew. It was later that bad elements took over.

At Fort Pillow 580 black and white Federal troops had resolved to not surrender, and as I recall had nailed the flag in place so it could not be lowered in surrender. Hurst quotes both Confederate and Federal soldiers saying that Forrest ran among the forces, trying to stop the firing.

Hurst's fine account of this fighting general reveals that on many occasions, Forrest used bluff to induce superior forces to surrender to him without firing a shot.

After a war the victors write the history. The Civil War history goes like this: Slavery was bad. The South had slaves. Therefore the South was bad.

Much of this false sentiment has prevailed for 144 years. Tragic!

Jack D. Walker

Roy Wilson's war
I am a longtime Parks employee and have utmost respect for Mr. Wilson ("Parks and Reservations," Nov. 5). He is a caring and decent human being and not the monster you make him out to be. My question to the writer: We have about 500 employees in Parks, and you interview two and decide he's not a good manager and morale is low? Maybe the folks you spoke with have low morale but it's not Mr. Wilson's fault. We never had it so good. Everybody talks about Jim Fyke and how good he was, but he was one of the most unapproachable people I have met in my years at Parks. Mr. Wilson has an open door policy.

Alfred Middleton

Jowers: full of Shih Tzu?
I think you're missing the point ("An Inconvenient Woof," Nov. 5). The book [Time to Eat the Dog? The Real Guide to Sustainable Living] compares the carbon footprint of pets to the carbon footprint of automobiles and electronics. The carbon footprint of a lovable pooch is far greater than that of an SUV. In fact, it's "greener" for a family to have 2 SUVs than to have a German shepherd. The point of the book is to raise awareness of what legitimately impacts the environments. It's not a doggie recipe book.

After initially reading about this book, I became curious what reactions it would cause. Considering the backlash I read from you, I'd say it's made an impact. Unfortunately, I'm not sure it made its point. It's time to think holistically about what impacts our environment, not just the MPG on your car. For those willing to ride a bike to work instead of drive, the real question is: Are they willing to have one dog instead of two, or even no pets? Crazy to think about, but indeed we must think about it or else all this talk about effecting positive change for the environment loses its validity.

Scott Johnson


Stop waste, eat a beagle
No one talks about such things in this culture, but in other cultures it isn't out of the question to eat dogs and cats ("An Inconvenient Woof," Nov. 5). I haven't done so personally, but I cringe at all the unwanted pets who are euthanized every year. What a waste of perfectly good meat! We are a wasteful society.

Now, I'll go home and enjoy the company of my small dog, and I will let him grow to a ripe old age and die when it is his time. I'm not about to eat him.

Diane Smith

Who's who in 'cue
Just finished reading "The South Carolina Barbecue Caper" by Walter Jowers (Oct. 29), and although the overall story is amusing, Jowers needs to get his facts straight concerning his barbecue restaurants. He writes, "I learned some of Melvin's restaurants had stirred up controversy in recent years, mostly by displaying controversial books, pamphlets, and...objectionable memorabilia." There are actually four Bessinger brothers in the BBQ business in South Carolina: Melvin, Thomas, Robert, and Maurice. It is Maurice—not Melvin—who is the controversial figure, being that he is openly racist.The other brothers do not share his views.

Iwas surprised, actually, that Jowers was not familiar with the whole brouhaha concerning Maurice, especially since Jowersmentions thathe received some education in S.C.Don't know how he missed out on the fun. The whole Maurice/BBQ/white supremacy/flag-flying controversywas big enough to make The New York Times a few years back.

Personally, I prefer Melvin's, with Thomas Bessinger's restaurant on the Savannah Highway a close second. And I always keeptabs on my dog when I go to the drive-thru!

Christie A. Harris


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Recent Comments

Sign Up! For the Scene's email newsletters

* required

Latest in Letters

All contents © 1995-2015 City Press LLC, 210 12th Ave. S., Ste. 100, Nashville, TN 37203. (615) 244-7989.
All rights reserved. No part of this service may be reproduced in any form without the express written permission of City Press LLC,
except that an individual may download and/or forward articles via email to a reasonable number of recipients for personal, non-commercial purposes.
Powered by Foundation