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[333] of order. Acts of cruelty and violence are often perpetrated in a border community, such as that in which Forrest passed his youth. Rough, but, on the whole, fairly even-handed justice is administered, though occasionally the inhabitants take the law into their own hands when the ordinary process of law is deemed too slow in its methods, or those who administer it too weak or too timid to enforce it. But it is a great nursery where the right-minded, able and courageous boy grows into the strong, determined man—into the citizen most suited to the social wants and requirements of the wild and self-willed community he has to live in.

Forrest possessed all the best qualities of the Anglo-American frontiersman. He was a man of great self-confidence, self-reliance and reticence; a man of quick resolved and prompt execution, of inexhaustible resource, and of ready and clever expedients. He had all the best instincts of the soldier, and his natural military genius was balanced by sound judgment. He always knew what he wanted, and consequently there was no weakness or uncertainty in his views or intentions, nor in the orders he gave to have those intentions carried out. There was never any languor in that determined heart, nor weariness in that iron body. Panic and fear flew and hid at his approach, and the sound of his cheer gave courage to the weakest heart. It has always seemed to me that the great distinctive difference between men of action, between the great and insignificant, the strong and the limp, is the possession or the lack of determination, and of the energy necessary to make that determination felt at all times and under all circumstances. No amount of talent will make a two-legged creature a real man without it.

General Joe Johnston, one of the most celebrated of the Confederate leaders, had a very high opinion of Forrest, and regarded him as one of the ablest soldiers whom the war had produced. He is still often referred to in the South as “the greatest revolutionary leader,” on the Confederate side. And although I for one cannot indorse that opinion, I feel that he was a heaven-born leader of men. An uneducated slave dealer, he achieved great things during the war, and would, I am sure, have achieved far greater had he been trusted earlier and given the command of armies instead of the weak regiments and brigades which for so long were alone confided to him.

The war over, Forrest at once recognized the necessity of patriotically accepting the fact that the North had won, and that the South must accept whatever terms the humane Mr. Lincoln might dictate. He published an address to the gallent men who had so long followed


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