Compare And Contrast Lincoln And Nathan Forrest

1498 Words6 Pages

The Civil War brought about many things, such as revolution, justice, and tragedy, but it also birthed two truly great minds of their time. These individuals were Abraham Lincoln and Nathan Bedford Forrest. One led the North as president of the United States, while the other was a Lieutenant General of the Confederate Army. While both were brilliant and truly outstanding amongst their peers, one man truly outshined the other in regards to a stronger and more efficient leadership. While Lincoln faced more success in a national sense, Nathan Bedford Forrest clearly possessed more respected authority and was a stronger overall leader than Abraham Lincoln. Forrest’s methods may have been unorthodox and downright immoral, but at the end of the day …show more content…

Forrest was undoubtedly born to lead. He was not a man who fell into his authority with any ease, but rather rose through the ranks on sheer merit and diligence. He was the only enlisted soldier on either side of the war to reach the rank of Lieutenant General, and did so without any formal education. Quite an achievement is something which was admired by both the North and the South, with both Robert E. Lee and William T. Sherman both declaring him the most remarkable soldier of the Civil War. Forrest possessed many qualities of a great leader. He was committed, being wounded four times himself and having twenty-nine horses shot out from under him. He was intuitive, not only fighting to overcome his current obstacles, but also anticipating the possible subsequent obstacles to follow, as shown at the Battle of Fort Pilow. He was a leader who knew how to let logic in front of his hubris, knowing when to retreat in order to save his men's lives. Above all else, he was a leader who inspired his men in leading by example. Forrest reportedly killed at least thirty Union soldiers in hand to hand combat, showing he was thoroughly for the cause. Forrest was an unrivalled military genius because he truly understood the spirit of war, as proven in his famous quote, “War means fighting, and fighting means killing.” This seemingly simple truth reveals much you need to know about the man. He was not a man of formal education, …show more content…

Despite this, he did have his fair share of inadequacies in regards to leadership which ultimately ends up with him losing this comparison. Before considering Lincoln as a leader, one must first discern the differences between Lincoln the legacy , and Lincoln the man. After all, Lincoln was initially just a lawyer turned politician, not exactly two highly regarded occupations. It is, in fact, the time period which distinguishes Lincoln amongst other presidents, and lifts him to such high esteem. He was elected in a time of national unrest, and sided with the moral high ground in the Civil War, but this does not necessarily make him a moral man. If detesting slavery is the only standard which must be met to be qualified as moral, then the bar is set fairly low. It might surprise many to learn Lincoln encouraged more than just the idea of freeing the slaves to the American people, but also advocating ethnic cleansing in America. In other words, Lincoln thought it would be wise to round up the newly freed slaves and deport them to undeveloped countries in order to make an America devoid of black people. This piece of information does not stand as a random fact, but rather to serve a purpose to detract from the previously stated legacy. Once the moral fallacy of Lincoln is shattered, one must truly examine his leadership qualities. Abraham Lincoln was no expert in war, no brilliant tactician, and no

Open Document