Best Defense

Thomas E. Ricks' daily take on national security.

Ta-Nehisi Coates dings Shelby Foote

I didn’t realize old Foote was so goofy: “I would fight for the Confederacy today if the circumstances were similar.” This really disappoints me — and I speak as a descendant of someone who (according to a family history produced by them Latter-Day Saints) was pals with Nathan Bedford Forrest. Glad to see Coates pursuing ...

Wikimedia Commons
Wikimedia Commons
Wikimedia Commons

I didn't realize old Foote was so goofy: "I would fight for the Confederacy today if the circumstances were similar." This really disappoints me -- and I speak as a descendant of someone who (according to a family history produced by them Latter-Day Saints) was pals with Nathan Bedford Forrest.

Glad to see Coates pursuing this question. In a follow-up, he notes that Foote managed to get court-martialed out of the Army during World War II. I think you had to screw up pretty badly to actually released and sent home. Not even Jim Brown got that treatment. 

I didn’t realize old Foote was so goofy: “I would fight for the Confederacy today if the circumstances were similar.” This really disappoints me — and I speak as a descendant of someone who (according to a family history produced by them Latter-Day Saints) was pals with Nathan Bedford Forrest.

Glad to see Coates pursuing this question. In a follow-up, he notes that Foote managed to get court-martialed out of the Army during World War II. I think you had to screw up pretty badly to actually released and sent home. Not even Jim Brown got that treatment. 

Thomas E. Ricks covered the U.S. military from 1991 to 2008 for the Wall Street Journal and then the Washington Post. He can be reached at ricksblogcomment@gmail.com. Twitter: @tomricks1

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