Monday, April 13, 2015

Nathan Bedford Forrest

When war broke out on April 12,1861, nobody knew what the future of the nation held. One thing for sure was that a new history of mounted warfare was about to be written. On June 14, 1861, Nathan Bedford Forrest walked into the office of Captain Josiah White’s Tennessee Mounted Rifles and enlisted as a private along with his brother Jeffrey and fifteen year old son, Willie. As other men joined the outfit and began to train the unit evolved into what would become the famous Seventh Tennessee Cavalry, which would fight until the end of the war under Forrest’s leadership. He did not remain a Private for long. He became a Colonel by 1862 and before that year was out he was a Brigadier. When the war eventually ended he was a Lieutenant General. He never led from the rear but always from the front. At least two dozen Yankee invaders fell to his hand in personal combat. He was wounded four times and had thirty horses shot from beneath him. His exploits became legendary very quickly. In Early 1862 during the fighting at Fort Donelson, Bedford outfought and whipped Ulysses S. Grants regular army soldiers. But inept Generalship on the part of Confederate forces allowed Bedford’s heroic actions to be wasted. The fort was surrounded and the Confederates decided to surrender. To that Nathan Bedford Forrest retorted “ To Hell with that, I did not come here to surrender!”. He escaped with his entire command.  (From Defending The Heritage)

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