On October 29th in 1877, we lost one of the greatest Generals ever produced in this country, Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest. The SCV Camp 1524 salutes this great man and dedicates this day to his memory.
Shortly after the war, General Lee was asked to identify the best soldier he ever commanded. Lee replied: "A man I have never met, sir. His name is Forrest.”
"If your course has been marked by the graves of patriotic heroes who have fallen by your side, it has, at the same time, been more plainly marked by the blood of the invader".
- Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest
“I loved the old government in 1861. I loved the old Constitution yet. I think it is the best government in the world, if administered as it was before the war. I do not hate it; I am opposing now only the radical revolutionists who are trying to destroy it. I believe that party to be composed, as I know it is in Tennessee, of the worst men on Gods earth – men who would not hesitate at no crime, and who have only one object in view – to enrich themselves.”
-Nathan Bedford Forrest, in an interview shortly after the war
“I have stood your meanness as long as I intend to. You have played the part of a damned scoundrel, and are a coward, and if you were any part of a man I would slap your jaws and force you to resent it. You may as well not issue any more orders to me, for I will not obey them. And as I say to you that if you ever again try to interfere with me or cross my path it will be at the peril of your life.”
-Nathan Bedford Forrest, to Gen. Braxton Bragg following Chickamauga
The Cause for which you have so long and so manfully struggled, and for which you have braved dangers, endured privations, and sufferings, and made so many sacrifices, is today hopeless. The government which we sought to establish and perpetuate, is at an end. Reason dictates and humanity demands that no more blood be shed. Fully realizing and feeling that such is the case, it is your duty and mine to lay down our arms -- submit to the “powers that be” -- and to aid in restoring peace and establishing law and order throughout the land. Civil war, such as you have just passed through naturally engenders feelings of animosity, hatred, and revenge. It is our duty to divest ourselves of all such feelings; and as far as it is in our power to do so, to cultivate friendly feelings towards those with whom we have so long contended, and heretofore so widely, but honestly, differed. Neighborhood feuds, personal animosities, and private differences should be blotted out; and, when you return home, a manly, straightforward course of conduct will secure the respect of your enemies. Whatever your responsibilities may be to Government, to society, or to individuals meet them like men. The attempt made to establish a separate and independent Confederation has failed; but the consciousness of having done your duty faithfully, and to the end, will, in some measure, repay for the hardships you have undergone. Without, in any way, referring to the merits of the Cause in which we have been engaged, your courage and determination, as exhibited on many hard-fought fields, has elicited the respect and admiration of friend and foe. I have never, on the field of battle, sent you where I was unwilling to go myself; nor would I now advise you to a course which I felt myself unwilling to pursue. You have been good soldiers, you can be good citizens. Obey the laws, preserve your honor, and the Government to which you have surrendered can afford to be, and will be, magnanimous. - N.B. Forrest, Lieut.-General, Farewell Address to His Troops