Tuesday, June 27, 2017

General Nathan Bedford Forrest - Did He Make a Difference? Part 5.

Notes from presentation made by retired General John Scales at the Prattville Dragoons camp meeting on Thursday May 11, 2017. 

In late 1864 for the Nashville campaign, General Hood put Forrest in charge of all the cavalry.  Against Forrest's recommendation Hood attacked Franklin TN frontally and lost 6000 men.  Hood sent Forrest to take Murfreesboro but the strong fort there could not be taken.  Hood was defeated and retreated south into Alabama and Forrest covered his retreat brilliantly protecting the entirety of the Army of Tennessee against Union General Wilson.   For his performance in this campaign, Forrest earned his third star. 

In 1865 Forrest's forces numbering 10000 opposed 15000 cavalry again under General Wilson.  Forrest's troops were widely dispersed as they foraged for food and they only had about 3500 men in front of Wilson as the Federals approached Selma.  The Union attack on Selma was successfully coordinated largely due to the capture of Forrest's messenger.  Forrest surrendered in May of 1865 after addressing his troops.  

In summary, there were four key places where Forrest made a difference, Murfreesboro in 1862, West Tennessee in 1862, Mississippi in 1864 and Ft. Pillow in 1864.  His brilliant tactics and heroic actions significantly extended the War.  

The reader may be interested in perusing General Scales website - www.johnrscales.com/.   Note his latest book on Forrest at War, "The Campaigns and Battles of Confederate General Nathan Bedford Forrest 1861-1865", available on Amazon - www.amazon.com/Battles-Campaigns-Confederate-General-1861-1865/dp/1611212847/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1498267174&sr=8-1&keywords=john+scales+forrest. 

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