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Nathan Bedford Forrest & His Critter Company

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My 2nd favorite Confederate General during the "Late War Of Northern Aggression".  Lt. General Nathan Bedford Forrest started out the war as a private and was the only soldier to rise to the highest rank that he finally did as a Lt. General for the Confederate Army in Tenn and also independent campaigns in Miss, Alabama, Tenn, GA, and some fighting in Kentucky.  This man, who had very little formal education, was a millionaire before the outbreak of the War Between The States.  Consider by many Union Calvary Generals who fought against Major General JEB Stuart - the great Calvary General For The Confederate Army Of Northern Virginia - under General Robert E. Lee  and several other prominent Confederate Calvary Generals of this war - many of the Union Calvary Generals/Colonels all stated without a doubt that Lt. General Nathan Bedford Forrest was the "South's Greatest Cavalryman"!!!   His exploits in battle - went against  the West Point Tactical Calvary Book and that is why Lt. General Forrest pretty much always defeated whatever Union Force send out to destroy him except at the end of the war when he was totally out-numbered and surrounded due to some of his dispatches being captured by Union General Wilson.  General Lee was ask after the war had ended; "Just who was his best Confederate General"? To which General Lee replied without hesitation : "although I have never met the man personally - I would have to say it would be Lt. General Nathan Bedford Forrest"!!!  General Lee was not the type of man to causally throw words of such praise around without meaning every word of it.

I use to go out and give "Historical Talks/Lectures" on Lt. General Nathan Bedford Forrest and I always enjoyed them due to the large crowds that would show up to hear about the South's Greatest Cavalryman.  There are a lot of books out there about Lt. General Nathan Bedford Forrest, but my favorite one would be "BEDFORD FORREST & HIS CRITTER COMPANY"!  The book is written by Andrew Nelson Lytle and is a very good remembrance of what/where/and how Lt. Gen Nathan Bedford Forrest and his men fought and won so many battles at a time when many Confederate Armies and smaller forces were getting beat and pushed back all over the Confederate Nation.

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Interestingly, he wrote a letter offering to serve under Sherman if war broke out with Spain.  from Wiki:

 

During the Virginius Affair of 1873, some of Forrest's old Southern friends were filibusters aboard the vessel; consequently, he wrote a letter to then General-in-Chief of the United States Army William T. Sherman and offered his services in case of war with Spain. Sherman, who in the Civil War had recognized how formidable an opponent Forrest was in battle, replied after the crisis settled down. He thanked Forrest for the offer and stated that had war broken out, he would have considered it an honor to have served side-by-side with him.[

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11 hours ago, TheKOB said:

Interestingly, he wrote a letter offering to serve under Sherman if war broke out with Spain.  from Wiki:

 

During the Virginius Affair of 1873, some of Forrest's old Southern friends were filibusters aboard the vessel; consequently, he wrote a letter to then General-in-Chief of the United States Army William T. Sherman and offered his services in case of war with Spain. Sherman, who in the Civil War had recognized how formidable an opponent Forrest was in battle, replied after the crisis settled down. He thanked Forrest for the offer and stated that had war broken out, he would have considered it an honor to have served side-by-side with him.[

They did take "Fighting Joe Wheeler", who usually was in charge of all cavalry in the Army of Tenn.  West Point Officer and nowhere as respected or as skilled a fighter as Lt. Gen Nathan Bedford Forrest.  Lt. Gen Forrest had 29 horses shot out from underneath him during combat, but at the same time he personally killed 30 Yankees in "hand to hand combat" - so Lt. Gen Forrest always said "that he was one man ahead of the Union Army when it came to horses and combat"!!!  Just a remarkable man, leader, and one hell of a fighter, who's men would follow him through the "gates of hell" if he ask them to do it!!!!

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