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  1. Account Options
  2. Bedford Forrest: And His Critter Company
  3. Challenging Historiographical Conceptions and Nathan Bedford Forrest’s Place in Them

November 1, Davis, William C. Faulkner, William. Fehrenbacher , Don E. Edited by John Higham. New York: The Humanities Press, Foner , Eric. Foote, Shelby. Fuchs, Richard L. Rutherford, N. Grimsley , Mark. Grow, Matthew J. Henry, Robert Selph. As They Saw Forrest: Some recollections and comments of contemporaries. Jackson, T. Indianapolis , I. Hofstadter, Richard. New York : Alfred A. Knopf, Horwitz , Tony. New York : Vintage Books, Hurst, Jack.

Iggers , Georg G. London: Wesleyan University Press, Isserman , Maurice. America Divided: The Civil War of the s. New York: Oxford University Press, Washington, D. Jordan, Thomson. Kolchin , Peter. Lentz, Perry. The Falling Hills. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, Lytle, Andrew Nelson. Putnam's Sons, McPherson, James.

Knopp , Inc. Memphis Commercial Appeal. May 31, July 13, Memphis Daily Appeal. Memphis News Scimitar. May 17, Memphis Tri-State Defender. June 11, Mendel-Reyes, Meta. Murdoch, David. Nevins , Allan. Ordeal of the Union. New York: Scribner, New York Times. May 24, September 13, May 30, New York Tribune.

May 27, Osborne, Charles C. Chapel Hill, N. C: Algonquin Books, Panabaker , James. Shelby Foote and the Art of History. Knoxville, T. Pollard, Edward. New York : E. Pressly , Thomas J. Americans Interpret Their Civil War. New York : Collier Books, Rubin, Lance Allen. University of Denver , Stamp , Kenneth M. The Era of Reconstruction, United States : Vintage Books, Stanchack , John E. Steiner, Paul. Philadelphia: Whitmore Publishing Co. Wyeth , John Allen.

Putnam's Sons, , pp. Forrest: The Confederacy's Relentless Warrior , p. Watts, , pp. XIII, pp. Knopf, , p. Knopf , Grant Stonewall Jackson George B. Hood General Robert E. University of Denver , , p. Black Slave Owners Privacy Policy. By Jonathan Gianos -Steinberg May 12, Nathan Bedford Forrest's Escort And Staff The CSA escort company and staff officers of Nathan Bedford Forrest were held in awe by men on both sides of the conflict during the war and long after, and they continue to be held in esteem as figures as legendary as Forrest himself.

About the Author One of the original Southern Agrarians, Andrew Lytle has written four novels, the biography Bedford Forrest and his Critter Company, short fiction, literary criticism, and numerous essays. A former editor of The Sewanee Review, he continues to live in Tennessee. Average Review.

Write a Review. Related Searches. Adventures of Captain Simon Suggs. A Classic of the Southwestern Humor school that influenced Mark Twain, this portrait of a rascally backcountry trickster remains an engaging parody of enduring aspects of the American character. View Product. Life Is Sweet in the SouthFull of small towns and sparkling cities, this welcoming area Life Is Sweet in the SouthFull of small towns and sparkling cities, this welcoming area invites all who visit to put your feet up, have a glass of ice tea in a mason jar and reminisce on some of the Being Dead in South Carolina.

Jacob White can write. He surrendered shortly after his defeat at Selma, Ala. After the war he engaged for a time in railroading and also was important in the activities of the Ku Klux Klan. Forrest, probably the greatest Confederate cavalryman, is one of the most interesting figures of the war. See biographies by J. Wyeth , repr. Sheppard , R.

Henry , and A. Lytle rev. Forrest, Nathan Bedford — , Civil War general, slave trader, planter. Born in Bedford Country, Tennessee , Forrest received little formal education but learned to hold his own—and then some—in a violent frontier society. By ruthless drive and intelligence he made himself a planter and slave trader. At the outset of the Civil War , Forrest raised a cavalry battalion in the Confederate army.

He led his men out of Fort Donelson just before its 16 February surrender, and at the 6—7 April Battle of Shiloh was conspicuously aggressive, being severely wounded covering the Confederate retreat.

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That summer he led a cavalry brigade in a spectacular raid through middle Tennessee. Promoted to brigadier general 21 July, he again raided behind Federal lines in December, helping to defeat Ulysses S. Grant 's first drive on Vicksburg. In Alabama , in April , he captured Col. Abel D. Streight's superior Union raiding force by bluff. At the Battle of Chickamauga , 19—20 September, Forrest's troops opened the fighting.

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Bedford Forrest: And His Critter Company

Afterward, he fell out with his army commander, Braxton Bragg , was transferred to Mississippi , and promoted to major general on 4 December In April his troops at the Battle of Fort Pillow , Tennessee, stormed the fort, killing black Union soldiers as they attempted to surrender. In June, he routed a superior force under Samuel D. In November and December, Forrest commanded all the cavalry accompanying Gen. On 28 February , Forrest was promoted to lieutenant general, but he and his command were worn out, and they faced a powerful Federal mounted force under James H.

Wilson driving into Alabama. Wilson defeated Forrest at Selma in April. After the war, Forrest returned to planting and served as the first grand wizard of the Ku Klux Klan. His military usefulness in the Civil War was marred by his hot temper; he virtually required autonomy. He liked horses because he liked fast movement, and his mounted men could get from here to there much faster than any infantry could. C onfederate cavalryman Nathan Bedford Forrest ranks as one of the most controversial figures in Civil War history.

Forrest was a ferocious fighter who proved time and again that he was one of the war's most brilliant combat strategists. Mixing an aggressive style with superb battlefield instincts, his attacks on Northern military positions and supply centers became so disruptive that Union general William T. Sherman —; see entry warned that "there will never be peace in Tennessee till Forrest is dead.

Forrest's tough reputation and military exploits made him a hero in the South. In the North, however, he emerged as one of the most hated men of the Civil War era. Northerners feared and hated Forrest partly because of his success as a raider and his fearsome reputation. But they also despised him because of his prewar career as a slave trader, his involvement in a wartime massacre of Union soldiers, and his early leadership role in the violent white supremacist group known as the Ku Klux Klan during Reconstruction.

Nathan Bedford Forrest was born in a frontier cabin in a remote area of Tennessee on July 13, The oldest son of nine children, Forrest lost five of his brothers and sisters to typhoid fever. The rest of the family barely survived on the money his father made as a blacksmith. This struggle to put food on the table made education seem like a luxury, so Forrest received only six months of schooling during his childhood. When Forrest was thirteen years old, he moved with his family to northern Mississippi.

Three years later, his father died and the teenager became the head of the household. In , Forrest moved to Hernando, Mississippi, to start a new life. He formed a brief business partnership with one of his uncles, who had been feuding with another family for a long time. Their business relationship ended when they were attacked by members of that family. Forrest's uncle was killed in the assault, but Forrest killed or wounded all four attackers. The couple had two children, a boy and a girl. Their son, William, grew up to ride with his father in the Civil War.

Nathan Bedford Forrest at Brice's Crossroads

But their daughter, Frances, died from disease at the age of six. During the s, Forrest worked hard to build a comfortable life for his family. His lack of education sometimes made these efforts more difficult. After all, he had only a very limited capacity to read and write, and he never received any formal training in subjects like business or mathematics.

Nonetheless, his intelligence and determination helped him through the tough times. After working for a time as a real estate agent, Forrest moved his family to Memphis, Tennessee, in Once in Memphis, he quickly established himself as one of the city's leading traders of black slaves.

Under slavery, white slave-holders treated black people as property, forced them to perform hard labor, and controlled every aspect of their lives. Forrest knew that even in the South , some people looked down on slave traders as members of a disgraceful profession. But Forrest did not feel that there was anything wrong with buying and selling black people, and he recognized that the slave trade was a booming business. During the s, Forrest's skill as a slave trader and real estate investor made him one of the richest men in Tennessee.

By , he owned more than three thousand acres of land, including several big cotton plantations in Arkansas and Mississippi. He also personally owned more than forty slaves. As a slaveowner who depended on the continued existence of the slave trade to add to his fortune, Forrest opposed all Northern efforts to restrict or abolish completely do away with slavery in the United States. His support of slavery and his background as a Southerner made it easy for him to side with the Confederacy when the American Civil War erupted in the spring of The Civil War came about as a result of long-time disagreements between the Northern United States and the Southern United States over a variety of issues.

The most important issue dividing these regions was slavery. Many Northerners believed that slavery was wrong and wanted to take steps to end it.


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But slavery played a vital role in the Southern economy and culture, and Southerners resented Northern efforts to halt or contain the practice. Fearful that the national government might pass laws that would interfere with their traditional way of life, white Southerners argued that each state should decide for itself whether to allow slavery.

Finally, America's westward expansion worsened these disputes because both sides wanted to spread their way of life—and their political ideas—into the new territories and states.

Challenging Historiographical Conceptions and Nathan Bedford Forrest’s Place in Them

By the spring of , several Southern states had seceded from left the United States to form a new country that allowed slavery, called the Confederate States of America. But the Federal government declared that it would use force if necessary to make the Confederate states return to the Union. When it became clear that neither side was going to back down, America's North and South began the process of building their armies for war. Forrest enlisted in the Southern army as a private in June , a week after his native Tennessee voted to secede from the Union and join the Confederacy.

But he was discharged released from service a short time later so that he could recruit his own battalion of cavalry a military division that rides on horseback to conduct raids and scout enemy movements. Using his own money to provide his troops with needed supplies, Forrest quickly assembled a cavalry force of about six hundred men.

The Confederate Army then promoted him to lieutenant colonel so that he could formally command them. Forrest first attracted national attention in February for his actions at Fort Donelson in Tennessee. The fort had been targeted for capture by Union forces led by Ulysses S. Grant —; see entry. As Grant's troops advanced on the stronghold, Confederate brigadier general Gideon J. Pillow decided to surrender. But Forrest refused to admit defeat. Even as thirteen thousand rebel soldiers surrendered to Grant's troops, Forrest's cavalry escaped from the area by taking an unguarded road that had flooded.