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Never stand and take a charge… charge them too… Nathan Bedford Forrest

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That devil Forrest : life of General Nathan Bedford Forrest  John Allan Wyeth  Baton Rouge : Louisiana State University Press, 1989, c 1959  Softcover.  xxxviii, 614 p., [24] p. of plates : ill. ; 22 cm. Bibliography: p. 579-601. Includes index. Clean, tight and strong binding with clean dust jacket. No highlighting, underlining or marginalia in text. VG

This house figured prominently in local history during the Civil War, serving as headquarters for unit commanders of both the Union and Confederate armies. It was the scene of Colonel William W. Duffield's surrender of the 23rd Brigade to Confederate General Nathan Bedford Forrest, and was visited by Confederate President Jefferson Davis in 1862. The house was built in several successive stages, which present a continuum of architectural styles illustrating cultural life in Middle Tennessee during the 19th century.

This house figured prominently in local history during the Civil War, serving as headquarters for unit commanders of both the Union and Confederate armies. It was the scene of Colonel William W. Duffield’s surrender of the 23rd Brigade to Confederate General Nathan Bedford Forrest, and was visited by Confederate President Jefferson Davis in 1862. The house was built in several successive stages, which present a continuum of architectural styles illustrating cultural life in Middle Tennessee during the 19th century.

Grant called him “that devil Forrest.” Sherman, it is reported, considered him “the most remarkable man our civil war produced on either side.” He was unquestionably one of the war’s most brilliant tacticians. Without military education or training, he became the scourge of Grant, Sherman, and almost every other Union general who fought in Tennessee, Alabama, or Kentucky. He was Nathan Bedford Forrest.

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Forrest fought by simple rules: he maintained that “war means fighting and fighting means killing” and that the way to win was “to get there first with the most men.” His cavalry, which Sherman reported in disgust “could travel one hundred miles in less time than it takes ours to travel ten,” secured more Union guns, horses, and supplies than any other single Confederate unit. He played pivotal roles at Fort Donelson, Shiloh, the capture of Murfreesboro, the Nashville Campaign, Brice’s Cross Roads, and in the pursuit and capture of Streight’s Raiders.

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Forrest comes alive on the pages of John Wyeth’s biography. First published in 1899, That Devil Forrest is based almost entirely on accounts of those who knew Forrest personally and on contemporary military papers and records. It is the single greatest source of primary material on Nathan Bedford Forrest.

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