Now often recast as "Getting there firstest with the mostest",[215] this misquote first appeared in a New York Tribune article written to provide colorful comments in reaction to European interest in Civil War generals. In July, he led them into Middle Tennessee under orders to launch a cavalry raid, and on July 13, 1862, led them into the First Battle of Murfreesboro, as a result of which all of the Union units surrendered to Forrest, and the Confederates destroyed much of the Union's supplies and railroad track in the area. [244][245], As of 2019, Nathan Bedford Forrest Day was still observed in Tennessee, though some Democrats in the state had attempted to change the law which required Tennessee's governor to sign a proclamation honoring the holiday. One month later, while serving under General Stephen D. Lee, Forrest experienced tactical defeat at the Battle of Tupelo in 1864. [201][202][203] In 2005, Shelby County Commissioner Walter Bailey started an effort to move the statue over Forrest's grave and rename Forrest Park. MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WREG) — Two and a half years after Nathan Bedford Forrest’s statue was removed from a Memphis park, the bodies of Forrest and his wife … [125], On July 5, 1875, Forrest gave a speech before the Independent Order of Pole-Bearers Association, a post-war organization of black Southerners advocating to improve the economic condition of blacks and to gain equal rights for all citizens. MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WREG) — Two and a half years after Nathan Bedford Forrest’s statue was removed from a Memphis park, the bodies of Forrest and his wife will be removed as well. [49], A month later, Forrest was back in action at the Battle of Shiloh, fought April 6–7, 1862. [17][18] By the time the American Civil War started in 1861, he had become one of the richest men in the South, having amassed a "personal fortune that he claimed was worth $1.5 million". By then, all were fully armed with captured Union weapons. 5.] Confederate Cavalry General. The body of Forrest’s wife will be exhumed as well. [76] By 3:30 pm, Forrest had concluded that the Union troops could not hold the fort, thus he ordered a flag of truce raised and demanded that the fort be surrendered. Many in the north, including President Grant, backed the passage of the Fifteenth Amendment, that gave voting rights to Americans regardless of "race, color, or previous condition of servitude". Weather and security could play factors in transfer of Nathan Bedford Forrest … This monument stands as testament of our perpetual devotion and respect for Lieutenant General Nathan Bedford Forrest. [110] He continued to oppose Union efforts in the West for the remainder of the war. Colonel Stephen G. Hicks: "if I have to storm your works, you may expect no quarter." The statue was cast in Paris. Bill Lee Signs Nathan Bedford Forrest Day Proclamation, Is Not Considering Law Change", "Tennessee Governor Slammed Online for Signing Confederate General Proclamation", "Tennessee Gov. [86] Forrest's men were alleged to have set fire to a Union barracks with wounded Union soldiers inside[87][88] In defense of their actions, Forrest's men insisted that the Union soldiers, although fleeing, kept their weapons and frequently turned to shoot, forcing the Confederates to keep firing in self-defense. The Forrest family had migrated to Tennessee from Virginia, via North Carolina, during the second half of the 18th Century, while the Beck family had moved from South … [111] During Hood's Tennessee Campaign, he fought alongside General John Bell Hood, the newest commander of the Confederate Army of Tennessee, in the Second Battle of Franklin on November 30. In 1869, Forrest expressed disillusionment with the lack of discipline among the nascent white supremacist terrorist group,[5] across the South, and issued a letter ordering the dissolution of the Ku Klux Klan and the destruction of its costumes; he then withdrew from the organization. Richard L. Fuchs, author of An Unerring Fire, concluded: The affair at Fort Pillow was simply an orgy of death, a mass lynching to satisfy the basest of conduct—intentional murder—for the vilest of reasons—racism and personal enmity. [66] Like several others under Bragg's command, he urged an immediate follow-up attack to recapture Chattanooga, which had fallen a few weeks before. Streight had orders to cut the Confederate railroad south of Chattanooga, Tennessee to seal off Bragg's supply line and force him to retreat into Georgia. Currently our beloved Lieutenant General Nathan Bedford Forrest and his wife, Mary Ann Montgomery Forrest, are still buried in Health Sciences Park, originally Forrest Park, in Memphis. He commanded a Confederate rear guard after the Union victory. The white men fared but little better. Similar accounts were reported in many Southern newspapers at the time. In addition to this, he got rich through his cotton plantations. [47][48] Forrest arranged for heavy ordnance machinery, including a new cannon rifling machine and fourteen cannons, as well as parts from the Nashville Armory, to be sent to Atlanta for use by the Confederate Army. [206] A major push to change its name failed on February 16, 2018, when the governor-controlled Tennessee Historical Commission denied Middle Tennessee State University's petition to rename Forrest Hall. Forrest assisted in maintaining order. Nathan Bedford Forrest III (April 7, 1905 - June 13, 1943) was a Brigadier General of the United States Army Air Forces, and a great-grandson of Confederate General Nathan Bedford Forrest. 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. He did not say it that way, and nobody who knows anything about him imagines that he did.[217]. Forrest's Confederate forces were accused of subjecting Union captured soldiers to extreme brutality, with allegations of back-shooting soldiers who fled into the river, shooting wounded soldiers, burning men alive, nailing men to barrels and igniting them, crucifixion, and hacking men to death with sabers. Nathan Bedford Forrest’s remains to be moved from Memphis park. But the Tennessee Historical Commission denied the city's request. The remains of Nathan Bedford Forrest and his wife would be moved to a Confederate museum in Columbia, Tennessee, if the plan is approved by a judge. In August, a historical society called Friends of Forrest moved forward with plans for a new, larger monument, which was to be 12 feet high, illuminated by LED lights, surrounded by a wrought-iron fence and protected by 24-hour security cameras. [98] The Chicago Tribune said Forrest and his brothers were "slave drivers and woman whippers", while Forrest himself was described as "mean, vindictive, cruel, and unscrupulous". Klansmen took their orders from their former Confederate officers. Forrest became involved sometime in late 1866 or early 1867. [78][79][80] According to historians John Cimprich and Bruce Tap, although their numbers were roughly equal, two thirds of the black Union soldiers were killed, while only a third of the whites were killed. Although scholars generally acknowledge Forrest's skills and acumen as a cavalry leader and military strategist, he has remained a controversial figure in Southern racial history, especially for his main role in the massacre of over 300 black soldiers at Fort Pillow coupled with his post-war role in leading the Klan. [199] In 2013, the board voted 7–0 to begin the process to rename the school. CSA 1821–1877, one of the South's finest heroes. [39] In October 1861, Forrest was given command of a regiment, the 3rd Tennessee Cavalry. After his father's death, Forrest became head of the family at age 17. The remains of Nathan Bedford Forrest and his wife Mary Ann Montgomery will be moved to Columbia, Tenn. in a few weeks, according to court records. [170] The committee also noted, "The natural tendency of all such organizations is to violence and crime; hence it was that General Forrest and other men of influence in the state, by the exercise of their moral power, induced them to disband". [97], Because of the events at Fort Pillow, the Northern public and press viewed Forrest as a war criminal. Nathan Bedford Forrest was a self-taught man who made his fortune as a cotton planter and trader of enslaved people. [169] The popular vote was much closer: Grant received 3,013,365 (52.7%) votes, while Seymour received 2,708,744 (47.3%) votes. Obelisks in his memory were placed at his birthplace in Chapel Hill, Tennessee and at Nathan Bedford Forrest State Park near Camden. [20] In 1859, he bought two large cotton plantations in Coahoma County, Mississippi and a half-interest in another plantation in Arkansas;[21] by October 1860 he owned at least 3,345 acres in Mississippi. Many memorials have been erected to Forrest, especially in Tennessee and adjacent Southern states. [58] Forrest chased Streight's men for 16 days, harassing them all the way. [209] Union General William Tecumseh Sherman called him "that devil Forrest" in wartime communications with Ulysses S. Grant and considered him "the most remarkable man our civil war produced on either side".[210][211][3]. [156][157] He said he sympathized with them, but denied any formal connection, although he claimed he could muster thousands of men himself. Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the U.S. Confederate States presidential election of 1861, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Nathan_Bedford_Forrest&oldid=999498441, People of Tennessee in the American Civil War, Confederate States Army lieutenant generals, Articles with dead external links from August 2018, Articles with permanently dead external links, Short description is different from Wikidata, Articles containing potentially dated statements from 2007, All articles containing potentially dated statements, Pages using Sister project links with wikidata namespace mismatch, Pages using Sister project links with hidden wikidata, Wikipedia articles with SNAC-ID identifiers, Wikipedia articles with SUDOC identifiers, Wikipedia articles with Trove identifiers, Wikipedia articles with WORLDCATID identifiers, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, Raids in Tennessee, Kentucky, and Mississippi, early December 1862 – early January 1863, Farewell address to his troops, May 9, 1865, This page was last edited on 10 January 2021, at 14:03. Gen. Benjamin Grierson's cavalry division. It was after these efforts failed that Klan violence and intimidation escalated and became widespread. Before the war, Forrest amassed substantial wealth as a cotton plantation owner, horse and cattle trader, real estate broker, and slave trader. One of the most imposing and intimidating Confederate Generals during the Civil War, Nathan Bedford Forrest was a name to reckon with. [77] Bradford refused to surrender, believing his troops could escape to the Union gunboat, USS New Era, on the Mississippi River. The Civil War scholar Bruce Catton writes: Forrest ... used his horsemen as a modern general would use motorized infantry. Though Forrest had no prior formal military training or experience, he had exhibited leadership and soon proved he could successfully employ tactics. He wanted nothing more to do with the Klan, but felt honor bound to protect former associates. [166], Forrest testified before the Congressional investigation of Klan activities on June 27, 1871. T he Ku Klux Klan (KKK) was formed in 1865, shortly after the end of the American Civil War, but it didn’t prosper until 1867 when it came under the leadership of Nathan Bedford Forrest, former Confederate cavalry commander. Forrest, who was a slave trader and early Ku Klux Klan leader, and his wife, Mary Ann, had their graves at Health Sciences Park, where a monument to Forrest used to be. Forrest County, Mississippi is named after him, as is Forrest City, Arkansas. The death of his father led young Nathan to become the head of the family. [164] The Seymour–Blair Democratic ticket's campaign slogan was: "Our Ticket, Our Motto, This Is a White Man's Country; Let White Men Rule". The following scene satirically depicts Hanks, as Forrest in a Ku Klux Klan outfit, donning a hood and being superimposed into Klan footage from The Birth of a Nation. A contemporary newspaper account from Jackson, Tennessee stated that "General Forrest begged them to surrender" but "not the first sign of surrender was ever given". [112] Facing a disastrous defeat, Forrest argued bitterly with Hood (his superior officer) demanding permission to cross the Harpeth River and cut off the escape route of Union Maj. Gen. John M. Schofield's army. [116] A portion of his command, now dismounted, was surprised and captured in their camp at Verona, Mississippi on December 25, 1864, during a raid of the Mobile and Ohio Railroad by a brigade of Brig. Posted By: Ribicon, 1/16/2021 11:34:47 AM Memphis, Tenn.—The remains of General Nathan Bedford Forrest and his wife are set to be removed from Health Sciences Park in Memphis soon. Forrest had fewer men than the Union side but feigned having a larger force by parading some repeatedly around a hilltop until Streight was convinced to surrender his 1,500 or so exhausted troops (historians Kevin Dougherty and Keith S. Hebert say he had about 1,700 men). He and his twin sister were the first of their parents’ 10 children. The historical record does not support his repeated denials that he knew a massacre was taking place, or that he even knew a massacre had occurred at all. [155], In an 1868 interview by a Cincinnati newspaper, Forrest claimed that the Klan had 40,000 members in Tennessee and 550,000 total members throughout the Southern states. In Georgia, blacks and Republicans also faced a lot of violence. Others have tried to get a bust of Forrest removed from the Tennessee House of Representatives chamber. Activists painted 'Black Lives Matter' around the site of the former Nathan Bedford Forrest monument, where Forrest and his wife are buried there. On June 13, 1863, Gould confronted Forrest about his transfer, which escalated into a violent exchange. Not realizing that the rest of his men had halted their charge when they reached the full Union brigade, Forrest charged the brigade alone and soon found himself surrounded. [125][126][127][128][129][130][131][132], Forrest was an early member of the Ku Klux Klan (KKK), which was formed by six veterans of the Confederate Army in Pulaski, Tennessee, during the spring of 1866[133][134][135] and soon expanded throughout the state and beyond. [122], He later found employment at the Selma-based Marion & Memphis Railroad and eventually became the company president. [193], A monument to Forrest in the Confederate Circle section of Old Live Oak Cemetery in Selma, Alabama reads "Defender of Selma, Wizard of the Saddle, Untutored Genius, The first with the most. Nathan Bedford Forrest was born to William Forrest and Miriam Beck in Bedford County, Tennessee. Gevreesd als cavalerie- en guerrillaleider reckon with 200 Union soldiers trying to locate his forces! 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