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Nathan Bedford Forrest Nathan Bedford Forrest was born in Bedford County Tennessee on July 13 1821 He was the son of William and Marian Beck Forrest William Forrest was a blacksmith Unfortunately he died when Nathan was only 16 years old leaving Nathan with the task of supporting the family Nathan did not have a formal education and started out as a farm laborer Nathan Bedford Forrest was almost illiterate but started trading horses and cattle Before joining the Confederate Army he moved to Mississippi and became a wealthy cotton planter real-estate broker and a slave dealer There Forrest also owned and operated a large plantation He became a self-made millionaire In June of 1861 Nathan Bedford Forrest enlisted as a private in the Confederate Army He raised and equipped a mounted battalion at his own expense Just before the war ended he was promoted to Lieutenant General Forrest was the most feared cavalry commander of the Civil War He was wounded four times in battle killed 30 Union Soldiers hand to hand and had 29 Horses shot out from under him His famous saying was War means fightin and fightin means killin Forrest led the Battle of Chickamauga and forced the Federals to retreat He did not follow the orders of his commander Colonel Bragg Bragg demanded that Forrest turn his troops over but Forrest threatened him with bodily harm The incident went unreported and Bragg reassigned Forrest further west Forrest was an individual who did not believe in letting anyone who was fighting against him win and live Sometimes when the Union Army retreated from him he would pursue them for days still attacking One of the things Forrest never did was surrender Even as the war was nearing the end Forrest said that if he would have to go into Mexico and fight he would In 1865 Forrests group was the last
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