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Nathan Bedford Forrest Nathan Bedford Forrest one of the military geniuses of American history was born July 13 1821 in Bedford County Tennessee Nathan Forrest was the son of William and Marian Beck Forrest Nathans father Willaim died when he was only 16 Forrest rose from poverty to become a wealthy cotton planter horse and cattle trader real estate broker and slave dealer Nathan Forrest was perhaps the most interesting and controversial general of the civil war This almost illiterate backwoodsman was a self-made millionaire who enlisted as a private in the Confederate Army in June of 1861 and with no prior military training rose to the rank of lieutenant general in 1865 and has also been called the greatest cavalry commander of either army Without military education or training he became the annoyance of Grant Sherman and almost every other Union general who fought in Tennessee Alabama or Kentucky His formula for success was get there first with the most men Forrest w as fearless and brutal War means fightin and fightin means killin he explained His nemesis General William Tecumseh Sherman called him a devil and declared that Forrest should be hunted down and killed if it costs 10000 lives and bankrupts the treasury It is said that Forrest personally killed 31 men and had 29 horses shot out from under him Forrest left his mark throughout the Western and at many sites in West and Middle Tennessee During the years General Nathan Bedford Forrest was a leader he fought in many wars At the Battle of Fort Donelson where 13000 Confederates surrendered to General US Grant Forrest declared that he had not come to surrender and led his men through swollen rivers and winter weather to the safety of Nashville At Pittsburgh Landing he charged and routed a line of Union skirmishes by himself in defense of the retreating rebel army In Murfreesboro Tennessee he freed a garrison jail of imprisoned
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