Nathan Bedford Forrest: A Biography

Front Cover
Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, Jun 8, 2011 - Biography & Autobiography - 448 pages
2 Reviews
Amid the aristocratic ranks of the Confederate cavalry, Nathan Bedford Forrest was untutored, all but unlettered, and regarded as no more than a guerrilla. His tactic was the headlong charge, mounted with such swiftness and ferocity that General Sherman called him a "devil" who should "be hunted down and killed if it costs 10,000 lives and bankrupts the treasury." And in a war in which officers prided themselves on their decorum, Forrest habitually issued surrender-or-die ultimatums to the enemy and often intimidated his own superiors. After being in command at the notorious Fort Pillow Massacre, he went on to haunt the South as the first grand wizard of the Ku Klux Klan.

Now this epic figure is restored to human dimensions in an exemplary biography that puts both Forrest's genius and his savagery into the context of his time, chronicling his rise from frontiersman to slave trader, private to lieutenant general, Klansman to—eventually—New South businessman and racial moderate. Unflinching in its analysis and with extensive new research, Nathan Bedford Forrest is an invaluable and immensely readable addition to the literature of the Civil War.
 

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Eagleduck86 - LibraryThing

This detailed, nuanced biography includes what Paul Harvey would call . . . THE REST OF THE STORY: Three years before his death, Nathan Bedford Forrest experienced a religious conversion, after which he became an advocate of racial reconciliation. Read full review

NATHAN BEDFORD FORREST: A Biography

User Review  - Jane Doe - Kirkus

The Confederate cavalry commander, as conspicuous for his racism as for his military prowess, receives a biography that emphasizes his reprehensible exploits as slave trader and founding father of the ... Read full review

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About the author (2011)

Jack Hurst is a historian and former journalist who has written for newspapers including the Chicago TribunePhiladelphia Inquirer, and Nashville Tennessean. His books include Nathan Bedford Forrest: A BiographyMen of Fire: Grant, Forrest, and the Campaign That Decided the Civil War, and Born to Battle: Grant and Forrest—Shiloh, Vicksburg, and Chattanooga. A native of Maryville, Tennessee and a descendant of both Union and Confederate soldiers, he currently lives with his wife outside Nashville, Tennessee.

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