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Clarksville weekly chronicle. (Clarksville, Tenn.) 1873-1890, August 23, 1879, Image 1

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VOL. 47--NO. 10.
WHOLE NO. 2,283.
1 mm aaa ioliefa
Clarksville, Tenn.
Constantly on hand a full supply of
School Hooks,
Miscellaneous Books,
Sunday School Books,
Writing Taper,
Envelopes, Pens,
Pencils, Slates, Inks,
Copy Books,
Blank Books,
And everything pertaining to Office
Our Entire Stock is Fresh.
57 Franklin Street,
Fine Watches, Jewelry,
Clocks and Silverware.
Spectacles a Specialty.
New, well selected and full stock. "Will open new goods daily for the
olidays. Prices the lowest.
Particular attention paid to repairing fine Watches, Clocks, Jewelry
and Fancy Goods in the most jerfcct manner. All work warranted.
Nov. 3t"), 1878-1 y
Drugs and Medicines,
Paints, Oils, Toilet Articles,
Stationery, School Books, Etc.
(Stand formerly occupied by McCauley A Co.)
Clarlisville , T'enii-
I cordially invite my friends and
amine stKk and prices.
August 10, 1878 tf
The customers of this house may
rely on getting full value for their
money. Our stock is entirely fresh",
and was bought for CASH.
Orders by mail will receive the
most careful attention. .
October 20, 178-tf
XXcw Firm !
If you want
Stuffs, Perfumery, Toilci Articles, Spices,,
' (Jive us a rail. We keep a full lino Of the above at
I The Peoples
January 4, ISTS-ly
Tobacco, Cigars and Liquors,
en & Moore.
Pure Drugs,
Patent Medicines,
Dye-Stuffs, Paints,
Oils, Varnishes, Teas,
Spices, Perfumery,
Toilet Articles,
and Tobacco,
Pure Wines and Liquors for Medi
cinal Purposes.
Clarksville, Tenn.
former patrons to come and ex-
and Retail
New Goods!
bargains in
Drug- Store !
compounded night or day,
01dliam& Co.,
Al & 00.
To go to V. L. Williams popular Low
Priced Shoe Store for bargains in Boots
Shoes, Hats, Caps,
people do daily testify that he now has the
best goods for the
house in Clarksville.
the test, and prove
Room, on the Corner, No. 25 Franklin
and First-Cross streets.
May 31, 1879 tf
OlarOTille wagons
At Reduced Prices !
The Clarksville Wagon Co. makes the
very best Wagons known to the trade, uses
none but thoroughly
other materials of the
Reduced as low as
distant factories. We
sold. We offer A No. I Wagons, strog
and substantial, at very low figures. All
our worK is warranted, an at factory,
or on Fox & Smith, Agents, and examine
our Wagons before buying.
J. P. Y. WHITFIELD, President.
B. W. MACRAE, Treasurer.
June 21, 1879-6m
Our buyer, V. F. Coulter, lias returned from second
trip East, and we are now prepared to show the trade
Dress Goods.
Lace Buntings, Plain (all wool)
Buntings, black and Colored.
Splendid Stock of Black Cashmeres at from 50c. to
$1 50 per yard. Silk and wool and all wool Tamise, and
the prettiest stock of
Lawns and Linen Lawns
Ever offered on this Market. We have great bargains in
These Goods were bought late, and 25 to 50 per cent,
lower than the early purchases, and it will pay you to see
Ladies' Linen Handkerchiefs,
great Variety, very Cheap.
largest stock of
Goods to our
We Ever Had.
100 doz. Splendid Cotton Hose, for Ladies,
100 doz. Fancy Hose for Children,
100 doz. Men's Half-hose,
all at 5 cents per pair. Call and see them. We can show
you the best Stock of
White and Fancv Straw
LaceCiirtiiins & Oil Shades
In the City.
Our stock of Bleached and Brown Cottons, and 1C-4
Sheetings, is full ; bought before the rise, and will be sold
very Cheap. Remember, it is no trouble to show our
Good?, but a pleasure.
June 14, 1S79.
Notions, Etc.
least money of any
Reader, put us to
what we say.
seasoned timber and
best quality. Prices
the inferior work of
will not be under
We have also aciaeu tne
- -m- -r -m 1 1 -1 1 .
Bro. & Strutton.
Franklin Bank,
Virgil A. Garnett,
Mrs. T. F. Pettus,
J. M. Anderson,
Alf. Darnall,
W. T. Mc Reynolds.
Geo. Snadon.
Stephen Pettus
H. J. Wilder,
W. H. Green,
D. Kincaonon.
J. G. Joseph.
P. C. HAMBAUGH, President.
R. D. MOSEL.EY, Vice-Pres't
W. 8. Poindkxteb, Cashier.
tiT Prompt Attention to Collections.
Nov. 24. 1877-tf
Nickel. Counter
e. Guars,
Xo. 13 Franklin Street, Clarks
ville, leun.
Lieut.-General N.B.Forrest and His
Aa Addresn Delivered Before tbe
Southern Historical Society at
White Snlphnr Spring's,
Va., August lath, 18TJJ,
I have selected as my subject on
this occasion the campaigns of Lieu-tenant-General
N. B. Forrest, who
was my immediate commander dur
ing the last year and a half of the
war, and who, if not the greatest
military genius, was certainly the
greatest revolutionary leader on our
side. He was restrained by no
knowledge of law or constitution.
He was embarrassed by no precon
ceived ideas of military science.
His favorite maxim was,' "war
means fighting, and fighting means
killing." Without the slightest
knowledge of them, he seemed by
instinct to adopt the tactics of the
great master of the military art, if
there be any such art.
Hamley says "nothing is more
common than to find in writings on
military matters reference to 'the
rules of war,' and assertions such as
some general 'owed his success to
knowing when to dispense with the
rules of war.' It would be aiincult
to say what these roles are or in
what code they are embodied."
Colonel T. W. White, a clear-head
ed officer of my command, express
ing the same idea more quaintly.
said ; "It all consists in two words
luck and pluck." Forrest pos
sessed both of these in an eminent
degree j and his successes, many of
which were achieved with men
who naq never been drilled one
hour together, illustrated what
might have been accomplished by
untrained southern soldiers.
in .February, 1841, when 1 was
but ten years of age, I remember
well a small company of volunteers
who marched out of the town of Hol
ly Springs, Mississippi, for the re
lief of Texas, then threatened by
invasion from Mexico. In that lit
tle band stood Bedford Forrest, a
tall, black haired, gray eyed, ath
letic youth, scarce twenty years of
age, who then gave the first evi
dence of the military ardor he pos
sessed. The company saw no fights
ing, for the danger was over before
it arrived, and the men received no
pay. Finding himself in a strange
country without friends or money,
l'orrest, with the characteristic en
ergy that distinguished him in after
life, split rails at fifty cents per hun
dred and made the money neces
sary to bring him back to his fam
ily and home.
Without tracing him through the
steps by which he accumulated a
fortune, it is enough to say that at
sixteen years of age he was left fath
erless, with rt mother and large fam
ily to support on a small leased
farm, and at forty years of age he
was the owner of a large cotton
plantation and slaves, making about
one thousand bait of cotton per an
num, and engaged In a prosperous
business in Memphis, the largest
city of his native State. His per
sonal courage had been severely
tested on several occasions j nota
bly aj: IJernando, Mississippi, where
he was assaulted in the streets by
three Matlock brothers and their
overseer Bp.- PtetoJ and bowie
knives were freely used, and after a
terrible fight, in wheh thirteen
shots were fired, the three Matlocks
and Forrest all wounded, his assail
ant3 Sed and left him master of the
On the 14th of June, 1861, Nathan
Bedford Forrest was enrolled as a
private in a Confederate cavalry
company, and went into camp near
Randolph, Tennessee. About the
10th of July, 1861, Hon. Isham G.
Harris, the great WftF governor of
Tennessee, Knowing Forrest wol
and having a high regard for the
man, telegraphed him to come to
Memphis, and there, through the
aid of General Polk, procured au
thority for him to raise a regiment
of cavalry for Confederate service.
This was somewhat difficult author
ity to obtain at that time, for in the
beginning of the war neither side
regarded cavalry as of much value
for fighting purposes ; and it is, per
haps, more due to Forrest than to
any other man, that the cavalry
was subsequently so largely in
creased and" played such an impor
tant part on both sfdes, But For
rests men were not properly called
cavalrythey more nearly resem
bled the, dragoons of the sixteenth
century, who are described aa
"mounted foot soldiers." Jackson's
corps were called "web-footed cav
alry," and Forrest's troopers might
well be called "winged infantry."
On the 20th of July, Forrest mus
tered his first company into service,
and about the same time smuggled
out of Louisville, Ky., though close
ly watched, pistols and saddles to
equip them. "During the second
week of October. UH, hp organised
a battalion fif eight companies, of
which he was elected Lieutenant
Colonel, and the day after its organ
ization moved for Fort Donelson,
and commenced his active and bril
liant career, which knew no cessa
tion until the armies of the South
were surrendered. I shall not in
this address undertake to follow in
detail his successful and marvellous
career, nor shall 1 indulge in any
flowpra of rhetoro to adorn my to
ry. I will attempt by a plain and
simple recital of his most promir
nent deeds, to raise up the monu
ment he hewed out for himself, and
leave to other hands to polish its
surface and crown it with appropri
ate wreaths of beauty,
After having seen some service in
marching and scouting, but with
little time. or inclination for drill,
on the 28th of December, 1861, For
rest, with three hundred men, met
the enemy for the first time, about
four hundred and fifty strong, near
Sacramento, Kentucky. This fight
deserves especial notice, not only
because of I N sum ano; thp ppnfi
denee inspired in the raw Confederr
ate cavalryi Rut because it displayed
at once the characteristics and nat
ural tactics which were subsequent
ly more iuny developed and made
Forrest famous as a cavalry leader
lie had marched his. ommand
twenty miles that day, when he
found a fresh trail where the ene
my's cavalry had passed. Putting
his command at a gallop, he trav
eled ten miles further before he
struck the rear guard. His own
command was badly scattered, not
nair up with him ; but without
haulting, he rushed headlong at
them, leading the charge himself.
When he had driven the rearguard
on to the main body, and they
turned c" r.isj with superior force,
he quickly dismounted his men.
and held the enemy in check until
his command came up, and ordered
them to attack flank and rear. This
movement was successful, and the
retreat of the Federals soon beeran.
Quickly mounting his men, he com
menced one or his terrible pursuits.
fighting hand-to-hand with pistol
and sword killing one and wound
ing two himself continuing the
chase for many miles, and leaving
the road dotted with wounded and
His Major, a celebrated preacher
and subsequently an equally cele
brated Confederate Colonel, D. C.
Kelly, saw him then for the first
time under fire, and thus vividly
describes the change that always
took piace in nis appearance in a
fight : "His face flushed till It bore
a striking resemblance to a painted
Indian warrior's, and his eyes, usu
any so mud. in their expression,
Diazed with the intense glare of
panther's about to spring on his
prey. In fact, he looked as little
like the Forrest of our mess table as
the storm rf December resembles
the quiet of June."
Those who saw him when his
brother Jeffrey fell, who was born
after the death of his father, and
who was educated and almost idol
ized by his brother, say that the
blaze of his face and the glare of
his eyes wfere fearful to behold, and
that he rushed like a madman on
the foe, dealing out death with pis
tol and sword to all around him
like Hector fighting over the body
ot I'atroclus :
"Yet, fearless in his strength, now rushing
He dashed amid the prey ; now shouting
Stood firm : but backward not a step re-
This first fight, as I have said, il
lustrated the military characteris
tics of the man, and justified the re
mark of General Dick Taylor, that
"he employed the tactics of Fred
erick at Leuthen and Zorndorf,
without even having heard these
names." First, his reckless courage
in making the attack a rule which
he invariably followed and which
tended always to intimidate his ad
versary. Second, his quick dis
mounting of his men to fight, show
ing that he regarded horses mainly
as a rapid means of transportation
for his troops. Third, his intuitive
adoption oi the flank attack, so suc
cessfully used by Alexander, Han
nibal and Tamerlane? so demoral
izing to an enemy even in an open
field, and so much more so when
made, as Forrest often did, under
cover of woods which concealed the
weakness of the attacking party.
Fourth, his fierce and untiring pur
suit, which so often changes retreat
into rout and makes victory com
plete. If our Confederate leaders
had pursued their victory at Manas
sas, Shiloh and Chickamauga as
Forrest pursued this his first victo
ry ; as he pursued Streight in the
mountains of Alabama : as he pur
sued Sturgisfrom Tishemingo creek;
as he pursued every advantage ob
tained over an enemy the cause
that we lost might perhaps have
been won, Fjfth, following, with,
out knowing it, Napier's precept of
the art of war, he was always in the
front, making personal observations
and sending back orders for moving
nis troops, "wnne nis keen eye
watched the wholefight and guided
him to the weak spot." As Scott
eaid of Wellington
"Greeting the mandate wliloh sent out
Their bravest and t heir best to dare
A fate their leader shunned to share.
He his country's sword and shield
Ktlll In the battle front revealed.
And where danger fiercest swept the field,
Than (ame )e a Mam qf light."
This practice brought him into
many personal conflicts; and Gene
ral Dick Taylor has well said: "I
doubt if any rommander, since the
days of lion-hearted Richard, has
killed as many enemies with his
own hand as Forest." This exposed
him also to constant danger, and he
had twenty-seven horses killed and
wounded under him in battle, and
was twice severely wounded him
self. This practice led to imitation
bj general officers ; and at Hurt's
cross-roads, the day before the battle
of Franklin, I witnessed what I
will venture to say was never seen
on any other battlefield during the
war, Forrest with two division and
three brigade commanders all on
the skirmish line In the fight.
At Fort Donelson his regiment
bore a conspicuous part in the fight,
covered General Pillow's flank in
the most important sortie that was
made on our side, captured a bat
tery of sjjf guns, and rptrpated In
safety, when the garrison surren
dered. At HMion, without taking
any part in the main battle, he ren
dered signal and efficient service.
Our army had been withdrawn
early Sunday evening, and when
officere and men were sleeping,
tondly dreaming that their Yietory
was completo. Forrest, without any
ordeis from any superior officer, had
pressed his scouts to the river and
discovered that reinforcements of
the enemy were arriving. I was
then in command of an infantry
brigade, which, by some oversight,
had not received the order to retire.
and havingoontinuedthe fight until
dark, slept on the ground whepe
Prentiss surrendered. About mid
night Forrest awoke me, inquiring
for Generals Beauregard, Bragg and
Hardee, and when I could not tell
him the headquarters of either, he
said, in profane but prophetic lan
guage, "If the enemy come on us in
the morning, we will be whipped
like hell." With promptness he
carried the information to head
quarters, and, with military genius,
suggested a renewal at once of our
attack j but the unlettered Oolonei
was ordered, back' to hjs regim.ext
"to keen up a vigilant and utrong
picket line," which he did, and
gave timely notice of the Monday's
attack. On the day after Shiloh,
General Sherman was attempting to
press our army in retreat, and the
advance guard of his division was
composed, as he tells us, of two reg
iments Seventy-seventh Ohio in
fantry and Dickey's Fourth Illinois
cavalry, Forrewt, with three hun?
dred cavalry, was watching them.
Just as they were attempting to
crosj a small ravine and were in
some confusion, he made a charge
so flarce and sudden that infantry
and cavalry were all driven, back
together. Forrest, charging in
among them with pistol and sabre,
pursued to within one hundred and
fifty yards of the division in line of
battle, while cries of "kill him,"
"knock him off his horse," were
heard all around him. The enemy
lopt fifteen killed and twenty-five
prisoners, while Forrest was severe
ly and his horse mortally wounded.
General Sherman, in hi report fcf
Jt, sflysf "The enemy's cavalry
came down boldly at a charge led
by General Forrest in person, break
ing through our lines of skirmish
ers, when the infantry, without
cause, threw away their musket9
and fled. The ground was admira
bly adapted to a defence of infantry
against cavalry, being miry and
covered with fallen timber. As the
regiment of infantry broke, Dickey's
cavalry began to discharge their
carbines and fell into disorder. I
instantly sent orders to the rear for
the brigade to form in line of battle,
which was promptly executed."
The success and result of this attack
can be estimated by considering
this further extract from General
Sherman's report : "The check sus
tdined by us at the fallen timbers
delayed our advance, so that night
came on us before the wounded
were provided for and the dead
buried ; and our troops being fagsred
out Dy three days' hard fighting"
(it will be remembered that this
was the only fighting they had on
the third day), "exposure and pri
vation, l ordered them back to their
camps where they now are."
On the 10th of June. 1862. before
he had recovered from his wound.
at the earnest solicitation of prom
inent citizens of North Alabama, he
was ordered to Chattanooga to take
command of four regiments of cav
airy, which had seen but littlo if
any service. Hearrived on the 19th
of June, and began at once to have
his horses shod and his men made
ready for a move. He was then
but a Lieutenant-Colonel, though
assigned to this command as a Brig
adier-General, to which rank he
had been recommended for promo
tion, and the appointment was sub
sequently maue on tne zist or July.
After some delay and trouble with
his Colonels, growing out of the
question of rank, he moved from
Chattanooga on the 8th of July,
with about two thousand cavalry
rank and hie. In five days he had
crossed the mountains, tought a se
vere battle at Murfreesboro," and
with his two thousand cavalry, by
hard lighting and a successful bluff,
captured General Crittenden, with
seventeen hundred infantry, four
pieces of artillery, six hundred
horses, forty wagons, twelve huO'
dred stands of arms and ammuni
tion, and a laige quantity of cloth
ing and supplies. A Union writer
estimated their loss at one million
dollars. In five days more he had
driven the Union cavalry from Leb
anon, captured three picket posts
around isashville with one hundred
and forty-three prisoners, burned
four important bridges near the
city, a railroad station and a large
supply of railroad wood, and made
his escape from lieneral JSelson,
who was pursuing him with a
largely superior force. On the 21st
of July, 1862, the day his commis
sion as Biigadier-General bears date,
while he was tearing up railroad
track, burning bridges and doing
much damage, he was so completely
surrounded that his escape seemed
impossible, and a telegram was act
ually sent to General Buell that he
had been cantured. with eia-ht hun
dred men ; but when the mountain
passes were all guarded, and the en
emy moving on him on every road.
he coolly and quietly led his men
out of the trap set for him, by taking
the dry Ded of a creek, with steep
banks, that concealed him from
view, running parallel with the
McMinnville road, and passing al
most unoer tne troops arawn up in
line of battle on this road to inter
cept him,
On the 23d he joined Bragg at
Sparta, where he was for the first
time furnished with a section of
artillery, and as our army moved
into Kentucky, was ordered to assist
inj)rotecting its left flank, which he
But Forrest was best suited to in
dependent action ; and, at his own
request, turned over his brigade in
Bragg's army on the 27th of Sep
tember, 1862, at Bardstown, Ken
tucky, and in five days had marched
one hundred and sixty-five miles
and was at Murfreesboro, Tennessee,
to organize a new command.
By the first of November, 1862, he
had organized a new brigade, thirty
five hundred strong, and being
anxious to retake the capital of his
State, had persuaded General Breck
inridge, then in command, to per
mit him, with his own force and
three thousand infantry under Gen
eral Roger Hanson, to attempt it.
The movement was made ; but just
when the attack was about to begin,
and when Forrest felt confident of
success, an order came to retire.
On the 10th of December, 1862,
Forrest was ordered to move with
his new brigade of raw cavalry,
armed only with shot guns and such
weapons as they picked up in the
country, across the Tennessee river
lo destroy the railroad communica
tion between Louisville and Mem
phis. He called attention to the
almost unarmed condition of his
command; but, ia reply, was or
dered by General Bragg to move at
once. Sending an agent forward tq
smuggle percqssjqri caps out of
Memphis, he started. By tho 13th
he had crossed the Tennessee river
at Clifton, swimming his horses and
ferrying over his men, artillery and
train, with a leaky old ferryboat, in
a cold, pelting rain, that destroyed
most of his small supply of percus
sion caps. Fortunately, hia agent
arrived that night with a fresh sup
ply, and he began his arduous task
on the 16th, after sinking and con
cealing his ferryboats to make safe
his return. In two weeks' time,
without three thousand raw and
almost unarmed cavalry, in a small
district of country, surrounded on
three sides by the Tennessee and
Mississippi rivers, and on the fourth
tiy tfip Aemphs and Charleston
railroad, thronged with Union
soldiers, march ing an average of
twenty miles a day, he fought three
heavy battles, had almost dally
skirmishing, burned fifty railroad
bridges, destroyed so much of its
trestlework as to render the Mobile
and Ohio railroad useless there the
rest of the war,' captured eighteen
stockades, with two thousand, five,
hundred prisoners, took and disa
bled, ten pieces of field artillery,
carried off fifty wagons and ambu
lances, with their teams, captured
ten thousand stands of arms and one
million rounds of ammunition, and
then crossing the Tennessee river,
seven hundred yards wide, in a few
skiffs and one ferryboat, navigated
by poles, his horses swimming,
while an enemy ten thousand strong
was attemptingtocutoffhis retreat)
he returned to his camp on the 1st
of January i l&fol. With a command
stronger in numbers than when he
started, thoroughly equipped with
blankets and oil cloths, their shot
gups replaced with Kniield rifles,
and with a surplus of five hundred
rifles and eighteen hundred blank
ets and knapsacks, While tho army
of Virginia can justly boast of Its
unsurpassed infantry under Jackson,
the West Is equally proud of the
matchless achievements of Forrest
and his cavalry. He had scarcely
returned from thisexpedition when
he was ordered to assist Wheeler in
his attack on Dover. Returning
from this, he was constantly engaged
in the battles and skirmishes around
felprtng Hill and Thompson station )
and on the 24th of March, isawth
his own command captured Brent,
wood, with seven hundred and
fifty-nine prisoners, and destroyed
a railroad bridge and block-house
within a short distance of Nashville.
On tins 23d of April, 1863, he was
ordered to the relief of General Rod
dy, who was threatened with a
heavy force at Tuscumbia. Moving
with extraordinary celerity, he
crossed the Tennessee river on the
27th and on the 28th joined Roddy,
wno was noiding tne enemy in
check at Town creek. Before him
was General Dodge, with about
eight thousand infantry; and just
as Forrest opened an artillery lire
on him, a scout reported Colonel
Streight, with two thousand two
hundred cavalry, moving through
New burg towards Moulton. and be-
tore liiiii lay unprotected the Iron
works of Monte Vallo, the work
shops at Seluui, ami all the railroads
of Ahibama and Georgia ; where he
would stritce no one could tell.
rorrest saw at once thai the move
ment of I)tdge was a feint, to cover
the operations of Streight; and
leaving a few regiments to keep up
a show or resistance, he fell hack
that night toward Courtland, to
prepare for the pursuit of Streight,
wnicn ne commenced eariy on tne
morning of the rJth March, 1863
The story of that celebrated pursuit,
which lasted four days and nights.
almost without cessation ; the con
stant skirmishing, amounting often
to heavy battles: the flanking of
the bridge over Black creek.throueh
trie aid of Miss l-jin ma Sanson, who.
mounting Denind him on his horse.
piloted him to an old Ford ; the
courage and simplicity of the same
country girl, spreading out her
skirts and telling him to get behind
her when they dismonnted at the
Ford under fire of the enemy ; the
fierce fighting at Sand mountain at
dusk, where men fought by the
flash of their guns, and where For
rest had one horse killed and two
wounded under him; tho weird
midnight attack, when he rolled his
guns silently by hand to within one
hundred and fifty yards of his .un
conscious foe, and awoke the slum
bering echoes of the mountain with
the thunder of his artillery : tha
sharp crack of the rifle and the
Rebel yell, before which the enemv
fled; and the final stratagem by
which seventeen hundred Federals
were captured by six hundred Con
federates has been so often and so
vividly told, that it needs no repe
tition, until some Southern W'averlu
shall perpetuate it in romance, or
some Southern Homer shall embalm
it in undying verse.
From this time to the battle of
Chickamauga he was constantly en
gaged and rendered effective service,
both in Middle and East Tennessee.
In the battle of Chickamauga, his
men, dismounted, fought with the
infantry until the retreat began,
when, mounting his men, he pur
sued to within three miles of Chat
tanooga. He captured a Federal
officer in a tall tree that had been
conveniently arranged for an ob
servatory; mounting to his place.
he could see the enemy retreating
along the roads and in the town of
Chattanooga in great confusion and
chaos. He communicated theso
facts to headquarters, and urged an
immediate advanco of the Confed
erate army upon them. Had his
example or his advice been followed.
Sherman's march to the sea might
never have been made.
On the 3d of October, 1863, he
was ordered by General Bragg to
turn over his command, except
Dibrell' brigade, to General Wheeler
for an expedition into Tennessee.
Itegardiny this as derogatory to
him, he resigned his commission.
General Bragg was my first brigade
commander, and I was more at
tached to hini than any General
under whom I served. I knew him
to be a pure and unselfish patriot,
and in the fall of ls(il bore from him
to President Davis the strikingly
unselfish proposition to turn over to
General A. S. Johnston, for active
service in Kentucky, his well
drilled army at Pensacola, and to
receive raw recruits in its place, if
he could not be taken with his men;
and I would tny nothing now even
to wound his memory. But the
promotion of Wheeler over Forrest,
which he in an honest desire to pro
mote the good of the service, recom
mended, was unfortunate.
Wheeler, a brave, gnerous, un
selfish and educated soldier did not
desire it, and suffered in public esti
mation when it was thrust on htm.
Forrest, though a groat strategist.
trustee! largely fartaotlos and many
military details to officers under
him ; and if Wheeler hau remained
second to Forrest, as he was per
fectly willing to do, a moresplendid
combination for cavalry operations
could scarcely have been made.
Thus ended Forrest's career in
Bragg's army ; but before wo turn
from this department, I must recall
an anecdote strikingly illustrative
of the estimation in which Forrest
"was held by the people, and which
he always told on himself with
great delight. When Bragg was
retreating from Tennesson, Forrest
was among the last of the roar
guard, and an old lady ran out of
her house to the gate, as he was
passing, and urged him to turn back
and fight. As he rode on without
stopping, she shook her fist at him
In great rage and said: "Oh, you
great, big, cowardly rtvioali X only
wish old Fomt was here; he'd
make you fight 1"
Mr. Davis refused to accept his
resignation, but promoted him to
the rank of Major-General and as
signed him to the command of
North Mississippi and West Ten
nessee, and gave him permission to
take with him his old battallion,
now known as McDonald's, and
Morton's battery, which he had or
ganized, and whose, "guns he had
captured the whole force amount
ing to three hundred men and four
guns. He reached Mississippi with
this force on the 15th of November,
1863, and after reporting to Gen.
Joseph K. Johnston, and receiving
the awUtauce of Major-General S,
D, Iee to pass the enemy's lino on
the Memphis and Charleston rail
road, he reached Jackson, Tennes
see, on the 0th day of December,
1863, and for the fourth time during
the war began to organize a new
command. At this time West Ten
nessee M as full of littlo companies of
from ten to thirty men willing to
fight, but unwilling tq go far from
home or into tho infantry service.
The arrival of Forrest was the sig
nal for all these men to rally around
him, and by the 23d of December
he had collected a force of about
three thousand men, all unarmed
except about two hundred. In the
meantime, General Hurlbut was
not Idle, and General Sherman, who
was determined to capture Forrest
If osIble, was directing the move
ments against him.
The rains had been heavy and
the streams were all full. The Ten
nessee was behind him on his left,
the Mississippi on his right, and
before him were the Forked Jer,
Hatchie and Wolf rivers, and Geno.
Hurlbut at Memphis, with twenty
thousand troops, watching every
probable crosing place of these
rivers, while troops were moving
from Union CJity, Fort Pillow and
Paducah, on his flank and rer.
Loaded down as he was with three
thousand unarmed men and a heavy
train of supplies, escape would have
seemed impossible to a less daring
and less wary man. But one of the
greatest secrets of Forrest's succr-M
was his iKrfHt system of H"outs. Ilo
kept able and reliable xcouta all
nround him and at gnvd distances,
and always knew where his enemy
was, what he had, what he was do
ing, and very often for days in ad
vance what he was alout to do.
While the enemy were watching
for him at Purdy and Bolivar, ht
unexpectedly crossed the Hatchie
at Estenaula not, however, with
out some sharp fighting before he
got away. And when they wero
expecting him to cross the Wolf
nenr its headwaters, he made a bold
dash for Memphis and crossed one
regiment, having only two armed
companies over wolf river bridge,
in nine miles of that city. By skill
ful handling of his five hundred
armed men, and the occasional dis
play of his large number unarmed,
he fought several successful skirm
ishes, captured the bridge over
W olf river near Lafayette station,
on the Memphis and Charleston
railroad, and held the enemy In
check at Collierville until he passed
into Mississippi, with thirty-live
hundred men, forty wagons loaded
with subsistence, two hundred beef
cattle and three hundred hogs. The
corresH)ndent of the Cincinnati
Commercial, writing from Memphis
January 12, 1861, says: "Forrest,
with less than four thousand men,
has moved right through the six
teenth army coriw. has passed with
in nine miles of Memphis, oarrhil
off one hundred wagons, two hun
dred beef cattle, three thousand
conscripts and innumerable stores,
torn up railroad track, cut telegraph
wire, burned and sacked towns, run
over pickets with a single derringer
pistol, and all, to', in the faco of
ten thousand men."
General Forrest was met near Ia-
fayette by General Chalmers, with
twelve hundred men, who covered
his further march into Mississippi,
and who from then, until the close
of the war, was his second in com
The next month was occupied In
obtaining arms for his recruits and
reorganizing his command Into four
brigades. When this Uok place
many officers who had leen com
manding little squads as companies
were thrown out of command. This
occasioned great dissatisfaction, anil
about one-third of the recruits de
serted and went back to West Ten
nessee. Before this organization
was completed, General Sherman
commenced his movements In Mis
On the 3d of February, 1861, Gen
eral Sherman began his movement
from vicksburg to Meridian, Miss.,
and at the same time sent a force up
by Yazoo City, to take Forrest In
rear at Grenada, and ordered Gen
eral W. Sooy Smith to "move from
Collierville on Pontotoc and Oka
lona," Ac, and to meet hini at
Meridian, Miss., as near the 10th of
February as he could.
General Sherman says "General
Polk seemed to have no suspicion
of our intention to disturb him."
If this were true, he certainly could
not say the same thing of Forrest.
He knew that Smith's cavalry was
preparing to move some time beforo
it did move. On the 8th two in
fantry colums moved one on Pan
ola and the other on Wyatt and
on the Uth, one day before the riv
alry started, Forrest, then al xford,
telegraphed Chalmers, at Panola, to
skirmish with the Infantry, but that
this was a feint, and he must bo
ready to intercept thecavalry.w hlch
he predicted would strike for Co
lumbus and the pralrlo country of
east Mississippi, where he had gov
ernment works and a large quantity
of corn. McCulloch's ind Richard
son's brigades were then atretrhed
out from Panola to Ablieyville,
watching tho crossings of the Talla
hatchie river, while Jetf. Forrest's
brigade was at Grenada, watching
the forces at Yaaoo City, and Bell,
at Oxford, organizing. On tho lOtlt
Smith started from Collierville. On
the 11th McCulloch moved to Ox
ford on converging lines with Mm.
By the llth it was manifest that
Smith was moving for the prairie,
and Forrest ordered a concentration
of his command near West Point to
intercept him, and this was accom
plished ty the. IHth Jeff. Korrest
reaching there on tho 17th. Ills
brigade was thrown forward towards
Aberdwn, and continued skirmish
ing with the enemy until tho 20th.
On the2(th Bell's brigade was sent
to keep on the flank of the rneniv
and cover Columbus, and McCulloch
and Richardson moved unto sup
port Jeff. Forrest, and ail fell back.
slowly skirmishing to West Point.
A telegram received here announced
that General H. D. lee, with three
brigades, would bo with us early on
the 22d, and Forrest retired behind
Suoua4on-cha creek, of steep bank
and miry bottom, and over which
there were but few bridges, easily
defended. This was a iwrfectly salw
tositton, where he could easily hold
he enemy In check until Iav could
arrive. Smith was In a complete
cul-ite-mc, forirmd by the Suqua-ton-cha
on the right, the Tilihoe Ix-foro
him, and ttie loinblgtx'eon his left?
and Lee and Forrest united could
have orossed tho Suqua-ton-clm
behind hini and captured his com
mand. Larly on the morning of
2lst a heavy fire was opened n our
pickets, composed of two regiments.
dismounted and thrown out in front
of the bridge, four miles wet T
West Point. Forrest soon cauie up
to where 1 was standing op tho
causeway lending to the bridge, and
as it was the first time I had cen
with him In a fight, I watched him
closely, ills manner was nervous,
Impatient and Imperious. Heasked
me what tho enemy were doing,
and when I gave him tho rciwirt
Just reeeivl from Colonel Dull', in
command of tho pickets, he said,
sharply: "I will go und fee my
self," and startod across the bridge,
which wits about thirty yard long,
and then being raked by the cmv
iny's fire. This struck me at tho
time as n needles and somew hat
braggadocio exposure of himself,
and I followed him to see what ho
would do. When we readied tho
other bank, the lire of the enemy
was very heavy, and our moil wcro
falling back one running without
hat or gun. In an Instant Forrest
seized and threw him on the ground,
and whilo the bullets were whistling
thick around him, administered a
severe thrashing with a brush of
wood. A short time afterward I
saw the scene illustrated In llarjer'a
Weekly, as Forrest breaking in a
conscript. He stood a few minutes,
and when the tire slackened a little,
ordered up his csccrt and McCul
loch's brigade; ami they soon came.
Leaving McCulloch in position, he.
mounted with his escort, a splendid
company of seventy-live young
men, who each neemcd inspired
wish the reckless courage of their
leader, and dashed of.' through tho
woods to the flunk nnd rear of thn
enemy. lie soon discovered that
the attacking force was small; and
at "one suss-ctinglt to le the attack
of a rear guard to cover u retreat,
he order I the first division for
ward, and the enemy fell back
rapidly before him until they
reached a wood four miles noilh of
West Point, where they made a
stand in force. After a heavy tight,
in which ho lost Ighty killed and
wounded, and the enemy as many,
and where he took sevinty-fiv
prisoners, he drove them back again,
Continued on Fourth !'('

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