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About Nathan Bedford Forrest:
After settling in the Memphis Delta, Forrest became a self made millionaire from his dealings in cotton, land and slaves. Forrest volunteered as a private at the outbreak of the Civil War and raised and equipped an entire unit at his own expense. Forrest and his men slipped away from Fort Donelson when General Ulysses S. Grant forced its surrender under General Buckner. He became known as "the wizard of the saddle" and was feared for his lightning raids. He became a brigadier general and was a nuisance to Grant's Vicksburg campaign by attacking his supply depots. Surprised and surrounded on two sides by Union troops at Parker's Crossroads, Forrest ordered his men to "Charge 'em both ways" and as a result, escaped from the Union trap. The Union commanders could not overtake Forrest's calvary during the war. Forrest took hundreds of prisoners after the battle of Chickamauga by pursuing a retreating Union army into Chattanooga. Forrest overran Fort Pillow near Memphis which included 262 soldiers of the U.S. Colored Heavy Artillery. It is reported that many of these troops were executed after their surrender by Forrest's men. This was known as one of the most controversial acts of the Civil War which created a rallying cry for African American soldiers throughout the Union Army.
After several promotions all the way to lieutenant general, Forrest's legacy grew with each victory won while sacrificing much during the conflict himself. He chose to surrender to Grant when Robert E. Lee surrendered in April of 1865.