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His first raid into West Tennessee.

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 to destroy the railroad communication between Louisville and Memphis. He called attention to the almost unarmed condition of his command; but, in reply, was ordered by General Bragg to move at once. Sending an agent forward to smuggle percussion caps out of Memphis, he started. By the 15th 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 percussion caps. Fortunately, his agent arrived that night with a fresh supply, and he began his arduous task on the 16th, after sinking and concealing his ferryboat to make safe his return. In two weeks time, with about 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 by the Memphis and Charleston railroad, thronged with Union soldiers, marching an average of twenty miles a day, he fought three heavy battles, had almost daily 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 disabled ten pieces of field artillery, carried off fifty wagons and ambulances, 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 attempting to cut off his retreat, he returned to his camp on the 1st of January, 1863, with a command stronger in numbers than when he started, thoroughly equipped with blankets and oil cloths, their shot guns replaced with Enfield rifles, and with a surplus of five hundred rifles and eighteen hundred blankets and knapsacks. While the 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 this expedition, 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 Spring Hill and Thompson station; and on the 24th of March, 1863, with his own command captured Brentwood, with seven hundred and fifty-nine prisoners, and destroyed a railroad bridge and blockhouse in a short distance of Nashville.

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Nathan Bedford Forrest (2)
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Stonewall Jackson (1)
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