The Atlanta Register
publishes the following sketch of Gen. Forrest
, written by a person who is intimate with him:
I have just returned from Tupelo
, where I spent two days with Forrest
I have listened in his encampment to stories of personal adventure that transcend in exciting interest all that are narrated in books, and that were told in song and story, before knight errantry lost its attractiveness in the absurd pages of Don Quixote
Let me tell you what I think of Forrest
— what I know of him.--There has not been born of this revolution a more remarkable son. He is in truth the offspring of revolution.
Had there been no war, Forrest
would be distinguished solely for excellent good sense, his indomitable energy, and the success that distinguished him as a planter and tradesman.
He began in the utmost poverty.
He was indebted to charity for bread, and for nothing to books.
When I first knew him, fifteen years ago, he was very poor.
He came to Memphis
and for a time was the proprietor of a livery stable.
In this business he was not very successful When a "fast" young gentleman overtaxed his horses Forrest
was strangely inclined to punish the customer.
He was not popular.
He became a slave dealer.
By his truthfulness and excellent judgment as to the value of negroes, he became the agent and purchaser of slaves for the planters of the valley of the Mississippi
He grew rich space.
When the war began he himself was one of the wealthiest planters whose home was in Memphis His credit with merchants and bankers was limit less.
His capital was more than half a million dollars.
At the beginning of the war he amused himself for a time by running the blockade from Louisville
He brought out from Louisville
, when that city was occupied by a large Federal force, horses and equipments for a company of cavalry.
He then undertook to raise a regiment of mounted men. This accomplished, he joined Albert Sidney Johnston
at Bowling Green
In every encounter with the enemy he was the victor.
He killed the first man with a sabre who thus lost his life after the war began.
His victim was a Kentucky renegade, a huge fellow, who bestrode a powerful horse Forrest
pursued him a mile or two.
finding escape impossible, turned to fight.
Their sabres clashed The skin from the back of the Kentuckian's head
was peeled off. Staggered by the blow, the Kentuckian could not party the next stroke.
's sabre passed through his body.
His next achievement was announced at Fort Donelson
, whence he escaped when the place was surrendered.
He rode over the battle field of shi like another Mens
, was wounded, but only maddened by pain which would have consigned other men to the hospital.
In his conflicts with infantry and cavalry he was uniformly successful.
He next captured Murfreesboro
', with a garrison stronger than his own force.
Then came his famed pursuit of Strength.
had surrendered he complained to Forrest
that he (Forrest
) had deceived him as to his strength-- "Here," said Forrest
, "are your arms, these of your men shall the returned to them; here is an open field; we can soon setting the question of valor — numbers are nothing!" Streight
In the recent fierce encounter with Smith
, at Okolona
himself killed right men. Two of these fell beneath his heavy blade.
His men watch his battle flag.
They gather around it, and will follow it into the very jaws of death — They know that Forrest
himself over fights beneath its folds.
He loses a fight as other men do a guns of cards, and says he can't keep out of one.
He is constantly urged by officers, soldiers, and citizens to avoid needless exposure of his person, but all in vain.
The noise of battle as the only music that ravishes the senses at Forrest
Ordinarily he is mild and placable but when maddened is a very incarnate.
He is mercurous to a man whom he suspects of cowardice, and the most exacting of all commanders.
He is six-feet in height, perfectly proportioned, and endued with wonderful strength.
His eyes are blue and have a very mild expression, his complexion sallow, his hair very black, his forehead very bread, and his manner nervous.
He is never still, and in social intercourse laughs much, though never boisterously He delights in telling stories of the achievements of his men. He says his are the truce soldiers that ever drew
I was maned, as long and I have known Forrest
, to hear him say at dinner yesterday, in the presence of his staff and of several visitors, that if he should ever return to Memphis
, he deed of violence should be committed.
He would gladly surrender his sword to the civil authorities, whom he would sustain against all mads, however they might originate, or of whatever material composed.
He wished the war to close, and said he had no ambition, no wish, beyond the independence of the South
I have stated that I had known Forrest
long before the war began; but I can assure you I never respected him as I did when he gave expression to these sentiments.
Let me add again that it is impossible for Forrest
to play the hypo. When you look in his face you are always conscious that he gives utterance to the plain, unvarnished truth.
His wife and son are with him. The wife, an excellent woman, unaffected in her manners, of profound religious convictions, by her excellent good secse and many virtues has kept Forrest
out of many a row. In her presence he is always gentle and kind; but now and then, even in the midst of the monotonous duties incident to idleness in camp, he yields the mastery to his ungovernable temper.