I've read that story in some of Forrest's bios, IIRC, there was a point where he was surrounded in his home by some of his hired hands and had to be "rescued" by the authorities. Maybe Diane or Nathanb1 could elaborate more on this.
An interesting story. Sounds like it might be a good research project. The printed source seems to rely only on whites for evidence. What was the result of the legal investigation and the trial, if any?There were some 200 black men surrounded Forrest's home. The killing took place on the Green Grove plantation in Coahoma County MS - fairly isolated. Black people from Memphis and points around gathered as word spread of Edwards' death - most of these people were Union veterans of battles such as Ft Pillow, Brices Crossroads and others. Many were Union League as well and may have been sent there by somebody. There was a huge amount of racial tension here and this incident is a sort of capsule of it. During the war, in the area around Memphis, black soldiers had been killed in far greater numbers than whites. Belle Edmondson's diary records finding dead Negro soldiers all the time, and some white ones, in the area. (She was a spy for Forrest and he shifted her and her aged father to the interior of Mississippi.) Forrest, on the other hand, sent for help and holed up inside his house with his brother Bill and son Willie - not sure if Jesse was there but he might have been. The Forrests were well armed. Forrest appeared on the porch of his house with a pistol in each hand and told the people he wanted no trouble but would protect his family and would blow anybody's head off who approached the house. He then went back inside and waited. The people figured that was fair enough. So they surrounded the house and built some fires - making sure nobody left. Someone did notify the sheriff well before that - the messenger may have been Jerry, Forrest's personal servant - who came and arrested the general. The minute Forrest knew Edwards was dead, he knew he had to take measures to get protection and so dispatched somebody to go for help. I think one of the reasons things didn't escalate worse was because Forrest's hired hands all knew Edwards, and knew him to be belligerent. None of them had been able to stop his behavior and many were afraid of him.
If anybody knows more about Thomas Edwards prior to this matter of his death, I'd sure appreciate knowing it. Little found! It's one of those things that needs a little less one-sided viewing.
An interesting story. Sounds like it might be a good research project. The printed source seems to rely only on whites for evidence. What was the result of the legal investigation and the trial, if any?
Thanks so much for this info. Very interesting.Forrest was arrested for murder and tried for it. It was an interesting precedent case because he was the first white man in Tennessee to be arrested for the murder of a black man after the war, and the first to be exonerated by black testimony - allowed for the first time. Edwards' wife swore up and down she had not been abused, nor had she ever been abused, but Edwards' teenage niece was present and testified that Forrest acted in defense of her aunt's life and his own.