Post-war Nathan Bedford Forrest question


Retired User
Jan 23, 2010
State of Jefferson

No, what I meant was his conversion changed his racial views - everybody's equal in God's eyes. I wasn't saying he was a heathen before his joining the church! He just thought religious matters were the province of the women. (In fact, one Union preacher he captured was surprised when Forrest asked him to do the blessing at dinner and he glanced around quickly to see if they were funning him - everybody including the general had their heads bowed, eyes closed, hands folded like a bunch of choir boys!) His family had a good reputation, neighbors said none of them were dissipated or dishonest or the like, and his upbringing was firmly on the Christian faith. He was very respectful of women, a thing many young men could emulate today. Some people, hearing stories of the fierce warrior, were very much surprised at how gentle and courteous he was with women, in particular his wife. I guess they expected him to grunt and drag her around by her hair! He fairly worshipped her, called her his guardian angel and came to believe it must have been her prayers got him through the war alive. And, Forrest was a man who described his life as a 'battle from the start' - he was always fighting for something whether it was survival, his family, his country, or his own life. He was never at peace until he became a Christian in more than name. He certainly never expected to die in his own bed surrounded by friends and family at peace with his God - he had believed it would be on a cold, bloody battlefield, or maybe some enemy bushwhacking him like somebody tried to do with brother Bill. I always liked what Shelby Foote said of him, and what nobody today seems to really understand - he had 'antique values'.


Southern Gentleman, Lest We Forget, 2011
Honored Fallen Comrade
Feb 20, 2005
N.B. Forrest showed some evidence of his suspicion of the value of black folks long before the end of the war. To give men the best captured carbines and let 'em drive a wagon behind you with your most valued possessions showed some faith and confidence. His reputation for never splitting a family also shows some sensitivity beyond the average citizen of Memphis in this time.