Report of Maj. Gen. Nathan B. Forrest ref Fort Pillow


Jan 6, 2015
Lawton, Oklahoma
By modern standards, almost every white person at that time would be considered a racist. But Forrest did clearly believe at one point that it was all right to enslave blacks.
Good point! It's clear that later in his life, his views on racial issues had shifted quite a bit from what they had been when he was younger.


Retired User
Jan 23, 2010
State of Jefferson
@Allie. Interesting note about Chalmers being mistaken for Forrest, and it's also possible Forrest was mistaken by a black witness as his brother Jesse. The witness testified that Forrest was present at the fort and that he knew him by sight as he had been sold by him - he then described a short, stocky man. Jesse Forrest and Chalmers were about the same height and weight, so this does get interesting! Jesse was a slave trader, too.

Here's Chalmers:


Here's a similar portrait of Forrest:


And here's one thought to be of Aaron, but a recent thread here by a direct descendant of Jesse's has pretty much determined it is Jesse Anderson Forrest:


You know, this is the first time anybody has ever suggested there may have been mistaken identities! That opens up an intriguing avenue of investigation, doesn't it?


Dec 17, 2014
Nifty, I had never seen a picture of Aaron before. Chalmers was a little guy, which makes it seem less likely his own men would make this mistake, but from the neck up, in silhouette, they did look a lot alike. And there seems to be a lot of evidence Forrest was messing about trying to get a shot at that gunboat when the killing occurred.

That's my favorite of Forrest, not as frequently seen as some others.