“The book provides valuable new information on the lives of several of the men, unit roster, and new details from the minutes of their reunions from 1877 to 1909.”
––The Civil War Book Review
Most staff officers and escort members of famous Civil War generals have faded into obscurity. However, the escort company and staff officers of Nathan Bedford Forrest were held in awe by men on both sides of the conflict during the war and long after, and they continue to be held in esteem as figures as legendary as Forrest himself. Not merely guards or couriers, these men were an elite force who rode harder and fought more fiercely than any others. As Bradley writes in his introduction,
In him they recognized not only the daring, able, and successful leader, but also the commanding officer who would not hesitate to punish with severity when he deemed punishment necessary. They possessed as an inheritance all the best and most valuable fighting qualities of the irregulars, accustomed as they were from boyhood to horses and the use of arms, and brought up with all the devil-may-care lawless notions of the frontiersman. But the most volcanic spirit among them felt he must bow before the superior iron will of the determined man who led them. There was something about the dark gray eye of Forrest that warned his subordinates he was not to be trifled with and would stand no nonsense from either friend or foe.
Nathan Bedford Forrest’s Escort and Staff reveals the symbiotic relationship between Forrest and his men, and how their unusual abilities as fighters, thinkers, and leaders made for a team of men who formed a unique brotherhood that lasted long after the war. A testament to their loyalty is the fact that the escort is the only Confederate unit whose numbers were greater when they surrendered than when the unit was organized.
About the Author
Since 1970, Dr. Bradley has taught U.S. history at Motlow State Community College in Tullahoma, Tennessee. He earned undergraduate degrees at Samford University in Birmingham, Alabama, and the New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary and a master’s degree and Ph.D. from Vanderbilt University. He has written extensively on the Civil War, including five books and numerous articles, book reviews, and papers relating to church and civil society. In 1994, he was awarded the Jefferson Davis Medal in Southern History.
NATHAN BEDFORD FORREST’S ESCORT AND STAFF
By Michael R. Bradley
240 pp. 6 x 9
B/W photos 1 map Appendixes Biblio. Index