Tuesday, May 26, 2020

The Confederate Cavalry Leader Most Feared by Union Generals: “I’ll be damned if I’ll surrender.”

 Nathan Bedford Forrest, Statue in Memphis park 2010, Removed by PC politicians 2017.

The battles of Fort Henry and Fort Donelson in February 1862 were the first two significant victories for the Union. They also demonstrated an important Union strategy that many believe was the ultimate key to Union defeat of Confederate resistance. They set out to dominate the water transportation lifelines critical to the Southern economy and military defense. They were eventually able to dominate these critical arteries with a “Brown Water Navy” of gunboats. The South had few such resources to oppose them.  Fort Henry was on the Tennessee River in west-middle Tennessee near the Kentucky border. Fort Donelson was about 12 miles to the east on the Cumberland River. The commander of Fort Henry was West Point graduate and engineering inspector Brigadier General Lloyd Tilghman, from Paducah, Kentucky. Tilghman had realized that both forts Henry and Donelson were defective defensive positions but put up a valiant battle before surrendering to a Union siege on February 6, 1862. Meanwhile he had secretly moved most of his of his troops to Fort Donelson.


  1. Good read Thanks, I'll have to get both off Scruggs books. Sad that this is the 1st I have heard of his books. Question why would 16000 Rebs surrounded by 29000 yankees not lead to a major victory by the South in 1962. To bad Forest wasn't in charge on day one.

    1. Absolutely as those are decent numbers for the defense. He also wrote a good one on the Vietnam war. Type in his last name at NamSouth and FNC and you will get many hits. Thanks.