Friday, February 11, 2011

The Love of God Can Transform Anyone

  The love of God can and has touched the lives of billions of people throughout the world.  Some people are transformed as a result of this divine encounter in small and almost imperceptible ways, while others undergo a major transformation which is noticeable by everyone they know. 
   Such a series of encounters, which took place over time, transformed the life of a man whose legacy or infamy (depending upon who is telling the story) is forever intertwined with the Civil War. Referred to as “that Devil” by Union General William T. Sherman (1820-1891), Lt. General Nathan Bedford Forrest, CSA (1821-1877) is hardly someone that almost anyone who is familiar with Civil War history would ever consider as worthy of emulation.
   The truth is that General Forrest was a very interesting character.  Born in rural Tennessee on July13, 1821, he was the oldest of twelve children born to William and Mariam Forrest.  When Bedford (as he was known) was seventeen, his father passed away and Bedford took on the responsibility of taking care of his mother and younger siblings.  By all accounts there is no indication that William Forrest was a religious man; however, the same cannot be said of Mariam. 
   Nearly six feet tall and rather muscular, Mariam Forrest was the epitome of a frontier wife.  Not much is known of William Forrest, though neighbors described him as an honest and clean-living man.  Apparently not one to succumb to the common temptations of liquor or violence, he seemed to be content working his blacksmith shop and raising his family, which eventually grew to eight children.  Mariam was the more dominant personality in the home and the provider of an early religious foundation.1
   There is little information available to verify whether or not William was a Christian; however, based upon what is known of frontier life there were  probably few opportunities for the Forrest family to attend any formal religious services on a regular basis. “Circuit riding” preachers may have visited the area near Forrest’s home once every few months, if not less often, so any religious formation which the children were provided was based largely upon the example of their parents.
   To say that as a young man Bedford was “rough around the edges” would be a major understatement.  Taking on the responsibility of helping his mother to run the family farm and raised his siblings following the death of his father, Bedford was extremely protective of his family and became known for his very quick temper.  
   A story is told about Forrest coming upon two women, on Sunday afternoon, who were stuck in their carriage, along with their driver, half way across a muddy creek.  Two young men were standing along the bank of creek laughing at these two women rather than offering any assistance.  Forrest offered his assistance, walked out into the creek, and carried each of these women to safety on the opposite side.  A great believer in the virtue of chivalry, he proceeded to help free the carriage from the mud and then confronted the two young men for their lack of chivalry.  These two women were Mary Ann Montgomery and her mother. Mary Ann was the niece of a prominent Presbyterian minister and would have been considered “quite a catch” by anyone in town. 
   Mary Ann was so impressed with Bedford’s act of chivalry that she agreed to allow him to call upon her at home at some future date.  The next day Bedford made his way to Mary Ann’s home and the two began a relationship which lasted the rest of their lives.2 Like Mariam, Mary Ann provided a very positive Christian example for Bedford. While it may be debated by some that opposites truly do attract when it comes to relationships, the fact is that this seems to be completely true with regard to Bedford and Mary Ann.  She was a petite, well educated, cultured woman who, at least on paper, would seem to be more comfortable with the local high society crowd instead of a rural farmer with no formal education; however, she seemed to find something very appealing about Bedford.
   From a Biblical standpoint, the union between Mary Ann and Bedford would be considered a disaster.  While our emotions may want us to get caught up in the love story, Scripture teaches us that a Christian and a non-Christian should not join themselves together in matrimony.  St. Paul tells us, “Do not be bound together with unbelievers, for what partnership does righteousness and lawlessness have, or what fellowship has light with darkness? Or what harmony has Christ with Belial, or what has a believer in common with an unbeliever?” (2 Cor 6:14-15).  At this point in his life, Bedford might have claimed to be a Christian.  While there he certainly adhered to the validity of Christianity, his life showed that his intellectual consent to the faith had not touched his heart to any lasting degree.  Samuel Cowen, Mary Ann’s uncle, clearly thought that this would be the case, which is why he initially objected their marriage.  However, it is in situations like this that the awe-inspiring sovereignty of God often comes into play.3
   The fact is that there are Biblical examples showing how God can work in situations which humans see as almost hopeless.  By all human accounts, the story of Joseph in the Old Testament could be seen as simply a story of anger and jealousy on the part of siblings; however, as Joseph indicated to his brothers after they were reunited twenty years after Joseph was sold into slavery by them that what they meant for evil God had used for good.  Joseph, a slave, had risen to the position of governor of Egypt under the pharaoh and was responsible for saving his father and siblings from the famine which they had endured. 
   God can use any given situation in whatever way He sees fit.  While the Catholic Church would certainly encourage a marriage between to Christians, the fact is that a dispensation, known as a “disparity of cult” dispensation, can be granted to a Catholic which would allow him or her to marry a non-Christian in a Church wedding ceremony.  Even though one of the partners is not Christian prior to the wedding, it is entirely possible that based upon the faith witness of the Christian partner the non-Christian partner may one day choose to embrace Christianity. 
   This was certainly the case in the lives of St. Monica and her husband, Patricius.  Patricius was a pagan Greek who married a devout Christian woman with whom she had two children.  While Patricius initially belittled Monica for her devotion to the poor and attacked her for Christian beliefs, the fact is that on his death bed Patricius finally embraced Christianity and was baptized.  Based upon St. Paul’s admonition, Patricius and Monica should never have been married; however, it was her faith witness which eventually led Patricius to Christianity and their union produced one of the greatest leaders of the early Church, namely St. Augustine of Hippo (354-430).    
   While there was definitely a loving relationship between Mary Ann and Bedford, this should not lead one to believe that their marriage was all sweetness and light.  Mary Ann was very pious and her life was devoted to serving God, while her husband’s life was devoted to the pursuit of money, power, and respect.  In an effort to accomplish this goal, Bedford eventually moved his family from Tennessee to northern Mississippi, where he bought a log cabin in Hernando and eventually became a slave trader. 
   Even in the South, prior to the Civil War, becoming a slave trader was not considered an honorable profession.  Slavery was certainly considered a necessary institution in order to maintain the local farm economy, the slave owners would not get their hands dirty when it came to the idea that actual human cargo was available for purchase, nor did they want to associate with anyone who chose to engage in such a profession.  By the beginning of the Civil War Forrest would become a multi-millionaire; however, his profession did not garner him the respect he sought from his neighbors.
   Liquor flowed quite freely throughout the South; however, drunkenness was not one of Bedford’s vices.  By all accounts he was completely faithful to Mary Ann throughout their marriage, even when he was away from home for four years fighting with the Confederate Army.  He was neither a tobacco user nor someone who was prone to swearing.  One of his major vices appeared to be gambling and this was a major source of contention between him and Mary Ann.  While Bedford was out gambling at poker with his friends, Mary Ann would be home praying for his conversion. 
   Of all the sins Bedford fought, perhaps the greatest one (and the one which led to so many others) was his legendary temper.  This one aspect of his character would bring him tremendous grief, and it was something that he would struggle with all of his life. For the most part, he was a fairly calm man, but when his fuse was lit he seemed to become another person.  Almost in a Jekyll and Hyde fashion, his entire countenance and coloring would change.  His face would glow; his eyes would flash red, and he would explode in rage.  However, Mary Ann could change that.  In fact, it was said that no matter how furious he got, she had the ability to calm him down with a mere word, a quality that Mariam Forrest also had over her son while he was growing up.  Though he, at times, hated men who caused him trouble, he so revered and loved the women in his life that his violent tirades seem to have never been directed at them.4 
   In 1851, Bedford moved his family back to Memphis, TN where the slave trade was much more lucrative.  By this time he had two children, William (b. 1846) and Frances (b. 1848).  He expanded his slave trade business, became partner in several other local businesses, and eventually purchased a plantation in northern Mississippi.  He was elected a Memphis City Alderman in 1857; however, by 1858 he had sold his slave trading business, perhaps because he saw that it would no longer be profitable based upon the national tensions regarding slavery, resigned his alderman post, and moved his family to his plantation in Mississippi.  Frances passed away in 1853 and it appears that Mary Ann played a large part in Bedford’s decision to move.  In Memphis, Bedford would routinely frequent the local gambling establishments where he would lose thousands of dollars at a time.  He seemed to enjoy his life as a gentleman farmer in Mississippi; however, it would be short lived.  
   Following the election of President Abraham Lincoln in 1860 and the new president’s call for 75,000 volunteers to “put down the Southern rebellion”, Bedford, his brother Jeffrey, and his son, William, all enlisted as privates in the Tennessee cavalry in June 1861.  By July 1861, Bedford was promoted to lieutenant colonel, for several reasons, including his association with Tennessee Governor Isham Harris. Making use of Bedford’s natural born leadership talent and his ability to get things done, Governor Harris put Bedford in charge of forming a cavalry unit which would initially serve Tennessee and then ultimately the Confederacy as a whole.
   While much has been written about the military prowess of Nathan Bedford Forrest, if examined from a religious vantage point it would appear that he was divinely protected throughout the war.  There is little doubt that Bedford was one of the finest combat officers the South ever produced.  Having no West Point experience, but possessing a keen strategic sense, he was able to inflict huge damages on the Union Army and was one of the major players in the South’s victory at the Battle of Chickamauga.  He had numerous horses shot out from underneath him throughout the war and more than once his life was spared when he otherwise should have died in battle as a result of his injuries. 
   His lack of professional military training and the fact that he would probably have been seen as a ‘hick’ by some of his superiors who were West Point graduates led to some outbursts of Bedford’s legendary temper throughout the war.  Following the Battle of Chickamauga, Bedford was relieved of his command by General Braxton Bragg (1817-1876), commander of the Army of Tennessee.  Forrest refused to serve under General Joseph Wheeler, whom he had butted heads with earlier, and when he received news from General Bragg that Wheeler would be his new commanding officer, this was more than Forrest could take.
   Forrest rode to where General Bragg was camping and confronted Bragg directly.  He accused Bragg of cowardice, stated that if Bragg wanted to have him arrested for not following orders to serve under Wheeler he should “go ahead and try it”, and if Bragg ever got in Forrest’s way again he would be doing so “at his own peril”. 5 General Bragg was not very popular among many Southern officers; however, he was a personal friend of Confederate President Jefferson Davis (1808-1889) and Davis vouched for Bragg until after the Battle of Nashville, when the South lost the state of Tennessee for all intents and purposes.
    General Forrest appears to have been very popular with his men.  They were highly motivated by him and he respected them immensely.  On numerous occasions he invited various Protestant ministers to preach to his men and by all accounts he had a great deal of respect for the clergy.  While Christian faith was not priority in General Forrest’s life at this point, he did understand the positive impact which such services would have on his men and this was very important to Bedford. 
   From the standpoint of the Union Army, there are few incidents involving Forrest which plagued him for the remainder of his life more than the “Massacre at Fort Pillow” on April 12, 1864.  After firing upon the fort and surrounding it with a rather large force, Forrest sent a letter to Major Lionel F. Booth, commander of Fort Pillow, stating that based upon the way that Booth’s men handled themselves they were entitled to be treated as prisoners of war.  Forrest demanded the unconditional surrender of the fort and should his demands be refused, he cannot be responsible for the fate of Major Booth’s command.6
   What General Forrest was unaware of was that Major Booth had been killed earlier in the day by a Confederate sniper and now the fort was under the command of Major William F. Bradford, who had much less command experience. Bradford wrote back, signing the note as Booth, stating that he would not surrender. At this point, Forrest felt that he had no option but to overtake fort. When the Confederates came over the wall, Major Bradford and his men left their arms and attempted to flee.  The Confederate soldiers began shooting the unarmed Union soldiers, many of whom were Negro troops and Confederate deserters.  There is a major historical discrepancy over whether or not General Forrest actually have the order to “kill every damn one of them”7; however, this is way that the story was reported in the Northern newspapers.  Therefore, Forrest became known as the architect of the Fort Pillow massacre.  It was due to incidents like Fort Pillow and others that General Sherman referred to Forrest as “that Devil”.  Sherman’s plans were to “order…a force…[to] go out and follow Forrest to death, if it cost[s] 10,000 lives and breaks the Federal treasury.  There will never be peace in Tennessee till Forrest is dead.”8
   During the last days of the war, a reflective Forrest began to contemplate his past and his future. He penned a heartfelt letter to his son, William, in which he encouraged him to shun his father’s ‘wicked and sinful ways.’  Sounding like a man who was beginning to regret his past sins and like a father who may not live to see his son grow older.  Forrest spoke proudly of what William was becoming.  Bedford had kept William close throughout the war as an aide on his staff, and he had purposely assigned other young men of virtuous character to his staff to serve as friends for his son.  Bedford exhorted William to take care of his mother, Mary Ann, and if he was tempted to choose between her “Christian ways” and his father’s “wicked ways”, to emulate her.9
   Undoubtedly, the Spirit of God had been convicting Forrest for many years but it was a conviction he fought tooth and nail.  He knew he should do things differently; however, he always said that he did not time for serious religion while there was so much ‘unholy fighting’ to be done.  It never seemed to dawn upon him that men like D.C. Kelley, a Methodist minister who served as one of Forrest’s subordinate officers, as well as scores of Christian soldiers, saw service in battle to one’s country and service in life to one’s Lord as compatible.  Men like the pious General Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson (1824-1863) proved that one could be a devout Christian and fierce warrior at the same time.  However, Forrest could not seem to reconcile the two in his mind.  Perhaps he did not want to.10 
   While General Robert E. Lee and the Army of Northern Virginia had surrendered to General Ulysses S. Grant and the Army of the Potomac on April 12, 1865 at Appomattox Courthouse, Virginia thereby ending the Civil War, the fighting in Tennessee continued for a few more weeks until word finally arrived on May 4th that the war was over.  General Forrest formally surrendered his unit to the Union Army on May 10th.  After four years of grueling battles and extremely fatigued, General Forrest chose to return home to Tennessee after contemplating going to Mexico to fight against Emperor Maximilian I. 
   Forrest, like all former Confederate soldiers, returned to his home state and was forced to deal with Reconstruction.  While he was leery and untrusting of the Northern carpetbaggers who he felt sought to exploit the ravaged South for personal gain, Forrest also considered the war to be a noble cause that was lost and now should be placed in the past.  Always a man of shrewd financial acumen, he began the work of rebuilding business in a post-war, post-slavery society. In doing so, he was more than willing to work with Southern as well as Northern brethren in order to reestablish his name and once again work towards financial security.11 Things began to change in Tennessee, for the worse, for the former Confederate soldiers in 1865 with the election of Unionist William Brownlow as governor. Governor Brownlow advocated for the mass murder of former Confederate soldiers and citizens and the seizure of their land by the Federal government. Such rhetoric infuriated former Confederates and in 1867 a group of men met in Pulaski, Tennessee to form a secret organization which they stated was being founded to protect white people from radical Reconstructionists and militant freemen. Named for the Greek word kyklos (circle), this group became known as the Ku Klux Klan.
   Much has been written regarding General Forrest’s involvement in the Klan. It has been stated that he was one of the founding members of this organization. This is not true!  Forrest was introduced to the Klan in 1868 by John Morton, one of his Army subordinates, and was eventually elected Grand Wizard of the group because of his name recognition throughout the South. 
   The original Ku Klux Klan was clearly a racist organization that opposed black equality, yet some of its earlier aims were a far cry from what the group would eventually degenerate into.  Their mission statement claimed they were “an instrument of Chivalry, Humanity, Mercy and Patriotism” who saw it as one of their primary motives to “relieve and assist the injured, oppressed, suffering, and unfortunate, especially widows and orphans of Confederate soldiers; and to support the United States Constitution and Constitutional Laws.”12 
   Even though 1869 saw the election of former Union General Ulysses S. Grant as President of the United States, it did bring about an unexpected and pleasant surprise for Forrest and the other conservative Tennessee Democrats.  Governor Brownlow resigned as governor to become a United States Senator.  His replacement, DeWitt Senter, sought to work with Democrats in the state and made efforts to appease men like Forrest. With Brownlow gone, Forrest saw no further need for the Ku Klux Klan and on January 25, 1869 he issued General Order Number One from Klan headquarters ordering that the organization be disbanded. 
   Prior to the start of the war, Forrest seemed to have the Midas touch with regard to business.  Everything he did resulted in huge profits.  Now, the opposite appeared to be true.  His plantations failed, he was named as president of two different life insurance companies and they both failed, his paving business failed, and now his beloved railroad, the Selma, Marion, and Memphis Railroad, had failed also. Forrest was becoming a broken man, both financially and spiritually.
   It has been said that some people will not look up to God until they have hit rock bottom; and that would certainly have been the case with prideful Bedford Forrest.  Life had become extremely tough for this former Confederate hero. Before the war he was wealthy and successful. Throughout the war he attained widespread fame as a hero in the South and a villain in the North.  However, after the war nothing seemed to go right.  His fortune was gone.  His fame was fleeting. His body was falling apart.  The trying circumstances of his life were being used by God for something far greater than worldly gain.  Forrest did not understand it at the time, but God was using these failures as a hammer to obliterate his pride and draw him closer to the cross of Christ. 
   God’s ways are infinite, and His grace can reach the vilest of sinners. For most of his life, Forrest viewed God as a distant and secondary reality.  Christianity was interesting to him, but he was content to be a sideline observer rather than a faithful partaker. That was about to change.13
   Like many men of his temperament and personality, Forrest had always been a proud man who was convinced that he could accomplish whatever he needed to by his own efforts.  Life’s circumstances and God’s grace were leading him to a place of submission.14 Just as the Lord Jesus said to St. Paul while on the road to Damascus, “It is difficult for Thee to kick against the goad” (Acts 26:14), the same can be said of Forrest at this point in his life.  In spite of the loving, prayerful support he was constantly receiving from Mary Ann and the prayers of his mother, and the fact that he had been divinely protected throughout the war, Forrest had stubbornly refused to offer his life to God.  However, now things were different.
   Mary Ann Forrest had come from good Presbyterian stock and it appears that she never wavered in her Christian commitment.  A faithful member of the First Cumberland Presbyterian Church, also known as the Court Avenue Presbyterian Church, in Memphis, she was now frequently accompanied to worship services by her aging husband.15
   On November 14, 1875, Bedford was once again seated next to his wife at the Court Avenue Church as Reverend George Tucker Stainback preached a sermon from Matthew 7, Jesus’ parable of the two builders.  The words of Scripture struck Forrest like a dagger in the heart.16 From the day of his birth Bedford had been living a life to building his “house”.  The hardworking son had dutifully cared for his mother and siblings after his father’s death.  Committed to escaping the squalor of eking out a meager existence on the farm, he became a successful businessman, amassing a fortune before the war.  A hero of the Confederacy, he recruited, trained, and led his cavalry troops into countless battles, and his victories were impressive and legendary.  Successful in hand-to-hand combat, he personally triumphed over thirty men in battle.  An early leader of the Ku Klux Klan and railroad executive, Bedford Forrest’s life had been devoted to building his prestige, power, and pocketbook. However, now he saw, ever so clearly, for the first time that it was a kingdom of sand and would not carry him to eternity.  As life’s failures began to accumulate for Forrest, he could finally see that all his worldly success would never gain him entrance into the eternal kingdom of heaven.  For the first time in his life, Nathan Bedford Forrest was a truly broken man.  As the world flowed from the preacher’s lips, the tears welled in Forrest’s eyes.17
   Following the sermon, Forrest approached Reverend Stainback with tears in his eyes and informed the pastor of the impact the sermon had on him.  Rather than respond overly enthusiastically to Bedford’s comments, the pastor chose to test the spirit and see if Forrest felt the same way later.  He suggested that Forrest return home, reflect upon the sermon, and get back in touch with him in a couple of days.  Two days later, Reverend Stainback visited Forrest at his home in order to continue their discussion about the passage from Matthew 7 and to pray with Bedford. Both men bowed to their knees and prayed together.  While the exact words are unknown, it appears that Forrest underwent a genuine conversion experience.  After praying, he told Reverend Stainback that he was prepared to accept Jesus as his Redeemer.
   For the first time in his life, Nathan Bedford Forrest submitted his life to Jesus Christ as Lord.  He publicly professed his faith and became a member of the First Cumberland Presbyterian Church, which he had been attending with Mary Ann.  St. Paul wrote, “If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come” (2 Cor 5:17). Nathan Bedford Forrest the fighter, gambler, racist, and sinner famed for his bravado and ferocity in battle was now a new creature in Christ. Humbled, broken, repentant, and at peace with his maker, Bedford Forrest, approaching the end of his earthly pilgrimage, began a new life in Christ.18 
   Even those who had served with and under Forrest during the war had seen a change in him.  Joseph Wheeler, who Forrest refused to serve under, which led to Bedford’s confrontation with General Bragg, came to visit Forrest at his Memphis home toward the end of Bedford’s life.  Forrest’s formerly powerful presence was now largely emaciated.  His face was thin and pale, his movements slow and deliberate.  However, the most surprising aspect was his changed personality.  Wheeler recounted, “Every line or suggestion of harshness had disappeared, and he seemed to possess in these last days the gentleness of expression, the voice and manner of a woman.”19 In nineteenth century language, Wheeler was describing Forrest as a man who was now humble, meek and Christ like in his attitude. The change must have seemed even more dramatic to Wheeler, who during the war had been the recipient of one of Forrest’s legendary tirades, swearing he would never serve under him again. Now Forrest was different.  God had changed him. 20
    While it certainly does not justify his attitude, it is important to keep in mind that white supremacist language in the South during Forrest’s lifetime would have been considered common parlance.  His connection to the Ku Klux Klan has helped to convince many that Bedford Forrest must have gone to his grave hating black Americans simply because of the color of their skin.  Before coming to such a conclusion I encourage you to read the following speech.  In 1875, Bedford was invited to speak before the Independent Order of Pole Bearers, a civil rights group make up black citizens from the Memphis, TN area.  The human heart can be transformed at any time, assuming, of course that the person wishes to reform their life and undergo the change necessary to become the person that God wants him or her to be.
    Does the content of this speech sound like it was uttered by a man who was angry at blacks simply for being black or has this person undergone a change?  Rather than try to convince you with fancy arguments, I would prefer that Bedford’s own words show you what a transformation he had undergone:

Forrest's speech during a meeting of the "Jubilee of Pole Bearers" is a story that needs to be told. Gen. Forrest was the first white man to be invited by this group which was a forerunner of today's Civil Right's group. A reporter of the Memphis Avalanche newspaper was sent to cover the event that included a Southern barbeque supper.
Miss Lou Lewis, daughter of a Pole Bearer member, was introduced to Forrest and she presented the former general a bouquet of flowers as a token of reconciliation, peace and good will. On July 5, 1875, Nathan Bedford Forrest delivered this speech:

"Ladies and Gentlemen, I accept the flowers as a memento of reconciliation between the white and colored races of the Southern states. I accept it more particularly as it comes from a colored lady, for if there is any one on God's earth who loves the ladies I believe it is myself. (Immense applause and laughter.) I came here with the jeers of some white people, who think that I am doing wrong. I believe I can exert some influence, and do much to assist the people in strengthening fraternal relations, and shall do all in my power to elevate every man, to depress none.
I want to elevate you to take positions in law offices, in stores, on farms, and wherever you are capable of going. I have not said anything about politics today. I don't propose to say anything about politics. You have a right to elect whom you please; vote for the man you think best, and I think, when that is done, you and I are freemen. Do as you consider right and honest in electing men for office. I did not come here to make you a long speech, although invited to do so by you. I am not much of a speaker, and my business prevented me from preparing myself. I came to meet you as friends, and welcome you to the white people. I want you to come nearer to us. When I can serve you I will do so. We have but one flag, one country; let us stand together. We may differ in color, but not in sentiment. Many things have been said about me which are wrong, and which white and black persons here, who stood by me through the war, can contradict. Go to work, be industrious, live honestly and act truly, and when you are oppressed I'll come to your relief. I thank you, ladies and gentlemen, for this opportunity you have afforded me to be with you, and to assure you that I am with you in heart and in hand." (Prolonged applause.)

End of speech.

Nathan Bedford Forrest again thanked Miss Lewis for the bouquet and then gave her a kiss on the cheek. Such a kiss was unheard of in the society of those days, in 1875, but it showed a token of respect and friendship between the general and the black community and did much to promote harmony among the citizens of Memphis. 21

   While you and I may never need to confess to God about our racist beliefs and actions, gamble on a regular basis, or have a fiery temper which gets us into trouble on a regular basis, the truth is that, as St. Paul stated, “We all fall short of the glory of God” (Rm 3:23). 
   The love of God truly can transform anyone.  One thing we all have in common is that we are all sinners.  Our baptism has freed us from the power and death and taken away the punishment we deserve by virtue of Original Sin. If the love of God can transform the life of a man like Lt. General Nathan Bedford Forrest, CSA, just imagine what it can do for us.

                                                         End Notes

1)    Kastler, Shane E. Nathan Bedford Forrest’s Redemption (LA: Pelican, 2010), 21
2)    Kastler, p. 28
3)    Kastler, p. 30
4)    Kastler, p. 33
5)    Hurst, Jack Nathan Bedford Forrest: A Biography (NY: Vintage Books, 1994), p. 140
6)    Hurst, p. 169
7)    Hurst, p. 172
8)    Wyeth, John A. Life of Nathan Bedford Forrest (NY: 1899), p. 634
9)    Kastler, p. 105
10)  Kastler, p. 107
11) Kastler, p. 111
12) Horn, Stanley Invisible Empire: The Story of the Ku Klux Klan, 1866-1871 (MT: Kessinger Publishers, 2008), p. 428
13) Kastler, p. 134
14) Kastler, p. 135
15) Kastler, p. 136
16) Kastler, p. 138
17) Kastler, p. 139
18) Kastler, p. 142
19) Wyeth, p. 552
20) Kastler, p. 152
21) The Memphis Appeal (July 6, 1875)

Stanley Horn Invisible Empire: The Story of the Ku Klux Klan, 1866-1871 (MT: Kessinger Publishers, 2008)

Jack Hurst Nathan Bedford Forrest: A Biography (NY: Vintage Books, 1994)

Shane E. Kastler Nathan Bedford Forrest’s Redemption (LA: Pelican, 2010)

John A. Wyeth Life of Nathan Bedford Forrest (NY: 1899)

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