Nathan Bedford Forrest was known as the ‘wizard of the saddle’, and post-war would become the first Grand Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan. His foray into Tennessee in the summer of 1862 established his trademark lightning cavalry raid. Coordinated with fellow raider John Hunt Morgan in Kentucky, Forrest rode with 1,400 troops from McMinnville. After checking the dispositions of Union troops round Murfreesboro, he picked off the three concentrations one by one. Then he stormed the town, before returning to McMinville, alternately dodging and harrying Union pursuers on the way. After a final raid on a railroad depot at Manchester he left the territory, loaded with captured supplies and munitions, having destroyed far more during his depredations. At Murfreesboro, he had released several citizens under death sentence for ‘crimes against the Lincoln dynasty’, cementing his folk hero reputation. He would continue be a scourge of Union military pretension – and constipated logistics – throughout the war.
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