Friday, October 02, 2015

Your Suit Sir!

In August of 1864 at he height of the American Civil War the Union high command wanted to keep the Confederate General Forrest pinned down, so that he wouldn't attack Sherman's Atlanta-bound supply lines. Forest was in north Mississippi at the time with about 6000 cavalry. Several drives into the state had achieved the purpose, but the August drive was different. Sherman wanted General Washburne (commander of the region, located in Memphis) to hunt down and destroy Forrest's command.

He set out to do this with 18000 hard hitting veterans. As the plunged into Mississippi Forrest, down to about 5000 men now, split his force. He threw up a screen to hold the federals at bay and launched a lightening raid . . . something he was well known for . . . on Memphis with the intent to disrupt the Union attack and capture the three commanding Generals in town, including Washburne. The attack succeeded in breaking the Union advance as with very light casualties Forrest turned things upside down and force the advancing army to return to Memphis to defend the city.

Though Forrest failed to capture any generals, his brother did make off with General Washburne's finally tailed dress uniform. Forrest, under a flag of truce, returned the uniform to Washburne. Washburn, in return, hired Forrest's old tailer (Forrest live in and around Memphis) to tailer the Confederate General a new uniform and under a flag of truce, sent it to the hard riding commander.

Warfare in the old days . . . .


Post Script: Forrest later joined the KKK commanding it military wing, if not the organization. However he soon repudiated the organization and disbanded it. He later spoke for reconciliation between black and white Americans.

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