General Forrest At War

Lieutenant General Nathan Bedford Forrest was one of the most intriguing characters to emerge during the American Civil War. There have been numerous books and articles concerning General Forrest, with themes ranging from hero worship based on his extraordinary successes to condemnation based on his association with Fort Pillow and the Ku Klux Klan. Rather than attempting to add to the list of biographies, this book is a narrative of the campaigns and battles. Someone desiring to follow the path General Forrest followed during the war and understand his actions will be able to do so. At the end of each chapter, I review the campaign just outlined an attempt to gauge how Forrest grew in ability and potential as a result of it. The book covers his entire Civil War career in almost 500 pages, with 109 maps.

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'A Reluctant Hero's Footsteps'

In 2011 by chance I discovered the after action reports of the 329th Infantry Regiment, my father’s wartime unit, on the internet. An idea was born: use these to reconstruct my father’s path in World War II. I would take my three children, Richard, Mary, and Stephen, on a trip to retrace those footsteps. This book is about our travels, but it is much more. It documents the life of a man and his family, the history of a unit, and how we were able to piece together the story. In fitting all the records together with the trip itself, I discovered my father in new ways and built a memory for my children.

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'Sherman Invades Georgia'

The Atlanta Campaign of 1864 was one of the most important and interesting campaigns of the Civil War. At its beginning, the Confederate army in the West--the Army of Tennessee--was strong and capable even though outnumbered locally. By the end of the campaign, the Union army had occupied northern Georgia and Atlanta, the rail hub of the Confederacy. This book illustrates the choices General Sherman faced when he planned the campaign. A real difference between this book and most similar books is its concentration on campaign planning rather than on one or more battles. In military terms, the book concerns the "operational" level of war.

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Civil War Tours

If you would like to set up a Civil War tour for your club or civic group, John can conduct two different tours, each lasting one full day. Each tour follows the path of General Nathan Bedford Forrest during one of his campaigns, retracing his route and pausing at the site of each engagement for a detailed explanation.  

- Tour sizes range from a van through a large touring bus (up to sixty people).

- Costs will vary depending on size but will include the cost of the vehicle and driver, a luncheon meal, and a small speaking fee.

- E-mail John at the address below for details.

Tour #1

Streight’s Raid

Leaving from Huntsville, this tour starts at the Battle of Town Creek, then winds its way east along back roads across North Alabama to Gaylesville, where Forrest finally forced Streight’s surrender. Included are stops at Day’s Gap, Hog Mountain, Blountsville (lunch), Royal Ford, Wills Creek, Black Creek (Emma Sansom), Blount’s Plantation, and the surrender site. Little walking is required and handicapped persons can still see almost everything without dismounting. Tour length including return to Huntsville is approximately 11 hours.

Tour #2

Railroad Raid

Leaving from Huntsville or Athens, this tours covers several spots in Athens, then goes north to Sulphur Creek and then to Taney’s Shop near Pulaski. From Pulaski the tours leaves Forrest’s route to pick it up again at Spring Hill and Columbia. While in Columbia the tour will include sites associated with the altercation that occurred when Lieutenant Gould, one of Forrest’s subordinates, tried to kill Forrest with a pistol and Forrest mortally wounded Gould with a penknife. This tour involves some walking upon two occasions, the most strenuous being about a quarter mile uphill to see the Sulphur Trestle Fort. Tour length including return to Huntsville is approximately 10 hours.