[CIVIL WAR]. FORREST, Nathan Bedford. Autograph letter signed (''N.B. Forrest'') to an unidentified general [Braxton Bragg?], ''HeadQuarters'', Hillsborough, [TN], 25 March 1865. 2 2/3 pages, 8vo, integral leaf tipped to separate sheet, one minor repair to margin.
[CIVIL WAR]. FORREST, Nathan Bedford. Autograph letter signed ("N.B. Forrest") to an unidentified general [Braxton Bragg?], "HeadQuarters", Hillsborough, [TN], 25 March 1865. 2 2/3 pages, 8vo, integral leaf tipped to separate sheet, one minor repair to margin.
A CIVIL WAR AUTOGRAPH RARITY: THE INFAMOUS CONFEDERATE GENERAL NATHAN BEDFORD FORREST REPORTS A SUCCESSFUL RAID
A very rare war-dated autograph letter in which Forrest reports the details of a successful raid against a Union garrison at Brentwood, Tennessee. On the night of March 24, Forrest maneuvered his men within striking distance of a Union garrison at Brentwood and on the morning of the 25th, the Confederates prepared to strike. When the Union commander saw that he was nearly surrounded he ordered his men to surrender without a fight. Here, in a letter that was likely written to Confederate General Braxton Bragg, commander of the Army of Tennessee, Forrest reports his success: "I dispatched you on yesterday from Brentwood at 10 O.C. A.M. stating that I had captured Brentwood with the stockade and burnt the bri[d]g[e]. I captured 765 privates & 35 commissioned officers making 800...I captured all so [sic] 16 niggers & trains & 4 ambulances with all this stores & arms. I have had to fall back to this place to protect my prisoners as the enemys cavalry was pushing me hard and had stampeded the 4[th] Miss[issippi] Reg[iment] and [N.N.]Cox's Regiment. I have gotten the prisoners & arms & baggage all off safe and directed Col. [James H.] Edmondson & Maj. Sanders to cross at Williamsport and report to Capt. Sims this evening with the prisoners turning over the captured property to the proper officers." The fight that Forrest mentions occurred after the general left a small command at Brentwood to guard the wagons. These Confederates was subsequently attacked by Union reinforcements that had been rushed to the scene and several of the captured wagons were lost. Forrest reports the casualties of the action and requests orders: "You will please direct what should be done with the prisoners. I find my artil[l]ery horses are jaded that I will return this evening to Spring Hill. You will please designate wherein you wish me to camp my Div[ision] My loss was three kil[le]d and five wounded. The enemy's loss was fifteen kil[le]d & thirty five wounded. I lost one Lieut. out of Cox's Regiment & two privates of Russells Regiment. I send Col. Course to Columbia for the purpose of fetching out my niggers & he will carry any dispatches you may desire."
VERY RARE. Only one other war-date ALS of Forrest has been offered at auction since 1975, according to ABPC.