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Accession number 1996.019
Catalog Number 1996.019
Collection Pearce Civil War Collection
Object Name Letter
Title Forrest (Nathan Bedford) Papers, 1866-1868
Creator Forrest (Nathan Bedford)
Date Sept. 16, 1866
Dates of Creation Sept. 13, 1866
Scope & Content Two letters included in this collection are written to Forrest's colleagues defending his actions during the battle of Fort Pillow. The first letter (September 13,1866, 3 pages) was written to Maj. William Brent and is a rather calm refusal of the attacks made on Forrest's character. Forrest talks of his ruination because of the Fort Pillow controversy and his plans to clear his name. "I am making out a full statement of the so called Fort Pillow massacre and so soon as completed I will send it forward to the President as Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States in which I state that if my explanation is not satisfactory I demand an investigation by a Board of Officers. I am as well as yourself ruined by the war." Also mentioned in the letter are references to Forrest's protestations of President Andrew Johnson's Reconstruction policies.
The second letter (November 16, 1868, 1 ¼ pages) was written to a Mr. C.A. White is full of sharp words and shows signs of a fiery temper. Forrest had only recently received his pardon from the President, so perhaps he felt he could let his true emotions out. Forrest again defends himself and this time he attacks his accusers. "The charges made against me, are as false and black as the hearts of the men who made them."
Finding Aids Available in the archives or online at
People Forrest, Nathan Bedford
Brent, William
White, C. A.
Johnson, Andrew
Brent, W., Major
Search Terms Moral principals
Political opinions
Political parties
Subjects Fort Pillow Massacre
Memphis, TN
St. Louis, MO
Oxford, MS
The Philadelphia Convention (Political)
Soldiers and Sailors Convention (Columbus, OH)
Credit line Pearce Civil War Collection
Copyrights The copyright of these materials is managed by the Navarro College Archives on behalf of the Navarro College Foundation, 3100 W. Collin St., Corsicana, Texas 75110 Phone: 903-875-7438. Internet:

Reproductions of original materials and transcriptions may be available. Please contact the archivist for further information.
Physical characteristics English