Nathan Bedford Forrest was the only individual in either army to enlist as a private and be promoted to general officer and corps commander during the U.S. Civil War. Nathan Bedford Forrest, called Bedford Forrest in his lifetime, was a lieutenant general in the Confederate Army during the American Civil War. Military leaders in the war stated that Forrest had a gift for leadership, strategy and tactics. He created and established new doctrines for mobile (cavalry) forces, earning the nickname The Wizard of the Saddle.

He is overall remembered as a self educated, brutal, and innovative cavalry leader. Before the war, Forrest had amassed a fortune as a planter, real estate investor, and slave trader. In the post war years, he was seen as a leading Southern advocate. He was a pledged delegate from Tennessee to the New York Democratic national convention of July 4, 1868. He served as the first Grand Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan; but, he later distanced himself from the organization. He was born on July 13, 1821 and lived until October 29, 1877. He died in Memphis, Tennessee at the age of 56.

More Info: