Nathan Bedford Forrest

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Get there the first with the most men.

Nathan Bedford Forrest (13 July 182129 October 1877) was a lieutenant general in the Confederate Army during the American Civil War. He is remembered both for his success as a cavalry leader during the war and notorious as a founder of the Ku Klux Klan following the war.

Sources[edit]

  • Get there first with the most men.
    • Reported by General Basil W. Duke and Richard Taylor
    • Often erroneously reported as "Git thar fustest with the most mostest." In The Quote Verifier : Who Said What, Where, and When (2006) by Ralph Keyes, p. 272, the phrase he used has also been reported to have been "I always make it a rule to get there first with the most men" and "I just took the short cut and got there first with the most men."
  • Every moment lost is worth the life of a thousand men.
    • Said to Braxton Bragg at Chickamauga, September 18-20, 1863. As quoted in May I Quote You, General Forrest? by Randall Bedwell.
  • Boys, do you hear that musketry and that artillery? It means that our friends are falling by the hundreds at the hands of the enemy, and here we are guarding a damned creek! Let's go and help them. What do you say?
    • Said to his men at Shiloh, 1862. As quoted in May I Quote You, General Forrest? by Randall Bedwell.
  • War means fighting, and fighting means killing.
    • As quoted in May I Quote You, General Forrest? by Randall Bedwell.
  • If you surrender, you shall be treated as prisoners of war, but if I have to storm your works, you may expect no quarter.
    • As quoted in May I Quote You, General Forrest? by Randall Bedwell.
  • Does the damned fool want to be blown up? Well, blow him up then. Give him hell, Captain Morton- as hot as you've got it, too.
    • At Athens, Alabama, 1864. ** As quoted in May I Quote You, General Forrest? by Randall Bedwell.
  • There is no doubt we could soon wipe old Sherman off the face of the earth, John, if they'd give me enough men and you enough guns.
    • To Captain John Morton, 1864. ** As quoted in May I Quote You, General Forrest? by Randall Bedwell.
  • I've got no respect for a young man who won't join the colors.
  • ** As quoted in May I Quote You, General Forrest? by Randall Bedwell.
  • I'll officer you.
    • Said by Forrest, with saber drawn, to a young lieutenant who would not help in dousing flames on supply wagons set on fire by Union troops on their retreat to Memphis. As quoted in May I Quote You, General Forrest? by Randall Bedwell.
  • That we are beaten is a self-evident fact, and any further resistance on our part would be justly regarded as the very height of folly and rashness.
    • Forrest to his men, 1865. As quoted in May I Quote You, General Forrest? by Randall Bedwell.
  • Preserve untarnished the reputation you have so nobly won.
    • Part of Forrest's last address to his men, 1865. As quoted in May I Quote You, General Forrest? by Randall Bedwell.
  • Civil war, such as you have just passed through, naturally engenders feelings of animosity, hatred and revenge. It is our duty to divest ourselves of all such feelings, and, so far as it is in our power to do so, to cultivate feelings toward those with whom we have so long contested, and heretofore so widely but honestly differed. Whatever your responsibilities may be to government, to society, or to individuals, meet them like men.
    • Forrest's farewell address to his men, May 9, 1865. As quoted in May I Quote You, General Forrest? by Randall Bedwell.
  • Men, you may all do as you damn please, but I'm a-goin' home.
    • Forrest to Charles Clark, Governor of Mississippi and Isham G. Harris, former Governor of Tennessee, in response to the request that he keep fighting. As quoted in May I Quote You, General Forrest? by Randall Bedwell.

Quotes about Forrest[edit]

  • My God, men, will you see them kill your general? I will go to his rescue if not a man follows me!
    • Colonel McCulloch to his men when Forrest was engaged in hand-to-hand fighting with Federal troops at Okolona, Mississippi. As quoted in May I Quote You, General Forrest? by Randall Bedwell.
  • General Forrest was not cruel, nor necessarily severe, but he would not be trifled with.
    • Anonymous officer under Forrest's command. As quoted in May I Quote You, General Forrest? by Randall Bedwell.
  • Follow Forrest to the death if it costs 10,000 lives and breaks the Treasury. There will never be peace in Tennessee till Forrest is dead.
    • General William T. Sherman. As quoted in May I Quote You, General Forrest? by Randall Bedwell.

External links[edit]

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