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Topics in Chronicling America - Confederate Prodigy; Nathan Bedford Forrest

Nathan Bedford Forrest was a Confederate general widely portrayed by the Southern press as the Civil War’s most daring and cunning cavalryman. With no formal military training, Forrest quickly rose from the ranks of private to lieutenant general. Following the war, he served as the Ku Klux Klan’s first grand wizard, but later called for the organization’s disbandment. Read more about it!

The information and sample article links below provide access to a sampling of articles from historic newspapers that can be found in the Chronicling America: American Historic Newspapers digital collection ( Use the Suggested Search Terms and Dates to explore this topic further in Chronicling America.

Drawing of Nathan Bedford Forrest

Jump to: Sample Articles

Important Dates:

  • August 23, 1879. Picture of a brilliant private turned general.
  • March 1901. Reviews article covering Forrest’s military exploits.
  • May 16, 1905. Thousands attend unveiling of General Forrest bronze statue.
  • October. 5, 1906. Memphis plans tribute to Forrest’s Cavalry.
  • October 28, 1906. Story links Forrest to KKK.
  • January 9, 1908. Forrest plans to disband KKK.
  • May 28, 1911. Forrest’s favorite war story involves a brave young girl.
  • December 15, 1914. Biography of the South’s dashing cavalry leader and “Invisible Empire” Grand Wizard.

Suggested Search Strategies:

  • [Try the following terms in combination, proximity, or as phrases using Search Pages in Chronicling America.] Nathan Bedford Forrest, Grand Wizard, Ku Klux Klan disbanded.
  • It is important to use a specific date range if looking for articles for a particular event in order to narrow your results.
  • Be prepared to distinguish between the many articles that discuss other Confederate soldiers, affiliates of the Ku Klux Klan, and later generations of the Forrest bloodline who share the name.

Sample Articles from Chronicling America:

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  June 27, 2015
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