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Very interesting paper, Pastor Shane. I enjoyed reading it and I learned a great deal that I had not known before. Very sad that anyone, white or black, liberal or conservative, would seek to "hide" the most poignant and important historical fact about this man's life--that the Lord Jesus became His Savior!

Your interest in Civil War history has benefited us all:)



I have been reading this blog for some time now but never bothered to comment until today. Wanted to let you know that I am a fan and enjoy your work.


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Very nice article sir & thank you for helping to set the record straight. One slight correction though: The Battle of Fort Donelson was February 12 to February 16, 1862 & not 1864. There was also the Battle of Dover but was February 3, 1863.
Keep up the fine work & God bless~

RE: As Fort Donelson was falling to U.S. Grant in 1864, Forrest called his second in command, a former Methodist minister named Major D.C. Kelly to his side and implored him, “For God’s sake Parson, Pray! Only God Almighty could save that Fort now.”

william Burris

I cannot believe I have never heard about Forrest's conversion. I am so please to know I will see him in heaven some sweet day. Outstanding!


Thanks for sharing such a nice thinking, post is nice, thats why i have read it entirely

Richard Williams

Thank you for an inspiring and uplifting story. I was aware that Forrest became a Christian in the final years of his life but had never read about the details of his conversion before, nor about his speech to the Pole-Bearers. It is heart-warming to know how Jesus can save such a man and his statements and actions in the short time remaining in his life are testimony to the reality and validity of his conversion.

Julie LaPierre

Bearing in mind the most recent attempt to move the grave of General Forrest, this post is most valuable. Thank you for the time and effort made in composing it.

Lance Owen

Love this piece! I agree with Julie LaPierre. The truth needs to be told about the rest of this man's life after he was saved.

Travis Thompson

Sad that neither side brings up his conversion to Christ. The pro-Forrest people simply state that he made a reconciliation and the anti-Forrest...well they want to remember his sins instead of acknowledging his savior. This a link to a Sermon on NBF that I came across right before finding your blog. I have not heard it all yet, but it seems to have some facts about his life and his conversion. https://video.search.yahoo.com/video/play;_ylt=A0LEVu_kIKRVExEAZpZjmolQ;_ylu=X3oDMTB0bm5pazcwBHNlYwNzYwRjb2xvA2JmMQR2dGlkA0ZGR0UwMV8x?p=ken+burns+on+Nathan+Bedford+Forrest&tnr=21&vid=42DD4F5188396C3C226042DD4F5188396C3C2260&l=240&turl=http%3A%2F%2Fts4.mm.bing.net%2Fth%3Fid%3DWN.bZ8gk23q1j1q9MU638l8%252fA%26pid%3D15.1&sigi=1214u3gfr&rurl=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.youtube.com%2Fwatch%3Fv%3DFZvVVm3I6cU&sigr=11brimi1t&tt=b&tit=Sherman+%2F+Forrest&sigt=10h36bdtg&back=https%3A%2F%2Fsearch.yahoo.com%2Fyhs%2Fsearch%3Fp%3Dken%2Bburns%2Bon%2BNathan%2BBedford%2BForrest%26vm%3Dp%26type%3Dsearch_1%26param1%3D6496623%26param2%3D0%26param3%3D55%26param4%3D394175694%26hsimp%3Dyhs-prodege_001%26hspart%3Dprodege%26fr%3Dyhs-prodege-prodege_001%26ei%3DUTF-8&sigb=16o6f8n0k&hspart=prodege&hsimp=yhs-prodege_001&vm=p

Shane Kastler

Thanks for the comments. I've given several speeches/ sermons on Forrest's Christianity. Here is the link to one of them: http://www.sermonaudio.com/sermoninfo.asp?SID=713151813424

Bob Metcalf


Shane Kastler

Numerous sources, all annotated and footnoted in my book "Nathan Bedford Forrest's Redemption." Along with a full bibliography. Thanks for the question.

lee sandro

well done


THANKS FOR Sharing. have heard much on his conversion, but unfortunately many have not. Still so much hatred and no forgiveness in our nation.

T. J. JOHNSON, JR. [email protected]

Klan Archives

As a member of the American Christian Dixie Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, I must correct some misnomers. The Klan was a defensive, militant organization in the 1860's, out of necessity, as you alluded to, however in the 1920's we abstained from violence, as you can find based upon the consensus of the membership, if you read their material, the consensus of our Imperial Wizards Hiram Wesley Evans, William Joseph Simmons, & James A. Colescott, I will quote from all of them if you wish, my point being that the Klan are a fraternal organization dedicated to our god, our race, our nation. The demon you constructed is not, and has never been, us. Non Silba Sed Anthar.

Richard Dean

If I may, I will add one more story to this summary of Bedford Forrest's life. At his death in October 1877, a funeral parade was held in Memphis to render honor to him, attended by numerous Confederate war veterans, both from his former command and from the general ranks of other Confederate units. Some lived in or near Memphis, but others traveled from often distant places to join together to pay their respects. A little known but true fact of that event is that many hundreds of black Memphians also came out to march in the parade. Why? They had come to know and respect Mr. Forrest as their friend and a good neighbor, a white man who consistently showed them kindness and courtesy in numerous ways. This was also a feature of his Christian decency in his conduct with them. So, on that day, his black friends and neighbors wanted to express their esteem for him, not as a former General of the Confederate Army, but as a man they grew to love and trust because that was how he regarded them. Today in Memphis, the sad truth is that most Memphians have either forgotten these facts of history, or they simply never knew the entire truth of his life. And some today clearly do not want to know the complete truth. So, they publicly disgrace themselves by acting like hooligans to heap disrespect on a man who should be a renowned example of how the love and grace of Jesus can take a sinful life and remake it into something grand and beautiful. Memphis has made a clear choice to ignore an important feature of its history, and as a resident of the Memphis area, and as one who has studied the life of Bedford Forrest, I am disappointed in this sad failure by even the elected leadership of Memphis and Shelby County. Mr. Forrest is a proof that the totality of one's life should be examined to discern its worth, but today most refuse to do this. And in this failure, we see a great loss in the effort to know the wider truth of history, even in the chambers of our Tennessee Legislature. I know this is a bit long, but I think it had to be said. Thank you.

Edna Billingsley

Enjoyed this article very much! Had never read this before, and I’ve read a lot about the man. Have a great interest in him, since one of my ancestors rode with him during the war.
Thank you for writing this. God Bless!
Edna Bilingsley

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