Author who analyzed each of Forrest’s campaigns will speak at Civil War Round Table

Author who analyzed each of Forrest’s campaigns will speak at Civil War Round Table

Author John Scales will be presenting and signing copies of his new book, The Battles and Campaigns of General Nathan Bedford Forrest, 1861-1865.

The book follows each of Forrest’s campaigns during the Civil War, and even has driving directions approximating the routes.

The event is at 3 p.m. on Sunday, April 8, 2018, hosted by the Franklin Civil War Round Table at Camton Plantation’s Fleming Center (1345 Eastern Flank Circle FranklinTN 37064).

Nathan Bedford Forrest

Nathan Bedford Forrest was one of the most intriguing and controversial characters to emerge during the Civil War. Books and articles on the man span the gamut from hero worship because of his remarkable battlefield victoriesto condemnation for his involvement with the slaughter at Fort Pillow and later, his association with the Ku Klux Klan.

John R. Scales, a retired Special Forces brigadier general with more than three decades of service, including combat tours in Vietnam and Afghanistan, plows new ground with The Battles and Campaigns of General Nathan Bedford Forrest, 1861-1865, a careful and unique examination of Forrest’s wartime activities and how his actions affected the war in the Western Theater.

Each chapter covers specific raids or campaigns, all arranged chronologically. After describing the environment within which Forrest operated, which helps readers understand the larger situation within which his movements were made and his battles were fought, Gen. Scales narrates the decisions Forrest and his opponents made and the actions they took. Firsthand sources, including heavy use of documents and reports from the Official Records, coupled with 109 original maps, make it easy to understand the often complex background, movements, and engagements involving Forrest and his command.

Scales’ study is also a meticulous guide to Forrest’s campaigns. For example, each action is augmented with detailed driving directions to allow readers to examine his battlefields and the routes his cavalry took during its famous raids, and follow in his footsteps, experiencing the terrain much the same way he did. A detailed review and assessment of each raid or campaign follows the description of the actions and the associated driving instructions.

Scales relies upon his own extensive military background to help evaluate and explain how and why Forrest grew in command ability and potential as a result of his experiences … or didn’t.

Scales, who has a Ph.D. in engineering and worked in that field after retiring from the military, has written two previous books: Sherman Invades Georgia (Naval Institute Press, 2006) and A Reluctant Hero’s Footsteps (Westbow Press, 2012). A past president of the Tennessee Valley Civil War Roundtable, he leads Civil War campaign tours in Alabama, Tennessee, and Georgia.

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