$1000 Bank Bond Signed by Confederate General Nathan Bedford Forrest
$1000 Bank Bond Signed by Confederate General Nathan Bedford Forrest – Nathan Bedford Forrest (July 13, 1821 – October 29, 1877) was a lieutenant general in the Confederate Army during the American Civil War. He is remembered both as a self-educated, innovative cavalry leader during the war and as a leading southern advocate in the postwar years. He served as the first Grand Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan. A cavalry and military commander in the war, Forrest was one of the war’s most unusual figures. Less educated than many of his fellow officers, Forrest had already amassed a fortune as a planter, real estate investor, and slave trader before the war. He was one of the few officers in either army to enlist as a private and be promoted to general officer and division commander, by the end of the war. Although Forrest lacked a formal military education, he had a gift for strategy and tactics. He created and established new doctrines for mobile forces, earning the nickname “The Wizard of the Saddle”. Forrest was accused of war crimes at the Battle of Fort Pillow for allowing forces, under his command, to conduct a massacre of hundreds of black Union Army and white Southern Unionist prisoners. Union Major General William T. Sherman investigated the allegations and did not charge Forrest with any improprieties. In their postwar writings, Confederate President Jefferson Davis and General Robert E. Lee both expressed their belief that the Confederate high command had failed to fully utilize Forrest’s talents. He later found employment at the Selma-based Marion & Memphis Railroad and eventually became the company president. He was not as successful in railroad promoting as in war, and under his direction, the company went bankrupt. Nearly ruined as the result of the failure of the Selma, Marion and Memphis Railroad in the early 1870′s, Forrest spent his final days running a prison work farm on President’s Island in the Mississippi River. Forrest’s health descended into steady decline, and he and his wife were forced to live in a log cabin they had salvaged from his plantation. This Selma, Marion and Memphis Railroad Company $1000, 8% first mortgage bond, is dated September 1,1869; it is stamped, in red, #37 (as are all of the coupons), and is signed twice by Nathan Bedford Forrest as president on recto and verso; the engraved scene on the bond depicts, at the top of the bond, a train arriving at a station; in the lower right, workers pick and tote cotton; the overall color is green with a choice gold underprint. This bond is complete and has been archivally framed in a very attractive way; the reverse of the bond is visible through a window made in the back of the matting. The bond is in superior condition, retaining great color and all but two of its original coupons.