See John Allen Wyeth's "That Devil Forrest" (forwarded by Henry Steele Commager) LSU Press, or Jack Hurst's "Nathan Bedford Forrest: A Biography."
I bought my Hurst book many years ago, while touring Carnton House, just below Nashville, and believe it the bible on Forrest.
Forrest died in Memphis at 56, in 1877, of diabetes. Maligned, though never convicted for his part in the Fort Pillow 'massacre,' he suffered his only real setback in the field at Parker's Crossroads, just 40 miles east of the Tennessee River. The Civil War's greatest historian, Shelby Foote, named him "the greatest person produced by the war." Believed even today by the public-at-large a bigot, Forrest--slave trader, soldier, klansman--was penitant near life's end, and frequently, publicly renounced his earlier hatreds. Wrote Hurst: "The reality is that over the length of his lifetime Nathan Bedford Forrest's racial attitudes probably developed more, and more in the direction of liberal enlightenment, than those of most other Americans in the nation's history."
Those who continue to deride Forrest in the name of 'racial justice' are largely those who've never studied the man.
To mention Rommel's name in the same category with George McClelland is sacrilege. A lifelong teetotaler (see: David Irving's "The Trail of the Fox"), Rommel would be tipping the bottle today were he to know he's been included with McClelland on Feldgrau.
Rommel and Forrest, yes--but Rommel and McClelland?
Has someone besides me been drinking?
Fact is, McClelland was fortunate to have been removed from command early, and to have never seen duty in the west. Had he been so unfortunate as to have tangled with Forrest, it's arguable he'd have lost the Mississippi and the entire Tennessee valley.
J.E.B. Stuart, "The Gray Ghost," "Old Blue-eye" Thomas Jackson, and Forrest. Imagine having guys like this on the Russian Front, in Afrika? Might've turned the tide for the Axis.
But McClelland? I'd rather have Ambrose Burnside, if it came between these two men....