Here is another study into the dark parts of the human psyche. A brilliant mind that warped and turned foul. If not for his post-war evils, he would be one of the great heroes of the Union.
Ulysses S. Grant called him "that devil Forrest." Another Union general, William Tecumseh Sherman, it is reported, considered him "the most remarkable man our civil war produced on either side." He was unquestionably one of the Civil War's most brilliant tacticians. Without military education or training, he became the scourge of Grant, Sherman, and almost every other Union general who fought in Tennessee, Alabama, or Kentucky. Forrest fought by simple rules: he maintained that "war means fighting and fighting means killing" and that the way to win was "to get there first with the most men." His cavalry, which Sherman reported in disgust "could travel one hundred miles in less time it takes ours to travel ten," secured more Union guns, horses, and supplies than any other single Confederate unit. He played pivotal roles at Fort Donelson, Shiloh, the capture of Murfreesboro, the Franklin-Nashville campaign, Brice's Cross Roads, and in pursuit and capture of Streight's Raiders
Yea, evil is the right word. Remember kids, one of the early goals of the KKK was to encourage black men and women that Slavery was a good thing and they should go back to being property. And you may think that is a simplification...
After the Civil War had ended, the United States Congress began passing the Reconstruction Acts to lay out requirements for the former Confederate States to be re-admitted to the Union, to include ratification of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution. One of its stipulations was specifically granting voting rights to black men. According to Wills, in the August 1867 state elections the Klan was relatively restrained in its actions. White Americans who made up the KKK hoped to persuade black voters that a return to their prewar state of bondage was in their best interest. Forrest assisted in maintaining order. It was after these efforts failed that Klan violence and intimidation escalated and became widespread. Author Andrew Ward, however, writes, "In the spring of 1867, Forrest and his dragoons launched a campaign of midnight parades; 'ghost' masquerades; and 'whipping' and even 'killing Negro voters and white Republicans, to scare blacks off voting and running for office.'"