Although Nathan Bedford Forrest has been much maligned by those driving the bus in circles today – and the folks in Memphis – I found that there are few role models of such high caliber today. For one thing Forrest is recognized nearly worldwide as the finest cavalry Commander in all of history. His tactics are taught everywhere. Also, Forrest had such a reputation during the Civil War that several times, even when he was outnumbered, he would demand the surrender of forts and troops which outnumbered him greatly, and they would surrender. Forrest had a habit in such situations of lighting very many campfires where no troops were camped, leaving one trooper to tend about a dozen fires. The Union troops would watch this at night and be convinced that Forrest had many more in his troop than he actually did. The following morning they would be ready to give up.
True, Forrest was involved in slave trading before the war, but he would never break up a family when offering slaves for sale. However, most don’t know – because we were never taught this – that the biggest slave market in the country was located a few blocks from the Lincoln’s Capitol Building in Washington City. At that time Washington had not become Washington DC yet. that wouldn’t happen until Grant took the Oval Office.
It should also be remembered that Forrest sold horses, land, was a blacksmith, served on the Memphis City Council before the war, and was a plantation owner. During the war, if a woman or a group of women came to General Forrest with a problem, Forrest always turned his troops to go fix the problem. But enough about the Civil War. I should mention though that after the war the Freedman’s Bureau warned Forrest that he was too generous to his black tenant farmers, and the Forrest’s funeral was attended by 3,000 blacks whom he had helped.
From reading this book I discovered that while I was working I had delivered packages to every area in which Nathan Bedford Forrest ever owned land, but I also learned that Forrest, before the war, also owned land in Tunica County, where we are. So, I started asking questions, and I didn’t have to go too far. When I asked our very own Tait Seldon he picked up the phone and had an answer.
I learned that if you travel north on Old Hwy 61 and take a left on Indian Mound Road you will find the land that Nathan Bedford Forrest once owned, which is on the north side of Indian Mound Road. In fact, once you find the Hollywood Indian Mound you are pretty well there.
However, don’t consider stopping to explore these Mounds up close. Not only are they overgrown with trees and brush – and probably snakes – but there is a notice that this is private land and you shouldn’t go much further. Here’s your sign…
But we’re not really interested in the Indian Mounds for our purposes, except as a marker that we have found our destination. There are two tracts of land, one on either side of the Indian Mounds. The tract to the west of the Mounds actually runs up to the Mississippi River Levee. Here are a couple shots. On the first shot you can see the Levee in the upper left corner of the photo.
This photo shows the same piece of land looking eastward. In the distance you can see the Forest containing the Indian Mounds, but from a distance.
On the other side of the Indian Mounds’ break the scene looks much the same, but I am nothing if I am not thorough. Here is a shot looking east.
And here is a shot looking west. Here you can see that I didn’t go much past the Indian Mounds before snapping this photo. The tree line is actually the Indian Mounds.
So, if your staying with us, or just passing through, you might want to pull off and take a look, just for a lark. But be warned, if you pass Indian Mound Road don’t let Google tell you to take Hambrick Road. The roads that connect this road to Indian Mound Road are dirt roads that run through planted fields, and the farmer that owns them might not appreciate that. If you would like a guide look for the older white F250 parked near our parking lot and I will be happy to show you.