This Week in the Civil War - #901
On Sunday, August 21, 1864 in a daring early morning raid, two thousand Confederates of Nathan Bedford Forrest seized Memphis, Tennessee, capturing hundreds of prisoners including Union Generals S.A. Hurlbut and C.C. Washburn. Although abandoning Memphis within a day, Forrest’ exploits embarrassed and demoralized the North, while it was celebrated in the American South. Federal forces which eluded capture retreated from Memphis, thus allowing Forrest to freely harass Sherman’s supply lines which extended toward Atlanta. After months of time, energy, and materials being expended to defeat the wily Forrest, he remained a viable, and much feared, Confederate leader in the eastern theatre of war. As long as Early in the Shenandoah Valley and Forrest in southern Tennessee were not contained, Union supply lines into the interior of the South remained vulnerable.