Forrest first distinguished himself in battle at the Battle of Fort Donelson
in February 1862, where he led a cavalry charge against a Union artillery battery and captured it
, and then led a breakout from a siege by the Union army under Ulysses S. Grant
A month later, Forrest was back in action at the Battle of Shiloh (April 6 to April 7, 1862). Once again, he found himself in command of the Confederate rear guard after a lost battle, and again he distinguished himself.
On Forrest's birthday, July 13, 1862, his men descended on the Union-held city of Murfreesboro, Tennessee, and, in the First Battle of Murfreesboro, defeated and captured a force of twice their number.
Murfreesboro proved to be just the first of many victories
Forrest would win; he remained undefeated in battle until the final days of the war, when he faced overwhelming numbers.
In battle, he was quick to take the offensive, using speedy deployment of horse cavalry to position his troops, where they would often dismount and fight. Commonly, he would seek to circle the enemy flank and cut off their rear guard support. These tactics foreshadowed the mechanized infantry tactics used in World War II and had little relationship to the formal cavalry traditions of reconnaissance, screening, and mounted assaults with sabers.
On the ensuing raid, he again showed his brilliance
, leading thousands of Union soldiers in west Tennessee on a "wild goose chase" trying to locate his fast-moving forces. Forrest never stayed in one place long enough to be located, raided as far north as the banks of the Ohio River in southwest Kentucky, and came back to his base in Mississippi with more men than he had started with, and all of them fully armed with captured Union weapons.
Forrest chased Streight's men for 16 days, harassing them all the way, until Streight's lone objective became simply to escape his relentless pursuer. Finally, on May 3, Forrest caught up with Streight at Rome, Georgia, and took 1,700 prisoners.
Forrest served with the main army at the Battle of Chickamauga (September 18 to September 20, 1863), where he pursued the retreating Union army and took hundreds of prisoners
Forrest went to work and soon raised a 6,000-man force of his own
Forrest's greatest victory came on June 10, 1864, when his 3,500-man force clashed with 8,500 men commanded by General Samuel D. Sturgis at the Battle of Brice's Crossroads. Here, his mobility of force and superior tactics won a remarkable victory
, inflicting 2,500 casualties against a loss of 492
, and sweeping the Union forces completely from a large expanse of southwest Tennessee and northern Mississippi.
Forrest led other raids that summer and fall, including a famous one into Union-held downtown Memphis in August 1864 (the Second Battle of Memphis), and another on a huge Union supply depot at Johnsonville, Tennessee, on October 3, 1864, causing millions of dollars in damage.
In the four years of the war, reputedly a total of 30 horses were shot out from under Forrest and he may have personally killed 31 people. "I was a horse ahead at the end," he said.
[color="Red"]I hope this is enough