21 Best Nathan Bedford Forrest Quotes on Leadership

Nathan Bedford Forrest, born in Tennessee in 1821, rose from poverty to become one of the richest men in the South by trading livestock, real estate, cotton and especially slaves.

Enlisting as a private in the Confederate army at the start of the American Civil War, Forrest demonstrated his military prowess and quickly rose through the ranks, earning a reputation as an aggressive commander.


However, his command is infamous for the massacre of African American Union troops at Fort Pillow and post-war, he became the first grand wizard of the Ku Klux Klan.

Post-war fortunes diminished, Forrest’s later years saw him managing a plantation manned by convict labour.

His legacy is marred by his involvement in the massacre and the KKK, sparking controversy whenever commemorated.

I have listed below the best quotes by Nathan Bedford Forrest.

Best Nathan Bedford Forrest Quotes & Sayings

Nobody kills me and lives to tell about it. ~ (Nathan Bedford Forrest).


Never stand and take a charge… charge them too. ~ (Nathan Bedford Forrest).

Get there first with the most. ~ (Nathan Bedford Forrest).


Forward, men, and mix with them. ~ (Nathan Bedford Forrest).

We have but one flag, one country; let us stand together. We may differ in color, but not in sentiment. ~ (Nathan Bedford Forrest).

If one road led to hell and the other to Mexico, I would be indifferent which to take. ~ (Nathan Bedford Forrest).


Attack in all directions! ~ (Nathan Bedford Forrest).

If you surrender you shall be treated as prisoners of war, but if I have to storm your works you may expect no quarter. ~ (Nathan Bedford Forrest).

I have stood your meanness as long as I intend to. You have played the part of a damn scoundrel, and if you were any part of a man I would slap your jaws and force you to resent it… ~ (Nathan Bedford Forrest).


War means fighting, and fighting means killing. ~ (Nathan Bedford Forrest).

Abolish the Loyal League and the Ku Klux Klan; let us come together and stand together. ~ (Nathan Bedford Forrest).


I done told you twice already goddammit no! ~ (Nathan Bedford Forrest).

We are born on the same soil, breathe the same air, live on the same land, and why should we not be brothers and sisters? ~ (Nathan Bedford Forrest).

I will be in my coffin before I will fight again under your command. ~ (Nathan Bedford Forrest).

I’ve got no respect for any young man who won’t join the colors. ~ (Nathan Bedford Forrest).


I did not come here for the purpose of surrendering my command. ~ (Nathan Bedford Forrest).

Top Nathan Bedford Forrest Quotes

Men, do as I say and I will always lead you to victory. ~ (Nathan Bedford Forrest).

I went into the army worth a million and a half dollars, and came out a beggar. ~ (Nathan Bedford Forrest).

I am not here to pass civilities or compliments with you, but on other business. I have stood your meanness as long as I intend to. You have played the part of a damned scoundrel, and are a coward, and if you were any part of a man I would slap your jaws and force you to resent it. You may as well not issue any more orders to me, for I will not obey them… and as I say to you that if you ever again try to interfere with me or cross my path it will be at the peril of your life. ~ (Nathan Bedford Forrest).


What I desire most of you, my son, is never to gamble or swear. These are baneful vices. ~ (Nathan Bedford Forrest).

I have never on the field of battle sent you where I was unwilling to go myself, nor would I now advise you to a course which I felt myself unwilling to pursue. You have been good soldiers. You can be good citizens. Obey the laws, preserve your honor, and the government to which you have surrendered can afford to be and will be magnanimous. ~ (Nathan Bedford Forrest).

So these were the 21 quotes from Nathan Bedford Forrest.

If you like these quotes and sayings, then you can also read my other popular blog posts on the topics of American Civil War quotes and Stonewall Jackson quotes.

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Chandan Negi
Chandan Negi

I’m the Founder of Internet Pillar - I love sharing quotes and motivational content to inspire and motivate people - #quotes #motivation #internetpillar