June 1st, 2012: “Born to Battle” examines the Civil War’s complex and decisive western theater through the exploits of its greatest figures, Ulysses S. Grant and Nathan Bedford Forrest. These two opposing giants squared off in some of the most epic campaigns of the war, starting at Shiloh and continuing through Perryville, Vicksburg, Chickamauga, and Chattanooga. Battles in which the Union would slowly but surely divide the western Confederacy, setting the stage for the final showdowns of the bloody, protracted conflict.
Grant is widely regarded as the man most responsible for winning the war for the Union, Forrest as the Confederacy’s most fearsome defender in the West. Both men had risen through their respective hierarchies thanks to their cunning and military brilliance, and despite their checkered pasts. Grant and Forrest were both “lower”-born officers who struggled to overcome particular, dubious reputations (Forrest’s as a semi-literate rustic and Grant’s as a doltish drunkard). In time, however each became renowned for his intelligence, resourcefulness, and grit. Indeed, as Hurst shows, their familiarity with hardship gave both men a back-against-the-wall mindset that would ultimately determine their success–both on the battlefield, and off it.
Jack Hurst is a former journalist who has written for newspapers including the Chicago Tribune, the Philadelphia Inquirer, and the Nashville Tennessean. He is the author of Nathan Bedford Forrest: A Biography. A descendant of both Union and Confederate military officers, he currently lives with his wife outside of Nashville, Tennessee.
Watch part of Jack’s commentary on this book filmed the day of it’s release at Landmark Booksellers in downtown Franklin.
Signed copies of ‘Born to Battle’ are now available at Landmark Booksellers.