Another example of Poor Leadership for General Nathan Bedford Forrest
A cause worthy of victory but destined to fail, apparently.
Genreal Wheeler commanded General Forrest to make a daring return acroas frigid water in the dead of winter to retake a fort at all costs or as if General Forrest would go about the order any other way. Unfortunately, this meant crossing with horses caissons, cannons, artillery and infantry at the coldest time of year and with no prior plan for proper crossing. I don't have the exact dates in my head here at this moment, but this was around 62. General Forrest agreed to the order under protest and let his chief surgeon and another member of his staff know that were he to die in this pursuit of Donnelson, it should be recounted that he was in direct defiance to this order of General Wheeler.
their crossing was mainly at night and extremely unorthodox by most regular standards. Horses were merely dragged across the crossing after it was discovered that infantry and artillery pieces could successfully fjord the water. The fighting began as a result of Genrral Forrest mistaking an offensive Federal action for an attempt to surrender to his obvious victorious presence. Federals were attempting to take a dug in position near the fort, but Genral Forrest soon realized that they meant action and he immediately ordered action upon the Yankee fighters.
I have not finished this section of the book that I'm reading, but from what I've gathered it is not a victorious outcome that would be expected of a nighttime battle for General Forrest and his staff of fighters.