Winston Groom, known to most as the author of Forrest Gump, was a well-respected writer of historical stuff including Shrouds of Glory, Shiloh 1862, and Vicksburg 1863. What makes Groom’s Civil War books different from most is the stuff he inserted into the narrative. Like these, for instance….
ONE. Rebel General Nathan Bedford Forrest, a case study in a hundred things–ego, confidence, brilliance, foolhardiness–caught up with Union Colonel Abel Streight near the Georgia line. Flying a flag of truce, Forrest invited Streight to surrender. Now, bear in mind that Forrest was out-numbered over three to one.
General Streight agreed to surrender if Forrest could convince him that he had a completely superior force.
Forrest was ready.
He had arranged for his soldiers to haul the only two pieces of artillery they possessed around in a circle, across and behind a high cut in the road, so that it would appear to Streight that whole batteries were being brought up to the front.
Finally, Streight gave in. “How many guns have you got? There’s fifteen I’ve counted already!” Forrest said, “I reckon that’s all that’s kept up.”
Sensing the futility of his position, the Yankee colonel handed over his 1,466 troops with all their horses, artillery, and equipment. When he learned that Forrest had only 400 men and two guns, he demanded that his men and arms should be returned and that they should fight it out. Forrest laughed, patted him on the shoulder, and said, “Ah Colonel, all is fair in love and war, you know.”