General Nathan Bedford Forrest's Will

Nell Morisette
NewsTribune Special Columnist

Good morning! What beautiful days for January in good old Benton County. I think this will be the last article about Nathan Bedford Forrest State Park. I hope all have enjoyed it.

Last Will and Testament of Nathan Bedford Forrest


Know all men by these presents that I Nathan Bedford Forrest a citizen of the city of Memphis, in the State of Tennessee being of sound mind and conscious of the uncertain duration, of human life and desiring to dispose of my property and business affairs in such a way as will give as little trouble as possible to others in the event of my death do hereby make publish and proclaim this my last will and testament.

FIRST I commit my body after death to my family and friends with the request that it may be entered among the Confederate dead in the Elmwood Cemetery near the City of Memphis, it being my desire that my remains shall rest with those of the brave men, men who were my comrades in war and shared with me the danger and peril of battle fields fighting in a cause we believed it our duty to uphold and maintain.

SECOND It is my wish and desire that all my just debts shall be paid as soon after my death as my Executors hereinafter named can realize the means necessary to do so out of any property person or real of which I may die possessed and this I desire shall be done with as little delay as possible and without loss or expense to any of my creditors.

THIRD I bequeath to my beloved wife Mary A. Forrest all of my household and kitchen furniture.

FOURTH I give bequeath and devise all of the residue and remainder of my property rights credits and interests of every kind and description whatever except such as is hereafter otherwise disposed of in equal parts to my beloved wife Mary A. Forrest and my son Wm. M. Forrest to be held owned and enjoyed by them and each of them with the right to dispose of the same during their death the same to be divided between my same legatees at any time and in any way they may select.

FIFTH I give and bequeath to the following named children of my son William M. Forrest viz, Mary H., N.B. Jr., J. Cook and William M. Forrest Jr., one section each of the lands which I own in the County of Coahoma Sunflower Boliver, Isaquena or elsewhere in the State of Mississippi, and I also give and devise an equal amount to each and every child which may hereafter be born to my son William M. Forrest before the said lands shall have been otherwise disposed of by my two legatees hereinbefore mentioned, the said sections of land above devised to be selected by my son the said William M. Forrest.

SIXTH It is my desire and direction that my son William M. Forrest shall continue to conduct and carry on the business in which I am now engaged on Presidents Island in the Mississippi River near the City of Memphis Tennessee until the expiration of my present contract with Shelby County, and that the profits arising form the conduct of said business be equally divided between him an my wife Mary A. Forrest.

SEVENTH I give and bequeath to my son William M. Forrest the sword and pistols with which I fought in the Confederate army with the injunction to use them whenever called upon to do so in the honorable service of his county.

EIGHTH hereby nominate constitute and appoint my said son William M. Forrest and brother Jesse A. Forrest Executors of this my last will and testament and confiding in their integrity and good faith it is my express desire that they shall not be required to give any bond or security for the performance of any duty imposed upon them by the terms of this instrument.

In witness of all which I hereunto affix my hand and seal it this twenty seventh day of August A.D. 1877.

N.B. Forrest

B.G. West
Casey Young
Filed December 17, 1877
Presented to the Probate Court of
Shelby County, Tennessee at the
December Term 1877 and ordered
to be recorded
Recorded December 17, 1877

Thought for the Week:

Gentle words fall lightly but carry great weight


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