From October through November the Ross’s brigade was at first in front of the Army of Tennessee and then as the rear guard. They had several skirmishes with the enemy and remain part of the eyes and ears of the army. Hood army march slowly toward Nashville. He had some 37,000 men and was soon to face well over 62,000 plus estimated to be before him. Ross’s brigade was down to 686 men and the 3rd Texas composed 218 of them. General Nathan Bedford Forrest was now assigned as Cavalry commander and had brought with him some 3,500 cavalrymen out of western Tennessee. The weather was cold and sleet was falling. Clothing was short and even some of the officers were without boots or shoes.
General Nathan Bedford Forrest was born on July 13, 1821 in Duck River County in Middle Tennessee. He joined the Tennessee Mounted Rifles as a private. He soon decided to equipped his own cavalry force and paid for it out of his own pocket. He was promoted to Brigadier General in 1862. He was arguably the finest cavalry tactician of either side during Civil War though he had no formal military training.
He rose through the ranks to Major General and then Lieutenant General. He has great loyalty to the South but little to Generals he considered incompetent of whom he found several. He threatened to kill General Braxton Bragg as he thought him incompetent. Bragg believed him and kept him at a safe distance. He had 26 horses shot from under him and was absolutely fearless. His men either loved him or hated him. He rose in popularity in the South as one of their greatest Generals. He was referred to by the Union Generals as "That Devil Forrest" He was well respected as a General on both sides. After the war he was unsuccessful in business. He fell ill and very sick in 1877. Former President of the Confederacy, Jefferson Davis went visit him and is said to have been visible shaken at his death on October 29, 1877. Much has been written of this man and he remains as controversial a figure today as he was during his lifetime.
A skirmished ensued on November 24 where the 3rd Texas Cavalry attacked an enemy column that was on foot. Ross’s then took a portion of the Texas brigade and flanked the column and ordered the 3rd Texas hit in the rear. The Union commander was caught in a classic cavalry pincer movement and was forced to withdraw leaving 80 previously captured confederate prisoners and many supplies such as overcoats, blankets and beef. The Texas Brigade lost five men in the skirmish.