The Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association, Volume 9, July 1905 - April, 1906 Page: 47
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John H. Reagan.
army, which, it is now strongly believed, was feasible. The next
step was the re-conquest of Tennessee and Kentucky-the third
and final, the return to Virginia to relieve the army of Lee in
case it had been beset by the Army of the Potomac. But the
Cabinet and the president and General Lee himself were all op-
posed to this programme, and the course was elected which event-
uated in Vicksburg and Gettysburg. But even after the decision
had been made, Judge Reagan wrote a final note to the president
appealing in vain for a reconsideration of the question; and this
document now lies in the national archives, its own commentary.
It was a marked characteristic of the man that when once a con-
clusion was reached he held it with a pertinacity recalling the elder
Pitt. He had definite ideas on whatever matter came before him,
and was conspicuous in the Cabinet for his clear-cut conceptions
of what was best to be done under the circumstances. On the
field his coolness and bravery were admirable, and in the fighting
around Richmond several times he was under fire, while on one
occasion his wit and that of Colonel Lyon probably saved the
capital from Sheridan's cavalry. When the flying detachment of
hostile horsemen appeared, Colonel Lyon and Judge Reagan, rid-
ind out along the lines, happened at the moment to be at a section
quite destitute of defenders. Thereupon they rode back and forth
behind the breastworks as though giving orders-and the blue-
After the fall of Richmond and the surrender of Lee's unvan-
quished though beaten army, he displayed his genius for dealing
with pressing problems of state. General Johnston's fragment of
an army, facing the hosts of General Sherman, could but choose
to lay down its arms, and the terms of surrender were certain to
constitute a precedent which might involve the whole of the Con-
federacy. This Judge Reagan realized, and, first of all the Cabinet,
drew up and submitted for its consideration a tentative agreement,
which, indeed, was finally accepted almost in toto by the victorious
general. After that it would have been indeed difficult for the
United States government to have turned upon its path and to
have prosecuted the Confederates for treason-it was a weighty
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Texas State Historical Association. The Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association, Volume 9, July 1905 - April, 1906, periodical, 1906; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101036/m1/51/: accessed September 23, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.