The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 22, July 1918 - April, 1919 Page: 57
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Reminiscences of the Terry Rangers
when all the reserves were ordered to the firing line for a final rush
to be made as we all thought to drive the panic-stricken army of
General Grant into Tennessee River. We formed the line, and
awaited the order to move forward. In the meantime the enemy
immediately on our front left their line in some haste and disap-
peared from view over the crest of the hill near the river. While
we waited with much impatience for orders to, move there came
an order from General Beauregard telling that the battle was ended
for the day and we had captured General Prentiss with four thou-
sand of his men and a great victory was ours. When the order
was read instead of creating enthusiasm amongst the men it created
indignation and disgust because it was apparent to all in the firing
line that the hard earned victory that had cost so much blood and
so many lives was to be thrown away for the want of one more
charge which as we thought then and think now would have re-
sulted in a. complete overthrow or capture of General Grant's army
and the downfall of General Grant himself as a military leader.
But why was the Southern army halted at this critical period?
General Beauregard's excuse was it was late in the day, the men
were tired and needed rest; but the truth as I saw it is the sun
was still between three and four hours high and the men were
anxious for this last charge to the river, which was not more than
one-half mile away, I think. The men talked among themselves
of the importance of the movement and their willingness to make it
at the time and after events prove but too well the men were right
and the commander wrong in issuing the order to halt.
I want to make a little digression from the main story to pay
my respects to some erroneous history in regard to this crisis in
that battle. Nelson's Encyclopedia and the History of the Mis-
sissippi Valley by Prof. Johnson,9 Ph. D. and LL. D. of the
Agricultural College of Minnesota, I think, both agree substan-
tially in the statement that a hastily constructed battery on the
hill near the river and the firing of the gunboats from the river
stopped the Confederate's advance. While I am still upon the earth
I want to testify as eye-witness at close range, that the aforesaid
9Possibly Mr. Blackburn has in mind Rossiter Johnson's History of the
War of Secession, on his Fight for the Republic, in each of which a state-
ment of the kind alluded to is made. The name he gives is evidently in-
correct.-C. W. t.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 22, July 1918 - April, 1919, periodical, 1919; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth117156/m1/65/: accessed November 20, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.