The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 22, July 1918 - April, 1919 Page: 60
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The Southwestern Historical Quarterly
ment, sent me to General Breckenridge's headquarters who was
commanding the rear of the retreating army to tell him of the
near approach of a large body of the enemy and to ask him for aid
or orders. General Breckenridge's reply was, "Give Major I-ar-
rison my compliments and tell him to hold the enemy back awhile
for I can't move from here yet." I rode back, delivered the mes-
sage, and found the enemy had approached to within 250 or 300
yards of our position; had formed two lines of battle and ha,d
thrown out skirmishers who were making it lively for our boys
who were then standing in line on horseback. At this juncture
Colonel Forrest came up to us with about an equal number of
horsemen to our own, placed them on the right of our line, and
being senior officer took charge of the whole line, about two hun-
dred or more in all. He immediately decided to charge so Major
Harrison rode up in front of our line, telling us to prepare for
the charge, and added, "Boys, go in twenty steps of the Yankees
before you turn your shotguns loose on them."
Forrest ordered forward. Without waiting to be formal in the
matter, the Texans went like a cyclone, not waiting for Forrest to
give his other orders to trot, gallop, charge, as he had drilled his
men. By the time the Yankee skirmishers could run to their places
in ranks and both lines got their bayonets ready to lift us fellows
off our horses, we were halted in twenty steps of their two lines of
savage bayonets, their front line kneeling with butts of guns on the
ground, the bayonets standing out at right angle or straighter and
the rear lines with their bayonets extended between the heads of
the men of the first line. In a twinkling of an eye almost, both
barrels of every shotgun in our line loaded with fifteen to twenty
buckshot in each barrel was turned into that blue line and lo ! what
destruction and confusion followed. It reminded me then of a
large covey of quail bunched on the ground, shot into with a load of
bird shot: their squirming and fluttering around on the ground
would fairly represent that scene in that blue line of soldiers on
that occasion. Every man nearly who was not hurt or killed broke
to the rear, most of them leaving their guns where the line went
down, and made a fine record in getting back to their reserved
force several hundred yards in their rear. After the shotguns were
fired, the guns were slung on the horns of our saddles and with
our six shooters in hand we pursued those fleeing, either capturing
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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/m1/68/: accessed December 16, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.