Nesbitt Memorial Library Journal, Volume 9, Number 2, May, 1999 Page: 67
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Reminiscences of the Old Brigade
two armies, standing facing each other. One
line is in blue uniform neat and nice, the lower
line the Confederate is variegated, ragged and
dirty, the blue line although formed in the shape
of a halfmoon, yet each of its flanks is beyond
that of the variegated line, there is no mistak-
ing this, in point of number the blue line has
the variegated by more than two to one, the
variegated line has their whole force in line,
the blue have a reserve force in the fort; the
guns barrels of the blue line sparkle and glisten
in the sun's rays like glittering diamonds, the
guns in the variegated line do not sparkle, but
their fire will be equally certain; that variegated
line is composed of the 2nd, the 4th, the 5th
and part of the 7th regiments of Texas cavalry,
their ranks greatly depleted by sickness and
deaths. Teel's, Rieley's, Fulcord's and Wood's
batteries, under command of Maj. Teel. There
in that variegated line stands those mighty he-
roes, Col. Green, Lt. Cols. Scurry and Sutton
and Majs. Pyron, Reaguet, Lockridge and
Bagby. They know all the facts detailed above,
they know that the boys in the blue have more
men than we have yet as they look on the ragged
boys as they stand cooly facing the foe, with
flashing eyes and without the quivering of a
mussle, (though when the blue kept moving our
in such long line Joe Bowers of the 7th (the
only name I ever knew for him) did cry out so
as to be heard all along the line; "Ge whilikens
captain I ain't half as mad at them fellows as I
was before they showed up so many men, lets
go home to mother," this put our whole line to
laughing and a cheer went up for Joe Bowers.)
They longed to hurl that variegated line upon
the blue, and not one of them doubted or feard
the result, and no doubt that had either one of
those men been in command that the blue and
variegated lies would have gone together into
Fort Craig that night, but Gen. Sibley did not
know the nerve and power of endurance of the
men he commanded, he had not lived and been
among them, and he thought it best not to bring
on a general engagement that night.
We stood for two long hours maneuvering
in front of each other, it looked to me some-
what like two boys in my schoolboy days dar-
ing each other to knock the chip of the other's
shoulder, and each afraid to do so, and yet there
are men in that variegated line who would have
been glad to knock the chip off of the shoulder
of the blue: there was Green, Scurry, Sutton,
Reaguet, Bagby, Lockridge or Pyron either of
who would have gladly done it, any man in
either of their regiments or batteries would have
done it, but as it was we stood there facing
each other for two mortal hours; neither side
seeming to be anxious to bring on the engage-
ment, and yet neither disposed to decline an
engagement if offered by the other.
Some boys of the 7th moved up about half
way between our line and the blue, and capt.
Shannon who was always anxious to precipi-
tate matters made motions to the blue indicat-
ing to them to cut these boys off, but Gen. Canby
shook his head as much as to say that he was to
old a rat to put his tail in to that trap! After
having faced each other for two full hours both
armies about the same time fell back to their
respective places, us to our camps and the
federals to the fort.
And now Maj. Lockridge was ordered to
pick three hundred men and storm the fort that
night, but after dark that plan was abandoned
and the order countermanded.
The next day we were ordered to recross
the Rio Grande just below our camp which we
did and camped on the bank.
The next day we were ordered to take up
the line of march on the eastside of the river go
through the mountains and strike the river above
Fort Craig at the upper end of Val Verde (green
valley,) leaving Maj. Bagby with one half of
the 7th Regt. below, Lt. Col. Sutton taking the
other half with us, we marched that day up
opposite Fort Craig when opposite the fort while
marching in columns the enemy commenced
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Nesbitt Memorial Library. Nesbitt Memorial Library Journal, Volume 9, Number 2, May, 1999, periodical, May 1999; Columbus, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth151406/m1/19/?q=nesbitt%20memorial%20library%20journal: accessed June 28, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Nesbitt Memorial Library.