Massacre on the Nueces River; story of a Civil War tragedy. Page: 19 of 39
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16 THE MASSACRE ON THE NUECES RIVER
spoken, one could see the intense excitement of the men as they
paused for a hurried drink of water, and clutched their rifles
and crept stealthily on again.
Our detachment led up the stony slope that would land us
on the little prairie where was the camp; and our orders were to
wheel to the right on the top, creep through the cedar-brakes,
and line up on the far side of the camp. The rest of the party,
marching straight to the front, would form in line on the rear
side of the camp. The enemy's pickets were to be captured
without noise and, the camp not being disturbed, tho whole
force was to wait till daybreak came, and at the sound of a
signal shot from McRae's pistol, charge right in.
It was beautiful in theory, but how the man could have ex-
pected us to carry it out successfully in practice, I don't know.
Of course there was a frightful muddle, as we shall see; all orders
and pre-arrangements were forgotten, and confusion reigned
supreme directly the first shot was fired. We managed our part
of the business very well, and crept through the brakes to with-
in about three hundred yards of the camp, without in any way
alarming the enemy or seeing any outpost. Then we halted
in dead silence. Hardly had we done so when a rifle shot
coming from the far side, rang out in the stillness of the night.
Some idiot, over-excited, had loosed off at a sentry, and in-
stantly the camp was in a buzz, like a swarm of bees. Men ran
hither and thither in great confusion, and if what had happened
had been foreseen, and orders given to charge at once, no doubt
we could have carried the camp with little loss. But no one
knew what to do, and we on our side lay low, waiting for
developments. Presently the Germans, having recovered from
their surprise and got their arms, fired a volley at our comrades
on the far side, but without much execution in the darkness
of the night. This was replied to by our people, and the firing
became general on their side.
So far we hadn't fired a shot, and our presence was unsus-
pected; but now two of their picket-guards came running in
a few yards in front of our position, driving some horses before
them. One shot was fired without effect; three more followed,
Here’s what’s next.
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Williams, R. H. & Sansom, John W. Massacre on the Nueces River; story of a Civil War tragedy., book, Date Unknown; Grand Prairie, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth2409/m1/19/: accessed June 24, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .