Saturday, November 03, 2007


Writing after the war, Confederate General G. W. Gordon said, "If the writer ever knew a man of which he could say, 'He was fearless', he thinks that man was Gen. Rains." Rains was the first commander of the 11th Regiment, Tennessee Infantry, and Captain Samuel C. Godshall's superior 1861-1862.

Accepting a Confederate flag from the ladies of Nashville, then-Colonel Rains concluded his speech:
With a look at the sun and a prayer to the sky,
One glance at our banner that floats glorious on high,
Rush on as the young lion bounds on his prey;
Let the sword flash on high, fling the scabbard away,
Roll on like the thunder-bolt over the plain --
We'll come back in glory or we'll come not again!

This remark was almost prescient, but he didn't allow that both could come true. Rains was later promoted to general and was killed leading his command, several hundred feet directly ahead of his old regiment, at the Battle of Murphreesboro (Stones River), December 31, 1862. He was close enough that the horse he was riding plunged into the Federal lines.


[1] Gen. G. W. Gordon, s.v. "Eleventh Tennessee Infantry", in John Berrien Lindsley, The Military Annals of Tennessee (Nashville: J. M. Lindsley & Co., 1886), p.296. Accessed 11/3/07 on Heritage Quest.

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