ONE OF THE FEW SURVIVORS OF THE
LOST CAUSE- R. L. GEORGE
R.L. George was
born October 9th, 1846 in McNairy
He enlisted in the Confederate
Alabama, with Capt. Bob Damons,
Co. F., Col. Jeff Forestís
Regiment, Bellís Brigade,
His first actual service was at
Bear Creek where they were engaged in burning
bridges and tearing up railroads. They made a
stand at Cherokee, Alabama, had a skirmish and
fell back about two miles, then threw all their
forces in a skirmish line and kept falling back to
Little Bear Creek where they made another stand,
with Col. Forest wounded and one
man killed. They were reinforced by Gen.
Leeís troops that night. Next they went
to the mountains where they got in behind the
enemy and found them falling back to Eastport.
They put in the balance of the summer helping out
the recruits from West Tennesse.
On Christmas Eve, Mr.
George and three other boys were on a
scouting party following (as they thought) army on
May 1st, 1863, at Cherokee, eight
Yankees, but which proved to be 48. To have a
little fun, they charged them but had to fall
back. George was thrown from his
horse, was taken prisoner and then shot in the
shoulder. They left him at Savannah, Tennessee.
The next day his father came and carried him home.
Upon receiving news that the Yankees were coming
after him, from Glendale, he was tied to a horse
and his sister started with him to Pleasant Site,
Alabama. They got through safely by crossing
Yellow Creek on the ice. He remained at Pleasant
Site until the following spring, when he went back
to his company.
The next combat was at Crumpís
Landing. Two Yankees were seen on horseback and
George and his party charged. The
Yanks took them for their own men and stood still
and the scouting party captured a man apiece-11 in
all. Mr. George and one of his
comrades captured the two on horseback and the
others took those behind them. The balance of the
enemy pursued them and they lost all of their
prisoners and one of their own men.
The next engagement worthy of
mention was at Fort Piller. The Yanks gave up the
first fort about the middle of the day. The rebels
crept up to the second fort and General
Forest sent in a flag of truce. He
received word back that they asked no quarters nor
would they show any. The walls were scaled and the
flag pulled down and the white men gave up. The
gunboats that were aiding the Yanks moved up the
Next his company went to Pontotoc
and entertained the Yanks while General
Forest went to Memphis. He was in the
Harrisburg fight. They had a fight with the
Yankees the evening before the big Harrisburg
battle and lost about twenty men. The next
morning, both sides constructed breastworks of
rails. General Lee took command
of his detachment and ordered them over the
breastworks. They drove in the Yankee skirmish
line. Three times they charged and three times
they were driven back. His company was in with
about 60 men and came out with about 20. When the
roll was called Col. Nuser and
Col. Wisdem were wounded and
Major Meeks was killed. Captain
Bob Damons was the only
commissioned officer left.
They were then ordered back to the
Tennessee River where they were engaged in
scouting the river and West Tennessee.
Mr. George was
not with the main army anymore until winter, when
at Fort Hindman they attempted to capture a boat
and failed. Next day they moved up to the mouth of
Big Sandy, captured a steamboat and gunboat which
they moved up to Johnsonville where they were
burned. They threw a pontoon across the river
there, but the river was rising and the pontoon
was broken. Mr. George and Mr.
Ashby, who were on picket duty,
were forgotten during the excitement and left to
shift for themselves. In trying to get out they
were captured, but the second night they made
their escape. Mr. George got back
to Purdy, Tennessee, where he met Col.
Wisdem, and asked him for a pass. He was
told to go on home and do the best he could as he
(Col. Wisdem) thought the war was
over. Later Mr. George met Col.
Damons who said he was not going
to give up as he had learned that the Yanks were
not going to show them any quarters. Later a truce
was arranged and Capt. Damons got
his company together and went to Corinth where
they were paroled.
Mr. George was
united in marriage Dec. 31st, 1873 to
Miss Mollie Pickens. To this
union were born 11 children, all of whom are
living and all are married except one.
Mr. George bears
his age well-doesnít look a day over 65 and is
still spry. We enjoyed our talk with this old
veteran who remembers the incidents of the war
well, although he had forgotten many of the dates.
Many of the grizzled fighters of the sixties have
quit work, but not so with Mr. George.
He will continue on until the end or until such
time as he can no longer till the soil. He says he
would rather wear out than rust out.
was born October 9th, 1846 in
McNairy County, Tennessee.