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James D. Porter, Confederate Military History, a library of Confederate States Military History: Volume 7.1, Tennessee (ed. Clement Anselm Evans) 1 1 Browse Search
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tion unaided to check the advance of the enemy long enough to secure Hood's retreat, therefore it was decided to detach Major-General Walthall with instructions to organize a rear guard 3,000 strong, and report to Major-General Forrest. Walthall selected the brigades of Reynolds, Ector and Quarles, of his own division; Featherston's, of Loring's division; Carter's (formerly Maney's), of Cheatham's division, commanded by Col. H. R. Feild; Strahl's, of Cheatham's division, commanded by Col. C. H. Heiskell, and Smith's, of Cleburne's division. Instead of 3,000 men, the effective total was 1,601, but it was a splendid command, led with consummate skill and courage. Walthall was the youngest division general in the army of Tennessee, and when he drew his sword in command over the rear guard to cover its retreat, there was not a soldier in it, from the commanding general down, who did not believe he would do it or perish in the effort. General Forrest said of him: He exhibited the high