Green Rives Jr
Mother: Jerusha May Paisley
Birth: 9 Oct 1832, South Carolina
Birth Source: Reliques of the Rives, Headstone
Death: 2 Jan 1911, Waxahatchie, Texas
Death Source: Reliques of the Rives, Headstone
Spouse1: Martha Pauline Waldron, m. 28 May 1857
- Howard Rives, b. 1860
- Eugenia Rives, b. 1869
- Irene Rives, b. 1871
From the Reliques of the Rives:
Jefferson Randolph Rives was born October 9, 1832, in South Carolina ; accompanied his father in 1833 to Alabama; and removed later to Louisiana and Waxahatchie, Texas, where he died January 2, 1911. He has left eloquent testimony of his war service in a letter dated May 17, 1893, at Florence, Williamson co. Texas, addressed to his nephew, Claudius Green Rives:
Your kind and affectionate letter of recent date has just been received. I have just returned a few days since from Salado, Bell county. We have had immense rains, storms and water spouts. We have been needing the rains, they have come at last so welcomed. Now Claude I will give you a short history of myself. I was a Confederate soldier in the Army of Northern Virginia under Generals R. E. Lee and Longstreet. I belonged to Co. A, 44th Ala. Regt. I ranked as sergeant of the company. I fought all the prominent battles and skirmishes of Virginia, Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee. We went into Maryland twice. I was at the battle of Knoxville. Chicamauga! We fought there two days. This was a terrible battle. The 1st Battle of Manassas was the only fight that I was not engaged in. I was sick that day. I took part in the 2nd Battle of Manassas. The Yankees called it the Battle of Bull Run. We whipped them twice on the same field. The second fight they occupied the ground we had and then we whipped them again. The way they flew to Washington City and got behind their gunboats for protection is beyond my description. We killed them by the ten thousand of thousands. Oh ! I wish I could see you to give you a description of these prominent battles. They were completely routed, fell back in utter dismay and confusion. We captured them by tens of thousands. Claud, I say this to you, there never were better soldiers upon the moral universe than the Southern Soldiers. Greece, Rome and France never produced better soldiers. Napoleon Bonaparte's best soldiers were not our equals. They were chivalrous and gallantry itself. They were great and glorious men, struggling for their liberty and rights. We were simply overpowered by the cohorts of Europe. We were never whipped but overpowered by numbers, ten to one. That is why the thing turned out as it did.
Did you know that the Methodist denomination, North, brought on this terrible war upon the South? This is the fact, they did. Go back to history and read for yourself and you will find this to be true. It began when the Methodist church split, calling themselves Northern and Southern Methodists. They are the Christians who had the South ransacked, plundered and murdered and all manner of evils committed. These are stubborn truths, historical facts. Read up and you will find them to be so.
Now I will change the subject and give you the names of the battles I was engaged in.
2nd Battle of Manassas or Bull Run, August 29, 30, 1862.
Sharpsburg, September 16, 17.
Fredericksburg, December 13, 14.
Suffolk, April 19, 1863.
Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, July 1, 2, 3, 1863. We were engaged the 2nd and 3rd for two days.
The 9th of September General Longstreet's Corps took the cars at Hanover Junction, Virginia, for Tennessee to fight the battle of Chicamauga which was the 19th and 20th September, 1863.
Campbell Station of Turkey's Creek, November 16, 1862.
Siege of Knoxville, Tennessee, 29th and 30th November, 1863.
Burn's Station, December 16, 1863.
Lookout Mountain, near Knoxville, Tennessee, 28 October, 1863. These fights around Lookout Mountain were simply horrible and destructive to both sides. Longstreet's Corps went into winter quarters at Morristown, Tennessee last of December 1863. We got back to Virginia the 1st of May, 1864.
Wilderness battle, May 6 and 7.
Spotsylvania Court House, May 8, 9, io, 11, 12, 13. Here we fought six days. We moved the 14th to fight the battle of Gaines Farm, June 3rd.
McCanick'sville Turnpike, June 1st.
Cold Harbor, June 2 and 3.
Bermuda Hundred, 17th of June.
Deep Bottom, August 10.
Fuzzle Mills, August 17.
Fort Gilmer or Fort Harrison on the Nansemond River, September 30.
Darbestown Road, from the 7th to the 16th, every day continued hard fighting.
Dear Claud, hand this letter down to your sweet children and your blessed wife when I am dead and gone to show you and them what your old uncle has gone through and is yet alive. The mercy of God has been with me. I cannot help it. The tears flow down my cheeks as I pen these lines. I pray you and your children should never pass through what I have. War is a ter rible visitation. I have had my ribs broken (right side two or three bones broken) and hat and clothes riddled with bullets. At Fort Harrison we were captured, 125 men and taken to Suffolk and lodged in prison and exchanged in seven days. Here at this Fort we killed 300 men. They, the enemy, had three gunboats with 1800 men and charged us in the fort. We fought them with the bayonet and the breech of our guns. When we saw we were overpowered by number our captain made a surrender. We lost about 25 men killed inside the fort. Their loss was about 300. We had the protection of breastworks. They fought desperately.
Now Claud I will change the subject. My father's father was named Green Rives and he came from Virginia. He was a cousin to William C. Rives. This William C. Rives had a son by name, John C. Rives. (an error. John Cook Rives and William Cabell Rives were fourth cousins). He was editor of the Congressional Globe, Washington City. The great naval commander, Paul Jones, was some of the same stock as ours. (Through Jefferson Rives' grandmother, Mary Ridley Jones). I have heard my mother and father speak of him. I also heard my grandmother speak of him as being a very resolute and daring soldier. We sprang from the Huguenot family of France originally. The best blood of France.
In conclusion may the blessings of God be with you all.
I remain, your old aged uncle,
J. R. Rives
Childs, James Rives. Reliques of the Rives, p118