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Nashville in Davidson County, Tennessee — The American South (East South Central)
 

James Edwards Rains

April 10, 1833 - December 31, 1862

 

— Lawyer, Newspaper editor, Confederate States Army brigadier general —

 
James Edwards Rains Marker image. Click for full size.
By Duane and Tracy Marsteller, February 7, 2021
1. James Edwards Rains Marker
Inscription.  Rains is buried about 30 feet back, with a flat granite marker. Rains graduated from Yale Law School in 1854 and began a practice in Nashville. In 1858 he married Ida Yeatman, and they had one child, Laura. Rains also served as city attorney and as a newspaper editor. Rains was killed during the War for Confederate Independence. He was first buried at City Cemetery, and as late as 2004 there was still a marker for him there.

Rains was elected colonel of the 11th Tennessee Infantry Regiment on May 10, 1861. Women of Nashville sewed a flag for the 11th, which was presented at a ceremony on the public square. Rains accepted it saying, “I feel conscious of the high and sacred trust I assume in receiving this holy emblem of freedom and human rights.” To the regiment he said, “To you then, brave men I commit this banner. To your keeping is confided the sacred badge of an oppressed people's rights. Take it and defend it; defend it with your valor and your lives.” Rains warned, “You may sleep the silent sleep of death upon some far off plain, and mingle undistinguished with the dust of thousands more, your names will
James Edwards Rains Marker image. Click for full size.
By Duane and Tracy Marsteller, February 7, 2021
2. James Edwards Rains Marker
live and linger among the people for whom you died. Your memories will be forever enshrined in the great heart of that country upon whose altars and in defense of whose rights you shed your blood.” He concluded, “We'll come back in glory or we'll not come again.”

Rains was primarily at Cumberland Gap early in the war and was promoted to brigadier. In December the Army of Tennessee was in position north of Murfreesborough with hopes of liberating occupied Nashville. The U.S. Army advanced with plans to attack on the morning of December 31st. At twilight (about 6:22 a.m.) U.S. troops were cooking their breakfast. Through the fog pickets could see a C.S. division coming toward them. Rains' Brigade was on the far left end of that division. As Rains hit the end of the U.S. line and slipped around their rear, two other brigades hit head on. Though outnumbered the surging line of angry Confederates routed the U.S. division. One brigade was taken out in only five minutes and their general killed. Another brigade quickly fell back with its general captured. In less than an hour the U.S. division had over 1,000 men captured and lost eight cannon. When the battle ended the U.S. Army had suffered their highest casualty rate of any battle in the war. Yet before it ended they had fallen back on a line of artillery. As Rains led his brigade forward, he yelled his last
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words, “Forward my brave boys, forward!” Suddenly a bullet to the heart killed Nashville's General Rains.
 
Erected by Sons of Confederate Veterans Camp 28.
 
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Cemeteries & Burial SitesWar, US Civil. In addition, it is included in the Sons of Confederate Veterans/United Confederate Veterans series list.
 
Location. 36° 8.895′ N, 86° 44.102′ W. Marker is in Nashville, Tennessee, in Davidson County. Marker can be reached from Lebanon Pike. Marker is near Confederate Circle at Mt. Olivet Cemetery. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 1101 Lebanon Pike, Nashville TN 37210, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Mary Elizabeth Bradford Johns (a few steps from this marker); Mary Kate Patterson Davis Hill Kyle (within shouting distance of this marker); Adelicia Hayes Franklin Acklen Cheatham (within shouting distance of this marker); Thomas Benton Smith (within shouting distance of this marker); Hylan Leitus Rosser (within shouting distance of this marker); William Hicks Jackson (within shouting distance of this marker); Adolphus Heiman (within shouting distance of this marker); John Bell (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Nashville.
 
More about this marker. Marker is part of Mt. Olivet Confederate Memorial Hall Trail.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on February 8, 2021. It was originally submitted on February 7, 2021, by Duane Marsteller of Murfreesboro, Tennessee. This page has been viewed 29 times since then. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on February 7, 2021, by Duane Marsteller of Murfreesboro, Tennessee.
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Mar. 3, 2021