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J. K. P. Ridley went into the army when a boy in his teens, and and made as good a soldier as belonged to Company E. He was brave and true, like unto his gallant brother, W. T. Ridley, captain of the company.
He was daring and fearless, yet a good and faithful friend. He had no patience with a man that would shirk a soldier s duty. He served until the close of the war, and no man can truthfully say he ever failed to discharge his duties as a soldier. He still lives in Williamson Co., Term., and makes a good
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We could write a long time portraying the many good and noble qualities of Capt. W. T. Ridley of Company E, 2oth Tennessee Regiment. He assisted in organizing the company and was chosen as one of its Corporals. At the reorganization at Corinth, Miss., he was chosen ist Lieutenant. At Vicksburg, Miss., Capt. Ralston resigned, and Ridley was promoted to the Captaincy, which he held to the close of the war. He was in nearly every battle in which the company engaged. (He was sick when the battle of Baton Rouge was fought.)
He was probably the best known man of his rank in Breckinridge s or Bates divisions. He was noted for his cool courage and quick decision.
On the field of battle no one ever saw him excited. He was as brave as a Spartan ; no braver man ever lived ; he knew not the word "fear." He was kind, gentle, and as chivalrous as a knight. On the march, or in camp with his men, he was more a pleasant companion, than a military commander, yet his wish was law for his ccnipany ; he was the arbiter in all the differences that came up amongst his men ; he had a keen sense of justice and the personal rights of each individual, and never censured a man for asserting his rights, even though in doing so he may have trampled on technicalities with which he had no patience.
Captain Ridley, though then a young man, took almost pater nal care, not only of the company as a whole, but of each individual. To illustrate : Two of the men were quarreling ; one applied an insulting epithet to the other, for which he was struck a dangerous blow with the butt of a gun ; Captain Ridley immediately arrested the offender, and sent him to the "guard house," but five minutes later he was at the " guard house " and had the culprit released, giving as his reason : "I would have knocked him down myself. I can not punish a man for what I would certainly do myself."
Though a brave man, no braver soldier ever lived ; yet he was kindness itself. No man could be more alive to the joys or sorrows of his men, and they not only obeyed, honored, and respected him, but they loved him. He was scrupulously true to every trust, and never forsook a principle, or failed a friend ; he was an ideal man and soldier.
Captain Ridley died at his home in Williamson County, April 21, 1902. His loss is deeply felt by a host of friends, especially by the living members of Company E, every one of whom will willingly attest to the truth of every word of the above.
Captain Ridley was dangerously wounded at Missionary Ridge in the head, and while being borne from the field was wounded a second time, this time in the leg. He never recovered from the effects of these wounds. When he died he was filling the office of County Trustee of Williamson County.