W. (Wilson) Straley.

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troops falling back, he rallied
them by dismounting from his
horse, and, taking a gun from one
of the soldiers, he took his place in

the ranks as a private. The troops,
seeing him thus exposing his life,
rallied to his support, and kept in
line until the close of the battle.
To see the commanding general of
I the Trans-Mississippi Departmen*^^,
wielding the destinies of a great
fight, with its cares and responsi-
bilities upon his shoulders, per-
forming the duty of a private
soldier, in the thickest of the
conflict, is a picture worthy o:
the pencil of an artist.

! About 4 o'clock, p. m., the ene-
my endeavored to turn our right
flank, by extending their lines,
, which they were able to do by
! reason of their great numbers.
\ This was unfortunate for us, as it
required a corresponding exten-
i sion of our lines, to prevent their
extreme left from out flanking us
I — a movement, on our part, which
I weakened the force of resistance
: along our whole line of battle,
' which finally extended over a
; space of three miles. It also len-
' dered it the more difficult to re-
!inforce the left of our army, as
the further the enemy extended
his left, the greater the distance
! our forces had to travel over the
, impenetrable swamp, covered with
briers, brambles, and water; and
1 all without the least knowledge
j of our locality, which proved in-
I surmountable barriers to our suc-
I cess. There was no time to be
jlost to counteract the enemy's
I movement. The enemy made ev-
\ ery possible effort to turn our
i flank, for long weary hours, dur-
iing which time the battle ebbed
and flowed along the entire with
alternate fortunes. The enemy's
column continued to stretch away
to the left, like a hugh anaconda,
seeking to envelop us Vvdthin its







1 JH ^^^B^I^K




SolMers anb XTbeir BeeDs

a masterly manner,until they were
about to be flanked.

Before crossing the river, the
enemy destroyed everything in
the shape of transportation. They
threw their artillery and wagons
into the Saline River, and left

mighty folds, and crush us to
death; and at one time it really
looked as if they would succeed.
The moment General Walker
discovered the enemy's order of
battle, he dispatched orders to

General Kirby Smith for reinforce- _ _ _ ^

ments, to turn the ^^^^j'^^^}- Iheir^Tead^and wounded on the
In the mean time, General Walk- ^^^^ Having crossed the river,
er was on the alert m watcning ; ^^^^ destroved their pontoon
the enemy's programme. ^ot- ^^^.j^g^^ ^.^j^^^^^i^^ ^.^^^^1^^^, p^^^^^^i^
witstandmg all of his generals had ^^ ^^^ ^^^^ impossible. Our troops
been wounded, he was still con- ; y^^^ring exhausted almost the last
fident that the battle would end m cartridge, were unable to
our favor. He advanced his di- , j^.g^p ^^^^^^ advantage, except the
vision in an oblique direction, , ^^^^^ ^^ ^j^^ battlefield,
continuing to keep up a heavy fir- ,

mg on the enemy, expecting every General Fa^an's Cav

TTiompnt rpinfnroempnt«5- hut alasil^^^^ o\ er, uenerai r agan s i^av-
moment lemtoi cements, Dut,aias.^^^^^ ^^^^^^ composed of Arkan-

the reinforcements came too late.
Had General Walker received re-
inforcements when he asked for
them, he would have destroyed the
enemy, and perhaps have caputred
their entire army. Attacked in
front, on the flank, and in the
rear, they could not possibly es-
cape; and if they did escape, it
would be with the loss of thous
ands of prisoners, and all his ar-
tillery and wagons, while the field
would have been strewed with
d^ad. A few minutes before the
battle was over. Parson 's Division
of Missourians, reached our
right. They dashed on the enemy's
flanks with loud shouts, and in the
most gallant style. ^Meanwhile
General Price rallied the left for
the final struggle. General Kirby
Smith kept the center well up,
while Walker's Division dashed
into the shout that seemed to shake
the ver}^ earth. The results of this
maneuver drove the enemy back ;
they commenced to retreat, first
in good order, and finally in much
confusion. The Federal troops
fought well, and were handled in

sans and Missourians, arrived on
the battlefield. They had come
from the neighborhood of Ben-
ton, distance about thirty mile:-;
from Jenkins' Ferry. They had
anticipated meeting the enemy at
or near Benton, but hearing no
sound of cannon, and believing
that the battle had taken place,
they rode in gallop the entire dis-
tance, in order to have the pleas-
ure of participating with us in
vrhipping the foe.

General Steele's loss was very
severe. But a few months previ-
ous, he marched proudly from
Little Rock towards Shreveport,
with 20,000 men, 1,000 wagons and
30 pieces of artillery. He return-
ed having lost 800 wagons, 16
pieces of artillery, and 12,000
men, demoralized and burdened
with his sick.

Our loss was very severe. We
numbered amongst our dead some
of the most gallant men of the
division. Generals Scurry and
Randall died a few days after the


SolMers an^ Xlbeir H)eebs

"Hope for a season bade the world farewell.
And freedom shrieked when Scurry and Ran-
dall fell."

The loss in the Missouri and
Arkansas Divsions was equally
severe, and many a true heart,
which in the morning beat with
high hope, at night lay cold in


The evening before the battle
of Helena, Ark., five or six men,
who wore dresses as inhabitants,
and with rifles on their shoulders
appearing as huntsmen, came into
the Confederate camp, Holmes,
and held a conversation with Gen-
erals McGruder, Price, Fagan,
Holmes, Churchhill and Haw-
thorne, and told them how^ to ap-
proach the city next day, as there
was no obstacles in the way, and
that the city was only garrisoned
by a few soldiers, and the Con-
federate soldiers could march in
and breakfast in the city, and
would have no trouble whatever.

Upon leaving the camp next
morning, the Confederate army
had not advanced very far
(about a mile) when they came to
an obstruction of timber felled
across the roads, with limbs cut
off and sharpened. This obstruc-
tion extended for about three-
fourths of a mile and was so dif-
ficult the artillery could not nego-
tiate same and had to be left in
the rear. The Federals fell upon
the ensnared troops and mowed
them down in platoons. The trap.
pedConfederates soon found them-
selves under the Federal guns at
Helena with no chance to retreat
— surrender being the only way
out of the snare.

I It was found that instead of a
, garrison of a small handful of
' soldiers, that the city was guarded
' by 40,000 men.

I This battle was fought July 4th,
1863, and lasted from sunrise till
noon. After the battle, when a
reorganization of the Confed-
erates' troops who took part in
the affair was attempted, only
105 responded.

L. M. Sawyer and J. C. Hueh-
ingson of this city were in this


The editor has been permitted
to peruse a package of old let-
ters written during the days of
the civil war— 1862 to 1865.

These espeistles were written, or
the greater part of them, by Mr.
S. W. Farrow of this city to his
wife, Josephine, who died June
20, 1869. Mr. F. was a member
of Company E, 19th Texas Vol-
unteer Regiment. Some of the
letters were from his wife, and
a few were from other members
of the family.

This treasured packet calls to
mind the 303^, the sadness, fond
anticipation, sore disappointments
the recipients experienced in those
trying days of civil strife. Very
near all letters had that message
of yearning for home, and the
longing that the war would soon
come to an end ; there was descrip-
tions of the hardships endured ;the
[visitation of sickness; the march-
j ing of many weary miles ; or
! perhaps the irksomeness of pro-
j traded camp lifp, the lack of
i paydays, and the stringency of
money matters ; the want of to-
bacco when funds were low; at

Solbiers aub Ubeir DeeDs


times the need of proper clothing
to protect the body from incle-
ment weather; the longing for
letters that never came ; the ex-
pectation of a furlough that was
never granted; and a thousand
and one things of everyday oc-
curence. The letters from the wife
and mother were similar in many
ways, to w^hich was added the
prayers of the children that their
papa would soon come home.

These messages were written on
note paper of various tints; on
old leaves from ledgers and day
books ; on postoffice blanks ; and
even on U. kS. muster roll blanks.
Most are written with ink, how-
ever, a few are in Deneil — the ink
used in many instances was made
in camp^ — and after these fifty-odd
years the writing in most cases
is as plain and legible as the day
the letters were penned.

Some of the letters were en-
closed in store-bought envelopes ;
others in envelopes made by the
writer in camp ; while the most of
them were either folded and held
together with sealing wax or went

In most cases the letters were
carried by passing friends; others
were mailed at the most conven-
ient postoffice without stamp, and
were marked ''10c due," which
was collected on delivery; while
in some cases Confederate postage
was used. We cannot, in this age
of swift moving steam and elec-
trict trains, bo^ts, and motor
ears, realize the time taken to get
a letter from the soldier at the
front to the loved ones at home.

We cannot describe the feelings
we experienced as we read these
hallowed pages of the past and
lived as it were, as the writer and
receipient did. and especially as

we endeavored to experience the
emotions as they did in those days
of anxiety and anguish.



A parole issued to W. F. Ed-
mondson, a private in Company
I, Moreland's Regfiment of Ala-
bama Cavalry by Lieut. G. W.
Moore at luka, Miss., May 18,
1865, is still in his possession
and well preserved. It is writ-
ten with pen and ink on a piece
of parchmentlike paper and is
as legfible as if it had been writ-
ten within the past few months.

It is one of the few docu-
ments of the kind now in exist-
ence and is highly prized by Mr.
Edmondson, who says it is the
only absolute, leg-al proof ob-
tainable that he saw service in
the Southern army in the '60's;
this little scrap of paper proves
conclusively, however, that he
served with iionor to the end
and received an honorable dis-

He has a great store house of
highly valued relics, many of
them being of great historic
worth. He has been offered
goodly sums of money for some
of his treasures, but the pleas-
ure of their possession meant
more to him than their value in
cash. — Hamilton Record.


New York, July 11.— Old New
Yorkers recalled today that
this was the fiftieth anniversary
of the conscription order which
precipitated scenes of disorder
and bloodshed that will go down


SolMets an& XTbeir Wccbe

in history as the New York
draft .iots. The conscription
beg-an Saturday, July 11, 1863,
after strong" objection had been
voiced ag-ainst the drafting- of
more of recruits on the ground
that the war practically was
over and that the order was a
party measure. Secret meet-
ings were held that night and
the riots began the Monday fol-
lowing, when a mob stoned and
tired at a recruiting officer on
Forty-sixth street. The rioting
spread to all parts of the city,
necessitating the calling of
troops. In skirmishes with the
troops the mobs were engaged
for six days. Nearly a hundred
persons were killed.


was born November 28, 1839, in
Blount county, Ala ; came to
Texas in 1848, locating^ in Milam
county; later removed to Mc-
Clennan county (1853); enlisted
August, 1861, in Company G,
6th Texas Cavalrj^ and was
mustered into service Septem-
ber 7, 1861; served in Missouri
and Arkansas until the spring
of '62, when his command was
dismounted and sent east of the
Mississippi river, and then re-
mounted in the fall of the same
year; was in the battle of Elk
Horn, Corinth, luka. Hollow
Springs (here his troop captur-
ed Gen. Grant's wife); then went
to Georgia and Alabama under
Johnson; thence back to Ten
nessee under Hood, where he
participated in the battles of
Murfreesboro, Franklin and
Spring Hill; surrendered at Big
Black river, twenty miles from
Vicksburg in the spring of '65;

returned to Texas after the war
— coming- to this section in 1880
and locating- on Gil more creek,
where he has since made his


was born September 13, 1840,
in Harrisburg, Ky.; came to
Texas with his parents in 1845,
locating in Red River county;
enlisted in the summer of '61 at
Acton, joining Cathey's Spy
Company, later annexed to 15th
Texas Cavalry; taken prisoner
at Arkansas Post on January
11, 1863, and sent to Camp
Chasi (Chicago) for confine-
ment, where he remained sever-
al months; was paroled and re
turned to Texas, reporting to
Gen. Henry McCo Hough, who
appointed him adjutant of
Bonham Post, later attaching
him to Capt. Charles Stnith's
Companj^ Hood's Battalion;
was sent to Waco and served
underSparks; then enrolling- of-
ficer in Limestone county un-
der Burnett; finally g-oing to
Tyler (under Capt. Barnett)
where he did guard duty, and
remained until the close of the
war; came to Hico from Jack
county some four years ago.


was born May 3, 1842, near
Alexander, La.; first enlisted in
1862, but soon took the measles
and then had a relapse wliicli
has caused him to forg-et the de-
tails relative to the enlistment;
enlisted the second time on Feb-
ruary 11, 1864, in Company M,
16th Texas, Walker's Division;

^ o

2^ 2




< i =-^

it a


:3 C3




>olMers anb XTbeir H)eeDs


was in only two important en-
g-ag-araents — Pleasant Hill and
Mansfield; was wounded in the
battle of Mansfield, losing* an
arm, and lay on the battlefield
two days before being given at-
tention; after being discharged
from the hospital was g"iven an
unlimited furloug-h, therefore
was at home at the time of the
surrender; directly after the
war removed to Texas, settlings
in Colorado county; for the past
eighteen years has spent most
of his time in the Soldier's
Home at Austin; he is an uncle
of J. R. McMillan of this city,
and is his guest at present, in
hopes that a change will prove
beneficial to his impaired


was born August 20, 1841, in Tip- 1
pah county, Miss. ; removed to |
Arkansas in 1859 ; enlisted in |
July, 1861, at Pine Fluff, joining ;
the 9th Arkansas Infantry ; left j
the service at Columbus, Miss. ; |
1865 ; took part in the following ,
battles : Shiloh, Corinth, Port !
Hudson, Baker's Creek, Brice'sj
Cross Roads and numerous smal- j
ler affrays ; came to Texas in 1877, |
locating in this coaniy on Honey i
Creek ; then removed to the pres- 1
ent town of Hico in 1881, where I
he has since made his home. \


was born in October, 1840, in
Conecuh count}^ Ala. ; in 1862 he
enlisted in the Confederate army,
joining Company E, Alabama
Volunteer Infantry ; vv'as captured
at Lookout Mountain and confined

in the Federal prison at Rock Is-
land, 111., where h«?, according to
his own statement, came so near
starving to death that he joined
Company K, 1st U. S. Infantry, to
enable him to get something to
eat, and while in the U. S. service
i he spent the time of his enlistment
; looking after the Indians on the
j Western border ; was mustered out
! at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, in
I November, 1865 ; came to Texas in
1 1873 and located in 3.1ilain county ;
I removing about 1890 to his pres-
I ent home a mile and a half west
of Duffau.



was born December 11, 1843, in
Tishomingo county, Miss. ; enlis-
ted in Company G, 3rd Mississip-
pi Volunteer Infantry; the first
year of the w^ar (this Regiment
was later called the 23rd) ; was in
the battles of Fort Donaldson
(vras captured in this fight and
kept a prisoner several months
and finally exchanged), Jackson,
Baker's Creek, Coffey ville ; was
under Johnson in his campaign
through Georgia (in this campaign
he was captured about forty
miles south of Atlanta and kept
prisoner three days and was final-
ly rescued and in turn made
prisoners of his captors — Federals
under Stone — at Newnan, Jones-
boro, Spring Hill, Frankin, Nash-
ville, (where he was again cap-
tured on December 15, 1864), and
for the second time sent to Camp
Douglas, 111., for safe keeping, and
where he was when the war was
closed ; came to Texas in 1869 and
located in Ellis county; after
v/hich he moved to ii^rath county
in 1889, and has practically made


SolMers anb XTbeir Deebs

his home in Hico since February,


was born August 8, 1831, in Khone
county, Tenn. ; came to Texas in
1854, settling at Chappel Hill,
Washington county; enlisted in
1861, in Company K, 8th Texas
Cavalry (Confederate), commonly
known as Terry's Texas Rangers;
after two years was transferred
to Harrison's Brigade under Gen.
Wheeler; was in the battle of
Shiloh, Murphry shore, Perryville,
Black River, Chicamauga, Look-
Out Mountain, and many others;
saw service in Kentucky, Tennes-
see, Georgia, North and South
Carolina, Mississippi and Ala-
bama ; quit at Raleigh, N. C. — was
never mustered out; returned to
Texas in 1865, locating near In-
dependence ; removing to the Hico
country in October, 1890, where he
has since been a citizen.


was born in the year 1839, in In-
diana ; moved to Missouri with his
parents ; thence to Arkansas ;final-
ly moving to Texas in 1854, locat-
ing in Bell county; at the begin-
ning of the civil war he joined
Dameron's Company and cam-
paigned through Indian Territory,
but later was transferred to Com-
pany I, 17th Texas, to be with his
brother, W. H., whose sketch ap-
pears elsewhere; he saw no real
war-life (that is fighting), as his
time was occupied in furnishing
beef for the men at the front; he
now resides near Hog Jaw north- ^
west of Hico. i


was born June 17, 1844, in Ange-
ilina county, Texas; moved to
I Washington county, Ala., with
his mother when a lad ten years
old; enlisted in Yancey's Rifles
(Fletcher's Company;, in June,
1861 ; mustered into the Confed-
erate service at Lynchburg, Va.,
and assigned to the 11th Alabama
Volunteer Regiment, Cox's Bri-
gade, Anderson's Division, Long-
street's Corps; transferred to A.
P. Hill's Corps just before the
battle of Gettysburg; was wound-
ed in the third day's fight at
Gettysburg in Pickett's charge on
the right ; was never mustered out
as he was at home on a furlough
at the close of the war ; was in the
following battles : Second ^lanas-
sas. Seven Pines, Seven Days
Fight Before Richmond, Chancel-
lorsville, Fredericksburg, Gettys-
burg ; moved back to Texas in the
spring of 1866, locating in Cher-
okee county, where he remained
three years, thence coming to
Bosque county in 1869, after vrhieli
he came to Hico in 1888, where he
has continued to make his home.


was born July 31, 1846, in Ange-
lina county, Texas; enlisted in
the Confederate ser^nce at Homer,
Texas, in the fall of 1863, join-
ing Company I,Wright's Battalion
of Cavalry, later transfering to
Company I, 4th Texas Cavalry,
Green's Brigade; was mustered
out of the service near Caldwell,
Burleson county, Texas, June,
1865; helped guard some 8,000
prisons the first nine months
of his enlistment. These prisons

Solbieis anb TLbciv Dee^s


were being held at Tyler at the
time) ; the rest of his term of en-
listment was spent patroling the
border, during which time he was
in numerous skirmishes, but no
battles of any consequence ; re-
moved to Limestone county in
1884, thence to Hamilton county,
near Hico, w^here he now resides,
in 1889.


was born February 24, 1843, near
Kosciusko, Miss. ; in March, 1862
he enlisted in Company D. 30th
IMississippi Infantry ; was in the
battles of ]\rurfreesboro, Resaca,
Franklin (in this fight he was
wounded and was at home on a
furlough at the time of Lee's sur-
render) ; in 1869 he removed to
Texas, and located near Caldwell ;
thence to Duffau in 1881 ; but has
b(?en residing near Clairette some
seven vears.


was born December 13, 1841, at
Cleveland, Tenn. ; removed to
Georgia when thirteen years of
age; enlisted in Company A, 1st
Georgia, on September 1, 1861
(Ed. Gait, captain, Levy Hun-
sucker, 1st lieutenant, himself,
2nd lieutenant ; tramped near
Ringgold two months ; went to
Savannah, where he served the
balance of the six months for
which he enlisted; returned to
^Marietta, Avhere his command re-
organized into Brigades 1, 2, 3 and
4, Georgia (although only 1st and
4th Regiments were present) with
Ed. Gault, colonel, Henry C.
Wain, brigadier general, William

Paret, captain. Levy Huncucker,
1st lieutenant, himself 2nd lieuten-
ant; went to Resaca, Ga., on May
1, 1862, where Capt. Harwell was
commissioned to organize a Bri-
gade Battery of eighty-six men,
to which the subject of this sketch
I was transferred May 2, 1862 ; was
in numerous engagements ; came
to Texas, locating in Bosque
county in 1876, and the vicinit}^
of Hico on February 16, 1879,
v/here he now resides.


w^as born June 11, 1843, at West
Point, Miss. ; enlisted in the ser-
vice of the Confederacy in the
spring of 1862, joining Company
B, 4th Mississippi Cavalry (under
General Forest) ;was mustered out
at the place of enlistment in the
fall of 1864; was in the battles of
Fort Pillar, Seige of Atlanta,
Corinth, Chattanooga, Memphis,
Okalona, besides numerous smal-
ler skirmishes; came to Texas in
1869, locating at Brenham; re-
moved to Clifton in 1875 ; then
removing to Hico and vicinity in
1890, where he has since resided,
except a year spent in Washing-
ton county.



was born June 11, 1844, in Jef-
ferson county, Tenn. ; in the win-
ter of 1862, he cast his lot with the
Federal army by joining Company
A, 2nd Arkansas Cavalry (Col.
Roberts) ; was mustered out in
August, 1865, at LaGrange, Tenn. ;
was in the Spring Creek (Mo.)
fight, during which he was wound-
ed ; came to Texas in the fall of
1883, settling in Bell county, then


SolC)iets auD Ubeir H)ee^6

about four years ago removed to
this section, where he continues to
make his home.


was born February 25, 1842, in
Daley county, N. C. ; enlisted in
the Confederate army in Attala
county. Miss., in the fall of 1861,
joining Companj^ D, 30th Mis-
sissippi Volunteer Infantry; was
in the battles of Chickamauga,
Missionary Ridge; captured on
November 23, 1863, and kept a
prisoner at Rock Island, 111., until
the close of war ; came to Texas in
the fall of 1869 to Johnson county,
where he remained until the fall
of 1876, when he removed to
Erath county, then about four
years ago coming to Hico to make
his home in the "cleanest little
city in Texas."


Was born April 10, 1845, near
Shelby ville, Texas; enlisted in the
service of the Confederacy at
Sabine Pass in the summer of
1863, joniing Company B, Fags-
dale's Battalion Texas Calvary;
was dismounted later and joined
Company D, 8th Texas, Walker's
Division ; took part in the battle of
Mansfield, also in many skirmish-
es; left the service at Hempstead,
Texas, in 1865 ; removed to Erath
county in 1873, locating some S
miles northw^est of Hico, where he
now resides.


was born December 14, 1843, in

I Sabine county, Texas ; took up

arms in the Confederate cause in

I January, 1862 , joining Company

jM, 18th Texas Calvary, Terreir's

] Regiment ; among the prominent

: battles in which he took part we

find Mansfield, Pleasant Hill,

Chaney ville and Yellow Bayou

mentioned, not to say anything

concerning the smaller conflicts

v:ith the enemy; was captured in

1864 and continued in the Federal

prison at Elmira, N. Y., until the

I close of the v/ar; came back to

j Texas after the war, and in 1896

I came to the vicinity of Hico, and

; has since been a citizen of this,

'the garden spot of Texas.


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Online LibraryW. (Wilson) StraleySoldiers and their deeds → online text (page 2 of 4)