Tag Archives: Civil War

Today in Texas History – January 29

From the Annals of Bad Decisions –  In 1861, the Texas State Secession Convention  voted overwhelmingly to secede from the United States following the lead of several other southern states.  Rather than concede that Republican Abraham Lincoln had been duly elected, the Southern states chose to secede precipitating what would be the worst tragedy in U.S. history.  As Red has noted many times, the Texas Ordinance of Secession is one of the most vile, racists screeds that an organized governmental body has ever produced.  The Ordinance of Secession was subject to a popular referendum to which was held on February 23, 1861. The vote was 46,153 in favor of secession and 14,747 against.

Advertisements

Today in Texas History – January 23

From the Annals of the True Heroes of the Civil War -In 1863, former Texas State Sen. Martin Hart was executed in Fort Smith, Arkansas for his supposed treason against the Confederate States of America.  Hart was an attorney from Hunt County who had served in the Texian Army during the Revolution at age 15.  He later served in the Texas Legislature as a representative and senator.  He was opposed to secession.  After the Texas Legislature passed the vile screed known as the “Ordinance of Secession”, he resigned from the Legislature and organized the Greenville Guards, pledging the company’s services “in defense of Texas whenever she is invaded or threatened with invasion.”   In the summer of 1862 he received a Confederate commission with permission to raise a company and conduct operations in northwest Arkansas.   However, he used his commission to travel through Confederate lines leading his followers to Missouri where they joined Union forces.  He returned to Arkansas where he led a series of rear-guard actions against Confederate forces, and is alleged to have murdered at least two prominent secessionists. He and others were captured on January 18, 1863, by Confederate forces, hung five days later and buried in an unmarked graves under the hanging tree.  After Fort Smith was recaptured by Union forces, his remains were moved to the National Cemetery there.  Contributions from Union soldiers paid for his headstone.

Today in Texas History – January 8

Slag bij Dove Creek | rebelcivilwar

From the Annals of the Civil War – In 1865, the Kickapoo Indians defeated a Confederate Army force fighting with about 325 state militiamen at the Battle of Dove Creek in present day Tom Green County.  In December 1864, a force of Texas Militia under Captain N.M. Gillentine discovered an abandoned Indian camp on the Clear Fork of the Brazos River.   Gillentine believed that Comanche or Kiowa might have been at the site and called for action.  A few days later,  Confederate Texas Frontier Battalion troops under the command of Captain Henry Fossett arrived at Fort Chadbourne to address the supposed threat.  Fossett located an encampment on Dove Creek.  Fossett was unaware that it was a band of Kickapoo – a relatively peaceful tribe since the Black Hawk war.

As Fossett prepared for an attack, the Texas Militia troops arrived after a forced march and a joint attack was planned. The Militia launched a frontal assault on the camp from the north.  The Confederates under Fossett maneuvered around to the southwest, captured the Indians’ horse herd, and attack from the flank.

The entire operation was bungled.  The Kickapoo benefited from the well-placed camp, located on a tall bank covered with light timber and protected by natural brier thickets.   The Militia got caught in the brier and came under intense rifle fire.  Three Texan officers (including Gillentine) and sixteen enlisted men were killed in the first few minutes.

The Confederate force was initially successful in capturing the horse herd, but an attack on quickly faltered splintering the Rebels into three groups who were routed with heavy casualties.  The Confederates and Texas Militia retreated eastward.  The now embittered Kickapoos headed south for Mexico and began raiding settlers along the Rio Grande.

Map from rebelcivilwar.wordpress.com

Plaque in Texas Capitol Lauds Rebellion with Distorted and False Version of History – Why is it Still There?

The Texas Capitol Building prominently features a plaque honoring the Confederacy and proclaiming that the Civil War was not a rebellion and not about slavery.  As Red has pointed out several times, all one need do is read the Texas Ordinance of Secession – a vile racist screed – to determine that the only reason Texas seceded was to protect its white citizens’ ability to own black slaves.  And a lot of folks sure got killed in the non-rebellion that was the U.S. Civil War.

Rep. Straus Wants the Misleading Confederate Memorial in ...

Red and others wonder why this disgusting piece of utter racist bullshit and revisionist history still has a place anywhere in the public space in Texas.  Apparently former speaker Joe Strauss and incoming boss Dennis Bonnen both agree it should go.  The hold up is likely our Poor Idiot Governor Abbott who is terrified of doing anything that might affect his right wing bona fides.  The Texas Tribune has the full story.

Today in Texas History – May 14

From the Annals of the Freedom Loving Germans –  In 1854, delegates from various local German political clubs met at the annual Staats-Saengerfest (State Singers’ Festival) in San Antonio.  The meeting might otherwise have escaped notice, except that the delegates adopted a declaration against slavery declaring it to be evil. The declaration went on to state that abolition was to be the work of the various states who should seek help from the federal government (in the form of payment for freed slaves) to help end the moral abomination of chattel slavery.  The Texas Germans were falling in line with other organizations such as the Freier Mann Verein (Freeman’s Association) from Northern States who had enacted similar declarations.  As one might imagine, the declaration was not well received in the strongly pro-slavery (and virulently racist) Texas of the time.  In conjunction with ongoing antislavery newspaper articles in the German language press, many Anglo-Texans grew more and more hostile to their German-Texan neighbors.  This was clearly evidenced at the outset of the Southern Rebellion by the murder of many German Texans who were attempting to go north to fight for the Union.

Today in Texas History – March 28

Battle of Glorieta Pass - The Fight for Pigeon’s Ranch ...

From the Annals of the Southern Insurrection – In 1862, Texas Rebel forces under the command of  General Henry Hopkins Sibley were soundly defeated at the Battle of Glorietta Pass in northern New Mexico.  Sibley’s force had a relatively easy time in coming up the Rio Grande. Sibley first attempted to capture Fort Craig under the command of Col. Edward Canby.  Sibley outmaneuvered Canby at the Battle of Valverde in February driving Union forces back into the fort, but failed to force Canby’s surrender. Sibley bypassed the fort and advanced north through the Rio Grande Valley capturing Albuquerque and Santa Fe.

In March, Sibley sent a Rebel force of 200-300 Texans under the command of Maj. Charles L. Pyron on an advance expedition over Glorieta Pass a strategic location on the Santa Fe Trail.  Control of the pass would allow Rebels to advance further north and attack Fort Union and move on to control of Raton Pass on the Colorado border.  Sibley also sent six companies under the command of Col. Tom Green to block the eastern end of Glorieta Pass.

The battle itself was fought over the course of three days with fighting on March 26, a lull on March 27 as both sides sought reinforcements and culminated on March 28.  Rebel forces had the upper hand until Lt. Col. Manuel Chaves of the 2nd New Mexico Infantry and commander of the New Mexican volunteers, informed Maj. John M.  Chivington that his scouts had located the Confederate supply train behind Rebel lines.  Chivington’s force attacked the lightly guarded supply train driving off or capturing the small guard with few casualties on either side. The forces confiscated what they could carry, burned 80 supply wagons, spiked the cannon,  and killed, captured or drove off about 500 horses and mules before returning with their prisoners to the Union rear.   The destruction of supplies forced the Rebel forces to retire and ultimately retreat to Santa Fe, and finally San Antonio. Chaves’ discovery turned a Union defeat into victory and effectively ended the war in New Mexico.

 

Today in Texas History – November 30

From the Annals of the Southern Rebellion – In 1864, Rebel commander Hiram B. Granbury was killed at the Battle of Franklin, Tennessee.  The battle was a near-complete disaster for the Rebel forces under the command of John Bell Hood and they lost more soldiers in that battle than in any other one-day battle of the entire war.  The loss was not quite the end for Rebel forces in Tennessee as that came shortly afterwards at Nashville.

Granbury was born in Mississippi and graduated from Oakland College. In the 1850’s Granbury moved to Waco where he was admitted to the Texas State Bar and served as chief justice of McLennan County.  After secession, Granbury recruited the Waco Guards and was elected by the troops as Major.

On February 15, 1862, he was captured with his command at the Battle of Fort Donelson – one of U.S. Grant’s first brilliant victories.   He surrendered and was taken as a POW.  Later that year, the Rebel officers were paroled as part of an officers exchange from prison. Granbury was given an early parole to take care of his terminally-ill wife Fannie.  Granbury returned to service after his parole and was ultimately commissioned brigadier general.

The city of Granbury in Hood County is named for him and a statute of the Rebel leader sits on the Courthouse square.

So is Red honoring Granbury by relating this history?  No, he is stating the known facts.  Are Hood County and the State of Texas honoring Granbury by continuing to have a city named after him and a statute on the Courthouse lawn?  Yes, and Red fully supports taking down such monuments to traitors.  Renaming entire cities is a more difficult proposition that will take some time to deal with.