happening in on the old soldiers in the Senate chamber before
the House was called to order would have been impressed anew
with the strength of the tie that binds together men who have
campaigned and fought and slept side by side through four years
of bloody war. The enduring tenderness of that tie is a proverb,
but it is necessary to attend a reunion of these old men to get
the full force of the statement. The handshakes, the joyous
exclamations at the sight of a long-absent comrade, the glad
tears and fond embraces all attest the deep sincerity and
genuine warmth of feeling welling up in the hearts of these
survivors of a glorious era.
together were the majority of the two hundred and fifty
surviving veterans of Hood’s Texas Brigade, tottering old men,
come from the four corners of the State, and some of them from
beyond its borders, they and their wives, daughters, and sons,
drawn by the common impulse of love and sentiment. Old and
young, men and women, entered into the spirit of the occasion,
for all honored the cause and admired the heroism of the men who
fought for it.
* * *
|Some of the best
things that happen at a Confederate reunion are those
spontaneous and unforeseen incidents of which the printed
program gives no hint. Such an incident was that when the aged
Gen. W. L. Cabell, of Dallas, entered the hall shortly after the
exercises were begun, and was escorted to the speaker’s stand.
His presence plainly was unexpected to the majority. He was
greeted with a lusty Rebel yell, the audience rising as one man
to do honor to “Old Tige,” the Trans-Mississippi fighter and
octogenarian, who made a journey of two hundred miles to be with
his comrades of the Virginia Army.
|The address of
the President, William R. Hamby, was well received. Especially
pleasing was his earnest declaration that it was not a “lost
cause” for which the Southern soldier fought, but that its
principles were being vindicated with the passing years. “If the
men of the North fought to preserve the Union,” the speaker
declared, “the men of the South fought to preserve the
principles on which the Union was founded.”
|The old soldiers
were welcomed on behalf of Albert Sidney Johnston Chapter, U. D.
C., by the Chapter President, Mrs.
W. T. Wroe. Mrs. Wroe referred touchingly to her own sacrifice
of a father and a mother to the Southern cause, and affirmed her
undying interest in all persons and things connected with the
D. Sayers was introduced, and in extending welcome declared that
Austin had a peculiar interest in the Hood Brigade, not only
because its monument stands here, but because of the gallant
Carter and his Tom Green Rifles, who marched away from Austin in
the opening days of the conflict. Most of his address was
devoted to a review of the brigade’s war record for a period of
three months, from June to September,
The losses of the three Texas regiments at Gaines
Mill, he declared, were two hundred and seventy- five, or
fifty-five per cent of a total of four hundred and twenty-eight
men; at Fraser’s Farm the 1st Texas lost heavily:
Manassas the losses were three hundred and sixty- six, and at
Sharpsburg sixty-three per cent of a total of six hundred and
five fell. In this battle, the speaker said, the ist Texas lost
one hundred and eighty-six out of a total of two hundred and
twenty-six, or eighty-two and one-third per cent. “Hood’s was
the greatest brigade that ever enlisted under any flag in any
cause in any country, and they certainly have long deserved a
|A response to
the addresses of welcome was made by Maj. A. G. Clopton, of
Jefferson, who spoke in glowing terms of Austin’s proverbial
hospitality. Speaking of General Hood, he declared that Hood was
opposed to the surrender at Appomattox, favoring a fight to
extermination. He added that if General Hood had lived till now
he would completely reverse it, for he would see that the cause
for which he fought, States’ rights, still lives.
|Maj. F. Charles
Hume, of Houston, also delivered an eloquent address in
|The program was
interspersed with music, and a medley played by Mrs. Cecilia
Townsend, of Austin, pleased the audience immensely.
chamber was appropriately decorated with Texas, Confederate, and
United States flags, also palms and ferns.
|The afternoon of
the first day was a continual feast of things good for the soul.
There was the reading of telegrams and letters from distant
comrades. Letters from W. A. George, in whose possession the 5th
Texas flag had been for forty years, were of particular
interest. This flag, with the torn banners of the other two
Texas regiments, was presented to the association. Telegrams
from Mike Powell, colonel of the 5th Regiment, and Hon. 0. B.
Colquitt expressed regret. An interesting address was made by
address was delivered by Capt. W. E. Bary,
of Navasota, and at the end of his speech he
called attention to the fact that one of the two survivors of
the battle of San Jacinto, W. P. Zuber, was in the house, and
amid much enthusiasm the aged man was assisted up on a table. He
thanked them for the honor, but said that he took it rather as a
proxy for those who have preceded him “across the river.”
The poem, “Hood’s Texas Brigade,” was read with
much feeling by Judge West, of Waco, father of Miss Decca Lamar
West, who was unavoidably absent.
Several excellent musical selections were
rendered, the routine business was transacted, and the veterans
and ladies took a trolley ride to the Confederate Home.
At night a delightful musical program was
rendered, and an address by Mrs. Mary Hunt Affieck, Vice
President of the Daughters of the Confederacy from San Antonio,
was enjoyed. A band concert during thq reception followed, at
which the Albert Sidney Johnston Chapter of the United Daughters
of the Confederacy acted hostess.
reputation of Hood’s Texas Brigade had become so noted that the
Librarian of Congress wrote to General Hamby in seeking
information, and stated: “The known statistics of these
regiments are so remarkable that if missing figures can be
obtained it will establish a record equaled by few, if any,
organizations in the Civil War or indeed in modern warfare.”