Southwestern Historical Quarterly
THE DIARY OF H. C. MEDFORD, CONFEDERATE
EDITED BY REBECCA W. SMITH AND MARION MULLINS
The Diary of Harvey C. Medford, private in Lane's Texas Cav-
alry, C. S. A., for the period covering January 19-February 15,
March 10-April 14, 1864, is contained in two small, handmade
books which have lain undisturbed in an old secretary for more
than half a century.1 The pages are closely filled with fine, ac-
curate writing, careful diagrams of battle plans and fortifications,
and quaint sketches. Their author was a born diarist, with a
Pepysian regard for details of daily living, as well as a penchant
for fine writing characteristic of the Southern gentleman of his
day. He had begun his keeping of daily records in 1854, and these
1864 sections show him to be a practiced writer.
Medford's Diary is valuable for a number of reasons. His pic-
ture of camp life in Houston and Galveston is painstaking and
full, with intelligent comments on the military defenses of the
island. He gives a straightforward account of the march of the
Texas troops to Mansfield in March-April, 1864, about which the
historians have had little to say. He tells of the battles of Sabine
Cross-Roads and Pleasant Hill from the viewpoint of a courier on
the general's staff-an unusually observant courier, since he had
previously been an officer in an infantry regiment. Finally, the
Diary reveals the mind and character of an educated, alert young
man, whose daily routine of Byron and "beef-steaks" was varied
at times with desperate fighting.
Harvey C. Medford was born in Marion County, Alabama, Janu-
ary 11, 1831, and in early childhood removed with his parents to
Itawamba County, Mississippi.2 As a youth he went with his
1The Diary of H. C. Medford was lent to the editors by Mrs. Fannie
Day Rhome, of Fort Worth, Texas, the second wife of Colonel Byron C.
Rhome, whose first wife, Ella Loftin (Rhome), is mentioned as a friend
of Medford's in Canton.
2This biographical note is based partly on a Memorial to "Major H.
C. Medford" by Captain James Kincannon, in the Review (newspaper)
Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 34, July 1930 - April, 1931. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101091/. Accessed July 31, 2015.