Notes and Documents
The Diary of Thomas H. DuVal:
The Civil War in Austin, Texas, February 26 to
October 9, 1863
EDITED BY JAMES MARTEN*
THOMAS H. DUVAL (I813-I88o), JUDGE OF THE UNITED STATES Dis-
trict Court for Western Texas, called secession a "sinful and sui-
cidal act," when "madness ruled the hour, and treason triumphed."'
He refused to resign his federal judgeship, but remained in Austin for
over two years after the beginning of the Civil War. During that time he
kept a diary that reveals much about the experiences of Southern
Unionists trapped in a Confederacy they refused to support, about
daily life in the urban frontier of Texas, about the Confederate home
front during the Civil War, and about the various personal problems
and pastimes-including health, hobbies, reading habits, and child-
rearing practices-of nineteenth-century Southerners and Texans.
DuVal belonged to a distinguished Southern family. His father,
William Pope DuVal (1784-1854), the son of a Revolutionary War
hero, was a congressman, federal judge, and governor of Florida Ter-
ritory from 1822 to 1834. Two of Thomas's brothers, Burr (1811-
1836) and John C. DuVal (1815-1897), fought in the Texas Revolution
and were captured at Goliad. In the subsequent massacre, John es-
caped, but Burr was killed. John later became a Texas Ranger, Confed-
erate private, and writer about the Texas frontier. Thomas graduated
*James Marten is an assistant professor at Marquette University. He is the author of Texas
Dizvded Loyalty and Dissent in the Lone Star State, 1856-1874 (Lexington. University Press of
Kentucky, i99o), and is currently compiling a book-length annotated bibliography on Texas
for Clio Press He has also begun work on a major piolect dealing with children during the
'Thomas H DuVal to James Guthrie, May 30, 1864, Thomas H. DuVal Papers (Eugene C.
Barker Texas History Center, University of Texas at Austin, cited hereafter as BTHC) The
editor thanks the Barker Center for its kind permission to edit and publish DuVal's diary.
Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 94, July 1990 - April, 1991. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101214/. Accessed February 14, 2016.