The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 62, July 1958 - April, 1959 Page: 219
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The Texas Road to Secession and War
On July 27 two new military companies were organized in
Austin, the Confederate Guards, infantry, and the Austin City
Battery No. 1, under command of Captain H. Willke. The Travis
Mounted Rifles were organized in August. Commanded by Cap-
tain James A. Thompson, the Rifles held regular meetings in an
armory on Walnut Creek.101
News of the Confederate victory at Manassas, Virginia, was
received at Austin on July 29. Cannon were fired and a military
review was held. Major Xavier B. De Bray, assistant adjutant
general, fired a cannon as soon as the news came. Patriotic
speeches were made at the capitol.
On August 17 General H. H. Sibley and Captain Tom Ochil-
tree were in Austin recruiting for Sibley's Brigade for service
in New Mexico, and a recruiting office for the brigade was estab-
lished on Congress Avenue. Colonel Tom Green, commander of
the 2nd Regiment of Sibley's Brigade, advertised in the Gazette
for more volunteers.102
Patriotism was high in Austin in August. Dr. B. Graham adver-
tised free professional services to families whose husband or
guardian was absent "battling for the rights of the South."103
A patriotic rally was held at 3:30 P.M. on Saturday, August 31, in
front of Cook's Hotel on Congress Avenue.
In August the Tom Green Rifles encamped near Harrisburg,
waiting to be mustered into the Confederate Army for service in
Virginia. E. H. Cushing of the Houston Telegraph wrote that all
troops were ill-fed and suffered from a lack of adequate facilities.
The Gazette rebuked the Telegraph for the attack.104
The Tom Green Rifles were assigned to the first detachment
of troops that left Houston by rail on August 16, reaching
Beaumont at 4 P.M., and going on the steamboat Florida down the
Neches River to Sabine Lake. The Florida reached Niblett's
Bluff, Louisiana, about 3:30 P.M. Saturday, August 17, where the
overland journey began. J. T. Ward had contracted to supply the
troops with wagons to carry goods across the Louisiana swamps
to New Iberia, but through some confusion only a few wagons
lollbid., August 17, 1861, p. 5.
o102Ibid., September 7, 1861, p. 3.
lolIbid., August 24, 1861, p. 2.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 62, July 1958 - April, 1959, periodical, 1959; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101173/m1/262/: accessed August 23, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.