The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 64, July 1960 - April, 1961 Page: 314
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314 Southwestern Historical Quarterly
oners, we would be compelled to march to a place of safety from
attack by the Confederates."
It was too much for Slaughter. Fuming at such insubordination,
he mounted and returned with his staff to Brownsville. Ford and
his men took the prisoners to a safer camp eight miles to the
The next day, Ford learned from a prisoner that Lee had sur-
rendered over a month before and that the Federal officers at
Brazos Island, having received the news, had moved toward
Brownsville expecting Confederate capitulation. The skirmish
with Robinson on May 12, the prisoner continued, had been an
accident, the ensuing battle, a mistake. Ford and his lieutenants
denied this story (the Yankee Army later advanced a similar view
of the battle) and insisted that Union forces had come off Brazos
Island looking for trouble, and certainly had found it.s5 This
dispute has never been settled to the satisfaction of both sides,
but whatever brought about the last battle was actually insig-
nificant as the final chapter of the Civil War came to a close.
The Confederacy was no more and the South was faced with a
long and dreary period of reconstruction. But to John Salmon
Ford and thousands of other loyal Southerners the Confederacy
never really died for it was something more than a government
or an army: it symbolized a way of life that would continue even
through the machinery that made it tangible had been destroyed.
A few days after Palmetto Ranch, Ford and his Texans, looking
forward to civilian life with soft beds, good cooking, and honest
work, rode north across the brush toward San Antonio.
*4Ford's report in Roberts, "Texas," Confederate Military History, XI, 128-129.
9sFord's article in the San Antonio Express, October lo, 189o; Benson John
Lossing, Pictorial History of the Civil War in the United States of America (3 vols.;
Philadelphia, 1866-1868), III, 18o.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 64, July 1960 - April, 1961, periodical, 1961; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101190/m1/348/: accessed January 21, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.