The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 106, July 2002 - April, 2003 Page: 258
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
Some had both uniforms and weapons, but were sadly deficient in any
When Texas's quota was published there was a rush to raise troops to fill
it. Militia units all across the state-from the Decatur Rifles up near the
Oklahoma border to the Eagle Pass Rifles down along the Rio Grande to
the Houston Light Guard and the San Antonio Guard Zouaves-hoped
to be accepted for this glorious war duty. In Austin, the commander of the
Capital City Guards, a militia unit composed entirely of African Ameri-
cans, enthusiastically mustered his company and put it through a rigorous
drill. Then, to ensure that the men's martial ardor would not be lessened
by any outside influences while he waited for instructions from the gover-
nor, he locked them all into a building and only allowed them to leave for
more drill. Governor Charles Culberson, however, followed the leads of
most other governors by not accepting any black guardsmen as part of the
first call for volunteers.8
And even though preference was to be given to members of existing
militia units, prominent men, some with little or no prior military experi-
ence, nevertheless advertised for recruits for entirely new units. In Galve-
ston, army lieutenant Charles S. Richer and Edwin S. Easley, set about rais-
ing enough volunteers to form an entire regiment of men on the very day
the call went out. In San Antonio, the commander of the Uniform Rank
of the Knights of Pythias optimistically assured the governor that he could
provide one hundred thousand volunteers. Henry Ferguson, a prominent
black politician in Houston, advertised that he was raising a unit from
among the men from the surrounding area. Similar offers from black
Texans in Bonham, Galveston, LaGrange, and many other localities came
in, but none of these well-intentioned efforts met with any more initial
success than those of the black militiamen in the state capital. Nine sen-
iors at Texas A&M University telegraphed Governor Culberson of their
willingness to serve in any capacity he might dictate. At the same time a
company of students formed on the campus of the University of Texas
and began to drill in anticipation of a second call for volunteers-so long
as it did not come until the end of the current semester. And an American
living in Monterey, Mexico, sought permission to raise a company of
American expatriates living there.'
Letters and telegrams flooded into the governor's office from men ea-
ger to serve, although their offers were often contingent upon receiving
7John Joseph Leffler, "From the Shadows into the Sun: Americans in the Spanish-American
War" (Ph.D. diss., University of Texas, 1991), 141; A. P. Wozencraft, Report of the Adjutant-General
of the State of Texas for 1897-98 (Austin: Von Boeckmann, Moore, and Schutze, 1899), 45; Christ-
ian G Nelson, "Organization and Training of the Texas Militia, 1870-1897," Texas Milztary Histo-
ry, 2 (May, 1962), 16, Nelson, "Texas Militia in the Spanish-American War," 199, Leffler, "Paradox
of Patriotism," 4o; Galveston Daily News, May 22, 1898; Houston Post, May 3, 1898.
" Houston Dazly Post, Apr. 26, 1898.
' Ibid., Apr. 21, 25, 1898; Galveston Daily News, Apr. 27, 28, May 3,June 2, 1898.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 106, July 2002 - April, 2003, periodical, 2003; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101223/m1/310/: accessed May 26, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.