The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 106, July 2002 - April, 2003 Page: 260
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
But I'll tell you how I feel about the going off to war
I'd rather stay right here and stand and shoot from taw.
Brass buttons, plumes and soldier clothes are very fine, I know
But when they march you off to fight, no telling where you'll go.
I've "done and seen" our own folks fight a-during of the war
And you bet your life if the Spanish come
I'll stay and shoot from taw.
You'll never catch this chick again-a-going to the front
I'll let the younger soldier boys go out and bear the brunt.
I've reached that interesting age beyond the conscript law
And rather than enlist again I'd go straight to Ark-an-sas!"
Members of some units of the Texas State Guard also began to have sec-
ond thoughts, afraid that their companies would simply be merged into
the United States Army, thereby losing their unit identities. They did not
like the idea of taking orders from officers of the regular army, and sev-
eral took steps to ensure a measure of autonomy in keeping with their
high opinions of themselves. The captain of the Sealy Rifles, a Galveston
company, wired Adj. Gen. W. H. Mabry that the men in his company
would not enlist in either the regular or the volunteer U.S. Army. Mabry,
his patience obviously wearing thin by this sort of machination, respond-
ed by informing him that "the army of the United States is composed of
the regular army and the volunteer army. The President has called for vol-
unteers to organize the volunteer army and consequently your proposi-
tion to volunteer and yet not to enlist in either army is absurd." The ad-
jutant general made it clear that if the Sealy Rifles, or any other unit for
that matter, would not comply with every aspect of the call for volunteers,
they were to disband and turn in all state property in their possession-ri-
fles, uniforms, tents, etc.-so that other, less choosy, recruits could be
equipped. Almost one-fourth of the Texas Guard companies-including
the Sealy Rifles-disbanded rather than enter service under the pre-
Nor was the fear of serving under regular army officers the only thing
that caused some guardsmen reluctance in volunteering. Many militia-
men in the cities of Texas were businessmen, and were concerned that
the enforced absence from their business pursuits that a two-year enlist-
ment entailed would place them in dire financial straits. An officer of the
Houston Light Guard had no doubt that if the United States were threat-
ened by invasion, he and his company would fulfill their constitutional
obligation and spring to the call. Since such was not apparently the case,
however, the services of such men could be dispensed with without any
damage to national security. Furthermore, he went on, "there are hun-
" Ibid, Apr. 23, May 9 (quotation), 1898
2 Nelson, "Texas Militia in the Spanish-American War," 196 (quotation); Wozencraft, Report of
the Adjutant General, 5.
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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/m1/312/: accessed January 18, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.