The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 106, July 2002 - April, 2003 Page: 266
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
disgusted with the entire matter and I will be glad when it is finished."
This was not a very auspicious start for the Texas volunteers.2"
Nevertheless, the time spent at Camp Mabry was not entirely rigorous.
Large numbers of civilians came out to tour the camps and to visit the sol-
diers on the weekends, and deputations of citizens presented flags to the
various companies with flurries of patriotic oratory. Governor Culberson
presented a flag to the men of Company L of the First Texas Infantry--
the pre-war Governor's Guard--with stirring references to their Civil War
predecessors. Surely the sons of men who had fought under the likes of
Robert E. Lee,John Bell Hood, and Patrick R. Cleburne would bring even
more glory to their state. Members of a Dallas chapter of the Daughters of
the American Revolution sent Colonel Mabry a regimental flag for the
First Texas. The colonel assured these women, in his acceptance, that his
men would "be no less conspicuous in defending the colors of their coun-
try than were those soldiers whose history made possible the organiza-
tion" which now bestowed this flag. A Houston company, the Emmett Ri-
fles, received a Cuban flag from a representative of the Texas Cuban
League. "I present it," intoned the delegate, "with assurance that it will be
a passport to the heart of every loyal Cuban and that in their memory will
be enshrined the name of the Emmett Rifles, who at their country's call
promptly and patriotically volunteered to fight and die if need be in hu-
The men at Camp Mabry were eager to tangle with the enemy. Like
young volunteers in previous wars, many were afraid that the war would
end before they had a chance to participate in what one young recruit de-
scribed as "the glorious victory in the cause of humanity that is about to
mark an era in American history unparalleled by any other nation." An-
other man reported that "the boys are wild to go to the front."26
Finally, the eagerly awaited orders came to move. The First and Second
Regiments were bound for Mobile and what their members undoubtedly
hoped was glory on the battlefields of Cuba. The transportation plan
called for four separate trains to move the First Texas. The first train
would leave Austin about 3 P.M. on May 19, with the others to follow at
regular intervals. The route was through Houston, which the first train
would probably reach by eight or nine o'clock that evening. Colonel
Mabry, who had stepped down from the adjutant general's position and
assumed field command of the First Texas, was well aware that Houston
families would want to take advantage of this chance to again bid farewell
to their loved ones. But since the stopover was only to be long enough to
'" Nelson, "Texas Militia in the Spanish-American War," 198; Houston Dazly Post, May 14, 1898
"" Galveston Dazly News, May 15, 19 (1st quotation), 1898, Houston Daily Post, May 14, 1898 (2nd
2' Galveston Dazly News, May 18 (1st quotation), 19 (2nd quotation), 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/m1/318/: accessed May 22, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.