The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 106, July 2002 - April, 2003 Page: 577
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... Willing Never To Go in Another Fight"
my oil cloth & tell I. to send my pistol & all the buckshot that wil fit in it & also
my flask ...
By August, the regiments moved east to Virginia. The regiments marched
and Felder referred to it as "that long & ever to be remembered march
... from knee to waist deep in mud & water."'
From New Iberia, the regiments moved downriver by boat to New Or-
leans, where they loaded onto trains for Virginia. Felder wrote from Vir-
ginia five days later:
Sept. 12, 1861, Richmond, VA. .... We are growing quite tired of our inactivity. We
are encamped three miles from the city without guns or marching orders. ... It is
rumored that Galveston is about to be attacked & it created in me deep feelings
of regret & self condemnation that I left & will not be there to defend the state of
my adoption & the home of all those on earth who are so dear to me, though my
humble mite [might] would be small, yet it would be given with a prior deter-
mined will & a truer sense of an outraged people. If it is true that our state has
been invaded there is not a man or boy in the lone star state, but would rise up in
anger & swear to drive from our soil the last man that dare oppose us ...
Felder's first encounter with Federal soldiers occurred while he was on
furlough in Richmond. He reported home, "I also had the pleasure of
seeing the yankee prisoners. ... They sometimes got very insulting. Sev-
eral of them had to be shot by the guards .. ." Rufus King closed his letter
with, "Tell all the Negroes howdy for me & tell them I am growing fast and
harty [hearty]. Give my love to all & tell the girls I will expect letters from
all of them.. ."
On October 21, 1861, the three Texas regiments were combined with
the Eighteenth Georgia Infantry to become the Texas Brigade. Brig.
Gen. Lewis Wigfall assumed command on the following day. The new
soldiers settled into camp for the winter and suffered terribly from dis-
ease. At one point, only twenty-five of the eight hundred men in the
Fifth Texas Infantry were fit for duty. Thirty men in the Fifth's Company
K alone died of yellow fever in the first six months of service. Rufus King
wrote that his company was the healthiest in the regiment and left only
eighteen behind when they marched off on the night of November 7th.
Orders were to fill knapsacks with three days' worth of rations for a
forced march, which Rufus King felt made his load "Enough for a pack
mule." The brigade marched all night for a distance of nearly twenty
miles to Dumfries, where Quantico Creek empties into the Potomac.
Rufus King Felder, letter, Aug. 5, 1861, Hood's Texas Brigade Letter Collection (Harold B.
Simpson Confederate Research Center, Hill College, Hillsboro, Tex.). Correspondence from this
collection is cited hereafter as Felder letter.
6 Felder letter, Sept. 7, 1861.
"Felder letter, Sept. 12, 1861.
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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/m1/655/: accessed January 20, 2019), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.