The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 106, July 2002 - April, 2003 Page: 578
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
Rufus King wrote, "We had a dreadful march of it over the worst road I
ever saw ..." The men found some relief watching each other slide and
fall in the mud. But the pace was grueling and many fell out of the ranks
from exhaustion. Rufus King and his comrades "were greatly disappoint-
ed on our arrival to find that the enemy had not crossed [the Potomac
River] & there was no chance for a fight. The useless order was from
Gen. Wigfall & has I think the fancy of an intoxicated brain." The eager
soldier-to-be added, "no telling what moment the long roll will be sound-
ed to lead us forth to battle. Come when it may they will find brave
hearts to meet them & men who not only feel the power of their arm,
but know that the God of battles are with us & will sustain the cause of
right & justice ..."8
In his letter of November 17 from Dumfries, Virginia, Rufus King
wrote that, per his mother's request, he had his photograph taken. He
wrote, "Miers & myself had ours taken together the day before we left K
[Kentucky]. We will keep it & send it back by who ever brings our cloth-
ing." The photo of the two young Confederates survived the war and has
survived the passage of time as a part of the Chappell Hill Historical So-
ciety collection of Nath and Judy Winfield.'
Felder wrote on February 2o, 1862, that his company had lost two
more men to disease since he had last written and added, "I hope they
will be the last we shall loose [lose] until we return to the bosoms of our
familys." Young Felder had no idea of the loss of life that his brigade
would sustain in the three years ahead of them. His sister delivered a ba-
by boy, causing Rufus King to reflect with a touch of homesickness:
Give sister E. my congratulations & tell her to find him well that he may soon grow
up & make a stout healthy soldier & make himself useful[,] a Boregard [Gen. P.
G. T. Beauregard] for the rising generations. The farmers, I suppose, are by this
time planting a new crop. It seems strange that it should be planting time in
Texas. Here the ground is covered with snow. . .10
On March 12, 1862, John Bell Hood took command of the brigade,
which would be known thereafter as Hood's Texas Brigade. Col. Jerome
Bonaparte Robertson became commanding officer of the Fifth Texas In-
fantry. Robertson had arrived in Texas in 1835 to help in the fight for in-
dependence. He settled down in Washington, Texas, in 1837 to practice
medicine. He also served in the state legislature and took part in several
campaigns against hostile Indians.
" Harold B. Simpson, Hood's Texas Bngade: A Compendzum (Hillsboro, Tex. Hill Junior College
Press, 1977), 558; Felder letter, Nov. 17, 1861 (quotations).
' Felder letter, Nov. 17, 1861.
'0 Felder letter, Feb. 20, 1862.
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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/m1/656/: accessed December 12, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.