The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 72, July 1968 - April, 1969 Page: 424
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224 Southwestern Historical Quarterly
and by 1902 had nine book titles to his credit.2 It is from one of his
earlier books, El Gringo: or, New Mexico and Her People (1857),
that we get Dungan's obituary and our only impression of him aside
from his letters.
The mail that arrived from San Antonio, Texas, in the month of Feb-
ruary, brought me intelligence of the death of a dear friend, Lieutenant
Hugh E. Dungan, of the fourth regiment United States Artillery. He died
at Fort Brown, opposite Matamoras, on the eleventh day of the previous
November, of that terrible scourge, the yellow fever. Lieutenant Dungan
was a native of Pennsylvania, and was born almost within rifle-shot of
my own home. He entered the Military Academy at West Point in June,
1846, and graduated in 1850 with a high reputation for ability and scholar-
ship. The same fall he joined his company at Fort Brown, where he was
stationed up to the day of his death. In the death of Lieutenant Dungan
I lost a valued friend. Our intimacy commenced when we were boys attend-
ing the same school, and as we grew up to manhood our friendship ripened
and strengthened. A nobler and better man I hardly ever knew, and in all
the relations of life, such as son, brother, and friend, it might be said
of him, "Sans peur et sans reproche." At home, where he was best known
and most loved, he has left a void that no time can fill up; and his early
death has robbed his country of a gallant officer, in whose service he
promised an honorable and useful career. Thus the friends of our youth
glide away one by one, and leave us behind to fight the great battle of
life; and as they pass from time to eternity, we are forcibly reminded that
we will soon have more friends in heaven than on earth. I make no
apology to the reader for thus noticing the death of my friend; he was one
to whom I had been long and truly attached, and this slight tribute to his
memory is the least that his worth and virtues merit.
"He sleeps his last sleep, he has fought his last battle,
No sound can awake him to glory again.""
In clear and beautiful script on what appears to be French-made
stationery, the letters reveal a young officer of intelligence, devoted
to family and friends, conscious of home and national politics, con-
versant with political and military affairs at his station. Dungan would
not have been as capable as his standing at the Point indicated had he
2Francis B. Heitman (comp.), Historical Register and Dictionary of the United States
Army (2 vols.; Washington, 1903), I, 361.
*Davis, El Gringo: or, New Mexico and Her People (New York, 1857), 293-294. The
geographical area of yellow fever was extended in 1853 to six states, five of them bordering
on the Gulf of Mexico. Army Medical statistics indicate a mortality of fifty at Brownsville
in the three months from September 23 to December 23, 1853. Greensville Dowell, Yellow
Fever and Malarial Diseases Embracing a History of the Epidemics of Yellow Fever in
Texas (Philadelphia, 1876), 19, 186.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 72, July 1968 - April, 1969, periodical, 1969; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth117146/m1/258/: accessed September 24, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.