Reminiscences of reconstruction in Texas ; and, Reminiscences of Texas and Texans fifty years ago Page: 5 of 58
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REMINISCENCES OF RECONSTRUCTION IN TEXAS.
At the beginning of the Civil War the people of the South were
enthusiastic, hopeful and had scarcely a doubt of triumph and ultimately
securing their independence of the North. This hopeful
feeling weakened as time passed, and in the latter part of 1864 and
the early part of 1865 it became painfully apparent to the thoughtful
and observing that the South was fast becoming exhausted,
both in men and means, and that the struggle must soon end in
the hopeless discomfiture of the South. While the early feeling of
hope and confidence in ultimate success had in a great measure
been destroyed, yet no true Southern man had entirely despaired of
success; and, if he did not hope for the special interposition of
Providence to give the victory to what he believed to be a just and
holy cause, he still had a hope, until the surrender of Lee at Appalnatox,
that in some unknown and mysterious way the cause of
the South would succeed.
When this news was received the writer was residing at Centreville,
Leon county, Texas. It fell with stunning effect on the whole
community. It seemed to benumb the mind, still the heart, and
freeze the blood in the veins. When one thought of the condition
of the country, persecution, prosecution and imprisonment, confiscation
of property, wife and children left to starve, and other
horrors that might be in store, the result was appalling; and a feeling
of universal fear and terror possessed the whole community.
Civil government was gone. The constituted Confederate officials
felt that they had no authority, and refused to execute the functions
of their offices. Military rule had not been proclaimed, and
Texas was without government, civil or military.
Anarchy reigned for the time being.
The Confederate soldiers came creeping to their homes from their
respective commands, uncertain of the future and dreading what a
day might bring forth. The uncertainty of what the action of the
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Wood, William D. Reminiscences of reconstruction in Texas ; and, Reminiscences of Texas and Texans fifty years ago, book, 1902; (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth14387/m1/5/: accessed February 23, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .