Legacies: A History Journal for Dallas and North Central Texas, Volume 22, Number 2, Fall 2010 Page: 8
This periodical is part of the collection entitled: Legacies: a History Journal for Dallas and North Central Texas and was provided to The Portal to Texas History by the Dallas Historical Society.
The following text was automatically extracted from the image on this page using optical character recognition software:
Sarah H. Cockrell
reports indicated he was suspected of speculating
in cotton and branded a "traitor and deserter on
[the] field of battle." Guess's story, however, w,,as
more dramatic. He told Cockrell he had been
surrounded by twelve men while dismounted,
holding onto his horse's bridle, and helping a
wounded man on a road. Several of his captors
tried to shoot him, he said, but their guns mis-
fired. Guess blamed Colonel Speight, his com-
mander who had him arrested, for his predica-
ment and wrote angrily,"Be assured he shall not
be forgotten. No," he added, "I owe him too
much to be so very forgetful of his great favor.'""'
Taken to New Orleans, Guess began to
work immediately and tirelessly for his own
exchange; he wanted to clear his name. His
prison addresses indicate his incarceration may
not have been too harsh. He was first confined at
54 Baroone Street but, promising his Federal
captors not to escape, he was later moved to 21
Rampart Street. He asked to be swapped for
either one of two Union colonels who, while
dealing in contraband cotton, had been captured
by the Confederates; his request was denied.'
Both the Federals and the Confederates had
abandoned exchanging prisoners by names but
had pretty much left prisoner exchange up to
local commanderss" Guess was granted limited
parole: once for five days and once for ten days,
from 9 A.M. until 3 P.M. After several months of
8 LEACIELS Fl I 2010
frustrating negotiations between Guess and his
Union captors. it was agreed late in 1863 by
Major General Edward Richard Sprigg Canby,
commanding the Military District of Western
Mississippi, that he was to be sent north to
Morganza and passed through the lines.
Certainly, Guess's spirits soared, but only
momentarily. As prisoner lists were exchanged,
the Confederate military authority in western
Louisiana, labeling Guess "a traitor and deserter
on the field of battle," refused to accept him.
Guess, indeed, had a very busy 1864. He
worked to effect his own parole, argued for a
hearing to neutralize the charges against him to
clear his name, carried on an absentee romance
with Sarah Horton Cockrell, and apparently, all
the time carried on a business of dealing in cot-
ton and slaves. While he remained a prisoner of
war, it seems he was fi-ree as a non-combatant, on
a "Parole of Honor," that is, promising not to
escape, and spent most of his time in Louisiana,
either in Alexandria or Shreveport. He did
attend a court of inquiry at Harrisonburg,
Louisiana, the site of Fort Beauregard, sometime
in January or February 1864, but there are no
details as to its nature.-
Guess w-as a prisoner of war, carried on both
the Federal and Confederate rolls as such. He
remained in Confederate territory, mostly at
Alexandria, but he also must have had Federal
military approval. It appears that neither side
wanted him. Later he told a Union officer he
had been "disgraced, condemned, & punished"
by his own government and, still later, blamed
Major General John George Walker,
Commanding Officer of the District of Texas,
New Mexico, and Arizona, for conducting a
prejudiced investigation which found against
His correspondence with Sarah Horton
Cockrell was telling and, at times, extremely inti-
mate. Educated, Guess could express his
thoughts and emotions very well. In June 1864,
in Alexandria, he had an accident that left him
with broken ribs and probably a pierced lung.
His lung infected, fever followed, and his recu-
peration was tough and long.While recuperating
he became depressed. He -was scheduled to
return to Federally occupied New Orleans, a trip
Guess feared:"And I dread it, oh! How I so dread
it," he wrote. He confessed to Cockrell he -was
"low spirited," and haunted about death. He
dreamed, he said, of his dead wife and child,
Here’s what’s next.
This issue can be searched. Note: Results may vary based on the legibility of text within the document.
Tools / Downloads
Get a copy of this page or view the extracted text.
Citing and Sharing
Basic information for referencing this web page. We also provide extended guidance on usage rights, references, copying or embedding.
Reference the current page of this Periodical.
Dallas Historical Society. Legacies: A History Journal for Dallas and North Central Texas, Volume 22, Number 2, Fall 2010, periodical, 2010; Dallas, Texas. (https://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth146050/m1/10/: accessed July 20, 2019), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, https://texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Dallas Historical Society.