Nesbitt Memorial Library Journal, Volume 8, Number 2, May, 1998 Page: 70
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Nesbitt Memorial Library Journal
August 27, 1868, and James Murray in 1873. These were to be the only grandchildren of
Angus and Rebecca McNeill.88
When the furlough from New Mexico ended, Henry C. McNeill took up
his military duties as adjutant and inspector general at Virginia Point near Galveston.
General Magruder had determined to free Galveston from federal control. He did so on
January 1, 1863. General Green of Sibley's Brigade commanded the line troops and some
three hundred volunteers from the Fifth and Seventh who manned the steamboats Bayou
City and Neptune during the attack on the federal forces. Magruder, in his official report,
had praise for McNeill, who, he wrote, had "rendered distinguished service" in carrying
out his orders in the capture of Galveston.89
Much of 1863 found Henry C. McNeill in Texas at various duties and
places attending court martials or acting as inspector general even though from October
31, 1862 to January 31, 1863, he was stationed at Camp Groce. On January 31, 1863, he
wrote from Houston that he had been requested by the planters of the neighborhood of
Eagle Lake to inform the general commanding that there was smallpox among the Ari-
zona Brigade that was then camped at Eagle Lake. The planters wanted the soldiers
moved to East Bernard, supposedly closer to the railroad and to doctors. (The railroad
had reached Eagle Lake in 1859 before the war began.) He added that many of the slaves
in the area had not been vaccinated, and that the disease would spread all over that area.
Obviously, he was thinking not only of the area but also of his and his father's plantations
not many miles away. There is no record as to whether the troops were moved or not, but
there is a record that soldiers who died while stationed at Eagle Lake during the war were
buried near the lake." Still in Houston on February 7, 1863, he wrote Malcolm D. Gra-
ham, a member of the Confederate legislature, telling him that there were rumors that
certain Texans would be promoted and reminding Graham that he was a graduate of West
Point, a member of the cavalry that had gone to New Mexico and had conducted himself
well there, and a participant in the Battle of Galveston. He was chagrined that Colonel
Xavier Blanchard DeBray was to be promoted to brigadier general when DeBray had
been in Texas all the time. He asked Graham to talk to the Texas delegation and submit
McNeill's name for promotion. The Texas congressmen did recommend McNeill for
promotion, but he did not receive one.91
88 Tenth Census of the United States (1880), Colorado County, Texas, Schedule 1; Tombstone
inscriptions, Harwood Masonic Cemetery, Harwood, Texas; Tombstone inscriptions, Odd Fellows Rest Cem-
etery, Columbus, Texas.
89 Henderson, Texas in the Confederacy, pp. 94-96; Official Records, series I, vol. 15, p. 217.
90 Compiled Service Records of Soldiers Who Served in Organizations from the State of Texas,
National Archives Microfilm Publication No. 323, Roll 34; Houston Daily Times, September 29, 1868.
91 Compiled Service Records of Soldiers Who Served in Organizations from the State of Texas,
National Archives Microfilm Publication No. 323, Roll 34.
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Nesbitt Memorial Library. Nesbitt Memorial Library Journal, Volume 8, Number 2, May, 1998, periodical, May 1998; Columbus, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth151403/m1/22/?q=nesbitt%20memorial%20library%20journal: accessed October 17, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Nesbitt Memorial Library.