Nesbitt Memorial Library Journal, Volume 8, Number 2, May, 1998 Page: 71
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The Angus McNeill Family
On May 4, 1863, McNeill was in Brownsville, performing his duties as
inspector-general. Much of his duty involved securing supplies for the Confederacy and
making arrangements to pay for them. On June 8, 1863, Major General Magruder sent a
list of men for promotions, a list in which he recommended that Debray be promoted
brigadier general and "Lieut. Col. H. C. McNeill, Fifth Texas Mounted Rifles, to be
transferred to the Adjutant and Inspector General's Department, with same rank."92 How-
ever on a roster of the Fifth Regiment, Texas Cavalry, First Cavalry Brigade, Green's
Division, from Virginia Point, Texas, dated May 20, 1863, is the note that McNeill had
been promoted to colonel by General Green, "by right of seniority." An interesting note
for this time appears in a letter from General Hamilton Bee. Writing from Fort Brown,
Texas, on August 27, 1863, Bee described the situation on shipping cotton, buying sup-
plies, paying for the supplies, transporting goods, etc., and then added: "I am also in-
formed to-day that Angus McNeill, a planter, has a special permit to export his cotton
individually. This gives me great pleasure, for he has been my friend for twenty years,
but its effect will be on the public faith of the Government, and its results be felt, perhaps,
on the battle-field. I demand from all planters 20 per cent of their cotton; this leaves them
four-fifths of its value for the purchase of supplies; but to make exceptions to this rule
brings discredit on my acts, and I respectfully ask that no more exceptions be allowed."93
One wonders if Henry C. McNeill made this arrangement for the sale of the cotton while
he was inspector-general in May, or if Angus himself had managed to secure the special
provision for the sale of his cotton.
Henry C. McNeill had joined General Tom Green's brigade in Louisiana,
but on November 28, 1863 General Magruder wrote General Richard Taylor in Louisiana
that General E. Kirby Smith had told him that if Magruder needed Colonel McNeill as
inspector-general, "he could be detailed, and I ask you, as a personal favor, to make or
agree to the detail." Magruder added: "He is popular here, and inspects well, and his
friends are among the most patriotic and influential in the State. Can it be done?"94 McNeill
was at Opelousas, Louisiana, on December 4, 1863, where he was president of a general
court-martial, when Green wrote Magruder. Green, who had sent a letter to McNeill,
added, "McNeill is extremely anxious to get to Texas again, under your command, but he
cannot be spared unless the brigade goes to Texas; he is, in my judgment, the best officer
in it.""95 On December 14, 1863, the brigade returned to Texas where they were stationed
at Virginia Point for a month.
92 Compiled Service Records of Soldiers Who Served in Organizations from the State of Texas,
National Archives Microfilm Publication No. 323, Roll 34; Official Records, series 1, vol. 26, part 2, pp. 65-
93 Official Records, series 1, vol. 26, part 2, p. 186.
94 Official Records, series 1, vol. 26, part 2, p. 454.
95 Official Records, series 1, vol. 26, part 2, p. 478.
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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/m1/23/?q=nesbitt%20memorial%20library%20journal: accessed August 19, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Nesbitt Memorial Library.