Nesbitt Memorial Library Journal, Volume 9, Number 2, May, 1999 Page: 123
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Reminiscences of the Old Brigade
putting such men in power, for he thought them
able competent and patriotic, the soldiers can't
help themselves, but the people are to blame,
for in order to get favors from the command-
ing generals, they fill the papers with sycophan-
tic and lying praises of him, insteading of tell-
ing President Davis the truth and have them
removed, and don't you forget it old "Jeff'
would remove them quick if he knew one half
the meaness they are guilty of. The truth is many
in our department commanders are simply try-
ing to prolong the war, in order to keep them-
selves in high places.
If the president will dispense with the ser-
vices of Kirby Smith, McGruder and Holmes,
(though I charge no intentional wrong to them)
and give the command of the troops in Texas
Louisiana, Arkansas and Missouri to Dick Tay-
lor, Green, Bagby, Old Gotch and Polinac, the
Trans Mississsippi department will be rid of
every Federal in less than ninety days, and we
can go over and lend Lee a helping hand, but
we will never be able to do it, so long as one
commander is pulling against the other.
I don't see why so many troops are kept in
Texas. No army has ever threatened Texas and
none ever will. That the Southern Confederacy
has no money to throw away is certain; that
these troops were enlisted for service is also
certain; that they are helping to consume our
limited supply of provision is also certain; then
why are they so many troops kept idle? Why
are they not sent to the aid of their hard pressed
The foregoing were some reflections writ-
ten twenty-five years ago, time and experience
has shown them to be true. When the final crash
came, and the South laid down her arms, there
were thousands of troops in the Trans Missis-
sippi department (and some of them were as
good troops as ever breathed) who had never
smelled gun powder, they had done the great
duty of a soldiers, obeyed orders, and lain idly
in camp, and the South was defeated, not by
the opposing forces, but from the our failure to
utilize the men under our banner, the resources
our command, and the victories the valor of
our troops won.
Ah! yes; you say, but we kept them out of
Texas, you did nothing of the sort, Dick Tay-
lor, Tom Green, Bagby, "Old Gotch" and the
troops under them, kept them out. Oh! yes; but
we kept them out of Sabine Pass. Were you at
Sabine Pass? Did you see that battle? I was,
and I saw the battle, and I know that there has
been more lordly lying done about that battle
than any other ever fought on this earth, and I
don't believe the Federals had any intention of
landing there; that they only intended it as a
feint; in order to draw our troops there while
they made their real attack elsewhere.
Generally speaking the battle of Sabine Pass
forms no part of the history of our brigade, but
then I have said and I meant what I said, that
no victory was won west of the Mississippi
unless some of the brigade was there, and by
there presence contributed to the success of our
In giving an account of that battle, I shall
have to ride Jeff Davis a little, on the account
he gives of it. Of course he was not there, and
had to rely upon the statement of some one else;
and, as a truthful historian always should, he
wrote to parties for infarmation, but when in-
formation was sent him; an account by myself,
another by Capt. Keith, of Luling, the two
agreeing in all the main facts; and a third, as I
am informed, by a fellow who, during the war,
had no country, but dodged behind a tan vat to
keep out of the service, and when the war was
over his vats were abandoned, and one of my
yearlings fell in one of them and drowned and
I last twenty dollars. President Davis accepts
the account the gentlemen of the tan vat and
rejects mine and Capt. Keith's...
Now, I'm not going to abuse "Old Jeff'-
not that I have not that right-for I have. Wasn't
these old scars on this old carcass received in
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Nesbitt Memorial Library. Nesbitt Memorial Library Journal, Volume 9, Number 2, May, 1999, periodical, May 1999; Columbus, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth151406/m1/75/?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.