True stories of old Houston and Houstonians: historical and personal sketches / by S. O. Young. Page: 22
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22 TRUE STORIES OF OLD
At that time there was an old gentleman, a distinguished
criminal lawyer, living in Houston. He was eager to go to the
front and had almost evaded his friends and succeeded in doing
so on one or two occasions. Of course, being a criminal lawyer,
who almost invariably won his cases, he was vastly popular
with the gambling fraternity and it was principally they who
raised such a strenuous objection to his risking his valuable
life on the field of battle.
One night the judge had an inspiration. He thought of a plan
by which he could not only get to the front himself, but could
take all his troublesome friends with him.' He would organize
an independent cavalry company; make every man furnish his
own equipment and would thus be in position to choose his own
men. He knew that no others than the gamblers could stand
the expense, so he determined to get his recruits from among
The next morning he called at General Magruder's headquarters;
outlined his scheme and, of course, readily received the
authority to carry out his plan. The judge knew how futile
it would be to appeal to the gamblers on grounds of patriotism,
and he did not try to do so. He sent for two or three of the
leaders and told them that he had just left Magruder's headquarters
and that an order would be issued in a day or two
revoking all exemptions from military service and all special
privileges. He pointed out to them that since they would have
to go in the army anyway, they might as well go of their own
accord and thus be able to choose the branch of service they
would prefer to belong to. He then told them that he had
secured from Magruder authority to raise an independent cavalry
company; that he, the judge, would be captain, but that the
men could elect all the other officers and that Magruder had
promised to confirm them.
The plan was instantly endorsed and before night about 80
men were enrolled, officers were elected and the work of securing
equipments was begun.
The only delay was occasioned by their inability to secure
things fine enough. The best and showiest horses and bridles
and silver and gold mounted six-shooters were secured and
within a week everything was in readiness.
As already stated, there were no Federals in Texas at that
time. So after this fine company was organized it had everything
requisite for a brilliant victory except the enemy to win
it from. In this dilemma they took Horace Greeley's advice and
went West. Their first halt was at Velasco, where they saw
two or three Federal gunboats lying off the mouth of the river,
hoping to pick up blockade runners. There was nothing to be
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Young, Samuel Oliver. True stories of old Houston and Houstonians: historical and personal sketches / by S. O. Young., book, 1913; Galveston, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth24646/m1/22/: accessed July 22, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .