Texas Almanac, 1992-1993 Page: 43
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CENTRAL TEXAS HISTORY 43
been killed and a like number had been taken prisoner.
In addition to the troops that volunteered for the
Confederate army from Waco, six Confederate gener-
als called Waco home: Thomas Harrison, L. S. Ross, H.
C. Granbury, Allison Nelson, James E. Harrison and W.
H. Parsons. Waco also produced five Civil War colonels:
E. J. Gurley, Richard Coke, J. W. Speight, P. F. Ross
and W. A. Taylor.
In the outlying communities, there were similar con-
tributions to the war effort. There were two sewing ma-
chines in Cameron at the outbreak of the war; they
were moved to the Baptist Church, where the women of
Cameron gathered to sew uniforms. All over the state,
school girls knitted socks for the soldiers. Farmers were
asked to share produce with the Confederate forces.
Scarce foods were replaced by substitutes: Ersatz cof-
fee was made at home from parched corn, rye or pota-
The Texas Military Board was set up in Austin to
obtain arms and munitions for the 33 militia districts in
the state. A city arsenal was set up on Waller Creek. The
Land Office building on the capitol grounds housed a
gun-cap factory that produced 14,000 shells a day. A
foundry turned out guns and cannon. Other Austin fac-
tories manufactured shoes and gunpowder. Gunpowder
was also manufactured and stored in the Longhorn Cav-
erns near Burnet during the war. In the basement of the
capitol a sewing room was set up to make clothing for
the Confederate Army.
Communications from the state capital to the out-
side world were maintained by five stage lines that
linked Austin to the railhead at Brenham. Hotels in Aus-
tin rented rooms only to people paying in gold, silver or
scarce, easily bartered goods, such as tobacco or nails.
As a result, some lawmakers were reduced to sleeping
in their wagons and cooking over campfires.
Although Travis County voted against secession, the
Tom Green Rifles, originally called the Austin City
Light Infantry, and the Travis Rifles organized and
went to war. Only about one-third of Travis County's
volunteers returned. The Travis Rifles became Compa-
ny G, 6th Infantry; the Tom Green Rifles became Com-
pany B of the 4th Texas infantry.
Many of the anti-secessionists in the hills west of
Austin held regular military drills and set up their own
spy network. In Austin itself, Unionists organized a
Home Guard that marched and drilled.
At the outbreak of hostilities, the U.S. Army's De-
partment of Texas was headquartered in an unfinished
arsenal in San Antonio. After transfer to Confederate
hands, the limestone building was completed. The arse-
nal supplied the Confederacy with arms for South Texas
and for frontier defense.
By 1863, the Confederate government was sending
agents to Texas to buy cattle to supply the army with
Crops were good during the war years, but labor
was scarce. Salt was in short supply. A salt works was
set up between Tow Valley and Old Bluffton 15 miles
northeast of Lampasas. Brine, trapped in sand and rock
strata during the Cambrian period 500 million years ago
when the area was covered by sea water, was boiled in
250-gallon iron kettles. Twenty to 30 bushels of salt were
produced each day to be used as table salt and for cur-
ing meat and hides and feeding cavalry horses.
Paper was especially scarce, and most newspapers
cut their size and frequency. Small, one-sheet issues
were common by the end of the war, and some papers
went out of business entirely.
The Civil War in Texas ended when Kirby Smith sur-
rendered the Trans-Mississippi forces to the Union on
June 2, 1865. The emancipation of the slaves was not an-
nounced in Texas until June 19, when Union Gen. Gor-
don Granger arrived at Galveston with his occupation
forces. The holiday of Juneteenth, unique to Texas, is a
commemoration of that date. The shooting war was
over, and the occupation was about to begin. It was
Originally, presidential Reconstruction was to heal
the wounds and re-form the Union with as little rancor
as possible. A.J. Hamilton, a former congressman from
Texas and Union army veteran, was appointed provi-
sional governor of Texas on June 17, 1865, by President
Andrew Johnson. Abraham Lincoln devised a recon-
struction plan before his assassination. President John-
son attempted to follow Lincoln's moderate plan, which
called for amnesty tor almost all who served in the Con-
federate army if they swore an oath of allegiance to the
Union. Appointive offices were to be filled with Union-
ists whenever possible, but when impossible, with seces-
sionists known to be capable and trustworthy. Civil
governments were to be re-established in each state
when 10 percent of the 1860 electorate took the pre-
scribed loyalty oath.
Conflict and suspicion soon surfaced, both between
former Confederates and Unionists and between con-
servative and radical factions in the Unionist ranks.
Some Confederate soldiers looted government
warehouses on their way home, feeling that the prop-
erty of the Confederacy was now theirs. They usually
left private property alone.
When Gen. Gordon Granger landed in Galveston on
June 19, 1865, and declared slaves to be free, he
assumed command of all military forces in Texas. Most
Union troops in Texas were sent to the Rio Grande to
guard the border against the French, who were fighting
for control of Mexico. With few soldiers to maintain or-
der, lawlessness and banditry were widespread. Texans
were fearful of the newly freed blacks and of the re-
construction to be imposed upon them by the Union.
The number of slaves in Texas, which had been 182,-
566 at the beginning of the war, had grown as slave-
owners in other southern states sent their bondsmen to
the relative safety of Texas during the fighting. Many
former slaves were unprepared for freedom, having no
money, no education, no homes and limited iob skills.
Believing that they could get help in the city - food,
shelter, and the protection afforded by the presence of
Union troops - freedmen flocked to the urban areas of
the state lust after emancipation. They found limited
services and a flooded job market. By fall, disillusioned,
many were back in rural Texas. A widely circu-
lated rumor led them to believe that each freedman
would receive "40 acres and a mule" when the planta-
tions were confiscated and divided among former
slaves on Christmas Day 1865. When it didn't happen,
many blacks became bitter.
Congress created the Bureau of Refugees, Freed-
men and Abandoned Lands, commonly known as the
Freedmen's Bureau, in March 1865 to provide relief ser-
vices for destitute former slaves and war refugees. Con-
gress expanded the bureau's jurisdiction in 1866 to
include establishing its own courts to hear racial dis-
crimination cases. The bureau also operated night
schools and supervised work contracts to protect blacks
Unionists who had actively opposed secession or
who had refused to serve in the Confederate army were
considered traitors in some parts of the state. They
were harassed by vigilance committees, which formed
after the war theoretically to bring some semblance of
law and order to areas with scant military protection.
Some vigilance committees were in reality only a cou-
ple of steps above lynch mobs. Some confederate die-
hards chose to leave the state rather than submit to
The U.S. Civil Rights Act of 1866 guaranteed citi-
zenship to all persons born in the United States and
gave them the right to sue, to testify in court, to own
property and to enjoy equal protection under the law.
Delegates to the Texas constitutional convention,
called by Gov. Hamilton for Feb. 7, 1866, approved a
constitution that granted blacks the same right to
appear before court as whites, but blacks could not tes-
tify in court except in cases involving other blacks. It
required them to ride in separate railroad cars from
whites. It also canceled the state debt incurred during
the war, an action that the United States required of all
former Confederate states, thereby punishing those
who had financed the war effort.
J.W. Throckmorton was elected governor in the
summer of 1866. Throckmorton had been one of only
eight delegates to the Secession Convention to vote
against secession. However, when secession was
approved, he was one of the first men in Texas to swear
allegiance to the Confederacy. He had served as com-
mander of the Third Military District of Texas, as brig-
adier general commanding the Frontier District and
as Confederate commissioner to the Indians. He
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Kingston, Mike. Texas Almanac, 1992-1993, book, 1991; Dallas, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth279642/m1/47/: accessed October 23, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.