History of Texas, together with a biographical history of Milam, Williamson, Bastrop, Travis, Lee and Burleson counties : containing a concise history of the state, with portraits and biographies of prominent citizens of the above named counties, and personal histories of many of the early settlers and leading families Page: 349
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HISTORY OF TEXAS.~J4
his home inl the northern part of this State
where he was variously engaged as farm hand,
teamster, brick-maker and school-teacher.
He returned to his native State just before
the opening of the Civil war, and there entered
the service of the Confederacy in May,
1861, enlisting in Company I, Fourteenth
Arkansas Infantry. For four years he followed
the varying fortunes of the flag of the
Confederacy, participating in the hardships,
pleasures and thrilling experiences which
made up the life of the common soldiery in
that great struggle. Ile saw service under
each of those distinguished generals, Price,
McCulloch, Gardner and Buckner, and was
in the departments east and west of the Mississippi
river. He entered the army a private
but was made captain of his company at
Corinth, Mississippi, in 1862, and coinmanded
it from that date until the surrender.
He was never wounded but was once captured,
and while in imprisonment participated
in an episode that attracted much attention
at the time and has since come to be
regarded as one of the romances of the war.
It occurred on board a vessel in the Atlantic
ocean and is known in history as the "Capture
of the Maple Leaf." A brief account
of this event belongs to this biography, and
will here be given in almost the language in
which Captain Wolf narrated it to the writer.
On this point he said:
"On the capture of Port Hudson in June,
1863, the Federal authorities paroled the
private soldiers but retained the commissioned
officers with the intention of sending
them North to be placed in prison. I was
one of this number of officers. We were put
aboard a gunboat at Port Hudson and sent
down to New Orleans, where we were transferred
to the steamer Catawba, guarded by
Billy Wilson's New York Zouaves and
taken to Fortress Monroe. At this point we
were transferred to another steainer, tih.
Maple Leaf, in charge of a captain with a
crew of fifty ien and a guard of twenty-four
Federal soldiers under commiland of a lieutenant.
Under this escort we put to sea, the
*intention being, I suppose, to take us to
Johnson's island, near New York city. ]But
we had no desire to go to prison, and we were
not long in making up our minds to effect an
escape if such a thing were possible. As to
number we were about equally divided, there
being seventy-five Confederates and seventyfive
Federals. The Federals had the advantage,
however, inasmuch as they were in po,session
of the arms and munitions of war,
and were the recognized masters of the situation.
But the Confederates, being officers.
and as you might say in a certain sense
picked men, were not lacking in brains, resource
and courage. A fairly vigilant watch
was kept up on the part of the Federals
while we were in port and until we got well
out to sea; but once safely, as they thought,
a' xay from shore, they relaxed their vigilance,
trusting, I reckon, to the waters and
to our supposed submission to fate. It was
then, however, that we saw our chance. The
guards served in relays of eight each and we
knew that we could easily overcome eight
men even if they were armed and we were
not. Accordingly, at a given signal a rush
was made for' the guards and for the pilot
and engineers, who were soon disarmed, in
our possession and our prisoners. The plan
was to keep the guards closely confined
so that they would not give any annoyance
and to place a sufficient number of cur own
men over the pilot and engineers to
make them do our bidding, and then
pull for the shore. It happened to fall
to my lot to be one of those assigned to
HISTOR YOFT XS
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Lewis Publishing Company, publisher. History of Texas, together with a biographical history of Milam, Williamson, Bastrop, Travis, Lee and Burleson counties : containing a concise history of the state, with portraits and biographies of prominent citizens of the above named counties, and personal histories of many of the early settlers and leading families, book, 1893; Chicago. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth29785/m1/370/?rotate=270: accessed January 21, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .