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: 416
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HISTORY OP TEXAS.
At the age of sixteen, he began to look
about him for a vocation in which to carve
out his own fortune, and as his father and
grandfather before him had been successful
in mercantile pursuits, he concluded to follow
in their illustrious footsteps. Accordingly,
in order to gain a practical knowledge
of that line, he entered the employ of
E. Belo, prosperous merchant of Salem, North
Carolina, where lie was for number of years
associated with his employer's son, A. H. Belo,
who is well known to all Texans as the present
publisher of the Galveston and Dallas News.
Mr. Bitting continued to be thus occupied
until the breaking out of the civil war, at
which time there was a great demand for all
patriotic men to defend the South and her
Although but a lad of eighteen years, Mr.
Bitting had developed, under the excitement
of the times, into mature manhood, and with
all the devotion of his nature offered his
services and life, if necessary, to the defense
of his beloved home. He enlisted in Company
K of the Forty-eighth North Carolina
Infantry, his regiment being a part of General
A. P. Hill's corps and joined to the
Virginia army. He participated in the historic
seven days' fight in front of Richmond and
received, on the third day of the battle, a
severe wound in the left breast, which nearly
cost him his life, the ball passing through
his body under his arm and coming out at
his back. He suffered from this wound for
three months, when he rejoined his regiment
at Winchester, Virginia, and took part in
the battles of Rappahannock and the Wilderness.
The command was then sent to protect
the coast of the Carolinas, but returned in
time to take part in the battle of Fred ricksburg,
also the fight which followed tne mine
explosion near Petersburg, Virginia. Mr.
Bitting was promoted as Second Lieutenant
after the battle of Fredericksburg, and was
later commissioned Captain of his company.
At the time of the surrender, Captain Bitting
was at home on a furlough, and while
there was captured during Stoneman's raid
through Carolina. There was a little romance
connected with his release. General
Palmer, then in charge, was quartered at the
home of Captain Bitting's sweetheart, and
she by her amiable disposition and interesting
manner made a favorable impression on
the general, who, through her intercession,
granted Captain Bitting a parole, and shortly
afterward the struggle closed.
After the war, Captain Bitting engaged in
mercantile business at Salisbury, North
Carolina, and there continued merchandising
with a reasonable degree of success until 1873.
But the ravages of war had left their imprint
on the old States, and it was a slow process
to build up a fortune in that locality. Accordingly
Captain Bitting decided to close
out his business there and seek a location in
a new country, where the opportunities for a
young man's advancement were greater.
Taking, therefore, Horace Greeley's advice,
he came West to Texas, and after a prospecting
tour, visited this rich section of the country,
which was then an almost uncultivated
prairie. The soil, however, was most fertile,
and a short time previously the Houston
& Texas Central Railroad Company had
located a station at the point where Manor
now stands. Captain Bitting's judgment
told him that a country like this could not
long remain undeveloped, and he thus concluded
to try his chances at this place. He
accordingly embarked, in a small way, in
the general merchandise business, nor was he
in error in. his predictions, for in the short
period of twenty years this section of Travis
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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/m1/445/?rotate=90: accessed October 24, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .