Indian wars and pioneers of Texas Page: 302 of 894
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INDIAN WARS AND PIONEERS OF TEXAS.
boyhood was spent on the farm of his father. In
the village of Bellevue, he began his education,
which, though limited, has been largely supplemented
by extensive and liberal reading and experience
in active life.
When the war between the States became inevitable,
young Wynne, then just seventeen years of
age, filled with patriotic devotion for what he
believed to be right, went to the front in defense
of his country and section, and on many long and
weary marches and many bloody fields of battle,
proved himself the peer of the bravest of his chivalrous
comrades. For meritorious conduct on the
field of battle his comrades promoted him to a
Lieutenancy while he was yet a boy, and by
unanimous petition he was assigned to the command
of Company B. in the Tenth Texas Regiment,
during the Georgia campaign. At the battle of
Murfreesboio he was severely wounded, becoming
disabled for some months from active service,
and again at the last battle of Nashville, when
Hood made his famous raid into Tennessee, he was
again severely wounded. The effect of this wound
was to permanently deprive him of the use of
his right arm and the partial use of his right leg.
At this battle he was left on the field wounded, and
fell into the hands of the Federals. He was confined
in Northern prisons, thus disabled and helpless,
until the close of the war, persistently refusing to
take the oath of allegiance to the Federal Government
as long as there was a Confederate flag floating.
On both sides of the line in that dark and
bloody conflict there were men who stood by their
colors amid shot and shell, where the hot breath of
war was spreading carnage and death, with a
heroism unsurpassed in any age or by any people.
Among the most devoted of these was young Wynne,
who never missed a scout, march, or battle until he
was struck down and permanently disabled.
In the winter of 1865 he returned to his desolated
home, impaired in health by reason of his exposure
and long confinement in Northern prisons, and
almost a physical wreck by reason of his wounds;
but, he accepted this as the fate of war, and with
the same undaunted courage which he had for years
displayed as a soldier, he adjusted himself to the
new conditions, and at once seized the broken
threads of his young manhood. The South was in
a chaotic condition. Desolation brooded like the
pall of death over once proud and happy homes,
ravaged by war.
Young Wynne sat not down to mourn or lament.
With the energy and fortitude of a dauntless manhood
he began the battle of life. He made the race
for sheriff of his county when just eligible for the
position, his opponents being the Major of his regiment
and a private soldier of his company. Winning
his election he served three years, or until he
was removed by the Reconstruction Act of Congress.
Still with the courage worthy of emulation,
he embarked in agricultural pursuits, although still
suffering from his wounds, his right arm being
withered and useless. Through the day he
labored on his farm and at night read law,
studying systematically and earnestly until he was
deeply grounded in the principles of law. He was
admitted to the bar in 1870, and at once entered into
an active practice in the town of Henderson, where
he was soon recognized as one of the most successful
lawyers at the bar, at which some of the most
eminent men of this State practiced. His powers
of oratory, together with close and systematic investigation
and strong common sense, have been
the leading factors in this man's marked success.
He challenges the respect of the court by his candor
and fairness, and sways juries by his fervid
eloquence and convincing logic.
Turning from the public career to the private life
of Col. Wynne, we note that on the 23d day of
January, 1867, he was married to Miss Laura B.
Kelly, daughter of Hon. Wm. C. Kelly, one of the
most distinguished and influential men of his section;
he was a member of the Secession Convention
of Texas and took a conspicuous part in that body.
Mrs. Wynne is a native Texian and a woman of
strong individuality and highly cultured, and of
marked intellectuality and refinement. With the
characteristic chivalry of the true Southern man,
Col. Wynne ever acknowledges his indebtedness to
his wife for much of his success.
His natural fitness for leadership and his familiarity
with public affairs, challenged the attention
of the people among whom he lived, and in 1880,
unsought by him, he was elected to the State Senate
of Texas, where he quickly went to the front as a
legislator, and no man in that body had more infiuence.
His uniform courtesy and liberality won
him friends fast, who have bided with him. He
was one of the five men who drafted and formulated
a bill creating the University of Texas, and so well
and wisely did they work that that bill has never
been amended except in some minor details. He
also became conspicuous in his efforts to regulate
railway corporations. He advocated the Threecents-a-mile
Bill which became a law, and the passage
of a law creating a Railroad Commission, which
has in later years become so prominent in Texas
politics. In 1882 he made the race for Attorney
General and was defeated by only a small majority.
In his speech of withdrawal from the conventiop
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Brown, John Henry. Indian wars and pioneers of Texas, book, 1880~; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth6725/m1/302/: accessed April 25, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .