Indian wars and pioneers of Texas / by John Henry Brown. Page: 399 of 894
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INDIAN WARS AND PIONEERS OF TEXAS.
J. H. BURNETT,
Col. J. H. Burnett, of Galveston, was born in
Greeneville, Greene County, Tenn., July 8, 1830.
His parents were Sylas E. and Malinda (Howell)
Burnett, Virginians by birth, connected by ties of
consanguinity and affinity with some of the proudest
names that adorn the pages of the country's history.
They moved at an early day from Virginia
to Tennessee, and from that State to Georgia,
where they spent their remaining years.
The subject of this memoir was reared in Greeneville,
Tenn., and Somerville, Ga., where he acquired
an excellent education.
Fired with the martial spirit, love of country,
and desire for adventure common to the chivalric
youth of that day, he enlisted, at the age of sixteen,
as a private soldier in Col. Calhoun's Regiment,
for service in the war between the United
States and Mexico. This regiment formed a part
of Gen. Winfield Scott's army, took part in the
memorable march of two hundred and seventynine
miles from Vera Cruz to the city of Mexico,
and participated in the various battles that were
fought en route and in front of the city, including
the storming of the castle of Chepultepec. In all
these engagements the subject of this memoir conducted
himself with conspicuous gallantry, and
before the close of the campaign was rewarded with
aLieutenant's commission. Returning to his home
in Georgia, he was honored by the Governor with a
Colonelcy in the State troops.
On his way to Mexico he traversed a considerable
part of the State of Texas and was so favorably
impressed with its climate, soil, people and future
Prospects, that he determined to make his home in
te country. He served as sheriff of Chattooga
County, Ga., for a period of two or more years,
and then resigned the office to leave Somerville,
Ga., for Texas in 1854. He located at Crockett,
in Houston County, this State, and there engaged
in faring and merchandising, and soon acquired
a prominent Position in the community, owing to
his Public spirit, social qualities and superior talents.
Three years later he was elected to the Legislature
as member of the House of Representatives. That
body hen contained a number of men who would
have graced the Congress of the United States in its
palmiest days and who afterwards acquired national
reputations. The policies of the State were in a
formative condition and many issues of vital importance
presented themselves for discussion and
settlemnent. Col. Burnett was (as he still is) a
clear, forcible and elegant speaker and, from the
beginning, took rank among the foremost of his
colleagues. He was placed by the Speaker on a
majority of the important committees, where his indefatigable
industry, sound judgment and fidelity
to duty enabled him to render valuable service to
the State. He was re-elected to the House for a
second term and before its close added new laurels
to those he had already won. He was then nominated
by the Democracy of his district and elected
to the State Senate in 1860. Early in the following
year, however, the long-gathering hurricane of Civil
War burst upon the country and the Southland
called her sons to arms. Col. Burnett was among
the first to respond; promptly resigned his seat in
the Senate, and in a short time mustered a regiment
of sixteen companies (the Thirteenth Texas Cavalry)
of which he was elected Colonel. It was his desire
to cross the Mississippi and serve under Gen.
Joseph E. Johnston, but there was some delay in
securing transportation and not desiring to remain
inactive he hurried with his command to the front,
joining Gen. Ben McCulloch, then conducting a
desperate and unequal contest in Arkansas. While
the numbers engaged in that State were not
so large as in some of the battles fought by
the armies of Northern Virginia and Tennessee,
several of the conflicts in Arkansas were unparalled
in the history of the war for their stubbornness,
the valor displayed by the men and
the proportion of the killed and wounded to the
number of the troops brought into action. It was
hard fighting all the way through and the Thirteenth
did its full share of it. Col. Burnett's regiment
also took part in the campaign against Gen. Banks,
in Louisiana, one of the most brilliant and successful
inaugurated and carried out by the Confederate
arms, covering itself with glory at Mansfield, Pleasant
Hill and elsewhere. Banks' powerful army was
completely routed, Texas saved from invasion and
Louisiana bloodily avenged for the depredations of
an elemy more savage and merciless than the
pagan Huns who devastated Central and Western
Europe when the power of imperial Rome, like the
tower of Ushur, was darkly nodding to its fall.
After the war Col. Burnett returned to Crockett
where he resumed business pursuits and began by
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Brown, John Henry. Indian wars and pioneers of Texas / by John Henry Brown., book, 1880~; Austin, Tex.. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth6725/m1/399/: accessed September 23, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .