Indian wars and pioneers of Texas / by John Henry Brown. Page: 405 of 894
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INDIAN WARS AND PIONEERS OF TEXAS.
preceded her in death and this leaves her son
William, the only surviving member of the old firm,
who continues the large business of C. Eckhardt
devoted to his family and country, he stood forth
an exemplar as husband, father and citizen. He
died at his home on Monday, February 28th, 1887,
and was buried with Masonic honors by his local
lodge, leaving his widow, eleven children and a
legion of friends and acquaintances to mourn his
William Eckhardt, son of Caesar and Louise Eckhardt,
was born January 24th, 1838, in Laasphe,
Germany, and emigrated to Texas, in 1849, with
his parents. He is a self-made man in the full sense
of the term. His early training in the schools of
Germany was followed in his new home in Yorktown,
Texas, by a course of private study which
consisted chiefly in the reading of useful books,
periodicals and papers. He developed at an early
age a talent for mechanics and applied it in many
useful ways on his father's farm and at the store,
by stocking plows, making all kinds of furniture,
building houses and constructing many other useful
contrivances. He was a constant student of all
practical problems which occur and often baffle the
frontiersman in providing the necessary machinery
for his ranch and farm and by a course of self-training
he managed to solve most, if not all, of them.
For many years, he has been a subscriber and close
reader of the Scientific American and to-day his
judgment on all kinds of machinery is not only
excellent, but is frequently consulted by his neighbors.
This practical knowledge of mechanics and
physics led him some years ago to bore for artesian
water, which he obtained without much trouble
along the banks of the creeks in his section and
which, in many places, now furnish an abundance
of fresh water to the people. His practical judgment
about all classes of machinery has served to
revolutionize the class of agricultural implements
in use in his neighborhood and beyond it, and he
always carries a large stock of these goods in his
mercantile business, keeping up with the latest
inventions and improvements in all kinds of
machinery. At the breaking out of the late war
he joined the first company of volunteers raised in
DeWitt County for the Confederate service, a
company commanded by Capt. W. R. Friend, of
Clinton. This company was called the DeWitt
Rifles, and contained the flower of the young men
of the county. In January, 1862, however, young
Eckhardt joined the Twenty-fourth Texas Cavalry
and left Texas for Arkansas, where his company
was dismounted at El Dorado, and placed in command
of Capt. Cupples, brother of the late Dr.
Cupples, of San Antonio, Texas.
Mr. Eckhardt was in the fight at Arkansas Post.
During the battle he narrowly escaped death,
seven of his companions having been killed immediately
around him. He was captured on the surrender
of the Post and held a prisoner at CamP
Butler, near Springfield, Ill., where he remained
three months. Here a great many men were lost
from sickness and exposure, more dying from
disease than in battle. Finally he was exchanged
at City Point, Va., in May, 1863, and about two
weeks later his troop was armed to support batteries
around Richmond, during the battle of
Chancellorsville. He there witnessed the bringing
in of Gen. Stonewall Jackson's body from the
From there Mr. Eckhardt was placed in Gen.
Cleburne's Division, and the first skirmish he was
engaged in was at Bellbuckle, Tenn. The next
skirmish he was in was at Elk River, and the next
on Cumberland Mountain. Then followed the
battle of Chickamauga, in which he participated
Here he again narrowly escaped being killed, a
grape shot striking him and wounding him severely
and taking off the sole and .the heel of his shoe.
His right-hand man, Tom Moore, was killed
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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/m1/405/: accessed September 22, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .