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[125] account, of exhibiting the patriotism of this family of Benavides, of Spanish-Mexican origin, during the war between the States. The members of the family are now highly-honored citizens of Texas.

The drouth of 1863 and 1864 dried up the water and grass between the Nueces and Rio Grande, so that the passage of the troops from one to the other was attended with much suffering to the men and teams; but by going over to the Rio Grande they could be supplied with water going down it from Laredo, which place they reached by the 17th of April, 1864, when Colonel Ford reported to General Magruder the disposition of his forces at different points. A part of his business was to so place his companies as to keep the way open for the trade in cotton and army stores with Mexico, at points of the river above Brownsville; and thereby we may account for his protracted delay in getting to the Rio Grande and moving down the river to Brownsville, which he reached without encountering any hostile opposition, only some time before February, 1865.

According to Capt. W. H. D. Carrington, of Ford's command, ‘the United States forces under Colonel Barrett (brevet brigadier-general), consisting of the Thirty-second Indiana, better known as the Morton rifles, a regiment of negro troops officered by Lieutenant-Colonel Branson, a part of a New York regiment, and a company of the Second (Federal) Texas, under command of Lieutenant or Captain Hancock, numbering about 1,600 or 1,700 men, advanced from Brazos island upon Brownsville. They were held in check by Captain Robinson, commanding Giddings' regiment, on the evening of the 12th of May, 1865.’

The following report of the battle that ensued May 13, 1865, the last battle of the war, was furnished by Col. John S. Ford for this history:

During the month of February, 1865, Gen. Lew Wallace,

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