Major-General J. C. Walker
who, after General Wharton
's death, had also been assigned to the command of the cavalry corps.
There, days of gloom and despondency came on us. The news of General Lee
's surrender was received; and soldiers considering the war at an end, chafing under military restrictions, anxious to be with their families, left of their own accord, and soon, the army of Texas
To the honor of Debray
's and Wood
's regiments be it said, that they sternly rejected all enticements to join in the ‘break up,’ and remained faithful to their colors.
Upon General Debray
's affirmative answer to General Magruder
's enquiry whether his brigade could still be trusted, Debray
's and Wood
's regiments were ordered to march to Houston
That city, which, during the war, was the center of trade in Texas
, supposed to contain an accumulation of goods and money, both public and private, was threatened by armed lawless men intent on plunder, who went so far as to capture railroad trains, the more promptly to reach the ‘Mecca
’ of their greed.
It became the stern duty of the brigade, by frequent and strong patrols, to disperse those people, and to cause them to leave the city.
But supplies were failing; there was no money to procure them, and the credit of the Confederate States
had ceased to exist; as a necessary consequence, the brigade had to be formally discharged by its commanding general.
The companies returned in good order to their respective homes, there to dissolve, every man quietly resuming his avocation in civil life.
Those who participated in the parting scenes in Debray
's regiment will ever remember them.
Grief over our lost cause, over the severance of an association of four years duration, grown into brotherly love, drew tears from the eyes of many a brave soldier.
It was the tearing asunder of the members of a loving family.
This closes the brief review of the career of Debray
A true and loyal regiment it was!
Steady under fire, impetuous in attack, cool and defiant in retreat; in camp and garrison it was remarked for its good discipline and instruction, and its readiness and alacrity in the execution of orders.
If it cannot pride itself in as many campaigns as other regiments, it was owing to the fortune of war, not to the choice of its members.
This imperfect sketch, written from memory after the lapse of twenty years, fails to do full justice to its subject.
It remains with the several companies to restore their muster rolls, to commemorate deeds of individual gallantry, and to pay a deserved tribute to the memory of their dead.