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[315] Texans, but not a gun was fired, though several attempted to escape capture by trying to swim the river, and were drowned.

While it was General Slaughter's command that won the last battle of the war, yet to Colonel Ford is due the honor of precipitating the battle and gaining the victory, and inflicting a heavy loss upon the enemy, who outnumbered his troops more than five to one, without the loss of a man. General Slaughter was detained in Brownsville until late in the day of the 18th, but Colonel Ford, called by his soldiers ‘Old Rip,’ was all day in the thickest of the fight, and early in the morning, while rifle balls were whistling around, he addressed his men about as follows: ‘Men, we have whipped the enemy in all our previous fights. We can do it again.’ The men shouted, ‘Hurrah for Old Rip!’ As the hurrahs ceased he gave the order, ‘Forward! Charge!’ The response was a Texan yell, and a charge which no infantry line ever formed on the Rio Grande could withstand. The reason why so few negroes were captured in the last fight of the war was because they outran our cavalry horses.

Hancock's company and the Indiana troops several times saved the negroes. These veteran troops attempted to withstand the charges that Colonel Ford and his Confederates hurled against them, but Branson's negro troops ran, and ran well, as the report of their commander proves. The writer has seen Colonel Ford and several old Confederates who live in this county, who were in this fight, and the writer has often talked with them on the subject. That this was the last fight of the war, and almost one month after Comrade Slater's West Point fight, I think I have proven.

It was a victory for the Confederates, and will go down in history as such.

Luther Conyer. San Diego, Texas, November 30, 1896.

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