The voice of our soldiers.
Camp Texas Brigade,
To the Editor of the Richmond Dispatch:
Secretary of the meeting.
Camp Texas Brigade,
At a meeting of the First, Fourth and Fifth Texas and Third Arkansas regiments, composing the "Texas Brigade," of Fields's division, Longstreet's corps, Army of Northern Virginia.
On motion of Sergeant-Major J. H. Leete. First Texas regiment, Private B. S. Fitzgerald, company I, Fifth Texas, was chosen chairman, and, on motion of Private W. H. Burges, company D, Fourth Texas, Lieutenant Haywood Brahan, company F, Fourth Texas, was appointed secretary.
Lieutenant Brahan, upon being called upon, explained the object of the meeting in a few brief and appropriate remarks.
On motion of Private W. H. Burges, company D, Fourth Texas, a committee of five from each regiment of the brigade was appointed to draft resolutions expressive of the sense of the meeting.
The following is the committee, as appointed by the Chairman, viz:
Sergeant-Major J. H. Leete, Sergeant F. M. Story, company D; J. P. Luratt, company H; W. A. Shelton, company L; Private J. T. Clark, company E, First Texas. Private W. H. Burges, company D; D. A. Todd, company B; F. D. Williams, company E; William Morris, company F; Sergeant W. M. Baines, company G, Fourth Texas. Lieutenant B. T. Fuller, company A; Sergeant M. A. J. Evans, company E; Sergeant T. F. Meese, company K; Private Thomas Haynie, company H; Private H. C. Shea, company F, Fifth Texas regiment. Assistant Surgeon C. H. A. Kleinschlidtz, Captain A. C. Jones, company G; Captain W. H. Harrison, company E; Private J. H. Goldsby, company K; Private R. W. O'Conner, company F, Third Arkansas.
The committee then retired to consider the preparation of resolutions.--During the recess, the meeting was agreeably and pleasantly entertained by eloquent and patriotic speeches from Lieutenant-Colonel C. M. Winkler and Private T. D. Williams, Fourth Texas.
At the close of Private Williams's remarks, the committee, through its chairman, Sergeant-Major J. H. Leete, reported the following preamble and resolutions, which, on motion of Lieutenant-Colonel C. M. Winkler, were unanimously adopted by the meeting: ‘
"Whereas, we have seen, with feelings of sadness, the clouds of gloom and despondency that have recently gathered in the sky of our young nation, but which are now, happily, being dispelled by returning confidence, we, the army, who are the people, and the people, who are the country, deem it not inappropriate, but fit and proper, that we should, in a meeting composed of the "Texas Brigade," comprising the First, Fourth, Fifth Texas and Third Arkansas regiments, make to our fellow-soldiers, to our country, to the enemy, and to the world, our purpose and determination to maintain, at all hazards and to the last extremity, the rights and liberties which a merciful God has been pleased to bestow upon us, and ever to contend for a perpetual separation from the hated and despised foe, who have murdered our grey- haired men, insulted our women and children, and turned out thousands of helpless families to starve, after robbing them and burning their houses, leaving them destitute of all except their honor.
Therefore be it.
January 24, 1865.
- 1. "Resolved, That before the commencement of this great struggle for our rights and liberties, we considered well the causes and consequences for which we were about to take up arms; that our cause was just, and that no sacrifice was so great that it could not be made in defence of such a cause; that we have gone boldly forward now for nearly four years, and our determination has not abated, but increased, having had a clearer view of the character of the brutal foe with whom we contend, and gained from experience in close contact with them. Certainly no one can be so blind and stupid as not to agree with us, that the warning was of inspiration, and that was the auspicious time to strike for our rights; and that we are fully determined to go forward as we have done, and, if need be, to renew our pledge of devotion to our country; and that we will rid ourselves of the tyranny the enemy would thrust upon us, or die in the attempt.
- 2. "Resolved, That whilst we are battling in a cause the most sacred, for Liberty and Independence, against a people so base, treacherous and despised, that language fails us to properly portray our detestation of them, we cannot be indifferent lookers-on at those in our country who would divide and distract the counsels of the nation and tear down the present able and patriotic Administration, and, at the same time, give aid and comfort to the enemy. To politicians and demagogues, newspaper editors, men in and out of positions, croakers, and those who are firing in the rear, and those who pull down while we build up, we warn you that there is a point beyond which you cannot go with impunity; that nothing will deter us from the prosecution of our purpose, whether it be our open enemy in the front or the hidden and less respectable enemy in our midst; for the latter of whom we take this opportunity to express our most hearty scorn and contempt.
- 3. "Resolved, That, after calmly considering the present situation of affairs in the Confederate States, we can see little cause, if any, for losing confidence in our final success; but, on the contrary, much on which to congratulate ourselves. In the beginning of the war--four years ago — we were a peaceful, unwarlike people, following quietly our ordinary avocations, totally unused and uneducated to warfare. Our men were to be organized, the material and appliances with which we have so often routed the enemy had to be made from the crude state; and new let the world say, if we have not accomplished much. That there is much yet to be done we admit, and declare ourselves prepared to undertake it. Let us look back to Manassas the First and Second Gaines's Farm. Chancellorsville, Fredericksburg, Wilderness, and hundreds of other fields, where Confederates have shown a heroism almost unequalled in all past ages; and let us take new courage, if any have grown weary. We may also admit that the enemy have large armies, but it is the babel of modern times, in which is represented the African, shoulder to shoulder with his brother — the Yankee--who sells himself for a bounty and deserts, and sells himself again; the man with the brogue so rich; the avaricious Hessian; and the dungeons of Europe are largely represented. It is not possible that such a heterogeneous mass can be united in one common object. Whilst we, on the contrary, are a unit in our resolution of purpose to be free and independent of those who would kill eight millions of whites, or enslave them, in order to give a pretended freedom to half that number of African negroes. Let us go bravely on. Peace must come sooner or later, and with it our independence. Our final triumph is certain and inevitable, and our subjugation is an impossibility.
- 4. "Resolved, That we can say, in perfect confidence, to out friends in Texas, Arkansas and the Trails-Mississippi Department, that at the front all is bright, buoyant and hopeful. We congratulate them on having, during the past campaign, driven the enemy far back from their frontiers. We ask them to stand firmly by their armies, protect the wives and children of the absent soldiers, and to allow no man to say he will go back in the Union with the Yankees; but to punish such treachery as it deserves.
- 5. "Resolved, That in President Davis--the wise, patriotic and good Chief Magistrate--we repose the most perfect respect and confidence, tendering him our warmest sympathies and co-operation in the onerous duties and responsibilities resting upon him.
- 6. "Resolved, That for General Robert E. Lee--the great soldier, father and friend of his army,--we have the love and veneration that dutiful children should owe their father; that we will always follow wherever he may direct, and assure him, at all times, of our hearty support and co-operation.
- 7. "Resolved, That we invite all organizations in the armies of the Confederate States to come forward and show to the world, by an express on of their sentiments, their unalterable purpose and determination to conquer an honorable peace.
- 8. "Resolved, That the secretary furnish a copy of these resolutions, and the proceedings of this meeting, to each of the newspapers published in Richmond, Virginia; and that the newspapers in Texas and Arkansas, and all others friendly to the cause, be requested to copy; also, that a copy be sent to President Davis, General R. E. Lee, the Texas and Arkansas Senators and Representatives in Congress, and to the Governors of Texas and Arkansas."