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eting in this world. It has cut short my early wishes and daily yearnings, and so vividly does she live in my imagination and affection that I can not realize she only exists in my memory. I pray that her life has but just begun, and I trust that our merciful God only so suddenly and early snatched her away because he then saw that it was the fittest moment to take her to himself. May a pure and eternal life now be hers, and may we all live so that when we die it may be open to us. On the 25th of the same month he tells Mrs. Lee: I shall leave here on the 1st proximo for the Rio Grande, and shall be absent from two and a half to three months; will go from here to Fort Mason and pick up Major Thomas General George H. Thomas. and take him on with me, and thus have him as a traveling companion all the way, which will be a great comfort to me. And then mentioning the Comanche raids on the settlers of Texas, he says: These people give a world of trouble to man and horse, and, poor
deserve his mercy, his care, and protection. Do not give yourself any anxiety about the appointment of the brigadier. If it is on my account that you feel an interest in it, I beg you will discard it from your thoughts. You will be sure to be disappointed; nor is it right to indulge improper and useless hopes. It besides looks like presumption to expect it. The journey to the Rio Grande is best told in his own words: Ringgold Barracks, Texas, October 3, 1856. I arrived here on the 28th, after twenty-seven consecutive days of travel. The distance was greater than I had anticipated, being seven hundred and thirty miles. I was detained one day on the road by high water-had to swim my mules and get the wagon over by hand. My mare took me very comfortably, but all my wardrobe, from my socks up to my plume, was immersed in the muddy water-epaulets, sash, etc. They are, however, all dry now. Major Thomas traveled with me from Fort Mason. We are in camp together. Captain Bradfo
March 1st (search for this): chapter 4
John's Day, and the principal, or at least visible, means of adoration or worship seemed to consist in riding horses. So every Mexican, and indeed others, who could procure a quadruped were cavorting through the streets, with the thermometer over a hundred degrees in the shade, a scorching sun, and dust several inches thick. You can imagine the state of the atmosphere and suffering of the horses, if not the pleasure of the riders. As everything of the horse tribe had to be brought into requisition to accommodate the bipeds, unbroken colts and worn-out hacks were saddled for the occasion. The plunging and kicking of the former procured excitement for, and the distress of the latter merriment to the crowd. I did not know before that St. John set so high a value upon equitation. There he remained until summoned to Washington in February, 1861, reaching that city on the 1st of March. Once more, and for the last time, he was with his family under the roof of stately old Arlington.
their horses and cattle. They were fine specimens of irregular cavalry, were splendid riders, and when compelled to fight, used the open or individual method of warfare, after the manner of the Cossacks. From Camp Cooper, Texas, August 4, 1856, remembering that Mr. Custis always celebrated his country's birth by a patriotic speech of welcome to the many who visited him on such occasions, he says to Mrs. Lee: I hope your father continued well and enjoyed his usual celebration of the Fourth of July; mine was spent, after a march of thirty miles on one of the branches of the Brazos, under my blanket, elevated on four sticks driven in the ground, as a sunshade. The sun was fiery hot, the atmosphere like the blast from a hot-air furnace, the water salt, still my feelings for my country were as ardent, my faith in her future as true, and my hopes for her advancement as unabated as they would have been under better circumstances. A week later, having received intelligence of the dea
August 2nd (search for this): chapter 4
having been temporarily detached from his regiment and detailed to serve as a member of a court-martial ordered to convene to try an assistant surgeon of the army for leaving his station in the midst of a fatal epidemic, and wrote Mrs. Lee, from Fort Riley, November 5, 1855: The court progresses slowly. A good deal was told in the evidence of Saturday; Mrs. Woods, wife of Brevet-Major Woods, Sixth Infantry, whose husband had left on the Sioux expedition, was taken ill at 9 P. M. on the 2d of August. Her youngest child, a boy of three years, was taken that night at twelve, and about six next morning her eldest, a girl of five years. The mother, when told that her end was approaching, asked her only attendant, a niece of the chaplain, to take down the last request to her children and absent husband. The sickness of her children had kindly been concealed from her by this young lady, who managed, by the aid of a soldier, to attend to them all. They all died that morning, the 3d of Aug
August 3rd (search for this): chapter 4
to take down the last request to her children and absent husband. The sickness of her children had kindly been concealed from her by this young lady, who managed, by the aid of a soldier, to attend to them all. They all died that morning, the 3d of August. The boy preceded, and the girl followed the mother by about an hour. Their bodies rest in the same grave. I pray their spirits may be united in heaven. The husband, stripped of all he loved, is still absent; and the same day Major Ogden, ied in six hours after she was taken. Her husband had marched with his company, but only proceeded thirty miles when overtaken by an express. He returned in the night, found his wife dead, and after her funeral in the morning-this same fatal 3d of August-started for his camp, carrying his two little children with him. A soldier has a hard life and but little consideration. The Second Cavalry, under the command of Colonel Johnston, on the 27th of October following began its long march from J
October 27th (search for this): chapter 4
ral Lewis Armistead, killed at Gettysburg), died in six hours after she was taken. Her husband had marched with his company, but only proceeded thirty miles when overtaken by an express. He returned in the night, found his wife dead, and after her funeral in the morning-this same fatal 3d of August-started for his camp, carrying his two little children with him. A soldier has a hard life and but little consideration. The Second Cavalry, under the command of Colonel Johnston, on the 27th of October following began its long march from Jefferson Barracks to western Texas. It numbered seven hundred and fifty men and eight hundred horses. It marched under the command of its colonel, Major Hardee being the only other field officer who accompanied it, Lee and Thomas being on court-martial detail. The regiment was destined for the next few years to be stationed at the various posts of western Texas, and its duty was to protect the scalp of the settler from the tomahawk of the savage.
left me by Colonel Sumner. He was educated by his daughter, Mrs. Jenkins, but is too fond of getting up on my lap and on my bed; he follows me all about the house and stands at the door in an attitude of defiance at all passing dogs. In the November following he was in Kansas, having been temporarily detached from his regiment and detailed to serve as a member of a court-martial ordered to convene to try an assistant surgeon of the army for leaving his station in the midst of a fatal epidemel Bowers, very shrewd men, accustomed to the tricks and stratagems of special pleadings, which, of no other avail, absorb time and stave off the question. The movement of troops to Florida will not take place, I presume, until the beginning of November. They are packing up and getting ready. The officers are selling their surplus beds and chairs, cows, goats, and chickens. I am sorry to see their little comforts going, for it is difficult on the frontier to collect them again. Mrs. Sibley
November 20th (search for this): chapter 4
festival the following letter to Mrs. Lee, giving in graphic words his views on slavery, a sly slap at the Pilgrim Fathers, and his personal Christmas doings, was written: Fort Brown, Texas, December 27, 1856. The steamer has arrived from New Orleans, bringing full files of papers and general intelligence from the States. I have enjoyed the former very much, and, in the absence of particular intelligence, have perused with much interest the series of the Alexandria Gazette from the 20th of November to the 8th of December inclusive. Besides the usual good reading matter, I was interested in the relation of local affairs, and inferred, from the quiet and ordinary course of events, that all in the neighborhood was going on well. I trust it may be so, and that you and particularly all at Arlington and our friends elsewhere are well. The steamer brought the President's message to Congress, and the reports of the various heads of the departments, so that we are now assured that the G
December 8th (search for this): chapter 4
etter to Mrs. Lee, giving in graphic words his views on slavery, a sly slap at the Pilgrim Fathers, and his personal Christmas doings, was written: Fort Brown, Texas, December 27, 1856. The steamer has arrived from New Orleans, bringing full files of papers and general intelligence from the States. I have enjoyed the former very much, and, in the absence of particular intelligence, have perused with much interest the series of the Alexandria Gazette from the 20th of November to the 8th of December inclusive. Besides the usual good reading matter, I was interested in the relation of local affairs, and inferred, from the quiet and ordinary course of events, that all in the neighborhood was going on well. I trust it may be so, and that you and particularly all at Arlington and our friends elsewhere are well. The steamer brought the President's message to Congress, and the reports of the various heads of the departments, so that we are now assured that the Government is in operati
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