The Civil War in Texas: An Exhibit from the Texas State Library and Archives

Before the War | 1860: Big Trouble | Secession! | 1861: Opening Act | Dissent

1862: Fiery Trial | 1863: The Tide Turns | 1864: No Way Out | End of the Ordeal | Further Reading

W.W. Whitby to Governor Pendleton Murrah, December 28, 1863

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W.W. Whitley to Pendleton Murrah, December 1863

Galvan Dec 28th 1863
To the Governor of the State of Texas


I was appointed by the Col comd the
31st Brigade (in the absence of the Brigadier
General) to Enroll the Militia of Atascoso [Atascosa] Cty[.]
I gave notice requesting all to attend on a cer-
tain day that I might make a complete Roll[.]

On that day I appointed a day for the draft.
Between the Enrollment and the draft there
was an effort made to form a company and
send to you for your recognition[.] They appointed
the day before the draft to meet and Elect their
officers[.] I attended for the purpose of dissuading
them and persuading to attend the next day
and volunteer[.] But as soon as I spoke one man
(Robert E. Neal) became enraged[,] steped [sic] back
with his gun in hand saying “a few God damed [sic]
rascals had ruined the Country” and other
remarks I do not remember[.] I learned however
that he said “that he had rather
kill me than old Abe Lincoln[.]” And I know of
no cause of a difficulty between us save that I have
been acting as Enrolling Officer of this and
Frio County[.] The leaders in this affair as I
learned were John Tom[,] J.M. Walker[,] R.E.
Neal and E OBrion. OBrion is the Chief
Justice of this Country and I regret to say that
his course of conduct since the commencement
of our present struggle has been such that the conviction has been
forced upon my mind that he has been standing
directly between me and the people while I have
been in the discharge of my duty as Conscript
Enrolling Off[icer] and Enrolling Off[icer] of the Militia[.]

At the time he left here for Austin with a pe-
tition to you (as I learned he he [sic] had one) he
knew that the Draft had been made and
a majority of the men composing that company were
drafted men[.] I appointed the 12th day of this
month for them to meet[,] organize, and Elect
their officers[.] I urged them to organize[.]

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W.W. Whitby to Governor Pendleton Murrah, December 28, 1863. Records of Governor Pendleton Murrah, Archives and Information Services Division, Texas State Library and Archives Commission.

Page last modified: March 3, 2016