Sam Houston to His Son, Sam Houston, Jr., 1861

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Although Sam Houston was an ardent supporter of the Union, he could recognize his oldest child's desire to go off to war. Sam Jr. was studying at the Bastrop Military Institute at the time, and he did eventually leave the classroom for the battlefield.

He fought in the Battle of Shiloh, was wounded, and then imprisoned at Camp Douglas. After the war, he studied medicine, but later abandoned medical practice for writing.

His father wrote this letter just over a month after he was turned out of office as governor of Texas on March 16, 1861, for refusing to take an oath of loyalty to the Confederacy.

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Letter from Houston to son, page 1

22nd May 1861

My Dear Son,
On yesterday I wrote
to you, and hoped to day would
be fair, and the road so that we
would get off tomorrow, but to
day is quite cloudy, and looks as
like rain as need be. If it rains
to day, I may go to Huntsville on busi
=ness. I am wearied and distressed to
be thus detained. Though all is kind=
=ness, I do not like to eat our friends
out of House & home at one visit.
Moreover a Sense of duty calls
me to the Point, though feel assured
you will do the best you can!
We have no news of interest in
the Sensation Extras, they lye, to suit
the market. Do you my son, not
let any thing disturb you, attend
to business, and when it is proper,
you Shall go to war if you wish
to do so. It is many mans duty to defend
his Country; and I wish my offspring
to do so, at a proper time, and in a
proper way.

Page last modified: April 11, 2016