10. Woodson BLASSINGAME21,22,74 was born about 1798 in Orangeburg District, South Carolina. He was named in the Will of Thomas Blassingame75 He appeared in the census in 1830 in Perry County, Alabama.76
Woodson Blassingame 1 male - 20-30, 2 females under 5 (Jane Caroline & Mary), 1 female 5-10 (Katherine), 1 females 20-30 (Mary) - 0 slaves
(next to John G. B_______
George W. seems to have been left off for some reason. Woodson has a land record, recorded on 2 August 1837 in Cahaba Land Office, Perry (Bibb) County, Alabama, described as description
Document # 27544, base line, St. Stephens, Accession # AL1670__.182, Image name 00016075, Vol ID 061
He has a land record, recorded on 2 August 1837 in Cahaba Land Office, Perry (Bibb) County, Alabama, described as description Document # 27546, Accession # AL 1670__.184, image name 00016055, vol 061 He has a land record, recorded on 9 August 1837 in Cahaba Land Office, Perry (Bibb) County, Alabama, described as description
Document # 29377, AL 1700__.500, 00017458, Vol. 061 Woodson has a land record, recorded on 12 August 1837 in Cahaba Land Office, Perry (Bibb) County, Alabama, described as description
Document # 30499, AL 1730__.060, 00022550, vol 061 He is mentioned in a Deed of Indenture for 195 acres, W 1/2 SE 1/4NE 1/4NW 1/4S N13 24 T22 SE 1/4 R 7, Cahaba district, 3 head of horses, 18 head of cattle from Lambeth Hopkins, sureity, and Woodson Blassingame to J F Shaffer Sr. and John Gauger on 20 April 1838 in Perry County, Alabama77
This Indenture made and entered into between Woodson Blasengame of one part and Lambeth Hopkins of the other part all of the State of Alabama Perry County Witnesseth [sic] that the said Blassengame for and in consideration of one hundred and ninety dollars in hand paid the receipt whereof is hereby acknowledged hath bargained sold and conveyed the following tract or parcel of land to with the West half of the SE 1/4 and NE 1/4 of NW 1/4 section No 13 and 24 Township No 22 Range & district of Cahaba. Also three head of horses one sorrel one bay and sorrel, Stud colt which horses the said Blassengame now has in possession and the following described cattle six cows and calves three steers and three heiffers [sic] making in all eighteen head of cattle the said Hopkins is to hold and to have his heirs or assigns forever these presents all on these express condition that whereas the above named Hopkins has stood security for the said Blassengame for the amount or more to J F Shaffer Sr and John Gauger which amount of money was due some time since as the notes will show. Now of the money to the said persons or order and all costs and interest according thereon by this time twelve months or by the first of May 1839 11 am in that case these presents to be void and of noneffect but in default of nonpayment of the amount or any part thereof then I the said Blassingame do impower [sic] the said Hopkins his heirs or assigns to sell Bargain and convey the above named land, the said horses and cattle or so much thereof at public vendue [sic] as will be sufficient to pay the said amount of the notes which the said Hopkins has stood security for and such conveyances make a good and lawful deed or deeds to any person or persons his her[sic] or their heirs or assigns as if I had done it myself the said Hopkins his heir or assigns are to pay to the said Blassingame his heirs or asigns all the overhlets [sic]if any after & pay all expenses whereunto I set my hand and affix my seal in Witness this 20 April 1838.
Test Woodson Blassingame [seal]
JJ I Hopkins
The State of Alabama} Personally appeared before me William Willson on acting Justice of the Peace of
Perry County } said county and Teste Woodson Blassengame and acknowledged that he signed the above and within Mortgage to the said Lambeth Hopkins for the said consel [sic] therein named- Given under my hand and seal at office on the 28 April 1838
W Wilson JP [seal]
Recorded 17 April 1838 J B Nave Register -- He was living in 1841 in Alabama. Woodson is mentioned in a Deed of Indenture between Woodson Blasingame and Mary Blasengame to William Fikes, 35.08 acres for $50 on 5 March 1845 in Bibb County, Alabama78
This indenture made this the twenty fifth day of March in the year of our lord one Thousand Eight hundred and forty five between Woodson Blasengame & Mary Blasengame of the State of Alabama and county of Bibb of the first part and William Fikes of the State and County aforesaid of the Second part. Witnesseth that the said party of the first part for and in consideration of the sum of fifty dollars to him in hand paid at and before the Sealing and delivery of these presents of the said party of the Second part the Receipt where of is herby acknowledged granted bargained and Sold and conveyed and by these presents doth grant bargain Sell and convey unto the said party of the Second part and to his heirs and assigns forever the following discribed [sic] tract or parcel of Land to wit. The north west fourth of the south East fourth of Section Thirteen Township no. twenty two range No Seven containing Thirty five acres and Eight hundredth of an acre. More or Less together with all and Singular the tenements and appertenents [sic] There unto belonging or in anywise appertaininng and the reversion and revisions remainder and remainders into issues and profits thereof also all the estate right title enterest [sic] claim on demand whatsoever of him the said party of the first part wither in Law or equity of in and to the above bargained premises and every part and parcel to have and to hold of the said Second part his and assigns to the Sold proper use & benefit and behoof of the said party of the Second his heirs and assigns forever and the said party of the first for himself his heirs executors and administrators doth hereby warrant and will forever defend the title of the above bargained
promise to him the said party of the Second part his heirs and assigns free from the claim or claims of all and every person or persons whosoever as also the claims of the General Government. In testimony where of the aforesaid party of the first have hereunto Set their hand and affixed their Seals the day and first above written
Pinkney Wooley Personally appeared before me John W. Sulte the acting clerk of Bibb County court
Bibb County} the above named Manuel Fikes one of the Subscribing witnesses to the foregoing deed who being first duly Sworn deposeth [sic]& Saith that he saw Saw the above named Woodson Blasengame and Mary Blasengame his wife Whose names is Subscribed thereto Sign seal & deliver the Same to William Fikes & the deponent [sic] Subscribed thereto in the presence of the Said William Blasengame & Mary Blasengame hius wife and that he saw Pinkeny Wooley the other Subscribing witness sign on the same in the presents of the said Woodson Blasengame & Mary Blasengame and in the presents of each other on the day and year therein named Given under the hand and official seal at office this the Sith [sic] day of august AD 1845
[seal] John W. Suttle Clk
The State of Alabama } I John W Suttle clerk of Bibb County Court do hereby certify that the foregoing
Bibb County} deed was Recorded in office in Book F Pages 47 and 48 on the 8th day of August AD 1845. Given under my hand and official seal at office the 8th day of August AD 1845
Jno W. Suttle Clk
A Sheriff's Sale was held Place] on 7 December 1846 to auction off land to pay off $140.47 owed Wooley and Edmonds, as well as $95 for cost of the suit, which was sold to Walter C. Duff for the sum of $36 as the highest bidder. This property formerly belonged to he.79
The State of Alabama } To all persons to whom these presents shall come I William W. Stokes Sheriff of Perry
Perry County SS} County send greetings whereas by a writ of Execution and Rendition affirm or issue from the Office of the Clerk of the County Court for Bibb County and State of Alabama to me directed and delivered and dated the eighth day of Feb, 1846, I was commissioned to make of the goods and chattles [sic] land and tenements of Woodson Blassingame if to be found in my county the sum of one hundred and forty four 47/100 Dollars which Wooley and Edmunds had accrued against him in the said court for damages and also the further sum of ninety five dollars Cost of suit and whereas after the Ongoing the said writ to and as such Sheriff and before the day of the return thereof I did by on two of the same seize and take the lands herein after described and have for want of goods and chattles [sic] of the said defendant in my County to satisfy said writ of Execution sold the said lands as is hereinafter [?] at public auction having duly advertized [sic] the same and given
to the said defendants notice of said Levy and seizure according to the provisions of the statute in such cases made and provided to Walter C Duff for the sum of thirty six dollars he being the highest and best bidder for the same now know of that I William W. Stokes Sheriff as aforesaid of Perry County and State of Alabama in duties of the aforesaid Sale and of the authority vested in me by law in Consideration of the Sum of thirty six dollars to me in hand paid by the said Walter C.Duff and to his heirs and and assigns forever all the following described lands to wit the north west quarter of the north west quarter and the north west quarter of the south east quarter of Section twenty four township twenty two and range Seven. To have and to hold the said lands with all and singular the appertanances [sic]and reinforcements thereunto belonging or in any wise appertaining unto the said Walter C. Duff his heirs and assigns forever in such right title interest and estate as the said Woodson Blassingame had in and to the same on the seventh day of December in the year 1846 or at any time since had or now hath as fully and absolutely as I the said William W. Stokes as sheriff of said county of Perry and under the Authority of the aforesaid Execution might Could or ought to sell and convey title to the same. In testimony where of I have hereunto set my signature and affixed my seal this seventh day of January in the year 1847.
W W Stokes sheriff
The State of Alabama} Personally appeared before me John Cumminham clerk of the County Court of said
Perry County } County William W. Stokes Sheriff & who acknowledged that he signed sealed and delivered the foregoing deed to Walter C Duff for the purposes therein expressed. Given under my hand and seal of Office at Office in the Town of Marion this 19th July AD 1847.
Jno Cunningham Clek
Filed for Registration July 19th 1847 Recorded August 3d 1847
Jno. Cunningham Regist
He appeared in a court record, on 2 January 1847 in Perry County, Alabama80,81
The State of Alabama } To all person to whom these presents shall come I William W. Stokes, Sheriff of
Perry County S S } Perry County, send greetings whereas by a writ of Execution and Vandution aff ? issued from the office of the Clerk of the County Court for Bibb County, and State of Alabama to me directed and delivered and dated the sixth day of July 1841, I was commanded to make of the goods and chattles land and tenements of Woodson Blassingame if to be found in my county the sum of One hundred and four 47/100 Dollars which Wooley and Elmore had secured against him in the said court for damages and also the further sum of ninety five dollars Cost of suit and whereas after the concerning of the said writ to me as such Sheriff and before the day of the return thereof I did by ? of the same Seize and take the lands hereinafter described and have for an amt of goods and chattles of the said defendant in my County to satisfy - writ of Execution sold the said lands as is hereinafter made at public ? having duly ? the same and given to the said defendants notice of said Levy and seizure occurring to the provisions of the ? in such ? made and provided to Walter C. Duff for the sum of thirty six dollars, he being the highest and best bidder for the same now know that I William W. Stokes Sheriff as aforesaid of Perry County and state Alabama in virtue of the ? sum of thirty six dollars to me in hand paid by the said Walter C. Duff the receipt whereas is hereby acknowledged and have granted, bargained and sold and do by those presents grant bargain and sell unto the said Walter C. Duff and to his heirs and assigns forever all the following described lands to wit: the North east quarter of the Northwest quarter area the north west quarter of the south east quarter of Section twenty four township twenty two and twenty four range seven. To have and to hold the said land with all and singular the appurtenances and improvements thereunto belonging or in any wise appertaining unto the said Walter C. Duff his heirs and assigns forever in such right title interest and estates as the said Woodson Blassingame had on and to the same on the seventh day of December in the year 1846 or at any time since had or hath as fully and absolutely as I the said William W Stokes as sheriff of said County of Perry and under the Authority of the aforesaid Execution might could or ought to sell and convey title to the same.
In testimony whereof I have herewith Set my signiture [sic] and affixed my seal this second day of January in the year 1847
Woodson appeared in the census on 21 December 1850 in Mine Creek Township, Hempstead County, Arkansas.82
"Marden" (sic) Blasingham 52 farmer SC
Polly 42? Tenn
Luther 15 AL
Henry 13 AL
Sarah 11 AL
William 9 AL
Columbus 7 AR
Nancy 2 AR
[Sarah, William, Columbus and Nancy are not their children, but the son of William Blassingame, relationship, unknown as of Jan. 2010. He has a land record, recorded on 1 February 1854 in Comal County, Texas, described as description83
Transcription from original document.
Know all men by these present that I James H. Callahan of the County and State of aforesaid am held and firmly bound unto Woodson Blasingame of said County and State his heirs or assigns in the sum of one Thousand dolars for the payment of ? ? and truly to be made. I Bond myself my heirs, executors administrators and assigns firmly by this Instrument given under my hand and ascript for Seal this 1 day of February AD 1854. The condition of the above obligation is such that whereas I have this day bargained and sold unto the said Woodson Blasingame all my Rights, title, and interest to a certain tract or parcel of land lying in Comal County and State of Texas for one dollar and sixty two & half cents per acre. Supposed to be two hundred acres Said tract of land is described as follows. Begining on the South Bank of the Blanco where the live between Callahan and ? crosses the river and running down the River five hundred varas. Thence run back to Callahan's line the tract is in five hundred varas wide all the way back. The said Callahan has this dayreceived one hundred and sixty dollars from said Blasingame part payment of the land and the balance is to be paid by the first day of January 1866 and ten per cent interest from date until paid when the last payment is made. I bind myself my heirs and administrators to make to said Blasingame a good and warrantee deed to the said tract of land there this obligation be null and void otherwise is to remain in full force and virtue this 1st day of February 1854
Attest James H. Callahan seal
Wm K Holmes
He has a land record, recorded on 1 March 1855 in Washington Land Office, Howard County, Arkansas, described as description
Document # 5965, NWNW, Section 14, Town 9.0, Town Direc. S, range 27, Range Dir. W, Block 0, Base line 05, 40 acres, AR 1220__.46, image 00000725, ID 011, type P
Woodson has a land record, recorded on 1 March 1855 in Washington Land Office, Howard County, Arkansas, described as description Document 6078, SESW, Section 11, 9S 27W, block 0, 40 acres AR 1230__.053, image 00006442, ID 011, type P He has a land record, recorded on 1 March 1855 in Washington Land Office, Howard County, Arkansas, described as description AR 1230__.072, Image 00000839, ID 012, image type P
Document #6097 He has a land record, recorded on 2 August 1855 in Cahaba Land Office, Perry (Bibb) County, Alabama, described as description
Document # 27545, AL 1670__.183, 00016076, 061
Woodson was involved in a Land Sale, Full payment of Land to James H. Callahan from Woodson Blassingame on 21 January 1856in Comal County, Texas84
Transcription from original document.
Know all men by these presents that I James H. Callahan have this day received payment in full for a certain tract or parcel of Land, sold to Woodson Blasingame the place now know as his homestead and fronting on the Rio Blanco and immdediately above JH Callahan homestead, as the parties have agreed it shall front on the Blanco five hundred varas and run back for ? containing one hundred and seventy-five acres be it the same more or less Jan. 21st, 1856
Attest James H. Callahan
Augustus Pharr, Luther Blasingame
Recorded 30 Sept. 1856
He a Petition to the State for a road leading from San Marcos to Fredericksburg by way of Pittsburg.. in February 1856 in Comal County, Texas85 He died , murdered by a large contingent of friends of James Callahan with multiple gunshot wounds on 14 April 1856 in the Lange Home, near Pittsburg, Comal (now Blanco) County, Texas. Woodson was buried in 1856 in Sauer Cemetery, 3 miles west of Blanco, off St Rd 1623/165/4th St, Comal (now Blanco) County, Texas.
This German family cemetery is located near the Blassingame cabin. Cemetery in on the Benjamin Moore Ranch just off the main road to their ranch house, on private land on the south side of the Blanco River. There was an inventory of the estate of he on 16 July 1856 in Comal County, Texas86
Transcribed from Original Document
Case No 452 Inventory and appraisement of the Estate of Woodson Blassingame deceased.
Thomas Blasingame Administrator
_________________________________________________________________175 acres of land the Homestead
of decd on the Rio Blanco $1200.00
1 horse 75.00
1 two horse waggon and harness 75.00
1 sher and 1 bull tong plow 6.00
70 head of hogs 140.00
1side Loom 2.00
1double barrell gun 15.00
1 four year old steer 15.00
1 pot and 1 oven 4.00
3 bedsteads 5.00
A corn crop but in such a state that we cant say what it is worth
We the undersigned appraisers of the estate of Woodson Blasingame deceased do solemly swear, that the within inventory contains a full list of all the property of said estate shown to us for appraisement and that te value set opposite the name or kind of said property is its value according to the best of our knowledge of its worth and that we made said appraisement without predjudice or partiality.
So help us God.
Gohunn Lindemann appraisers
Sworn and subscribed before
this July 16, 1856. Josiah Cox, GC
I Thomas Blassingame Administrator of the Estate of Woodson Blassingame late of said County do solemly swear that the foregoing INventory of Estate of said decd contains a List of all the property of said Estate so far as I know, that in my opinion is subject to be appraised. So help me God. Thomas Blasingame
Sworn and subscribed before me at my off in the City of New Braunfels on this18th day of July ets 1856. C. Seabaugh, Clk
C Clerk, Comal County
Inventory & appraisement approved in Court July 28th 1856,
Walter A Andriss
Chief Justice of Comal County
Recorded Octbr 24th, 1856, Albert Greiss, CCCC
He entered into a deed of mortgage on 13 September 1856, in Comal County, Texas for description,87
Trancribed from Original Document
Know all men by these presents that we GW Blasingame principal & Thomas & Luther Blasingame surities are held and firmly bound unto Charles and Henry Mayehofer (brothers) of said county in the sum of Two thousand Dollars ($2,000) which payment well and truly to be made we so bind ourselves and each of us firmly by these presents signed with our signatures and sealed with our seals, using our scrawls for seals, the day and date underneath written. The condition of the foregoing obligation such that whereas the above bounden GW Blasingame did on the day of the note here of - for and in consideration of the same - Eleven hundred dollars ($1100) in hand paid, bargained and sell to the said Charles and Henry Mayehofer a certain tract of land in the said county of Comal.. One hundred and seventy five acres, more or less, the same being the tract or piece of land bought by Woodson Blasingame from JH Callahan of said County - beginning on the South Bank of the Blanco, where the line between Callahan & Dean oversees the river and running down the river five hundred varas, thence running back to Callahan's South line of the tract - said parcel of land to be five hundred varas wide all the way back - containing one hundred seventy five acres more or less (175 acres) Now if the said GW Blasingame shall make or cause to be made to the said Charles and Henry Mayehofer or their legal representatives a good and sufficient warrantee title for said land, then this obligation shall be null and void - otherwise it shall be and remain in full force and virtue. In Testimony whereof we and each of us have hereunto set out hand and scrawls for seals this thirtieth day of September AD 1856. The Title to the said land is to be made by the said Blasingame as herein stipuated, within twelve months from the sale hereof.
Witnesses present GW Blasingame
MA Dooley, Th Koester Luther Blasingame
Woodson appeared in a court record, son, Thomas, petitioning to set aside homestead & other property for use of the widow and children, on 1 October 1856 in Comal County, Texas88
Transcribed from Original Document
Estate of Woodson Blassingame decd: In this Estate the Administrator files a Petition for setting aside the homestead of said decd and other property, exempt from execution for the use and benefit of the widow and children, and also for an order to the Executor of J. H. Callahan Estate to execute a title for said Homestead to the heirs of said Woodson Blasingame decd and at the same time presented a receipt in full for said Land signed by J.H. Callahan and proved by one of the subscribing witnesses. The Court ordered that the following property is set aside and be exempted from execution for the use and benfit of the widow and children of said deceased, to wit. The homestead on the Rio Blanco, appraised at $1200.00. Household & Kitchen furniture or $400.00. implements of husbandry or $50.00. 5 milk cows or $100.00. 1 yoke of oxen or one horse or $60.00. twenty hogs or $40.00. in all $1650.00.
The Court took notice of the second part of the Adm. petition to act upon when the Estate of said Callahan has to be taken up.
Court adjourned until 10 o'clock A. M. Wednesday, October 1st, 1856. He has a land record, recorded on 25 January 1857 in Comal County, Texas, described as description The will of he was Probated in Comal County, Texas on in August 185789
Disbursing the estate of Woodson Blasingame to his wife and children and lists their identities, spouses of the daughters, ages of each, and the place of residence. Woodson was involved in a Land Sale, Sale of Woodson Blasingame land to Henry & Charles Mayerhofer on 9 September 1857in Comal County, Texas90
Transcribed from Original Document
Know all men by these presents that I Mary Blasingame of the same said State and county of Leon for an in consideration of the sum of Eleven Hundred dollars to me paid by Charles and Henry Mayehofer of the aforesaid State and County of Comal have granted, bargained, sold and released, and by these presents do grant, bargain, sell and devise unto the said Charles and Henry Mayehofer, their heirs and assigns forever, the following described tract or parcel of Land, viz, One Hundred and seventy five aces of Land, more or less, situated in Comal County in the Martins Fork of the Rio Blanco, the same being the tract or piece of land bought by Woodson Blasingame from Jas. H. Callahan - Beginning on the South Bank of the Rio Blanco, where the line between Callahan's and Deans's Land crosses the River, thence running down the River five hundred varas, thence running back to Callhans South Line of the tract, to be five hundred varas wide all the way back, The tract hereby conveyed was transferred to me by Deed and Title from Thomas Blasingame as administrator of the Estate of Woodson Blasingame dec'd dated September 9, 1857 and executed by ? of the County Court of Comal County which said Deed is herewith delivered and made a part and parcel of this conveyance, together with all and singular the rights, members, here ? and appertaining to have and to hold all and singular the premises above mentioned and fully described unto the said Charles and Henry Mayehofer, their heirs and assigns forever, and I do hereby bind myself, my heirs and assigns to warrant and forever defend all and singular the premises above mentioned unto the said Charles and Henry Mayehofer, their heirs and assigns against every person, whomever lawfully claiming to claim the same, or any part thereof. In testimony whereas I have hereunto set my hand, and seal this ninth day of Septmeber in the year of our Lord Nine thousand, eight hundred and fifty seven.
Signed and sealed in presence of Mary Blasingame
Albert Deciss He had an Estate Record, Settlement of Estate of Woodson Blassingame, deceased on 9 September 1857 in Comal County, Texas91
Transcribed as written by Janelle Holmes
Wheaeas at the June term AD 1857 of the Court of said County for the Settlement of Estates of deceased persons vc Thomas Blasingame has been duly appointed Administrator of the Estate of Woodson Blasingame deceased late of said County and has given Bond and / qualified, and whereas at the july Term for AD 1857 of said Court, the said administrator has filed a Petition for an order of the Co. Court that Partition and Distribution of said Estate may be had at its subsequent Term, which said petition the Court granted, and whereas at the August term, 1857, of said County Court, legal notice having first been given through the New Braunfels Ghitung - partition and distribution of said Estate was made among the heirs and Whereas it appeared to the satisfaction of the Court, thereby the whole Estate, consisting of $1228.00 including the homestead of the family (appraised at $1,200) Mrs. Mary Blasingame the Widow of the deceased is entitled to one Half of said Estate with $614.15 and that the eleven children of the deceased together are entitled to the other half of said Estate worth $614.15 --therefore the Court accepts, ajudges and decreed that Mrs. Mary Blasingame of Leon County, shall receive out of said Estate from the administrator the sum of $614.15, that the guardian and ? appointed by the Co. Court, is representing the following children to wit: Mrs. Molly of Alabama, Mrs. Catherine Fikes of Mississippi, George W. Blasingame of Leon County, Mrs. Sarah Caroline Dillard of Gonzales County, Mrs Francis Holmes of Leon County, Sarah Blassingame of Leon County, William W. Blasingame of Leon County, Columbus Blassingame and Nancy Blasingame of Leon County, shall receive from said administrator the sum of $55.03 for Each, if said heirs and that Thomas Blasingame and Luther Blasingame both of Hays County, and who are present in Court, shall receive $55.03 each out of said Estate. And Whereas the whole Estate to be Distributed consists of the homestead and some personal property belonging to said Estate and no Cash. Therefore the Court orders, ajudges and decrees by and with the consent of all parties interested and represented in Court, that all the property belonging to said Estate as well real as personal property, shall be transferred and vested in said Mrs. Mary Blassingame, and that she shall pay out to each of her eleven children the amount of $55.85 to which each of them is entitled, and the Court further orders, that Thomas Blassingame Administrator of said Estate shall mark [ ?] and Title to the said Mrs. Mary Blasingame for said Homestead containing about 175 acres of Land in the Martin Brnh of the Rio Blanco, and that he shall be discharged from said Administration as soon as he has filed the receipt of all the heirs. Now know all men by these presents that J?. Thomas Blasingame, Administrator of the Estate of Woodson Blasingame deceased for and in consideration of the promise and by virtue of the orders and decrees of said County Court do by these present grant, set over, release and convey to the said Mrs. Mary Blasingame of Leon County her heirs and assigns forever all the right, title, interest and claim of the Estate of Woodson Blasingame deceased in and to the following described property, containing One hundred and Seventy-five acres more or less, the same being the tract of Land bought by Woodson Blasingame from J. H Callahan on the South Bank of the Rio Blanco, where the line between said Callahan's Land and the Land of Dean ? the River, thence down said River five hundred varas, thence back to the South Line of Callahans' tract, to be five hundred varas ? all the way back, and for which tract a Deed has been executed on the 26th day of January AD 1857 by Edward C. Pettus Executor of the Estate of Jas H. Callahan, dec'd to the heirs of Woodson Blassingame dec'd as appears from the records of said County in the Clerk's office Book E for Deeds on pages 438 and 439 together with all the singular rights, members, hereintoments and appurtenances is the same belonging or in anywise incident or appertaining. To have and to hold the Land and Premises above mentioned unto the said Mary Blasingame her heirs and assigns forever, hereby binding myself to warrant and forever defend the same against the claim or claims of any person whomsoever in as full and complete a degree as I am administrator by Law required to do and no further. In Testimony whereof I hereunto sign my name as Administrator as aforesaid and affix my seal,using scrawl for seal in the City of New Braunfels this the 9th day of September 1857
Witness Thomas Blasingame Seal
Albert Deciss Administrator
"Most of Woodson Blasingame's children married and settled in Leon County, Texas, and a few in Gonzales County. There is little trace of the Blassingame sons after the 1860 census however.
Posted by Don Watson <dwatson@@texas.net> on Sun, 27 Sep 1998
P.O. Box 690972
San Antonio, Texas 78269"
(April 7 - April 14, 1856)
This is the story and events leading up to the deaths of noted Texas Ranger, Capt. James Callahan, William "Maulheel" S. Johnson, Woodson Blassingame and his son Calvin, and the resulting actions. Based on the research of Don Watson, San Antonio, Texas, descendant of John M. Watson.
One of Capt James R. Callahan's, for whom Callahan County was named, more notable and finally infamous events was the chasing of Lipan Apache Indians into Mexico in retaliation for some raids in and around the Blanco Valley in 1855. It turned out that the Indians were in concert with the Mexicans, and Callahan had been led into an ambush. Eventually, he eventually was able to orchestrate his company's escape loosing only a couple of men. Yet, for some reason, he did not immediately leave Piedras Negras Mexico. He remained for a day or so, but when he came under attack, he had his men burn the town and crossed the Rio Grande. Callahan was criticized for this action and was drummed out of the Rangers for it. Newspaper accounts of the day are generally complimentary of the event, but some of the German papers seem to have been very critical of Callahan.
The area of Pittsburg, TX in Comal County (which later became the town of Blanco) was settled in large part by German immigrants. The German's seem to have been at odds with many of the settlers from the U.S. in a "political" sense. News accounts indicate that they greatly disagreed with Callahan's intrusion into Mexico and felt that it was illegal. Those Texans and newspapers that supported Callahan and similar campaigns were referred to as "Know-nothings".
Shortly after the Piedras Negras event, Callahan heard of some comments, reportedly made by Woodson Blassingame, a neighbor of Callahan's and the father of Luther Blassingame who had served in the ill-fated mission just recounted. Some accounts have it that Woodson made some unkind remarks about Callahan's wife (it is possible that either Calvin or Luther were accused of having an affair with Callahan's wife and Woodson may have commented if Callahan were not gone so much of the time she wouldn't need to have a lover), but other accounts indicate that the comments were negative ones about Callahan's raid into Mexico suggesting that Callahan was just trying to "plunder" the town that he burned. At any rate, Callahan had learned of these comments from a friend, William S. "Maulheel" Johnson. These accusations were supported by another friend, Eli Clements Hinds (b. 27 Jan 1819, KY). Hinds had been a friend and comrade of Callahan since their days in the Texas Rangers in 1841 back in Gonzales, and had later settled in Caldwell County, where Callahan had also lived, then in 1853, moved with Callahan's family and his own to establish homes in the Blanco River valley, becoming the first two settlers in what is now Blanco County.
Eli had not wished to inform Callahan of the comments, but William Johnson chose otherwise. Callahan apparently informed Calvin Blassingame, who was working for Callahan, to tell Woodson that he should leave the territory by a certain time or else. On April 7, 1856, Callahan along with his friends William Johnson, William's son Thomas, and Eli Hinds went out to talk to Woodson.
It is reported that it was to be a peaceful event, however, upon approaching the Blassingame cabin, Callahan yelled into the cabin for Woodson to come out. Shooting commenced, and again depending on the account, nobody knows who fired first. Most accounts say the Blassingames, however one newspaper account suggests that Thomas Johnson, William "Maulheel" Johnson's son, a boy of about 17, may have "spooked" and fired either intentionally or by accident, but the shooting was on. Callahan was killed instantly, William fell next, Thomas reportedly emptied his weapon and then fled the scene, Eli Hinds' horse was spooked and bolted, but not before two shots pierced Eli's throat and another through his upper arm, breaking it. Eli's horse ran past John M. Watson along the trail, and Watson turned and attempted to check the horse. He pulled Eli down, took him into his house and dressed his wounds. Watson then, along with Bob Page, went out to see about the Blassingames. The two killed men were still lying where they were shot and the Blassingames were still in their cabin.
Watson suggested to Woodson that since there was really no law in the area and that Callahan was a very popular man, that he might be better off going into Mexico. Woodson chose not to and asked Watson for his assistance in getting a fair trial. Watson agreed. The Blassingames, Woodson, wife Mary and son Calvin were taken into custody and since there was no jail, they were "held" at the cabin of Justice of the Peace George Lange. Watson, being a "deputy" but having been called away to Lockhart, warned George Lange that some men might come up from Caldwell County and attempt to "lynch" the Blassingames. Reportedly, George felt that this was not a threat.
On April 14, 1855, a mob of men, reportedly as large as 100 strong, approached the Lange cabin and demanded the Blassingames be turned over to them. There is a great deal of confusion and differing reports of what happened next, but the cabin was overtaken. The two Blassingame men were drug out by their heels and told to run. They refused, claiming they had done nothing wrong, feeling they had acted in self defense against Callahan. Mary Blassingame, meanwhile, escaped into the nearby woods. The two Blassingames were shot where they stood. One news account stated that Woodson had more than 50 bullet holes in him and that supposedly, young Thomas Johnson had emptied his gun into the body, although he was never indicted for any part in the killings. Lange turned out to be the "ring leader" of the lynch mob.
The shoot out occurred April 7, 1856. Woodson and Calvin were killed in the mob action April 14, 1856. There was no "local" paper at that time as this was Comal County, TX and those early settlers had only been in the area about 3 years (These were also some of the first settlers in that area of Texas). It is estimated that there were probably 180 families (or about 900 people) in the area that made up Blanco County when it was organized in 1858, two years after the shooting. Blanco County at that time included the area now known as Kendall County as well. Woodson and family lived near Pittsburg, now the present day town of Blanco. There were probably less than 50 families in the area of Pittsburg at the time of the shooting.
There was no jail. The county seat for Comal was New Braunfels, about 35 miles southeast of the town of Pittsburg. There was a German language newspaper in New Braunfels called the Zeitung. A letter from Calvin Blassingame to the families and friends of the Blassingame's pleading for assistance, as they were in fear of their lives, was published in the State Gazette and in the Zeitung. It relates their version of what happened. Unfortunately, the letter was not published until April 26. There is also a letter written by Woodson's widow Mary Blassingame that was published May 24, 1856. Concerned that some of the accounts of the event that the papers were reporting were inaccurate, Mary wrote her account of the events.
James Callahan, William S. "Maulheel" Johnson, Woodson Blassingame, and Calvin Blassingame were the first murders in the area and, except for an infant son of Callahan that died a few months prior to the shooting, they were the first buried in the area. Callahan and Johnson were buried in unmarked graves in what is now Blanco Cemetery which was located on Callahan's land. Callahan was buried next to his infant son. In the 1930's, Callahan's burial site was identified by an "old timer". Callahan's wife had died a few months after Callahan's death due to the stress of the loss of both the child and her husband in such a short time and was buried beside her husband. After being identified, the State of Texas dug up the graves of Callahan, wife and child and re-interred them in the State Cemetery in Austin. W. S. Johnson's grave remains unidentified, and its exact location is not known.
Woodson and Calvin were not allowed to be buried in the Blanco Cemetery and were buried near their cabin in what is known as the "Sauer Family Cemetery", located about 3 miles west of present day Blanco. This cemetery is very near the old Blassingame cabin.
Blassingame appears to have been of similar mind to the Germans, and it appears that based on the court records of the criminal case involving the Blassingame murders, that the Germans supported the Blassingame family's position. There was great controversy noted regarding positions of the community related to the shootings. According to Blanco County Historian, John W. Speer, "Its effects were felt long years after the death of Callahan . . ." That Woodson and Calvin are buried in a German family cemetery supports this position. Later, when the county of Blanco was formed in 1858, after the election of county officers, there was great disagreement over the outcome of the election. Again, it appears to be divided between the German settlers and those from America. When the Civil War broke out, the Germans wanted nothing to do with the War and refused to serve which brought down the "bushwhackers" on many of the resisting Germans. While the American settlers went off to war the German population of Blanco County petitioned the State to organize a new county which was approved. Since "the men" were off at war, there were only German men at home to vote for the matter, thus the creation of Kendall County in 1862. Mind you, this disagreement was not "racial" in its nature, it was political. The Germans had left severe circumstances to come to Texas and make new lives and the last thing that they wanted to do was become embroiled in the same sort of problems that they left Germany for. All evidence indicates that outside of the political differences, the settlers in the area got along greatly.
The murder trials were most notable at the time and highly debated and had to be moved on change of venue due to the difficulty of seating an impartial jury. The trials have been traced to Caldwell County, TX, but since the courthouse in Caldwell is currently (1999) being remodeled, all of the county records have been moved and the "older" records are not organized so are nearly impossible to research. The courthouse renovations are expected to be finished by 2001. According to research done by Don Watson on the trial, it was still going on in May 1859. A settlement of the Estate of "GW and Mary Blasingame" presented final exhibits for settlement at the Feb. Term of the County Court (Leon?) on January 28, 1869", H Woodward, Administrator of the Estate (Leon County Historical Collections, Vol. 3). One of Mr. Watson's sources states that the trials were not settled until 1867.
In the aftermath of this event, many men were indicted for the murders of Woodson and Calvin Blassingame, with at least 22 indictments handed down. The primary defendant in the case turned out to be none other than George Lange, the Justice of the Peace charged with ensuring a fair trial for these men. Five were found Not Guilty, two had charges dismissed against them, and a third had a hung jury and was held over for retrial. He, and the rest, had a change of venue to Caldwell County where records indicate that the remaining defendants were dismissed.
In spite of Callahan's popularity, many news accounts report "regret" over the mob action taken by the people of this community and how it might reflect on the people of Texas in general to the rest of the world. The article quoted below is from the State Record.
"We are satisfied that no one who participated in causing the death of the Blassingames, but will, in cooler moments, deeply regret the course he has taken. We cannot tell what were the just desserts of the prisoners, but this we know, and this every freeman will assert --that so long as there was an opportunity to appeal to the judicial tribunal, he should have been tried by a jury of his countrymen, and the proper verdict rendered by them.
"This sad event will go abroad to misrepresent the character of our people...We may well say that this event would have never transpired, could it have been foreseen by the leading citizens of Hays, in time to have interfered. We hope never again to be called on to record another scene of the kind in this county."
Captain Callahan had just lost a child in death about 6 months prior to being killed himself. After his death, his wife was supposedly so overtaken by the stress that she died in Dec of the same year leaving five orphaned children. William Johnson left a wife and at least two sons, Rufus and Thomas, the same Thomas involved in the shooting. It is interesting to note that Thomas was never indicted and no mention is made of him in any reports of the day, either because of his age, or because with his father dead, he was now the "breadwinner" for the family. Thomas was later killed at the Battle for Galveston during the Civil War. Eli Hinds went on to be a very prominent citizen in Blanco County and became the first County Commissioner after the County was created on 12 Feb 1858, but reportedly never spoke of the incident. A daughter of Eli's in an interview in the 1920's related that she had always known her father with his neck injury but she was a "grown woman" before she ever knew how he had come about the injury. Eli and his wife Catherine had thirteen children, William, ? Clements, Harriet Elizabeth, Susie, Margaret, Mary L., John B., Minerva, Alice L., Laura, with William, Minerva and Laura and the last child dying young.
From Charlene Beatty Beauchamp and from Don Watson to her in correspondence:
"Woodson Blassingame, born about 1798 SC m. 1) Polly 2) Mary died April 14, 1856 Comal county, TX [Some news accounts of the shooting referred to Woodson's age as "about 60".]
Mary Blassingame, born AL died about Feb. 28, 1869 Leon County, TX.
"I have no birth information for Calvin Blassingame, but I feel that he would be about the age of Thomas and Luther since he seems to have been acting as a "man" of the house in his father's stead. Calvin wrote the letter "plea" which suggests he was "of legal age". Since Thomas and Luther were living in Hays County, Calvin was the oldest son at home. I thought I had a copy of another court record...but...it gives title of the Blassingame land to the Estate of Woodson Blassingame by the Callahan Estate. The land had been sold to Woodson by James H. Callahan. Also, Luther Blassingame is listed in the Muster Roll of Captain James Callahan's Company of Rangers, State of Texas July 20, 1855. Luther Blassingame, Private, age 20 enrolled at Seguin, TX.
The Blassingame Family Archive
P.O. Box 131
501 W. Gandy Street
Denison, Texas 75020
Various accounts of the Incident can be found in The Heritage of Blanco County, Texas.
Also mentioned in the account by Calvin Blassingame is that there were minor children in the cabin during the initial confrontation. These would be the four youngest, Sarah, about age 16, William about age 13, Columbus, about age 9 and Nancy about age 7. As the Heritage of Blanco County states that Calvin, Woodson and Mary were arrested, it may be assumed that Sarah and her three younger siblings were left at the cabin. Perhaps this is one reason the cabin still stands. These children may, however, have gone to the home of their cousin, Frances and her husband, WK Holmes who lived a mile or so away. It was discovered in 2009 that these children were not Woodson and Mary's but the children of a William Blassengame, relationship unknown.
Regarding Callahan's sale of land to Woodson Blassingame, Callahan owned the entire Benjamin Williams League (4,400 acres), sold 556 acres of it to his friend Eli Hinds on 1 April 1854 for $700 and obviously part of this land was also sold to Woodson Blassingame around January 1856.
from Don Watson in June 2000:
Also, according to his probate record,
"The whole Estate consisting of $1228.30 including the homestead of the family appraised at $1200 and by a former order of the Court, the property exempted from forced sale, having been fixed at $1650 including said homestead, it appeared to the satisfaction of the court, that said estate is insolvent, and that consequently Mrs. Mary Blasingame, the widow of the deceased is entitled to One half of said estate with $614.15 . . . and the 11 children to the other half . . . the court ordered that Thomas Blasingame, as administrator of said estate shall make a deed and title to said Mrs. Mary Blasingame for the tract of land on the Rio Blanco known as the Homestead of the family."
First comment is that "the numbers" are somewhat confusing and if the estate was "insolvent" why did the funds go to the family? There may have been some encumbrances remaining against this estate after settlement as will br mentioned later. It is believed from various documents, that Woodson "procured" his land from Captain Callahan, by or for what particular reason may never be known. Captain Callahan was part of the Pittsburg Land Company which was selling parcels of land in an attempt to bring settlers to the Blanco Valley. Callahan had a very large parcel of land, not just in Blanco County but elsewhere throughout the state. In any case, land valuation at that time was generally no more than $1 per acre which suggests that the Blasingame Homestead was at least 1000 acres and probably closer to 1200. In those days, that was no small spread, and it wasn't the general pauper who could afford that much land which suggests to me that Woodson, though not wealthy, had probably done fairly well for himself up to that point to be able to afford that much land . . . even on credit.
(*COMMENT: Legal documents regarding the land repeatedly say it was only 175 acres more or less)
The trials were being held in Guadalupe County in May 1859. At the end of it all, the court could no longer sit an impartial jury and ordered what appears to be the primary defendants in the case, George Lang, Hugh McLaurin and John Hoyt to appear before the next term of court in Caldwell County. All were held under some extreme bonds, Lange having the largest at $3000.00. This would suggest that the courts certainly felt that there was a strong case on the part of the State against these individuals.
Caldwell County records show that the case was taken up during the Fall Term of 1859 on Nov. 5, 1859. [It was just discovered that the copy of that entry is cut off due to poor copying by the clerk]
The State of Texas vs Geo Lang et al
In this cause an attachment ******* is awarded for the Defendant ******** Geo Lang for Felix Kyle ******** next court.
And court then adjourned till tomorrow morning.
Basically, the entry was apparently for the return of security for Lange's appearance bond that had been provided by Felix Kyle. The security was returned after the court attached some of the property of Lange.
[The next day's court]
The State of Texas vs Geo Lang, Hugh McLaurin et al
In this cause comes the State of Texas by A.D. McGinnis district attorney and the defendant Hugh McLaurin came also in his own and plead "Not Guilty" and thereupon came a jury of good and lawful men of Caldwell County to wit William Jourdens, J.G. Wiley, F. Seppold, Joseph Laney, G.G. Haynes, Holloway Ellison, J.G. Blanks, J.P. Jennings, Thos. Warren, J.F. Milken, Alexander Williams and Charles Proctor who being empaneled & sworn to try the issue joined between the State of Texas and the Prisoner at the law and who having heard the evidence the argument and the charge of the court retired to consider of their verdict and coming again into court they reported that they could not agree on their verdict. Whereupon it is ordered and decreed that the jury be discharged and that this case stand continued as if no trial had been had.
There is no other entry for this case or those of Lange or Hoyt...in fact Hoyt is not ever mentioned or found in the court records of Caldwell County for this issue. While speaking with the court clerk of Caldwell County on these entries, she suggested that Lange and McLaurin and maybe even Hoyt were all tried in the above trial together. The "unknown word" above appears to be a legal term that essentially meant that McLaurin chose to represent himself in the case. That is possible since McLaurin was in fact an attorney. The next entry regarding this case does not appear until the Fall Term of 1860.
District Court Fall Term Oct. 31st 1860
The State of Texas vs George Lang, et al
On this day came the District Attorney Thomas E. Sneed and dismisses this prosecution whereupon it is ordered adjudged and decreed by the court that the Defendants go hence without delay.
Caldwell County District Court Book "B", Page 232, 233, 277(D)
The above (D) designation in the book according to the Court Clerk indicates the case was dismissed at that entry.
Mary "Polly" (Possibly part Cherokee Indian) and Woodson BLASSINGAME were married before 1825 in prob. Alabama.
Woodson does not show up in Perry County, Alabama as buying land until 1837 (and he bought about 300 acres!), so he may have been living with his wife and family with a relative. But the marriage records for Perry County are missing for part of 1824 through part of 1826. He is listed in the 1830 census for Perry County They appeared in the census in 1840 in District 829, Georgia Militia, Floyd County, Georgia.
2 - - 1-1||-2 2 2- - 1
2 M 5 and under (Calvin and Thomas)
1M 15-20 (George W)
1 male 25-30 (Woodson)
2 females 5-10 (Frances and Sarah)
2 females 10-15 (Jane Caroline)
2 females15-20 (Mary and Catherine)
1 female 25-30 (Mary) There are no Blassingames by any spelling in the 1830 Bibb County, Alabama Census
Blassingames buried in Leon County:
Concord Cemetery (west of Centerville hwy7, ap 11 miles from Concord Community by Baptist Church.
Cleve Blasingame 1902-1950
Frederick Blasingame 2 Sept 1903 - 1977
11. Mary "Polly" (Possibly part Cherokee Indian)21,22,92 was born about September 1806 in Alabama.
Age 54 in the 1860 Census, dated 7 Sept 1860, which would mean she was born bef 7 Sept 1806. Other censuses have her birthplace as Tennessee. She appeared in a court record, on 28 April 1856 in San Antonio, Bexar County, Texas93
Monday, April 28th A.D. 1856
Court met persuant to adjournment
The State of Texas vs. Mary Blasingame (Habeus Corpus)
The Sheriff of Comal County having brought the prisoner into court, in obedience to a writ of Habeus [sic]Corpus, issued in this cause, Comes the District Attorney with the Counsel for the prisoner, and after hearing the evidence on the part of the prisoner, and also that on the part of the State. It was ordered, adjudged and decreed by the court, that the prisoner be discharged and that this cause be dismissed. And it is further ordered that a certified copy of this order be delivered to the Sheriff of Comal County. She appeared in a court record, Petition for Guardianship of minor children of William Blasingame, dec'd on 26 May 1857 in Centerville, Leon County, Texas94
No. 214 Mary Blasingame, guar } In this case the
of her Minor Children } petition of Mary
Blasingame, praying for Letters of Guardianship
Minor Heirs of William Blasingame, dec'd -
Petition having been read in open court and it appearing to the Court that legal notice having been given citing all persons to appear at this term of the Court. No objection having been made by any person interested. It is therefore ordered by the Court that the petition be recused filed and ordered to be recinded, and whereas Mary Blasingame, has entered unto Bond and security for the sum of Three Hundred Dollars and having been approved by the Chief Justice, It is therefore ordered that said Bond be received and Recorded, and it is further ordered that Letters of Guardianship may Issue and the same be Recorded.
County Court May Term 1957
To the Hon AS Gardner Chief
Justice Leon County. Your petitioner Mary Blasingame, a citizen of said county would Respectfully Represent to you Hon court that Sarah, William, Columbus and Nancy Blasingame, minor children of William Blasingame dec'd and your petitioner are possessed of some property and Effects and are without legal guardianship, Therefore prays you Hon Court that the usual Notice be given, And that Letters of Guardianship Issue & be granted your petitioner, and as in duty bound.
The State of Texas} Know all men by these presents
County of Leon } that we Mary Blasingame as
principal and ? W Blasingame and Wm K Holmes as Securities are held and firmly
bound unto the Chief Justice of the County of Leon in the sum of Three Hundred Dollars for the payment of which, well and truly to be made unto the Chief Justice, we bind ourselves our heirs, executors and administrators, jointly and Personally, firmly, by these presents signed with our hands, and sealed with our Seals (the Seals being scrawls) the 26th day of May 1857. The Condition of the above obligation such that whereas the above bound Mary Blasingame has been appointed Guardian of the persons and Estates of the Minors Sarah, William, Columbus & Nancy Blasingame, Shall well and trully [sic] perform all the duties required of her by law under said appointment, then this obligation Shall be null and void otherwise to remain of full force and effect.
Apprised in Open } Mary Blassingame (Seal)
Court this 26th day of } Ja W. Blassingame (Seal)
May AD 1857 } Wm K. Holmes (Seal)
As Guardian, Chief Justice
of Leon County ____
I do solemnly Swear that I will well and truly perform all the duties of Guardian of the Person's Estates of the Minors Sarah, William, Columbus, & Nancy Blasingame -----
Sworn to [sic] and subscribed before me, this 26 day of May AD 1857.
William B. Johnston, Clerk
of the County Court of Leon Co.
The State of Texas } To Mary Blasingame
County of Leon } Greetings!
I A.S. Gardner Chief Justice in and for the County of Leon in said State, reprising Special Confidence in your fidelity, care and ability, do hereby commit unto you the Said Mary Blasingame the Guardianship of the person and Estate of Sarah, William, Columbus & Nancy Blasingame, and by virture of the authority vested in me by Law, and in accordence [sic] and the Statues in such cases made & ?rinded! I the said A.S. Garner, Chief Justice as aforesaid do hereinvest you the said Mary Blasingame, with full
p. 283 power to collect, recover, ask, demand, release, and take into your possession all the lands and tenements, goods and chattles [sic], monies, rights and credits of the Said Sarah, William, Columbus & Nancy Blasingame.
Hereby giving and granting unto you the said Mary Blasingame full power and authority over the persons and Estates of the Said Minors, Sarah, William, Columbus & Nancy Blasingame to exersise [sic] and discharge all the duties, rights, obligations and trusts as by Law Confirmed upon guardians of the persons and Estates of your said Wards and enjoining upon you the said Mary Blasingame, the performent [sic] of all the duties by law devolving upon Such Guardians, under the penalties and liabilities by law annexed to you said office, incident or appertaining . And I the said A.S. Gardner, Chief Justice as aforesaid have nominated, constituted and appointed, and do by these presents Nominate, Constitute and appoint you the said Mary Blasingame Guardian of the persons & Estates of Sarah, William, Columbus, & Nancy Blasingame.---
In Witness whereof, I have hereunto Set My hand and caused to be affixed the Seal of our Said County Court, by the Clrk thereof this 26 day of May AD 1857.
Later in Oct. of 1858, Mary asked for the Guardianship to be finalized, as she had collected the monies due them from the settlement of the County Court of Comal in the Estate of Woodson Blassingame, that amount being $55.83, although they all but one were still minors. Mary appeared in the census on 7 September 1860 in Clapps Creek, Leon County, Texas.95
p. 260, Dwelling 323, Family 323
BLASSINGAME, Mary age 54 F Real Estate $2500 Personal $2220 BP Al
George W 32 M Farmer AL
Luther 24 Wagoner AL
William 15 AL
Columbus 13 AL
Nancy 11 AL
(Sarah had probably married by this time as she would be about 20). Thomas is not shown, but may have been still living in Stringtown, Hays County, Texas. Or he could be the son, severely wounded when with the sheriff of Pittsburg tried to arrest one of the men wanted in the murder of his father and Calvin. She died about 12 February 1866 in prob. Leon County, Texas.
Leon County Court records show a bill from her doctor, where he was making almost daily visits between late December and the middle of Feb. On Feb. 11 he made two visits, after that there are no visits, so she probably died on the 12th of Feb. There was an inventory of the estate of she in May 1866 in Leon County, Texas
County Court of Probate May Term 1866
The State of Texas
County of Leon County Court of Probate
May Term 1856
H Woodward At this term of the
Admin Court comes the
GW & Mary Blassingame Admin and reports
Decd his account of sale
and the same having
been examined by the Court it is ordered approved & ordered that it be entered of Record upon the minutes of the Court (Admin orders a ? titles in terms of the Law. Admin also filed an account against the estate of GW Blassingame in favor of Estate of Mary Blassingame, dec'd in terms of the law for the sum of $511.60 duly sworn to and filed on the 10?th of May 1866
Report of the sale of the estate personal and real of GW & Mary Blassingame dec'd. The personal property sold in Leon County at the later residence of Mrs B on the 10th April 1866 --in 12 months term after legal notice with highest bidder and with security & C. The Land was sold in conformity with Law in front of the Court House door in Centreville on the 1st Tuesday, the 1st day of May 1866 as aforesaid --
Estate of GW Blassingame, Dec'd
1 horse R.B King for $75.00
1 watch " " " " 15.00
2 colts " " " " 45.00
6 Steers Thos Linsey " 10$ each 60.00
17 head cattle WK Holmes " 25c each 42.50
Mark & brand 5.00
1 horse Jesse Tubb for 127.50
1 mare WK Holmes " 80.00
1 Grind Stone R Smith " 2.50
1 Sythe Ben Tubb 1.00
240 acres of Land in Leon County, a part
of the Del vallie 11 Leagues Sold to
HD Patrick for 306.00
Estate of Mrs. Mary Blassingame, Decd
40 bus corn " WK Holmes for 40.00
1 yoke steers " RB King " 30.00
100 lbs bacon " BM Whittin 9 3/4 c 68.25
1 Bell " RB King 3.00
5 steers " Thos. Lindsey 10$ each 50.00
18 head of cattle to WK Holmes 2.50 each 45.00
Mark & brand " " 8.00
1` lot Hogs to GK Cesna for 40.00
12 head " WK Holmes 30.00
4 Bee-gums " R SMith 4.00
1 Filly " CC Blassingame 65.00
1 Waggo " Ben Tubb 22.50
1 Lot Plow " R Smith for 9.87
1 Plow " Mr. Topett 1.50
1 Lot reins? " R Smith 8.00
1 Lot Bells " Pat Smith 5.50
Bell & Sa " RB King .78
1 Lot Casing " Jack Cash 7.50
1 Tubb " A Goodwin .60
2 Chairs " R Smith 5.25
Sundries " WK Holmes 15.25
1 Stack Fodder to Jas Brown 9.75
The purchasers having complied with the law, this report is submitted for confirmation to a decree for title & c
Sworn to before me H Woodward
10th May 1866 Admin
Walter A. Patrick
Leon County History book (a book of the type similar to Blanco County Heritage) The only possible reference to them was the blurb:
H. Woodward, Adm'r of the Estate of G. W. & Mary Blasingame, having this day filed his exhibits for final settlement...at the Feb. Term of County Court, Jan'y 28th, 1869" [Leon County Historical Collections, Volume Three, Published by the Leon County Genealogical Society, Inc.;1983; Page 68].
If regular naming conventions were used "Katherine" was the true name of Woodson's mother and "Mary" the name of Mary's mother. But the naming of the sons does not seem to follow this convention, so perhaps they were doing it backwards, naming the first female child after the maternal grandmother, not the paternal, in which case "Mary" would be Woodson's mother," Katherine", Mary's, her father "George". Since the names "Calvin", or "Luther", do not appear in the Blassingame family, it must be assumed these are names of Mary's siblings or ancestors, or friends of the family, or just names they liked.
There is a very strong tradition in the Holmes descendants, that either Holmes, or possibly his wife were Indian, conceivably Cherokee. We do not know the ancestry of WK Holmes, but based on the description of him with red hair and blue eyes, it does not seem possible that he was the Indian. Also, Frances Blassingame's heritage along that line seems pretty much Anglo. It is, however, quite possible that this Mary or "Polly" as she was sometimes known, could quite possibly have been of Indian extraction. However, in all censuses she is listed as W for "White". A grandson of hers, a son of WK and Frances, was described as looking very Indian, so much so that he was not allowed in stores, etc, and along with his wife, another WK Holmes descendant through the McCrory's, again, their ancestry is not known as of 2006, who also was described as appearing very Indian. According to Wayne Blassingame, a grandson of Columbus "Lum" Blassingame and Anna McCrory, they had to move to the Indian Territory of Oklahoma to escape persecution.
Letter from Mary Blassingame, published in the State Gazette, Austin, Texas, May 24th, 1856, following Calvin Blassingame's letter of May 8, 1856.
Messrs. Editors --
Dear Sirs -- There having appeared in several papers, a partial statement of the facts in relation to the Blanco tragedy, I deem it a duty that I owe myself and children, as well as in justice to the memory of my murdered husband and son, to lay all the facts before an enlightened community, that they may pass censure upon whom censure is due. You will therefore, confer a great favor upon a distressed widow by publishing the following facts.
Woodson and Calvin Blassingame, who were murdered by a mob on the Blanco, on the 14th of last month, the former my husband, and the latter my son. My son Calvin, who had been with with J.H. Callhan, went to his (Callahan's) house, on the 8th day of April last, to have a settlement with him, when my son said that Callahan told him that his father, Woodson Blassingame, had been talking disrespectful of him and his family. That he, Woodson Blasingame, had said that his (Callahan's) expedition to Mexico, was more for plunder than anything else. Calvin told him, that he did not think his father had ever said any such thing, nor had he spoke disrespectful of him or his family; if he had, he certainly would have heard him, and asked Callahan for his author, which Callahan refused to give, and said to Calvin that he did not want him and his father to deny it, for it would do no good, and also said, that he did not wish him and his brother to take up for their father, as he had nothing against either of them, but if they took their father's part, he could whip a cavayard of them, and for Calvin to tell his father to meet him on the half way ground, that evening. If he did not, he Callahan, would get his witness and come to his house that evening or next morning. Calvin then started home, when Callahan followed him and again told him to tell his father to meet him on the halfway ground, that he did not wish to go to a man's house to have a difficulty, but if his father did not meet him, he should certainly come to his house; that he had intended going cow hunting, but he had no further use for cows, until that matter was settled; that he had rather die, than live under such charges, and that he would either kill, or be killed. Some hour or two afterwards, Calvin came home and told his father the word that Callahan had sent him. J.H. Callahan, Maulheel Johnson, Clem Hinds and Thos. Johnson all armed with six shooters and Maulheel Johnson, with a rifle, rode up to the fence and hailed. When I went to the door, Callahan asked me if my husband and Calvin were at home. I answered in the affirmative. About that time the firing commenced, and JH Callahan and Maulheel Johnson were killed, and Clem Hinds wounded. This took place in the afternoon, and my husband and son made no effort to escape, although they had all chances, but remained at home until the next day, when they, together with myself, were arrested and carried before Justice Long (Lange?), when the trial was postponed until Monday afterwards. We were all carried to Justice Long's house, and guarded by a large number of men. We all expressed ourselves willing to be tried by the laws of our country. On Sunday night everything defensive was taken out by one of the guard; such as knives, chairs, stools, even to the fire-stick, when Woodson Blassingame observed to the guard to leave him something to defend himself with -- One guard had been stationed all the time in the inside of the house, at the door. In the night, some person hailed to the guard on the outside, when the guard asked him what he wanted. He answered that he had come to relieve him. The guard then went out of the house, shutting the door after him; after a few minutes whispering near the door, the door was opened again, and three men made their appearance; two remained at the door, and one came in and went to the fire, and gathering a piece of fire, came and examined around the bed where my husband, son and myself were lying. He then ordered us several times to get up and go out of the house. I then commenced screaming, and calling on Esq'r Long, for assistance and protection, also begging not to be murdered; pleading that we were willing to abide the laws of our country. I had hold of my husband by the arm, and he had hold of me in like manner. The individual then caught me by the feet and tried to pull me loose from my husband, ordering me to hush hollowing, that I did not know what I was screaming about; not succeeding in getting me loose from my husband, he let go and went to the door, and spoke to the other two men, and asked them why they did not come in as they had promised to do, when all three came to the bed and the first individual again tried to break me loose from my husband by pulling at my feet. Not succeeding, he came to my head and caught me by one arm; struck me twice on the cheek, and caught me by the throat and choked me until I quit hollowing, and also broke me loose from my husband; they then dragged my husband out of the door, and returned and dragged my son out; my husband never spoke, but my son called on them not to murder him, and asked what harm he had done to one of them that they should wish to murder him. So soon as they had cleared the door, I ran out of the house and ran for the river. I had got a short distance from the house, when I heard six or eight guns fire. I then crossed the river and got into a thicket, and there remained until morning, when I was found by Mr. Ed Burleson and carried to Mr. George's house, at which place I was tried, before Esq'rs Harmon and Long and sent to Jail in New Braunfels, where I was imprisoned until I was taken out by a writ of habeas corpus, and carried to San Antonio, before his honor Judge Devine, where the matter was investigated, and I was liberated by his honor Judge Devine, there being no ground for my detention.
I will here take occasion to state, that Wesley Callahan, a son of JH Callahan, was sworn, and his evidence corroborated with what Calvin Blassingame told his father; and that his, Wesley's father, shot off his six shooter, and reloaded just before starting to my husband, and observed that he did dislike, very much, to have to go to a man's house to have a difficulty, and that his father appeared much excited.
Your obd't serv't
8 May 1856
|Katherine\Catherine Martha BLASSINGAME21,22 was born on 3 December 1825 in Georgia.96 She was living in August 1857 in Jasper County, Mississippi. She died on 22 December 1877 in Milam County, Texas.97 Katherine\Catherine died in 1881 in Milam County, Texas.96 She was buried in Old Methodist Cemetery, Marek, Milam County, Texas. |
In marriage index of Ala., name was spelled Blasengim
Aug. 1857 Probate of Father showed she lived in Jasper County, Mississippi.
|Mary BLASSINGAME was born about 1826 in Alabama. She was living in August 1857 in Bibb County, Alabama. She died after 1880 in prob Milam County, Texas. |
Marriage Records of Bibb Co, Ala 1820-1862, list a Mary Blassengame to Uriel CROUT on 20 Nov 1843.
|George W. [William?] BLASSINGAME21,22 was born about 1828 in Alabama.98 |
He is not shown in 1830 census, although there may be a mistake in the under 5 children and instead of 2 F under 5 there was one male and one female. this would make sense. He appeared in the census in 1850 in Johnson Township, Union County, Arkansas.
Household of Uriel Crout, brother-in-law
He was living in 1857 in Leon County, Texas.
1857 Probate of Father lists him living in Leon County, TX. George appeared in the census on 7 September 1860 in Clapps Creek, Leon County, Texas.
Listed in Federal Census with mother, Mary, occupation Farmer, birthplace Alabama
He served in the military between 21 February 1862 and July in Camp Burnett, Crockett, Houston County, Texas.99
Original Muster in Rolls for George W. Blassingame show he enlisted Feb. 21, 1862 date, age 25 (he was actually 34), at Crockett, Houston County, by the same Capt. same company for a period of 12 months, .Number of miles to rendezvous 40, valuation of his horse $150, equipment $30. Signed by W.A. Roxby.
Company Muster Roll for period Feb. 21-Ap. 30, 1862, he is listed as still Pvt., having enlisted at Centreville (Leon County) by JN Black for a period of 12 months.
Listed as Pvt. in Capt. J.N. Black's Company 13th Regiment of Texas Cavalry Co. A, age 34 years of age, on Company Muster-In Roll at Camp Burnett near Crockett, Houston Co, Tx on May 24, 1862, enlisted by S.M. Drake for a period of 3 years on Feb. 21, 1862. same evaluation of horse and equipment.
May and June 1862 Muster Roll, listed at Centreville, remarks, Has Pay certificate. Discharged. Name appears in column of names present. All these are signed by W.A. Roxby, copist.
July and Aug 1862, he is listed as last paid by A. T. Monroe to April 30, 1862. Remarks are he was discharged July 16, 1862 at Camp Blair Red River under the Conscript Law. Last paid by AT Monroe on April. 30, 1862. He died before February 1866.
Probate records in Leon County are dated Feb 1866 to settle the estate of both he and his mother, Mary.
|Jane Caroline BLASSINGAME21,22 was born on 7 December 1829 in Georgia. 1910 Census says she was born in Georgia, as does the 1880, however further censuses showing her parents were born in Georgia are wrong as they were born in Tenn. and Alabama She was living in 1857 in Gonzales County, Texas. She was living in 1904 in Alamogordo, Otero County, New Mexico. Jane was living in October 1904 in Montgomery County, Texas. She received a pension Confederate Widows Pension in October 1904 in Temple, Bell County, Texas |
She signed with an X indicating she was blind. She is listed in previous censuses as being able to read and write. She died on 25 December 1911 in Dryden, Harmon County, Oklahoma.
Was living with grandson Ruben Samuel Dillard in Dryden Township, Harmon County, Oklahoma in 1910 census.
Nelda Wagner and Clint Dillard, Dillard family researchers say she died on Christmas Day.
Ida Lue Dillard Brooks relates that Jane was going outside of the house and mistook a window for a door. She fell out the window and broke her hip which lead to her death.
Jane was buried in Tea Cross Cememtery, 8 mi N of Hollis, Harmon County, Oklahoma..
No marker on grave. James Berry Dillard's wife is also buried there in a marked grave.
1857 Probate of Father stated she lived in Gonzales County, TX.
Jane Carolline returned to Texas by late 1904 to live with her son, John Harrison Dillard. After John Harrison's death, she lived with his widow until her death in 1911.
| Calvin BLASSINGAME21,22 was born about 1831 in Alabama.98 He died on 14 April 1856 in the Lange Home, Blanco, Comal (now Blanco) County, Texas. He a Petition for State to build road from San Marcos to Fredericksburg by way of Pittsburg in May 1856 in Comal County, Texas Calvin was buried in Sauer Cemetery, 3 miles west of Blanco, off St Rd 1623/165/4th St, Comal (now Blanco) County, Texas. He died from Murdered, multiple gunshot wounds. |
Calvin was Murdered by a Lynch mob with his Father Woodson Blassingame, in what is now present day Blanco County, Tex.
According to the History of Blanco County related by John W. Speers and published in the Heritage of Blanco County, Texas in 1987, Captain James H. Callahan, a Texas Ranger of much renown, hired a "young Blassingame" to work his farm in his absence, and that upon his return he and the boy had a disagreement and he was discharged, which created a bad feeling between the two families, causing the elder Blassingame to make disparaging remarks about Callahan's family. (Heritage of Blanco County, p. 5-6)
An article by LW Kemp in the "Frontier Times" of June 1934, reprinted in Heritage of Blanco County, p. 52, the Incident is said to have "stirred Texas from center to circumference. Not alone in the number of deaths or the spectacular manner in which they occurred, but mainly because of the prominence of one of the victims, James Hughes Callahan..." According to this report, the Blassingames were supposed to meet Callahan and his friends to discuss the disagreement at a midway point between their two houses, about a mile away from each. But when Blassingame did not show up they decided to go to his house, stopping at the gate about 20 feet from the cabin and were immediately fired upon from the cabin. After the initial shooting the Blassingames had plenty of time to escape but refused to do so, and it was not until they were arrested the next day that they left the cabin. Realizing their precarious position, the father and son sent an appeal by messenger to GC Prator, William Claunch, Gen. William A. Pitts (this must be William C. Pitts, brother to John D. Pitts), Mathis, Bird, JS Owin, Scalons, Cone (this Cone could be Samuel R. Kone of Stringtown, Hays Co), Malone (James L Malone?), Swisher, F. Prator, Maj. Mackey, Cicero McGee (Thomas G. McGee was the first Anglo settler in San Marcos in 1846, so this is possibly a son of his), Cox (could this be the Rev. Josiah Cox who died in 1858?), Dr. Davis, Col Hill, Maj. Johns, Thomas Blassingame (Calvin's brother), Jesse Driscoll, and "To all others who wish us well."
This letter in full:
The State of Texas
Comal County, April 8, 1856
Friends and Fellow Citizens of San Marcos and String Town:
This is to inform you of an awful affair which took place, on the 7th inst. in the afternoon, about three o-clock, at the house of Woodson Blassingame, I, Calvin Blassginame, was on the 7th inst. about one o-clock, at the house of J.H. Callahan, and very unexpected to me, he commenced making many threats against W. Blassingame; said he had slandered him and he would have satisfaction or lose his life. I tried to pacify him --told him he was wrong; W. Blassingame had not said anything disrespectful of him. But all I could say did not satisfy him the least. He then told me, as I was going to the house of W. Blassingame, to say to W. Blassingame, he wanted him to meet him on half-way ground between their houses, distance being one mile. J.H. Callahan said if Blassingame did not meet him, he would attack him at his own house; and said two men were coming that evening, or next morning, to go with him. I left Callahan's house quick; returned to Blassingame's. In about two hours, Clem Hinds, Mallheel Johnson and Thomas Johnson, all rode up to the house of Blassingame. The row quickly commenced; fire after fire was heard. Blassingame was shot at several times; several balls were shot into the house amongst mother and the little children; one ball came very near hitting mother. J.H. Callahan was killed, and Mallheel Johnson was killed; C. Hinds severely wounded. Thomas Johnson made his escape unhurt.
Now dear friends, from what has been said you know our condition. We want some of our friends to come to our relief, as quick as possible. We are rather unacquainted with the laws. We want advice from our friends.. We intend to stand our trial, be it as it may. We shall probably have to go to jail, or give bail. If we have to go to jail, we want some of you to come and go with us. We fear we would be murdered on the way. We want some of you who can, to be certain to come quick as possible.
Indeed, the Blassingames were immediately arrested, under guard of fourteen men each. Kemp's account says the father, son and mother were all three arrested, other accounts that only Calvin and Woodson were arrested, but Mary was with them in the Lange cabin when the mob arrived. The mob arrived at about twelve midnight on Sunday, April 13, varying reports of from 50 to 100 men, friends or relatives of the murdered two men.. Seeing they were outnumbered, the guard on the Blassingames retreated except for two, whereupon the mob rushed into the house, put out the light, dragged out by their heels the old man and his son, locked in each other's arms. The old man, about 40-50 shots in his body was found dead some twenty yards from the house. The body of the son lay some fifty paces from the father, both bodies pierced with many wounds. During the scene, Mary was a spectator, reportedly rendering the air with her cries of distress. She stated later that she was at one time seized, choked and threatened that her life depended upon her silence.
|Thomas BLASSINGAME21,22 was born about 1834. He indebted to George C. Prator for the sum of $200, secured by 2 1/2 yoke oxen & wagon on 22 May 1855 in San Marcos, Hays County, Texas. The State of Texas } Know all men by these present that|
County of Hays } I Thomas BLasingame of the County &
State aforesaid, in order to secure the payment of two
hundred dollars - Have and do by these presents sell
assign & convey unto George C. Prator also of said County
and State the following described property as follows,
two yokes and a half of oxen and an ox waggon now
in the possession of Geo. C. Prator.
The above sale is upon the express condition for that
whereas said Thomas Blasingame is indebted unto the
said G. C. Prator in the sum aforesaid for which he gave
his two promissory Notes bearing date the 22nd day of
May AD 1855
One for One hundred Dollars payable on or before the
first day of September next, the other also for One hundred
dollars payable December 25th next (1855)
Now if the said Thos. Blasingame shall well
and truly pay or cause to be paid the said sum of money
at the time herein specified unto the said Geo. C. Prator
then this obligation to be null & void otherwise to remain
in full force and virtue.
Given under my hand & Seal (using scrawl for seal)
this twenty second day of May AD 1855
Thomas Blasingame (Seal)
The state of Texas } Before me the undersigned authority
County of Hays } personally appeared Thos. Blasingame
the grantor of the foregoing Instrument of writing to
me well known and declared that he signed, sealed
and delivered the same for the uses, purposes & consider-
ation therein contained & set forth.
In testimony whereof I hereunto set my hand &
(LH) official seal at San Marcos this the twenty third
day of May AD 1855
Clk C. C. Hays Co
Filed for Record May 30th, AD 1855 at 11 o'clock a.m.
I hereby certify that the foregoing is a true, correct &
Complete Copy of the above obligation
Given under my hand this 30th day of May AD 1855
E. Erhard, Clk CC H. C.
He was living in 1857 in Hays County, Texas. 1857 Probate of Father stated he lived in Hays County, TX. Thomas died between 1857 and 1870. A news article in The State Gazette newspaper, Austin, Texas, Oct. 24th, 1857, carried the following item pertaining to the Blasingame Affair:
The Sheriff of Comal County attempted lately to arrest Pharr, charged with aiding in the murder of Woodson Blassingame, the particulars of which awful and barbarous tragedy, we gave our readers some year and half ago. The Sheriff was unsuccessful, while one of the deceased Blassengame's sons was shot and severely wounded by some unknown person. The event took place at a camp meeting at Pittsburg on the Blanco.
Could this have been Thomas, and could he have died from his severe wound? He is the only brother who does not show up in Leon County in 1860, so it is quite possible. But then there is a military record for him beginning in 1861...?
He served in the Military Co. D., Capt. Whaleys Co, Texas Infantry 1861-? in Centerville, Leon County, Texas100
Enlisted for a period of 12 months
Following is a History of the 26th Tx Cavalry Regiment written by it's commander:
In 1884 the regimental commander, Colonel Xavier B. Debray wrote a short history of the regiment and is presented here.
Presented is the history as written by Debray, published in 1884 by Eugene Von Boeckmann of Austin, Texas and later reprinted by the Waco Village Press of Waco, Texas in 1961. Included along with the text is other reference material, mostly from the Official Records and the Steubing letters.
In the summer of 1861, General Van Dorn, commanding the District of Texas, made a requisition on the Governor of the state for six companies of cavalry, to be enlisted for the war, to report at Galveston, and to be employed in patrolling the coast. Prompt response was made to the Governor's call; the following companies reported for duty, and were mustered into the Confederate States' service:
Captain Riordan's Company A, from Harris County.
Captain Myer's Company B. from Caldwell County.
Captain McGreal's Company C, from Harris and Galveston Counties.
Captain McMahan's Company D, from Galveston and Leon Counties.
Captain Owen's Company E, from Montgomery and Washington Counties.
Captain Menard's Company F, from Galveston and Liberty Counties.
Captain Atchison's company, from Fort Bend County, composed of one-year men, was also accepted in the service and became Company G.
Those seven companies were organized into a battalion under the command of Major Samuel Boyer Davis, who being at the same time Assistant Adjutant General at District head-quarters, soon resigned his lineal rank.
On the 7th of December, 1861, Major X. B. Debray, of the 2nd regiment of Texas infantry, was appointed Lieutenant Colonel commanding, and Captain J. J. Myers Major of the battalion. Then the work of disciplining and drilling was actively entered upon, and in a short time, the battalion assumed the leading rank, in point of instruction and discipline, among the troops stationed on Galveston Island.
In January, 1862, orders were received to raise three more companies for the purpose of completing a regiment. Commissions were issued to that effect, and by the close of the ensuing February, the following companies reported for duty, and were mustered in for the war:
Captain Du Pree's Company H, from Montgomery and Grimes Counties.
Captain Whitehead's Company I, from Montgomery and Grimes Counties.
Captain Hare's Company K, from Harris County.
General Hebert, commanding the District of Texas, upon receiving the report of the completion of the regiment appointed Major Samuel Boyer Davis to be its Colonel. But when it became known that newly organized regiments were, by law, entitled to elect their field officers, Colonel Davis resigned, and an election was ordered to be held on the 17th of March, 1862, in which the following officers were chosen: X. B. Debray, Colonel; J. J. Myers, Lieutenant Colonel; and M. Menard, Major. Owing to delays, either at District or Department head-quarters, in forwarding the muster rolls, or in examining them in the War Department, the regiment was recognized as the 26th regiment of Texas cavalry, while, according to the date of its organization, it should have been the 10th or 11th.
The organization of the regiment was completed by the promotion of Sergeant R. M. Franklin, of Company D, to the rank of Lieutenant and Adjutant, and the appointment of Wm. Armstrong to be Quartermaster with the rank of captain. The latter officer, having been transferred to the Engineer Corps, was superseded by Lieutenant T. R. Franklin of Company D. Lieutenants Lane, of Company B, and Armstrong, of Company F. became the captains of their respective companies, to fill the vacancies created by the election of Lieutenant Colonel Myers and Major Menard.
The one year term of service of Captain Atchison's company having expired, it was replaced in the regiment by Captain Rountree's company, theretofore unattached.
Soon after, orders were received from the War Department to reduce the companies of cavalry to the number of 80 rank and file. Few of the companies of the regiment numbered less than 100 men, and it was considered a great hardship to be turned out of the regiment and be attached to some other organization. To obviate this unpleasant contingency, the Colonel's first step was to obtain the dropping Captain Rountree's company from the rolls of the regiment; next, such men as were found to be unfitted for active service in the field were discharged, and finally, volunteers from the several companies having a surplus of men joined together to form a new company G, and elected R. L. Fulton formerly of company B, to be their Captain.
Thus, Debray's regiment was definitely constituted, with its full complement of young, robust, enthusiastic, well mounted, well disciplined and drilled volunteers, when the order was received to prepare to march to the State of Mississippi, and report to General Van Dorn. The prospect of entering into service in the field, gladly hailed, was soon darkened by disappointment. The report of the fall of New Orleans caused the destination of the regiment to be changed, and it was ordered to proceed with Brown's battalion of cavalry, to re-enforce General Sibley in Arizona and New Mexico. This duty was entered upon, if not cheerfully, at least with becoming soldierly fortitude. The regiment was on the march, when the report was received that General Sibley, confronted by a largely superior force and short of supplies, was falling back on San Antonio. Hence, a new counter-order, and the regiment went to camp on the Bernard River. During these marches and counter-marches, and mainly in camp, the fine appearance of the regiment attracted the interest and curiosity of the people around. Drill on horseback and on foot and dress parade, enlivened by a very creditable band, were attended by ladies and gentlemen in carriages and in cavalcades; negroes, too, would flock around, and enjoyed the sight as they would have a circus. Hence came the self-given name of "The Menagerie," which clung to the regiment, and by which its old members still delight to designate it.
In July, 1862, the Colonel, by reason of his seniority in rank, was called to command the Eastern Sub-District of Texas, with head-quarters at Houston, leaving the regiment to the efficient care of Lieutenant Colonel Myers. Nothing happened for several months to break the monotony of camp life, except patrols on the coast, on which duty, landing parties from he blockading squadron in search of fresh meat, were captured or otherwise punished, and induced to cease their depredations.
Meanwhile, General Hebert having been ordered to send to Arkansas all the infantry stationed in Texas, except two regiments, remonstrated against that disposition which left the State unprotected. His remonstrance was met with the curt answer that "Texas must take her changes." The authorities at Richmond seem to have overlooked the fact that the loss of the Rio Grand frontier, the only point to be depended upon for obtaining army supplies, might be a fatal blow to the Confederate States. General Hebert, despairing of a successful defense, with his reduced force, against an attack by sea, ordered the small forts erected at Galveston to be dismantled and their artillery to be removed to the main land at Virginia Point, where sand works had been raised. Indeed, this was an era of despondency and gloom for the people of Texas! In October, 1862, the Federal fleet entered Galveston Bay without resistance. The small force which had been left in the city retired, to Virginia Point, the city itself being all but deserted by its inhabitants who had moved with their chattels to Houston and the interior of the State. Communication with the Island was maintained by planking over the railroad bridge and protecting it on the island side with a redoubt and rifle pits occupied by a detachment of infantry and artillery. Debray's regiment, ordered to Virginia Point, by frequent patrols, day and night, satisfied the Federals that we still claimed the city, and prevented them from visiting it. A battalion of Federal infantry landed on one of the wharves and took quarters in its warehouses, strongly barricading themselves; but they never ventured into the city.
By the close of November, Major General John Bankhead Magruder came to assume the command of Texas, relieving General Hebert who was ordered to Louisiana.
The new commanding general had acquired fame for the skill with which, in the peninsula of Virginia, he checked for weeks McClellan's invading army before miles of empty entrenchments armed, in part, with Quaker guns, and by continually moving about his small force to multiply it in Federal eyes. Feeling that something must be done to rouse the spirits of the people of Texas, he resolved to try his hand against the enemy's squadron lying in Galveston Bay. Under his instructions, two teamboats lying in Buffalo Bayou, at Houston, were travestied into rams and gun-boats, armed with one gun each, and supplied with two tiers of cotton bales to give them, as the General said in confidence to his friends, an appearance of protection. A third boat was fitted out to act as tender. The two gun-boats were manned by volunteers of Green's brigade, converted for the occasion into horse marines, also by a company of artillery; the whole under the command of the brave Tom Green. Captain Leon Smith was the naval commander; Adjutant R. M. Franklin, of Debray's regiment, having volunteered to serve as his aid.
At Virginia Point, General Magruder was actively organizing his land forces. We had about fifteen pieces of field artillery, manned by details from Cook's regiment of heavy artillery. The infantry were told off to drag the artillery by hand and to carry ladders to be used for storming the wharf where the Federals were quartered. Companies B and E of Debray's regiment were to act as escort and couriers. The whole land force amounted to about 1000 men.
All dispositions having been perfected on land and on water, on the 31st of December, by night fall, the column was set in motion to Galveston, over the railroad bridge, on a six miles silent march by a dim moonlight, soldiers laboriously hauling the guns and carrying the ladders. Upon reaching the city, the guns were placed in battery at the foot of streets leading to the bay, and on the 1st of January, 1863, at day break, General Magruder pointed and fired the first gun. In less than two minutes, the Federal gun-boats opened their fire, which in a short time silence that of our artillery, over which they had the advantage in metal. Several of our gunners were mangled or killed at their pieces, which had to be withdrawn. Our troops were sorely disappointed at what they considered a failure; not so General Magruder, whose only object in attacking by land, was to divert the enemy's attention from the attack by water.
Our brave little crafts, upon hearing the discharges of artillery, hastened to join in the fight, and singled out the "Harriet Lane," which was the nearest ship to them. The "Bayou City," in the lead, missed her aim and glided along the ship's side; the "Neptune," following close by, with a full head of steam, struck the ship, but crippled herself and backed off to sink in shallow water. The "Bayou City," returning to the attack, entangled herself in one of the wheel-houses of the "Harriet Lane," holding her fast, while General Green's men opened a galling musketry fire upon the ship's crew, with their knives cut her boarding net, boarder her, and compelled the crew to seek shelter below, while one of the Federal officers hoisted the flag of truce in sign of surrender. The other Federal Gun-boats, unaccountably to us, hoisted the white flag too, and under it, two of them fled out of sight in the gulf; a third ship, stranding in her flight, was blown up by her commander, who lost his life in the act. Finally, the Federal infantry quartered on the wharf surrendered. This brilliant, but bloody engagement was over in less than two hours.
Revilers were not wanting who called this victory a scratch; but they were soon silenced by the success of a scheme of the same kind, planned by the General, to drive off the Federals from Sabine Lake. On both occasions, the General relied upon the confusion created among the enemy's ships by the unexpected appearance in their waters of strange looking crafts boldly steaming down to them.
General Magruder's success far exceeded public expectation, and for a time, he was the idol of the people of Texas. But states, as well as republics, are ungrateful. Brave, generous, warm hearted Magruder died at Houston in want and almost friendless. Much was said and written, but nothing done towards erecting a monument to him. His body was interred in the burial ground of the Hadley family, his friends in life and in death; but several citizens of Galveston, in an evanescent fit of gratitude, claiming the hero of possessing his remains, demanded them, with the consent of his family, and removed them with great pomp, to their city, where, ever since January, 1876, he lies ignored in an undertaker's vault, still begging for a grave.
An incident of the battle of Galveston, terribly illustrative of the horrors of civil strife, deserves to be mentioned. Major A. M. Lea, of the engineer corps, having reported for duty to General Magruder, at Virginia Point, on the eve of the attack, was instructed to accompany the General to Galveston. After the capture of the "Harriet Lane," in default of a naval officer, Major Lea was ordered to take charge of her. On entering the ship, among the dead and the wounded weltering in blood, unexpectedly and to his utter dismay, the Major beheld in the last throes of death, his son, Lieutenant Lea, executive officer of the ship, whom he had not heard of since the beginning of the war. The bodies of Lieutenant Commander Wainright, killed in the action, and of Lieutenant Lea, were buried in the Galveston cemetery with military and masonic honors, the Confederate father reading over his Federal son's grave the solemn funeral service of the Episcopal church. The witnesses of that heart-rending scene never can forget it.
General Magruder's success raised popular enthusiasm to the highest pitch, and his call for more troops was responded to with alacrity. Debray's regiment and other troops were ordered to re-occupy Galveston, while an appeal to the planters, promptly complied with, brought to the island numerous gangs of negroes who, under the supervision of their own overseers, worked diligently on new fortifications, planned by the commanding General. Colonel Debray having been assigned to the command of Galveston Island, Lieutenant Colonel Myers remained in command of the regiment
The blockade of Galveston, forcibly raised on the 1st of January, was not resumed until the 13th of the same month, when seven gun-boats came to anchor at about three miles from the city, to which they prepared to pay their compliments. A shelling was opened and kept up for six hours, to which the garrison, having no artillery to reply, had to submit good humoredly. Strange as it may appear, although the Federals covered the whole city with their shells and solid shot, some of which reached the bay, there was no loss of life, and the injury to houses was trifling. It will be remembered that, in the evening after the shelling, flashes of light were seen and a rumbling noise resembling broadsides was heard from a distance westward; then, after a few minutes, darkness and silence prevailed again. Many were the surmises upon this incident, and several weeks intervened before the sinking the Federal ship Hatteras by Captain Semmes, off Saint Louis Pass, became known on the island.
For nine months all was quiet in Texas. The defenses of Galveston soon assumed shape, and Quaker guns frowning from the crests and casemates of the fort, held the Federals in check until real artillery could be placed in battery.
In November, 1863, the Federals effected an unexpected landing at the mouth of the Rio Grande which was not defended. Thence, marching along the coast, they reached Indianola, which was in no condition for defense. General Magruder, suspecting an intention on the part of the enemy to move along the coast under the protection of their gun-boats to the mouth of the Brazos, and thence to penetrate into Galveston Island and attack the city in reverse, resolved to oppose their march at the mouth of the Cany River. All the available troops and levies of militia were concentrated at that point, and formed a small army of about six thousand men, in which Debray's, Goold's and Terrell's regiments were brigaded under Colonel Debray, the senior officer.
Some weeks were passed in suspense, when the Federals took to their ships, as unexpectedly as they had landed, and disappeared from the coast of Texas. It was soon ascertained that their landing was a feint, intended to attract our attention to the coast, while General Banks, at New Orleans, was preparing to proceed to Alexandria, on New Orleans, was preparing to proceed to Alexandria, on Red River, with 40,000 men and a large fleet of gun-boats and transports; thence, moving up the western bank of that river, which was to become his base of supplies, to reach Shreveport, where he was to meet General Steele, coming from Little Rock with 10,000 men; and with these combined forces, to penetrate into Texas by its north-western frontier.
The troops under Major General Richard Taylor, who commanded in Western Louisiana, being inadequate to meet so imposing a force, General Magruder was ordered to dispatch all his vailable cavalry to join General Taylor. The order was promptly obeyed by General Magruder; but Debray's regiment, to the disappointment of its members, was not comprised among the troops ordered off. The Colonel called on the General, who honored him with his confidence and friendship, to remonstrate against this oversight; but he found the General unwilling to part with a regiment on which he could implicitly rely for the faithful and prompt execution of orders in any emergency. At last, by dint of insistance, verging on importunity, the General's reluctant consent was yielded.
On the 14th of March, in default of telegraphic communication, an express locomotive was dispatched to bear instructions to Lieutenant Colonel Myers, then camped at Eagle Lake, to hasten with the regiment to Houston, where he arrived on the evening of the next day. The 15th was spent shoeing animals and drawing supplies. On the 17th the regiment left Houston with its own transportation and a brigade train, in all thirty-two wagons. The Colonel had resumed the command of the regiment, and Lieutenant Colonel Myers was detached to assemble and bring up the sick and furloughed men. At the first camp, those men whose homes were at a short distance from the line of march, were permitted to visit them for obtaining fresh horses and clothing, on condition that they should rejoin at a point no farther than the Sabine River.
It is proper to state that Captain Riordan, of company A, McGreal, of company C, McMahan, of company D, and Armstrong, of company F, having resigned at different times and for various causes, First Lieutenants Whitfield, Murchie, Black and Peck had become the Captains of their respective companies.
The regiment moved on diligently, although much impeded by its train of wagons, which had to be crossed over five streams on wretched ferry boats; also losing one day in the execution of an order received from General Taylor, to deflect from the Alexandria road and take that to Pleasant Hill, where he had retired.
In the morning of the 1st of April, the Sabine was promptly crossed on an excellent and large ferry boat; and on the same day the regiment pushed on twenty miles farther, to the town of Manny. The men furloughed at the start had nearly all rejoined, and the regiment number four hundred and fifty men in the saddle, besides extra duty men, the train guard, the sick and those whose horses were disable. During the night, a courier from General Taylor's headquarters passed the camp, bearing orders to the regiments that had not yet crossed the Sabine to continue on its western side and to cross it at Logansport. No intelligence was given of the movements of the enemy whose proximity was not suspected.
On the 2nd of April, at day break, the march was resumed in the expectation of reaching Pleasant Hill by noon. Here an incident occurred, which will be mentioned as being characteristic of Debray's regiment. A Major on General Taylor's staff, an old West Pointer, whose name is not now remembered, visited the camp in the evening; on the next morning he started from Manny after the regiment had passed it, but riding rapidly along the column, he overtook the Colonel who rode at the head of it, when the following conversation took place: "Colonel, where are your men from?"
"They are all Texians," was the answer. "Texians!" the Major ejaculated, "I never saw the like; I saw no stragglers, they march in a solid column, the officers saluted me, and I was not once requested to get out of my boots or from under my hat." The Major, being given to understand that the regiment was disciplined, and saw no fun in taunting with jeers a lone wayfarer, much less an officer, pushed ahead. There is no doubt but this incident reported to General Taylor, caused him to entertain that high estimation of the regiment before having seen it, which he expressed in his memoirs published a few years ago, a short time before his death.
At a short distance from Manny, the order was received to take the road to old Fort Jesup, and join Colonel Bagby's regiment of Texas cavalry on outpost duty, leaving the wagons to follow the Pleasant Hill road.
The order of march of the regiment had been so correct from the start, that no disposition was necessary to prepare for an approach to the enemy, further than issuing ammunition to the men; and the road designated in the order was entered. It led through a dense, rolling pine forest intercepting the sight a few hundred yards off. Shortly after, discharges of artillery were heard ahead; the regiment increased its gait, and soon the crackling of musketry was audible. Next, the van-guard stopped short, and sent intelligence that the regiment was close to the rear of a dismounted Federal force engaged with an enemy in its front. It was naturally inferred that they stood between Bagby and Debray. The regiment was deployed, skirmishers being thrown forward and on both flanks, to try to ascertain the strength of the enemy who seemed, at first, to be confused by our presence, but soon turned against us. At this time, three firings were distinctly heard; Bagby's, the enemy's, and Debray's. After a short time, Bagby's firing was no longer heard, and the enemy's efforts seemed to be more intensely directed against us. At this juncture, Lieutenant Colonel Hoffmann, of Bagby's regiment, and Captain Corwin, of the staff of Green's brigade, came by circuitous pathway, to inform Debray that Bagby, having exhausted his ammunition, was compelled to fall back; that the opposing force was a division of cavalry and mounted infantry, and that Debray, too, must fall back to avoid being cut to pieces or captured. Order was given to retire slowly, which was done in perfect order, and so as to keep the enemy in check. The regiment was followed up but a short distance, because, as was subsequently ascertained, the enemy believed it to be the advance of a large force coming from Texas, which it might be dangerous to meet in the woods. Such was Debray's regiment's baptism of fire. The casualties on our side were five men and several horses wounded. It is proper to state that the band, who had been ordered to the rear, dismounted and, of their own volition, went to the front to pick up the wounded and carry them to the ambulances. They never afterwards shrank from the performance of that self-imposed duty of devotion, which endeared them to the regiment.
The following general order was issued, the original of which has been preserved by the writer:
In the field, April 5th, 1864
General Order No......
On the 2nd inst.. while marching his regiment from Manny to Pleasant Hill, Colonel X. B. Debray was suddenly attacked by the enemy in superior force. Considering the unexpected nature of this affair, and the circumstance that Colonel Debray's regiment had never before been in action, the soldierly qualities displayed by the Colonel and the good conduct of his men meet the acknowledgment of the Major General commanding, who has every reason to form brilliant expectations of the future career of this fine corps.
By command of
Maj. Genl. Taylor,
E. Surget, A. A. G
To Col. X. B Debray, Commanding Cavalry outposts.
To resume our narrative, the regiment reaching Pleasant Hill by dark, rode, band playing, to report to General Taylor, and was formed into line in front of his headquarters. The colonel approached the General who, with stern countenance, told him that the good conduct of his men saved him from arrest and a court-martial. Upon the Colonel expressing surprise at having unknowingly incurred the General's displeasure, he was reproached with having lost time on the road, while, with ordinary diligence, he should have reported at least ten days before. When the General understood that the regiment, stationed at eight miles beyond Houston, received the order of march on the 14th of March, and, impeded by a long train of wagons, had ridden over 250 miles in less than fourteen days, he extended his hand to the Colonel whose nativity was disclosed by his accent, and said to him, in French: "I see that you are not a politician." Indeed, politicians were no pets at General Taylor's head-quarters.
The regiment was ordered to the front on outpost duty. The enemy's approach being considered as imminent, the night was passed in line, with pickets in front, the horses remaining saddled and bridled.
On the next day (3rd of April), General Taylor's infantry fell back on Mansfield,leaving Debray's and Bagby's Texas regiments, and Vincent's regiment of Louisiana cavalry, to observe the enemy, with instructions to retire as slowly as possible, if hard pressed.
The 4th was a day of quiet and rest, cheered by the arrival of General Tom Green with some Texas cavalry regiments.
Early on the 5th, the Federal cavalry corps made its appearance, when business began in earnest, and retreat became necessary before a largely superior force. But General Green made such happy dispositions, taking advantage of the timbered and hilly formation of the country, that the enemy could not advance one mile without being resisted stubbornly enough, to hold him three days on the march in moving over the twenty-five miles intervening between Pleasant Hill and Mansfield.
Meanwhile, General Taylor, daily receiving re-inforcements at Mansfield, delayed the execution of superior orders to fall back on Keachi, twenty miles farther up Red River, where the General commanding the Trans-Mississippi Department intended to offer battle.
General Taylor had ascertained that the Federal army was marching in a very unmilitary order, vis: on one road, while two parallel roads were at a convenient distance for prompt concentration, and the army corps, each followed by its own transportation, forming a column about twenty miles long, which precluded rapid mutual support.
On the 8th of April, the gallant and skillful General, deeming himself sufficiently re-enforced, and perceiving that an occasion was offered to strike a telling blow, made his dispositions to fight in disobedience of orders, and as he said to Colonel Debray, during the action. "with a rope around his neck." General Green's cavalry, recalled from the front, was ordered to dismount and to act as infantry, Debray's regiment being kept mounted and held in reserve. The Federal cavalry corps was promptly dispersed in great confusion; the 13th army corps, after a short contest, was utterly routed; but the 19th corps, fresh in the fight, while our troops were getting exhausted, offered a stubborn resistance. Then, Debray's regiment was deployed, and took part in a bloody engagement, protracted till dark, which resulted in driving the enemy in disorder. Our losses were heavy in killed and wounded.
(Continued in Individual Notes for Thomas Blassingame)
While Thomas is listed in the Muster Rolls of Company D of Whaleys regiment, from Leon County, he does not appear in the Census of Leon County for 1860 either with his mother and siblings or by himself, so must have left Hays County sometime between 1857 and 1861 when he enlisted. There is no trace of him after that time.
(Continuation of Debrays book on the 26th Calvary Regiment)
In the regiment, Lieutenant Willis, of company F, was among the dead. Twenty-five hundred prisoners, twenty pieces of artillery, several stands of colors, many thousands of small arms, and two hundred and fifty wagons loaded with supplies of all kinds, were the trophies of this handsome victory. Served in Confederate army
The pursuit was immediately assumed by General Green's cavalry corps, which picked; up many stragglers. But our progress was checked, at the crossing of a creek, by a brisk musketry fire directed against us from the darkness of night. A halt was ordered till day break, which delay was gladly availed of to obtain much needed food and feed. The march was resumed without opposition, and early in the morning of the 9th, our cavalry was crowning the heights which overlook Pleasant Hill, where the enemy was descried in order of battle. Our infantry, some of whom -- the Missouri and Arkansas divisions -- were exhausted by a forced march of forty-five miles from Kachi, was far behind, and nothing could be done until it had come up.
At about 4 o'clock P. M., the action began. Our right, which was to flank the enemy's left, misled by its guide, struck the enemy's front, and was repulsed with sever loss. Meanwhile, our left was driving the Federals from their advanced positions. General Green, believing that they were routed, ordered Debray's and Bushel's regiments, heretofore kept in reserve, to charge to Pleasant Hill. The charge, started in splendid style, was broken with heavy loss of men and horses, by the fire of a division of infantry hidden among a thick growth of young pines, and protected by a deep gully. In the words of General Taylor: "That gallant charge was premature, and cost valuable lives, but was of use in moral effect." Captain Peck, of company F, was killed; Major Menard and Captain Hare, of company K, were wounded, both severely. Captain Fulton of company G, was also wounded, his horse being killed under him. Colonel Debray's right leg was caught under his horse killed in the charge close to the enemy's line. In his efforts to release himself, his foot slipped out of his boot which remained under the horse. When enable to stand up, he felt that his ankle was sprained, and, leaning on his saber, was limping to reach a ravine where he might find shelter from the enemy's fire, when comrades came to assist him and helped him along until they reached our line, just where General Taylor sat on his horse. "Why! Colonel," the General enquired, "are you wounded?" "No, General," was the answer, "I am slightly hurt; but, as you may see, I was sent on a bootless errand." "Never mind your boot," said the General, "you have won your spurs."
Upon returning within our lines, Debray's regiment was ordered to dismount and support Walker's division of Texas infantry, hotly engaged in the woods in our left front. There a severe conflict was kept up, without advantage on either side, but with considerable mutual loss, until night brought it to a close.
This was, at best, a drawn battle. Both armies held the ground which they occupied in the morning; but General Taylor, apprehending a renewal on the contest on the next day, knowing that water was not accessible where his troops stood, determined to fall back to a creek five miles distant, there to select a position. Debray's and Bushel's regiments were left on the battle field, with instructions to observe the enemy, and, if necessary, to retire slowly before his advance. Pickets exchanged shots till nearly day break, when a reconnaissance was pushed up, without opposition, to the town of Pleasant Hill, which was found evacuated by the enemy who, behind a thin curtain of outposts, had decamped, early at night, in the direction of Natchitoches, leaving in our hands his wounded and unburied dead.
A part of the cavalry started in pursuit, while another part proceeded, with artillery, to Blair's Landing, on Red River, to attack gun-boats. There, the gallant Major General Tom Green fell -- an irreparable loss to our army. General Taylor, relying on his troops, flushed with success, confidently expected to capture or destroy Bank's demoralized army; when, to his great mortification, he saw himself stripped of all his infantry, but one division and the greater part of his artillery, ordered to Arkansas, to oppose the Federal General Steele who, as above stated, was to join General Banks at Shreveport. With his reduced forces, General Taylor had to give up operations on a large scale, and to turn his attention to an endeavor to render a sojourn in Western Louisiana, so unpleasant for Banks, as to induce him to seek comfort beyond the Mississippi.
The good behavior of Debray's regiment was acknowledged by the promotion of its Colonel to rank of Brigadier General; in consequence of which, Lieutenant Colonel Myers, who had not yet rejoined, became Colonel; Major Menard, Lieutenant Colonel, and Captain vice Owens, of company E, Major. Lieutenant Hearn, of company E, became Captain vice Owens, promoted; and Lieutenant Woodyard, of company F, Captain vice Peck, killed. Mention may also be made, here, of the promotion, seven months afterwards, of Lieutenant Trezevant, of company I, to be Captain vice Whitehead, dropped from the rolls for absence without leave.
The new Brigadier General was assigned to the command of a brigade composed of his own regiment and Goold's and Wood's regiments, both fine bodies, raised, the former, on Red River, and the latter, West of the Colorado. To compose his military family, he selected from Debray's regiment the steady and intelligent Sergeant-Major Harry Blagge, to be Aid-de-Camp; the chivalric young Adjutant R. M. Franklin to be Assistant Adjutant General; regimental quartermaster Thos. R. Franklin, "the Fighting Quartermaster," as he was called, ever slipping to the front when "powder spoke,'' ever active and untiring in the discharge of his duties as Orderly. Subsequently, Lieutenant W. Johnson, of company D, Debray's regiment became Brigade Ordnance Officer; Captain Lewis Maverick and Lieutenant G. I. Sherwood, both of Wood's regiment, were selected, the former, to be Brigade Inspector, and the latter, to be 2nd Assistant Adjutant General, and Surgeon Corley, of Goold's regiment, became Brigade Surgeon.
The Federal army, falling back on Grand Ecore, on Red River, at a short distance from Natchitoches, entrenched itself under the protection of its gun-boats. Our cavalry, following close on its heels, established itself on the surrounding pine hills, and by frequent patrols, in and about Natchitoches, prevented depredations, and probably, saved that old town from the devastation which signalized every step of the retreating Federals. Soon, it became apparent that Banks was preparing to move farther down the Red River. The greater part of our cavalry was ordered to proceed to a position on Cane River, a tributary of the Red, where it was believed that the crossing of that stream by a superior force, could be prevented. General Wm. Steele's division of cavalry, and Polignac's division of infantry were direct to follow and harass the enemy.
Monnette's Bluff is an elevated ground on the eastern bank of Cane River, which was supposed to be fordable only at that point. The front and right of the position selected for us, is protected by a high and abrupt bank, and its left, extending over timbered hills, represented to us as inaccessible for the enemy, owing to intervening swamps, overlooks the western side of the stream. General Bee who was in command, assigned the right of our line to General Bagby; the center, to General Major, and the left to General Debray. Early in the afternoon, the enemy appeared, and opened against our front, the fire of his batteries, which was answered by our artillery. Soon after, our left was suddenly attacked by a detachment which had crossed the Cane River above our position, and well guided, had succeeded in clearing the swamps represented to us as impassible. Two successive attacks had been repelled, when the left received the order to join the right and center, which, for causes as yet unaccounted for by the writer, had abandoned their position, and were in full retreat. It is true, that the enemy having crossed the river, our smaller force was powerless to materially impede his march. A hard and tedious night's march followed, till day break, when we arrived at Beasley's Station, thirty miles off the road to Alexandria. On the morning of the next day, McNutt's Hill was reached, where the rear of the enemy's column was seen defiling in the valley of Red River, supported by gun-boats, out of harm's way, on its retreat to Alexandria.
At McNutt's Hill, Major General Wharton assumed command of the cavalry corps. General Bee was ordered to proceed with his division -- Bagby's and Debray's brigades -- to Polk's plantation, about seven miles west of Alexandria, while General Steele, with his division, was to take position on Bayou Rapid, north of that city, and General Major, with his division and some artillery, was to establish himself on Red River, below Alexandria, and attack the gun-boats and transports moving up and down the river. The standing order was to attack every day, and annoy the enemy by every possible means.
Then, a series of desultory engagements followed, in which, in the morning, we drove back the enemy's pickets and outposts, to be driven, in our turn, by their supports of infantry and artillery, while the plantations around were set ablaze by the Federals. These skirmishes, producing no apparent advantages, cost us many lives. In Debray's regiment, Lieutenant Kerr, of company C, was killed, and Lieutenants King, of company E, and Burts, of company B, were wounded, the former mortally, and the latter severely. At Polk's plantation, Colonel Myers rejoined the regiment with the men whom he had been detached to bring from Texas, and resumed command.
Meanwhile, Banks felt uncomfortable at Alexandria. The low stage of the water in Red River prevented his gun-boats and heavier transports from passing down the rapids immediately above that city; and below, his communications and line of supplies were intercepted by General Major, who captured and sank several of his transports. But for the remonstrances of Admiral Porter, Banks would have hastened to Mississippi with his land forces, abandoning to their fate his boats detained above Alexandria. However, by dint of engineering skill and almost superhuman exertion, a dam was constructed, which so raised the water in the river, as to allow the gun-boats to come down, after having been stripped of their armor plates.
The Federals, setting Alexandria on fire, started on the river road, escorted by their gun-boats. Our cavalry and Polignac's division, by a night march on a parallel road, reached Marksville in advance, and caused the enemy to move through that town speedily enough, to prevent them from destroying it. On the next day, in Mansura Prairie, General Wharton formed his small force into line, so as to bar the road, and compel the enemy to deploy, and show his strength. Banks' whole army was at hand. Then, an artillery duel began, in which over fifty guns took part. The witnesses of that engagement have, probably, not forgotten the protracted rumbling noise produced by the echoing of the reports of artillery along the skirt of timber extending in our rear. As the enemy was seen endeavoring to turn our left, we gave way, and hastened to the height that overlook the town of Moreauville, on Yellow Bayou. On the next morning, the enemy appeared, but was not suffered to tarry in the town and indulge in his wonted acts of incendiarism.
Following on General Bank's steps, on the 17th of May, we reached Norwood's plantation, about three miles distant from the Atchafalaya, and deployed into line to attack his rear. But the enemy, turning against us, and massing his forces against our left, on the road, to allow his long train of wagons to defile on the pontoon bridge thrown over the stream, held us at bay with rapid volleys of musketry and artillery. This unfortunate and unnecessary affair, the only result of which was to delay the enemy in reaching the eastern side of the Atchafalaya, we parted with General Banks' army.
This was the closing scene of a brisk and brilliant six week's campaign, in which 15,000 men indifferently armed and supplied, soon reduced to 6000 men, hurled back an army of 40,000 men, splendidly appointed, and confident of sweeping aside, with ease, any obstacle thrown in its way to Shreveport, and thence, to Texas. Thus, our State was spared a formidable invasion and its inevitable consequences -- ruin and devastation.
Then, quiet and dull times prevailed. The cavalry corps, except one brigade kept, by turns, in observation on the Atchafalaya, spread over Western Louisiana, halting whenever supplies and grass could be found. Debray's brigade visited alternately Opelousas, Alexandria and Natchitoches, until October, when its turn came to do duty in the Atchafalaya swamps. There, bad rations, scanty forage, malarial fevers and camp diseases, the absence of medical stores, and worn out clothing and blankets caused much suffering and misery, nearly destroying the efficiency of the brigade.
At last, by the close of November, the welcome order was received to return to Texas, by slow marches, consuming such Commissary's and Quartermaster's stores as had not decayed in the depots, where they had been accumulated by the operation of the "Impressment Act." The brigade halted at Sabine Town, San Augustine, Carthage, Henderson and Crockett; band by the close of March, it reached the lower Brazos, at Pittsville, near Richmond. Men and horses had recovered strength and spirits, and brigade maneuvering was actively entered upon, when, to our mutual sorrow, Goolds's regiment was ordered off, to be attached to another brigade. Goold's was replaced by McNeal's regiment, which being ordered on detached service on the Trinity River, never coalesced with the brigade. From Pittsville, the brigade moved to the vicinity of Hempstead, where it camped at a short distance from the infantry division of Major General J. C. Walker who, after General Wharton's death, had also been assigned to the command of the cavalry corps.
There, days of gloom and despondency came on us. The news of General Lee's surrender was received; and soldiers, considering the war at an end, chafing under military restrictions, anxious to be with their families, left of their own accord, and soon, the army of Texas disintegrated. To the honor of Debray's and Wood's regiments be it said, that they sternly rejected all enticements to join in the "break up," and remained faithful to their colors.
Upon General Debray's affirmative answer to General Magruder's enquiry whether his brigade could still be trusted, Debray's and Wood's regiments were ordered to march to Houston. That city which, during the war, was the center of trade in Texas, supposed to contain an accumulation of goods and money, both public and private, was threatened by armed lawless men intent on plunder, who went so far as to capture railroad trains, the more promptly to reach the "Mecca" of their greed. It became the stern duty of the brigade, by frequent and strong patrols, to disperse those people, and to cause them to leave the city. But supplies were failing; there was no money to procure them, and the credit of the Confederate States had ceased to exist; as a necessary consequence, the brigade had to be formally discharged by its commanding General. The companies returned, in good order, to their respective homes, there to dissolve, every man quietly resuming his avocation in civil life.
Those who participated in the parting scenes in Debray's regiment, will ever remember them. Grief over our lost cause, over the severance of an association of four years' duration, grown into brotherly love, drew tears from the eyes of many a brave soldier. It was the tearing asunder of the members of a loving family.
This closes the brief review of the career of Debray's regiment. A true and loyal regiment it was! Steady under fire, impetuous in attack, cool and defiant in retreat; in camp and garrison, it was remarked for its good discipline and instruction, and its readiness and alacrity in the execution orders. If it can not pride; itself in as many campaigns as other regiments, it was owing to the fortune of war, not to the choice of its members.
This imperfect sketch, written from memory after the lapse of twenty years, fails to do full justice to its subject. It remains with the several companies to restore their muster rolls, to commemorate deeds of individual gallantry, and to pay a deserved tribute to the memory of their dead.
The old Colonel, in his declining years, and apprehending that his failing health -- death, perhaps -- may deprive him of the pleasure of participating in the contemplated reunion of his surviving comrades, wishes to leave to them this testimonial to their worth, with his heartfelt thanks for the deference and affection with which they have invariably honored him, in and out of the service, and to give them the assurance of his earnest wishes for their happiness.
X. B. Debray
|Luther BLASSINGAME21,22 was born about 1835/6 in Alabama. He served in the Military in July 1855 in Was In the Texas Rangers under Callahan |
Served in the Texas Rangers (is on the muster roll of Callahan's unit dated 20 July 1855, until Oct 19. Luther Blassingame, Private, age 20 enrolled at Seguin, TX.) and he may also have been with Callahan in the Plum Creek uprising in Caldwell County and in the Confederate army. He a Petition for State to build road from San Marcos to Fredericksburg by way of Pittsburg in May 1856 in Comal County, Texas Luther was living in 1857 in Hays County, Texas. He appeared in the census on 7 September 1860 in Clapps Creek, Leon County, Texas.
Listed as son, age 24, occupation Wagoner, living with Mother Mary Blassingame and brothers George, William and Columbus and sister Nancy. He served in the Military Corporal, Capt Whaley's Company, Texas Infantry in August 1861 101
Muster roll shows he enlisted from Leon County, at Centreville, on 8/1861 for a period of 12 months in Whaley's regiment. Other records show he obtained the rank of Cpl. Luther appeared in the census on 7 August 1870 in Precinct 3, Liberty County, Texas.
Luther Blasingame 33 farmer 600 Al
Joanna E. 4 Tx
Columbus W. 2 Tx
Adeline Wright 25 keeping house La He died before probably 1880.
It is quite possible there was some kind of epidemic which killed his wife and shortly afterward he and his son, as there is no trace of either after 1870 Census. And only his daughter in 1880 He served in the Military Co D. 26th Texas Cavalry (Debrays Rgt, Davis Mounted. Battalion) in Leon County, Texas102,103
Father's probate in 1857 stated he lived in Hays County, TX. But there are no Blasingames (by any spelling) living in Hays County in the 1850 Census.
A Luther Blasingame is listed in the 1870, Liberty Co, TX census, p. 137, Tarkington Prairie.
|Frances J. "Fannie or Molly?" BLASSINGAME.|
|Henry BLASSINGAME21,22 was born about 1837 in Alabama. He died before 1857 in Arkansas. |
He is not mentioned in the probate records concerning the estate of Woodson Blassingame in 1857, and is not included in the 1860 census.