[HOUSTON] TRI-WEEKLY TELEGRAPH
[HOUSTON] TRI-WEEKLY TELEGRAPH, January 1, 1864, p. 2, c. 3
Nearly all the troops that arrive here, especially if they have been long in the service, are destitute of socks. Quartermasters are unable to buy them at the schedule prices, and consequently cannot issue them. We have received and distributed many pairs to those needy men, and solicit further contributions from the ladies for this purpose. All socks sent to us for distribution, will be acknowledged, and will be issued either directly to needy applicants, or be placed in the hands of the Quartermaster of any regiment or the Captain of any company, as may be desired. We urge the ladies to send forward their contributions at once. They will not remain long in our hands.
[HOUSTON] TRI-WEEKLY TELEGRAPH, January 7, 1864, p. 2, c. 1
We are pleased to learn that the Bastrop Military Institute will receive twelve young men who have been wounded in the Confederate service, and are unable to educate themselves, and educate them free of charge, except for actual cost of boarding. It will also teach twenty more without charge, provided they board elsewhere than at the Academy. The only proviso is that they are indigent, and have been disabled in the service. The proposition is a liberal one.
[HOUSTON] TRI-WEEKLY TELEGRAPH, January 12, 1864, p. 2, c.
We understand the Israelites of Houston yesterday presented some of the soldiers in this vicinity with twenty india rubber tents. The present was a timely one, and speaks well for those who made it.
[HOUSTON] TRI-WEEKLY TELEGRAPH, January 14, 1864, p. 1, c. 2-3
Resources of Southern fields and Forrests [sic]
Glenblythe, Dec. 29th, 1863.
Ed. Teleraph—Thanks for your loan of Surgeon Porcher’s “Resources of the Southern Field’s [sic] and Forrests [sic];” in which I have found very much of interest. And most heartily wish that the surgeon general, or somebody else who hs it in their power, would favor me with a copy sent to your care.
I begin my promised digest. T. A.
The Chinese Sugar Cane.
Dr. Porcher speaks in high terms of this plant, and of the syrup made
from it. I had a small crop last
year, and am so much pleased with the result, as to be now preparing for it as a
Prepare the ground well and deeply, plant early with a view to a full crop and early grinding, although it may be planted at any time, up to June. One or two good showers will cause it to give a wonderful yield. On our black prairies, rows 4 ½ feet, dropping two or three seeds at every 16 inches, is about the proper distance, tend as if corn.
The plant throws up stalks in succession; the first watering their seeds when the roots are about half grown, and so on, depending on the season and showers.
I tried the experiment of cutting off the blossom, so soon as it showed itself on the oldest stalks; and found them become, in four or five days, decidedly sweeter than those not topped. But, with the first shower, or within a week or ten days if the soil be moist, a seed stalk is pushed at the base of every leaf, when these stalks soon lost their sweetness until the seed again approached maturity.
My experiment was not sufficiently extensive, long continued or repeated often enough to warrant saying more, than as yet I deem it best, to let the seed of each planting become ripe or nearly so before beginning to cut and grind; that [then?] push through with the piece as rapidly as possible.
I found it the most expeditious, to have the leaves stripped from the stalks whilst standing, then cut down, hauled to the mill and the seeds cut off there.
Oxen and mules are much fonder of the fodder when green than when dried. The seeds are relished by all kinds of stock. Hogs will keep in growing order on the stalks; but do not fatten. As forage for anything but horses, cattle and hogs, I prefer drilled corn to sugar millet.
For the making of syrup and sugar from the juice of this plant, Dr. P. quotes at some length from the writings of northern chemists, writing from their laboratories. The whole lacks practicability.
I was fortunate enough to have the services of Negroes, trained on a first-class Louisiana sugar plantation, worth a whole regiment of Yankee chemists.
Four small wash kettles, the largest of about 30 gallon capacity, were set in the furnace, in a row; the largest next the chimney, and called the grand. They were set each about an inch or inch and half above the next; the grand being the lowest; and had their capacity greatly increased by being cased around above their edges, with thin stones set in cement or lime, with a casement of wood over all; the top of which was some eight or ten inches above the edges of the kettles, declining in height towards the grand.—The smallest kettle, next the mouth of the furnace, which boiled most vigorously, is called the siro.
I had secured an old-fashioned sugar mill, to be driven by mules, consisting of three cast iron rollers, set on end, with cogs on their circumference, at their upper ends. The center roller being turned, caused the others to turn with it; the canes were crushed between them, and the juice flowed into a trough placed below.
To have the work go on steadily and regularly, the capacity of the mill and of the kettles should be, as nearly as possible, kept up to the same point. There should be little interruption to the work, after it is started; else it is difficult to make good syrup.
The cane is passed first into the grand. To each charge a quantity of strong lime water is added, depending upon the condition of the juice. My canes were very ripe, yielding of course less juice, but a larger proportion of sugar. Two quarts of lime-water was put to each charge. Canes grown on strong lime soil, as are these black prairies, contain a large proportion of lime; and I am induced to believe the juice from them requires less lime-water than if grown upon soil less calcareous or limy.
From the first moment the scum begins to rise, it must be carefully and continuously skimmed off. As the juice thickens by boiling, it requires more space, and is baled forward into the other kettles. It will be seen that the manner of setting each higher than the other, enables the attendant to strip off the scum with a long, broad paddle into the next kettle below, and so into the grand, where it is finally skimmed off. By this careful and attentive skimming, the sediment, gum, starch, &c., are boiled out of the syrup, instead into it, as by the usual practice. The boiling is finished off in the siro. I found none of the reported strainings, filterings, and other manifestations, recommended by the Yankee chemists, quoted by Dr. P., to be at all necessary.
It would be better for three or four neighbors to join, where kettles are scarce, and set four, or even five in one furnace, though good syrup could be made I presume, with even one kettle.
The syrup is excellent. Have not tried yet making it into sugar. The yield per acre is remunerating; say from two to four barrels.
[Yours, T. A.
[HOUSTON] TRI-WEEKLY TELEGRAPH, January 14, 1864, p. 2, c. 2
The soil of the rich alluvial bottoms of Texas is peculiarly adapted to
the culture of the Indigo plant, frequently attaining the height of from four to
six feet, with comparatively no care in either the mode of planting or means of
cultivation. Farmers who attempted
its culture in Brazos county, utterly failed in procuring the dark blue
precipitate in which consists its chief value.
I have been informed by those who have experimented in the manufacture of
Indigo in Texas, that the invariable result has been a deep green precipitate,
not in a solid mass, but rather in floating follicles. To obviate this result is
the principal object of this article.
It should be borne in mind that all the varieties of the indigo plant, from the Indigofera tinctoria to the Baptisia tinctoria, contains a greenish brown and greenish red coloring substance, each of which yields more readily in the process of manufacture than the deep blue. Hence great care is requisite in order to obtain the desired results.
Time of planting.—The ground should be thoroughly prepared by plowing and harrowing, run out in furrows about three feet apart, the seeds planted in drills about one foot distant from each other. This should be done as early in the spring as the temperature and condition of the soil will permit. One or two plowings between the rows will be sufficient for the season, unless the ground is quite foul with weeds or other undergrowth. New ground is preferable, when it can be had, but even in old fields there is no crop that will yield so rich a reward to the husbandman, with the same amount of labor, as the one under consideration.
Time of gathering.—When the plants are in their greatest perfection, the seeds well formed but not yet ripe, is regarded as the best time for gathering the stalks by those engaged in its culture in the East Indies as an article of commerce. Although an inferior article of Indigo is manufactured from the stalks reserved as seed bearers, after the seeds are gathered, the difference between the two articles is so marked and apparent, that the latter always commands a much less price than the former. The first is always formed in firm dense cakes, presenting upon fracture, a bright glistening blue, while the latter contains less of the blue coloring matter, and an excess of the brown. The cakes are more porous and more soluble in water, hence its inferiority.
Mode of manufacturing.—The plants having been gathered as above indicated, they are placed in large barrels or vats, and covered with rain water (no other kind of water should be used.) Our streams and wells generally contain sufficient foreign matter, either of a saline, chalybeate, or sulphuric character, sufficient in quantity to prevent the desired result. These barrels or vats should be allowed to remain in the sun. In a few days the fermentive process will commence. The stalks should be stirred up once or twice every day, from the commencement. According to the rapidity of fermentation will the stalks yield their several coloring principles to the water. The length of time which they should remain in the water is determined by the water assuming a deep green color. The stalks are now taken out, and a small quantity of lime water, or a solution of potash or salaratus [sic] is added to the water, in order to aid the precipitation of the Indigo. The water is now either decanted or drawn off by means of a faucet placed immediately above the precipitate.
This precipitate now undergoes a marked chemical change, from a bright green to a deep blue color—from a soluble substance to one that will but sparingly yield its coloring matter to either water or alcohol. This change is doubtless caused by the rapid absorption of oxygen from the air.
This precipitate is now collected, washed upon linen strainers, moulded in such shapes as fancy may dictate, placed in the sun and dried. The process is thus completed—the yield incredible, the reward abundant—the result satisfactory.
The Poppy is too well known to require any description.
Its vast varieties have been cultivated in gardens as ornamental plants
from time immemorial—while all along our vast plains and wood-scoped prairies,
a variety may be found growing wild, presenting all the floral beauties of the
more highly favored members of this family, which has so long received the
fostering care of the tasteful gardener. But,
as a source of profit by the manufacturing of opium, the only variety that will
remunerate the laborer is the White Poppy.
This is distinguished from others by its round smooth stalk, growing to
the height of from three to six feet, and by its large white or silver
gray-colored flowers, often double and not unfrequently tinged with a deep
violet color at their base.
Mode of Cultivation.—The manner of cultivating the Poppy is quite similar to that of the Indigo plant, it may, however, be planted much thicker as the stalks are not so branching, and the plant absorbs less support from the soil hence it grows well in comparatively poor ground.
In this country with early planting it will bloom by the middle of May or the first of June. In a few weeks thereafter the capsules will be nearly half grown, at which time its milky fluid is fully elaborated and the process of collecting it should commence—this is quite simple, consisting in making small longitudinal incisions with a sharp knife, in the capsules and various portions of the stalk, from which a tenacious milky fluid escapes. This is collected every day, and the process of incision again renewed from day to day until it ceases to flow. This juice when collected is put in large deep plates and exposed to the action of the sun until it acquires consistency sufficient to form it into flat cakes or which is better round balls. In this condition it should be allowed to dry for three or four weeks. It is then fit for market, and sold under the name of Opium.
It might not be inappropriate to remark in this connection, that Opium thus procured is entirely free from adulteration or deterioration and would be more anxiously sought after by our physicians and druggists, than even the Turkey Opium provided our trade with that country was at present entirely uninterrupted.
Another process of extracting the active properties of the Poppy consists in macerating the capsules and stalks, rejecting the leaves, previously bruised to a pulp in a small quantity of water and straining it through flannel.
The inspiesated [sic?] fluid thus obtained is evaporated down by means of a sand bath, or an opened mouth vessel kept in boiling water until the desired consistency is attained. Although the result of this process is vastly inferior to the first, it has this advantage, it can be resorted to after the capsules and stalks have ceased to yield any exudation by incision or acupuncture; and although the opium thus obtained is vastly inferior to that procured by the former process, it is nevertheless superior to the ordinary article of commerce.
Profit.—One acre of ground properly attended to, will yield from fifty to sixty pounds of opium by the first process, and about twenty by the last. Estimating the pure to be worth $100 per pound, and the inferior at $50 per pound, you have, as the proceeds of one acre of land, a sum exceeding six thousand dollars, and that, too, by work that can be done by small negroes, at a season when they have little or nothing else to do.
To us, especially at this time, there is another source of profit and utility that should not be overlooked. All the varieties of the Poppy yield a large amount of seeds which contain a great quantity of bland oil, which is easily expressed. This oil is a complete substitute for the pure Olive Oil, and can be used for all purposes, both in the arts and sciences for which that oil has so justly commanded attention.
[HOUSTON] TRI-WEEKLY TELEGRAPH, January 14, 1864, p. 2, c.
Moscow, Polk county, Jan. 4, 1864
Editor Telegraph—On last Wednesday, about noon, during one of the coldest and hardest rains of the season, the monotony of our usual quiet village was interrupted by the entrance of Capt. R. S. Poole, commanding detachment 24th Texas Cavalry, with forty men in hot pursuit of some deserters from Sabine Pass. Learning that a body of the deserters were about fifteen miles ahead, the Captain gave orders for immediate pursuit at full speed. Although the rain was pouring down in torrents, and very cold, yet the gallant Captain would not tarry a moment to partake of refreshments offered by the patriotic citizens of Moscow. but off they went at full speed, overtaking and capturing the deserters, 29 in number the same evening. On Thursday night Capt. Poole, with the 29 prisoners and guard of forty men stopped in this place over night. The citizens of Moscow desire to bear testimony to the gentlemanly conduct and soldierly bearing of Captain Poole and his brave command, whom we know to be performing good service in arresting deserters, and freeing the country from Jayhawkers and turbulent characters, thus contributing to the peace and security of the country and the morale of our army. The discipline of Capt. Poole's company seemed to be perfect, and the Captain's constant personal attention to business was marked by all.
Citizens of Moscow.
[HOUSTON] TRI-WEEKLY TELEGRAPH, January 14, 1864, p. 2, c.
We regret to observe the suspension of the Marshall Republican. It is the ablest paper left in the East. In fact always was the ablest paper there.
[HOUSTON] TRI-WEEKLY TELEGRAPH, January 15, 1864, p. 2, c.
Miss Tucker, of Weatherford, deserves to bear off the palm. She has made with her own fair hands a pair of cotton cards, and carded, spun, wove, and made her own dresses. Who can beat that.
[HOUSTON] TRI-WEEKLY TELEGRAPH, January 20, 1864, p. 2, c. 3
To the Ladies of Texas.
The troops of Gen. Tom Green's Division are very much in need of socks. l
It is impossible for Quartermasters to supply them with this most essential
article of clothing, and this appeal is now made to you for the purpose of
aiding us during the winter campaign. Very
few of our men have any socks, except such as are fortunate enough to have
received them from home. Agents
have been appointed to gather as many socks together as can be purchased, but
the supply is insufficient. Any
clothing deposited with Mr. Peter Crow, Brenham, Texas, or Col. Boone at
Hempstead, will be forwarded immediately to the Captain of the company to which
the soldier belongs. Those desiring
it, will be paid the maximum price allowed by Government for the articles
furnished. Socks and hats are most
needed for the men of the Division.
It will be made the duty of every Quartermaster of this Division, to see that all contributions of clothing made to the troops of the Division, is properly turned over to the commanding officers of company's [sic], to be by them delivered to the proper owners. In this way it is hoped that soldiers will receive all donations promptly that are made to them.
J. H. Beck, Maj. & Q. M.,
Green's Cavalry Division.
[HOUSTON] TRI-WEEKLY TELEGRAPH, January 20, 1864, p. 2, c.
Wanted, at the Texas Penitentiary.—
800 bales cotton, not to class below Low Middling, for which I will pay 25 cents per lb., one half in cotton goods.
30,000 lbs. wool, clear of burrs, for which I will pay one dollar per lb., either in money or cotton goods.
20,000 lbs. bacon, clear sides, for which I will give one yard osnaburgs for 3 lbs.
15,000 lbs. lard, for which I will give one yard osnaburgs for 3 lbs.
10,000 lbs. flour, for which I will pay 30 cts. per lb. in cotton goods.
The above supplies must be delivered at this place within eight weeks from this date.
S. B. Hendricks,
Financial Agent Penitentiary.
Huntsville, January 20, 1864.
Galveston News, and State Gazette publish 5 times and send bill to this office.
[HOUSTON] TRI-WEEKLY TELEGRAPH, January 21, 1864, p. 1, c. 4
Indigo No. 2.
Dr. Porcher devotes several pages to this subject, but none of the
articles he quotes seem to me nearly so clear and practical as that of which I
have given you a digest.
To the north of this place, some ten or a dozen miles, either near the Gegua or Davidson's creek, there is quite a patch of the native Indigo, to which the ladies for miles around have resorted for many years, for the plant to dye with. I was strongly in hopes that some of them had stumbled on a more natural process, of dyeing their thread or wool in the liquor in which the plant had been steeped, and before the process of heating; but cannot learn that this has been done.
Here again, is a stumbling block in the way—that of explaining the why and because, in simple language. This heating is for the purpose of exposing the liquor to the air, so that a chemical change may take place by the taking up of a gas from the air, by which the coloring matter is separated and can be gathered together and dried. In order to dye with the dried indigo, it must be brought back by the use of copperas, or alum or lye, to the condition in which it was before it was exposed to the air in the process of heating.
I do not intend to enter into a discussion with the ladies, and especially the old ones; who know infinitely more, practically, than I do, in this case. But I desire to use the suggestion as a test on which to remark:
That we of the South have been a very blind people! Will we ever become less so? We grow the cotton and the wool; can grow the hemp, the flax, the dyestuffs—as Indigo, Madder, Wood, &c.; and the Teazles; can make the Pot and Pearlash, the Barilla and Soda, the Sulphuric Acid; and in fact, every article used in the manufacture of cotton and wool into cloth. Yet we have, in the face of the volumes of facts published in this connection, through a long series of years, done everything in our power to continue subject to, because dependent on Yankeedom and Europe for every rag we wore, until we had cultivated the feeling of contempt on the part of the Yankees towards those to whom they naturally felt themselves infinitely superior, that has brought about this cruel and ruinous war. We have paid the heavy cost of transportation on both cotton and goods, with all the large profits made by those whose hands they passed through—an immense profit to the manufacturer—not only a legitimate profit, but derived from every possible series of rascality, by cheating in the materials used, &c.; and have also paid a big price, as the cost of bringing the baled cotton back to the condition in which it was when it left the flue of the gin-stand, when it was in a better state to make a good and strong thread, than it can ever again be brought to. And so it is and has been with wool, hides, &c.
Query.—Looking to the past, how long time will elapse after we secure our independence, politically, before we again become entirely dependent, in a commercial and manufacturing way, upon our bitter enemies, the Yankees, and our unfreens, the English and French?
But to return to our subject, Indigo: I do not think it necessary to be equally precise with the processes of draining and drying, and of pressing the Indigo. For home use it may be treated in a very simple manner. Any one proposing to engage in the crop as a business, will inform himself more fully than he can do through a newspaper article.
When the heating process is completed, the liquor must not rest until the mud or indigo settles to the bottom; when the reddish colored water must be drawn off; the mud dipped out and placed on frames, covered with close linen, hemp or even cotton cloth, to drain thoroughly; placed under cover.
It should be scraped off, and put on fresh cloths, until the mud becomes stiff enough to be placed in a box, lined with a loose cloth, and subjected to pressure; where it may remain twenty-four hours; then to be taken out and worked over in a basin with a paddle; or better if beaten in a smooth mould, in which it may be cut into squares of, say, two inches each way. These squares are then taken out and dried. If any white mould appears on the surface, it must be carefully brushed off.
There are other processes by which the coloring matter of the Indigo plant is extracted—as, by hot water, and without lime or ley, and from the dried leaves. But I will consider your limited space, and refrain.
Dr. Porcher says: "According to Lesunes, the decoction of the root possesses the property of action against poison, and is useful in nephritic diseases. In Jamaica, it is employed to destroy vermin. The leaves are alterative, and are given in nephatic disorders." These, your readers can look into their dictionaries, or consult the Doctors.
This I can add, the dried Indigo has been found a useful remedy in croup, giving so much of the powder as would lie on a dime, repeating if necessary.
The powder, moistened with water, and applied to the spot stung by a bee, or wasp, will give immediate relief.
You have had enough of blueing for this boat!
Glenblythe, Jan. 11, '64. T. A.
[HOUSTON] TRI-WEEKLY TELEGRAPH, January 22, 1864, p. 1, c. 4
To the Citizens of Texas.
Under the approbation of Lt. Gen. E. Kirby Smith, I have drawn up a plan
for supplying the soldiers and citizens of this Military Department with
Clothing, &c. I have obtained
from the Legislature of Texas a charter granting the necessary privileges; also
making a conditional grant, which, to the company I propose to organize, will
amount to between one and two hundred thousand acres of land. The privileges granted by the Confederate authorities will be
of great pecuniary advantage; the whole being equal to a bounty of some three to
five hundred thousand dollars. The
plan is simply to establish and operate a Cotton and Woolen Factory, of
sufficient capacity to manufacture some $8,000,000 worth of cloth per annum.
The machinery can be obtained. The
Factory can be established and operated by those who have had experience in this
business. The profits will be sufficient to satisfy the most craving.
Your Confederate notes can be invested in that which is equal to specie,
and at little, if any, discount.
While thus investing most profitably to yourselves, you will greatly benefit the citizens of your State; the soldiers family; the army fighting for your liberties.
Instead of depreciating our currency, our entire operations will tend to enhance its value. These are bold assertions, but they are based on clear calculations founded on practical experience. To carry out its plans the company will need $1,000,000 Confederate money. This will be raised by shares of $1000 each. One gentleman has already offered to take 100 shares in cash, and invest 200 bags of cotton at a fair valuation, in the same way. Will not the citizens and capitalists of Texas at once take the 1000 shares and put the whole in operation.
I wish you clearly to understand that, to accomplish this, we expect to meet great difficulties and run many risks. Energy, activity, perseverance and prudence, will surmount the difficulties. Your Government, by its liberal offers and grants, have covered almost the entire risk. As to profits the Company can reduce the present prices at least one half and yet, when in full operation realize a profit of $25,000 per diem. Should peace be established you will own a property that will produce you annually in specie funds not less than 33 per cent.
For further information, I refer you to the bearer of this, or to the undersigned at Washington, Texas.
Capt. P. A. C. S.
Austin, Dec. 16th, 1863.
Remark:--Maj. Lockett has the best endorsements possible in this Department. He has over half the stock proposed taken. He now offers to the people of Houston an opportunity to enter into this matter. We urge their attention to it. He is stopping at the Rusk House.—Ed. Tel.
[HOUSTON] TRI-WEEKLY TELEGRAPH, January 23, 1864, p. 1, c. 3
The Poppy and Opium.
Under any other circumstances than those now existing in our Confederacy,
the cultivation of the Poppy for Opium would be nearly as objectionable, on
account of the negroes, as would be a rum distillery, just over the fence and in
irresponsible hands. Let this be
borne in mind.
The variety cultivated for opium is one having a branching habit of growth, having large white blossoms, and a capsule or head as large as a good sized lemon, though all the Poppy tribe will yield the gum, proportioned to the size and thickness of the capsules.
The cultivation of the large variety, as a field crop, is very similar to cotton; rows, say, three feet; plants fourteen inches apart. Prepare the ground well. Sow early, during lat of January and first half of February. It is a plant that loves a rich soil, and pays well for suitable manure on poor land. After the plant is a foot high, do not cultivate deeply, but merely to keep down the weeds.
The opium is the sap of the plant, procured by scarifying the sides of the capsule, when it is full grown and the petals, or flower leaves, are still plump and fresh—some say, not until the petals have fallen off. This scarifying is affected by making, at sunset, two longitudinal incisions, from below upwards, without penetrating the cavity, with an instrument which has two points, as fine and sharp as a lancet; the incisions are repeated every evening; until each capsule has received six or eight wounds, and they are then allowed to ripen their seeds. The juice which exudes is collected in the evening, and being inspissated (become thick by drying) to a proper consistence, by working it in an earthen pot in the sun's heat, is formed into cakes, for sale."
It is best to make the incisions circular and upward; by which more juice will flow out and less of it drop on the ground.
I would be glad to have a little seed of a large variety.
Glenblythe, Jan. 12th 1864.
[HOUSTON] TRI-WEEKLY TELEGRAPH, January 23, 1864, p. 2, c. 1
A Sensible Scheme.
About the time of the beginning of the war, some of the merchants of
Houston interested themselves in getting up a Manufacturing Company, and we
believe the capital for the company was readily obtained.
It fell through by reason of timidity, and nothing else.
Had the enterprise been carried out as it was in the power of the
projectors any time in 1860, every dollar of the stock would to-day be worth
five dollars in gold, while the profits of the establishment, costing as was
then estimated, about $40,000, would now be reckoned in millions.
No man can for a moment question this.
Since then it has been thought to be injudicious to undertake things of
this kind for the reason that the blockade would make them exceedingly
expensive, and that the expected short duration of the war would soon put a
period to the profits. Had the
machinery however been run in in 1861 or 1862 or 1863, the enormous profits
would have been beyond computation. We
have yet to suffer for the want of enterprise, and enterprising men still rest
in idleness, and prepare for the same regrets in 1865 and 1866.
Is not this childish? Is it not time for us to begin to take the practical views of things?
Maj. Lockett, who is now in town, an old and experienced manufacturer endorsed as such, as well as a man of entire probity and of business habits by the highest authority in the Trans-Mississippi Department; has a charter for a cotton and a woolen factory, to be built on a capital of $1,000,000 Confederate money. Of this, he has $500,000 already taken. His plan appears to be simple and certain. His showing of the cost of machinery, the cost and mode of getting it here, the cost of building and the cost of working is lucid. By it no one can fail to see, that as a business operation, there are few opportunities in a lifetime equal to it.
Many business men affect to regard Confederate money as worthless. they have cart-loads of it packed away, and pretend that they know not what to do with it. We commend to them the experiment of putting some of it into this enterprise. They will at least do the country the service of helping to supply the army with clothing, even if they do not gain a good return for their investment, in profit.
We hope Major Luckett will meet with the encouragement due to an enterprise so useful and promising, and that timidity in business matters so unusual in our people, will not stand in the way of his success.
[HOUSTON] TRI-WEEKLY TELEGRAPH, January 26, 1864, p. 1, c.
Editor Telegraph:--I noticed in your paper a short time since a request for information relative to the culture and growth of the White Poppy. I herewith send you Mr. Kerr's method of procuring opium in the East Indies. He says: (See Kerr's method of cultivating the White Poppy—Papaver Somneprum.)
The field being well plowed and harrowed, it is reduced to an exact level superficus [sic?]. It is then divided into quadrangular areas of seven feet long and five feet in breadth, leaving two feet of intervals, which is raised five or six inches, and excavated into an aqueduct for conveying water to every area, for which purpose they have a well in every cultivated field. The seeds are sown in October or November, the plants are allowed to grow seven or eight inches apart, and are plentifully supplied with water. When the young plants are six or eight inches high they are watered more sparingly. The cultivator spreads over all the areas compost of ashes, human excrement, cow manure, and a large portion of nitrous earth scraped from the highways and old mud walls. When the plants are nigh flowering, they are watered profusely to increase the juice. When the capsules are half grown, no more water is given, and they begin to collect the opium. At sunset they make two longitudinal, double incisions upon each half ripe capsule, passing from below upwards, and taking care not to penetrate the internal cavity of the capsule. The incisions are repeated every evening until each capsule has received six or eight wounds, then the seeds are allowed to ripen.
The ripe capsules afford no juice. If the wound be made in the heat of the day, a cicatrix will be too soon formed. The night dews, by their moisture, favor the exstillation of the juice. Early in the morning the juice is collected by scraping off the wounds with a small iron scoop. It is then deposited in an earthen pot, where it is worked by the hands in the sunshine until it becomes of a considerable spissitude. It is then formed into cakes of a globular shape and four or five pounds weight, and laid in little earthen basins to be further exsiccated. These cakes are covered with poppy or tobacco leaves, and dried until fit for sale.
In the fall of '59, in southern Arkansas, I gathered from one-third of an acre, sown in poppies, three pounds of good opium. My mode of culture was very similar to the above; I, however, found it unnecessary to water the plants more than three or four times, from the fact that I had good seasons. I used only cow manure, and found a sandy soil the most suitable. In this portion of Texas, I believe Mr. Kerr's method of watering, as well ad the manner of planting, is the proper one. In conclusion, if you will influence the medical Purveyor to send me a supply of seeds, I will engage to furnish him some good opium next fall.
N.B. The proper time of planting is from 1st to middle of February.
Bellville, Austin County, Jan. 16th, 1864.
[HOUSTON] TRI-WEEKLY TELEGRAPH, January 26, 1864, p. 2, c.
We are informed that Capt. E. C. Wharton has been relieved from charge of the Clothing Bureau, etc., at his own request, and Capt. E. W. Taylor has been assigned to duty in his place. The change was necessitated by the fact that Capt. Wharton was not able to make up his returns while attending to the business of the office. We wish Capt. Taylor joy of his appointment, though we question if he or anybody else can derive much joy from so laborious and responsible a bureau.
[HOUSTON] TRI-WEEKLY TELEGRAPH, January 26, 1864, p. 2, c.
Editor Telegraph—Allow me through your columns to acknowledge the donation of eight hundred dollars from the citizens of Houston, for the purpose of buying Bibles for the soldiers at the post of Galveston. The Bibles have been bought and distributed to the soldiers, but we need as many more. I also take pleasure in announcing to the well wishers of our Savior's cause, that we are passing through a most gracious revival amongst the soldiers. There have been eighty conversions, with sixty-five accessions to the Camp Church, which is composed of each Evangelical denomination of Christians.—The good work is still on the increase. The Camp Church is nightly crowded, and many are seeking the Great "I Am." We solicit the prayers of God's people for the descent of His spirit upon the entire soldiery upon Galveston Island.
L. H. Baldwin,
Post Chaplain, Galveston.
[HOUSTON] TRI-WEEKLY TELEGRAPH, January 27, 1864, p. 2, c.
Capt. Wiggins, A. Q. M., has shown us a very convenient mode of turning a blanket into a hooded-talma and over-coat, which any soldier can readily put in practice, if they can understand our directions. It is much more easily made, however, than described. At the middle of one side edge of the blanket, strike a curve—a semi-elipsis, that shall be two feet across on the edge, and 18 inches deep. On this sew a strip of clothe [sic] at the edges, leaving space for a stout cord, or a tape (a peice [sic] of listing will do,) to pass through. This when drawn up makes the hood. Now, at each of the two corners on the same edge as the puckering string, put button holes, having a diagonal direction. Two-thirds of the way across the end edges of the blanket from these button holes, and in the opposite side of the blanket from the puckering string, sew two buttons, and your talma is complete. Now put it on, and make, at will, a close coat, or an open talma—or use it as a blanket. The invention is worth a premium.
[HOUSTON] TRI-WEEKLY TELEGRAPH, January 27, 1864, p. 2, c.
Wanted to Hire—Thirty Good Coopers for whom I will pay a liberal hire, to be employed in making flour barrels for the C. S. A. Persons hiring them to me will be entitled in the Labor Bureau to a credit of two common hands for each cooper thus hired. Address me through McKeen & Co., Houston; Trabue & Deadrick, Millican; or myself at Wheelock.
J. B. Durant.
Wheelock, Jan. 23, 1864.
[HOUSTON] TRI-WEEKLY TELEGRAPH, January 28, 1864, p. 2, c.
The Southern Dramatic Association will play the thrilling drama called the Guerilla Chief again this evening, at Perkins' Hall. The play is founded on facts that have taken place during this war in Virginia, and are of the most truthful and thrilling character. The Hall has been crowded nightly by delighted audiences, and all who have attended pronounce it the best play ever produced on the stage in this city. Mr. John English, the unrivaled actor, and Mrs. Sala sustain the leading characters. If our reader wish to witness an interesting play, they should not fail to attend.
[HOUSTON] TRI-WEEKLY TELEGRAPH, January 29, 1864, p. 2, c.
We learn that small pox is prevailing in Brenham, Chappell Hill, Fairfield and other towns in the interior. New cases continue to occur in this city, but it attracts little or no attention. We hear of few deaths.
[HOUSTON] TRI-WEEKLY TELEGRAPH, January 29, 1864, p. 2, c.
We met two boys, Thomas and Robert Bostick, yesterday, who have had adventures enough in the last six weeks to deserve a paragraph. They are twins, fourteen years old, belong in Washington county, Ala., their father being in the Confederate service at Dalton, Ga. About six weeks ago they started from home to come to Texas, to visit a sister, who lives near Danville, Montgomery county. They came by railroad to Brandon, from whence they undertook to travel on foot to Texas. They made their way to Grand Gulf, where meeting a Yankee gunboat they went on board, and asked to be sent to the coast of Texas. The captain put them on a river steamer and sent them to New Orleans.
After remaining there two days they saw a transport taking on troops to leave for Texas, and they fell in with the soldiers and came aboard. They were not noticed till the steamer got off, when they told the Yankees where they were going, answered all their questions, etc. The Yankees gave them food, and after a ten days delay, landed them at Deckrow's Point. There they remained until last Friday, one of them escaped through the lines. The following Sunday the other was paroled and sent after his brother. They went on to Montgomery county yesterday.
[HOUSTON] TRI-WEEKLY TELEGRAPH, January 29, 1864, p. 2, c.
Capt. J. T. Cleveland,
C. S. gunboat "J. H. Bell,"
At anchor off Sabine Pass, Texas:
Sir:--We, the undersigned, present this flag to the officers and crew of the "J. H. Bell," as a testimonial of our love for the Confederacy, and gratitude to, and admiration for, the brave hearts and strong arms engaged in our defence.
Never permit the light of Hope to grow dim, while a single star remains upon this banner of Liberty; but may it gather new luster from the deeds and daring of its gallant defenders.
Mrs. Samuel Watson,
Mrs. K. D. Keith,
Mrs. R. J. Parsons.
Sabine Pass, Texas,. Jan. 25th, 1864.
Ladies:--In the name and behalf of the officers and crew of the C. S.
gunboat "J. H. Bell," be pleased to accept our thanks for the
beautiful C. s. flag, herewith received at your hands.
In the hope that your anticipations and aspirations may be fully realized, I am, ladies, respectfully, your obedient servant,
J. T. Cleveland,
Com. St. gunboat "J. H. Bell."
To Mrs. Samuel Watson, Mrs. K. D. Keith,
Mrs. R. J. Parsons, Sabine Pass, Texas.
[HOUSTON] TRI-WEEKLY TELEGRAPH, February 1, 1864, p. 2, c.
We are requested by Col. Hendricks of the Penitentiary to say that the institution has received the supplies of bacon, lard and wool for which he advertised, though he will not reject black wool at any time unless brought in unreasonably large quantities.
[HOUSTON] TRI-WEEKLY TELEGRAPH, February 2, 1864, p. 2, c.
We were pleased to meet our old friend, Major I. C. Stafford, in town yesterday, and to see him in good health. he is now Post Quartermaster at Columbia, one of our main depots of supplies for the army. The Major thoroughly understands his business, and is winning golden opinions from his superiors for his strict attention to his arduous duties.
[HOUSTON] TRI-WEEKLY TELEGRAPH, February 4, 1864, p. 1, c. 3
Yankee Tyranny in
ment of Ladies.
Mr. Editor—I herewith send you a copy of Major General McPherson's
order banishing certain ladies of Vicksburg beyond the Federal lines, together
with a circumstantial account of their offense, which I hope it may please you
to publish in the Mississippian:
[The circular we have already published.—Ed. Tel.]
It is known that the citizens of Vicksburg, with but few exceptions, have not attended church since the occupation of the city by the Federals. But having been informed by a Federal officer, that the services in the Episcopal church, on Christmas day, would be conducted by the Rev. Mr. Fox, an old and esteemed minister of that church, a citizen of Warren county for many years, and well known in Vicksburg, and having been assured, both by the officer and the minister, that the prayer for the President of the United States should be omitted, and that the services in all respects should be congenial, after the most urgent solicitations on the part of each of these persons, many of them consented to attend.
Their own chosen ministers, knowing that a fanatical and unprincipled enemy would place the most grievous and offensive restrictions upon their ministry, if they remained, had gone within the Confederate lines, with the consent and by the advice of their respective congregations, very soon after the fall of the city. To a people, therefore, who had been so long debarred the pleasure of congenial religious services, this promised privilege afforded a peculiar satisfaction, was composed of citizens and Federals, both officers and soldiers. The services commenced as usual until the prayer, which it was pledged should be omitted, was audibly read, and followed by a prayer for the Federal Congress,--whereupon some of the members of the congregation arose from their knees, and quietly took their seats,--others gave vent to their feelings in a flood of tears,--while a young lady of impulsive disposition, feeling indignant at the bad faith of those who had invited her to attend, arose and left the church, and was immediately followed by four other ladies, who were actuated by the same feelings.
Under the circumstances, they regarded it their right and their duty to withdraw from a place which thus had been rendered unpleasant to them, and from a people with whom they had no sympathy. Judge of their surprise, therefore, when on the next day they learned, from undoubted sources, that a number of Federal officers had signed a petition for their banishment.
This first petition, it is believed, did not reach the commanding General, but a feeling of shame had found its way to the heart of some one at or about headquarters, and it was destroyed. It was soon succeeded, however, by another, urgently requesting that the offenders be sent beyond the lines; and this, we understand, was signed by two-thirds of the officers in the city. The General commanding held a consultation on the grave question with his advisers, and the magnanimous officials, many in number, were unanimous with but few exceptions for the banishment of the offenders.
The Provost Marshal made an official visit to demand the names of the ladies, when he was informed that no apology would be made by the parties offending, and the Federal authorities could take such action in the matter as they pleased. Accordingly a copy of the above order was sent to each of the ladies in the afternoon the same day, and also placarded throughout the city. The General was applied to on behalf of some of the parties, for longer time to make arrangements for their transportation beyond the lines, and for the adjustment of their financial matters. No reply was made to this, but the second order was then sent, shortening the time five hours.
The mothers of some of the young ladies requested permission to accompany them, and place them under proper protection, which was granted, when, according to the order, they reported at the Railroad depot during a violent rain storm at the appointed hour. They were conveyed to the terminus of the railroad, where hundreds of Yankee soldiers stood to witness their departure. Thence they were conveyed to the Confederate lines by an officer and an armed guard, where the Confederate scouts received them and conducted them at once to the hospitable mansion of a Southern gentleman. Here they were furnished, by the kindness of Gen. Starke, with ambulances, baggage wagons, etc., and by the courteous attention of Lieut. Moore, they were conducted to warm hearts and hospitable homes, where they are free from insult, in "the land of the free and the home of the brave."
One of the Banished.
[HOUSTON] TRI-WEEKLY TELEGRAPH, February 5, 1864, p. 2, c.
We made some mention, the other day, of Col. Lockett's enterprise of building a cotton and woolen factory. We publish a letter of his to-day; also some advertisements. We urge the people to come forward at once and secure some share in this enterprise—not for the sake of the enterprise, for it will be carried out whether they help or not—but for their own sake, as we believe it will be the most profitable to stockholders, as well as advantageous to the public, of any corporation in the State.
[HOUSTON] TRI-WEEKLY TELEGRAPH, February 5, 1864, p. 2, c.
Wanted by the Brazos Manufacturing Company, to hire for one year or by the month, 6 good Stone Masons; 6 good Brick Layers; 6 Carpenters; 2 Blacksmith's; 150 common Laborers men and boys; 3 Women for cooks; 50 Wagons, teams and teamsters. Also, to buy—300 head beef cattle, 3,000 bushels of corn, 100,000 lbs. of wool, 1,000 bags cotton, 50 barrels lard or grease.
The above hands will be exempt from military service, and be employed in the central portion of the State. For further information address the undersigned at Washington, Texas.
Thos. F. Lockett.
News copy, and send bill to this office.
[HOUSTON] TRI-WEEKLY TELEGRAPH, February 5, 1864, p. 2, c.
Surgeon General's Office,}
Richmond, Va., March, 1863.}
Medical Purveyors will make endeavors through cards published in newspapers, to induce the ladies throughout the South to interest themselves in the culture of the Garden Poppy. They may thus render the Confederacy essential service.
Purveyors will furnish the ladies with the seeds of the Poppy, if on hand or procurable, and will instruct them, that the juice exuding from the punctured capsules, when sufficiently hardened, be carefully put up and forwarded to the nearest Purveying depot.
(Signed) S. P. Moore,
Surgeon General C. S. Army.
To Surgeon Howard Smith,
[HOUSTON] TRI-WEEKLY TELEGRAPH, February 5, 1864, p. 2, c. 4
The Cotton and Wool Factory.
Houston, Feb. 4th, 1864.
Editor Telegraph:--I have received numerous letters from various parties, enquiring more particularly about the enterprise in which I am engaged, will you permit me sir to answer them all through your paper for the information of the public, as well as those making the enquiries.
On the 23d of Oct. last, I was ordered by Col. R. R. Lawther, to report to Major Gen. Price with a recommendation that I be assigned to duty in some manufactory established in the State of Texas. I was sent by Gen. Price to Lieut. Gen. E. K. Smith with Col. Lawther's recommendation endorsed. I reported to Gen. Smith and was ordered by him to inspect certain factories in Northern Texas, which I did, and reported by the 26th of November. I then drew up a plan and presented it to the clothing bureau for establishing a factory which would supply the wants of the army and people of this Department. This plane was approved by the Clothing Bureau and by General Smith, and I am now engaged in putting it in operation, having obtained from the State of Texas a charter for this purpose. I have nearly the minimum ($1,000,000) amount of stock taken. The shares are $1000 each, to be paid in Confederate money or cotton at its market value.
The plan is not a speculation. It originated in the army, and was devised by those who have been in active service from the very first, and who expect to be to the very last, let it be long or short. It has the entire support and hearty approval both of the military and civil authorities of both the Confederate and State governments. Its first and great object is to supply the soldiers with clothes and blankets. Second, the benefit of the people at large, and pay those who invest a good per cent. on their investment both now and after the war.
He who gives his time and money will be doing his country as good services as he that carries the musket, but we do not intend to take men from the field, but as far as possible employ negro labor and ole men. A few energetic, active business men are absolutely necessary. No more will be taken. It is a private company, acting under a special charter. The State gives 320 acres of land for every $1000 expended in buildings and machinery, provided it is in operation by March, 1865. I expect it to be in full operation by September next.
The company is partially organized; a portion of the stock has already been paid in. The directors of the company will be elected on Tuesday the 17th inst., at Navasota. Those wishing to take stock can do so by applying to me, or Henry Sampson, Esq., at Houston, and paying 10 per cent. down, or giving their legal obligation to deliver required amount of cotton, on demand of the Directors, or by attending the meeting of stockholders and paying the 10 per cent. required.
Thos. F. Lockett. [sic]
[HOUSTON] TRI-WEEKLY TELEGRAPH, November 4, 1864, p. 2, c. 4
Auction Sale! . .
November 16, 1864
By M. Reichman & Co.,
The Largest Assorted Stock
Imported Since the War.
This Sale is worthy of the attention of
Quartermasters and Merchants
Over $200,000 worth of Goods,
All of Which will be sold for Specie, Cotton or Currency.
20,000 yds. Brown Shirtings,
25,000 yds Imperials,
32,000 yds. American ¾ 7/8 ¼ Bleached Shirtings,
37,000 yds. American Prints,
5,000 prs. of Brogans,
1,090 prs. Ladies Shoes. . .
10,000 yds. Demins [sic]
2,000 yds. Sattiet [sic]
3,000 yds. Cottonades and Hickory Stripes. . .
100 sacks of Coffee,
5 bbls. Crushed Shugar, . . .
50 dozen Linnin [sic] Shirts,
200 dozen Flannel Shirts
2,000 Men's and Boys' Shoes and Boots, . . .
20 bales of Flannel, assorted colors,
Alpaca. . .
Clothing. . .
200 dozen Men's and Ladies' Hosiery. . .
M. Reichman & Co.
[HOUSTON] TRI-WEEKLY TELEGRAPH, November 7, 1864, p. 2, c.
The following letter from Capt. James Martin to his brother appeals to the people of Houston for clothing, and we trust no time will be lost in making up a good shipment for this command. Many of the men went from this city, and, being men of small means, are unable to clothe themselves. They must not be permitted to suffer:
"Prairie du Hand, Ark., Oct. 18, 1864.
"I have to write you a begging letter at last. My company is completely destitute of clothing, and there is none in this Department. It is very cold. You must try and raise us enough to keep the boys from freezing. And don't be too slow about it either. Send the clothing to Jas. Martin, Capt. C. Madison's Regiment, Lane's Brigade, Major's Division, Wharton's Corps, Ark., via Shreveport. * * * Yours,
"P.S. Our regiment will probably be consolidated with Baylor's.
[HOUSTON] TRI-WEEKLY TELEGRAPH, November 7, 1864, p. 2, c.
Notice.—The stockholders of the Brazos Manufacturing Company, are hereby notified that a call of twenty per cent. is made in the stock of the company, payable in New Issue. Payment can be made to John Y. Matthews, secretary, at the office of the company in Robertson county, or to Mr. Henry Sampson, Houston.
T. F. Lockett,
President B. M. Co.
[HOUSTON] TRI-WEEKLY TELEGRAPH, November 7, 1864, p. 3, c.
The following neat hit ought to be posted in every car in the country:
A lady entered one of the State street cars yesterday and found every seat taken. A gentleman rose and invited the lady to accept the seat he had vacated. She did so, politely thanking him for his kindness. The lady wore a dark delaine dress, plain shawl and an ordinary tan colored straw bonnet. She had a fair complexion, smiling countenance, keen black eyes, and an expression that indicated a good degree of intelligence. Her appearance was neat and tidy, her face was free from dirt and paint, her hair was smoothly combed, without curls, frizzies or beau-catchers. There was nothing in the appearance or deportment of this individual that would attract special attention or lead any one to suspect that she was not in sound mind, save the fact that she bowed politely and thanked the gentleman who gave her his seat. This eccentricity is sufficient to show that the lady is not of sound mind, and she ought not to be at large.
[HOUSTON] TRI-WEEKLY TELEGRAPH, November 7, 1864, p. 4, c.
Wanted—A skilful Vintner to take charge of my vine yard at Cold Springs, Polk Co.
C. G. Vitze.
[HOUSTON] TRI-WEEKLY TELEGRAPH, November 7, 1864, p. 4, c.
Specie!—An experienced Potter can get good wages in specie, by applying to the undersigned at the Brazos Manufactory, 7 miles west from Wheelock.
Wheelock, Oct. 6th, 1864.
Jno. Y. Matthews.
[HOUSTON] TRI-WEEKLY TELEGRAPH, November 9, 1864, p. 4, c.
The ladies of Courtney have received the contribution of buttons for the soldiers' Clothing, from the Houston Merchants. Small favors are thankfully received.
[HOUSTON] TRI-WEEKLY TELEGRAPH, November 14, 1864, p. 3, c. 2
Letter from Gonzales.
Special to the Telegraph.
Editor Telegraph:--I am again in the saddle traveling over the prairies of Texas. Leaving Houston on the cars of the Buffalo Bayou, Brazos and Colorado railroad, I soon found myself right side up with care at Alleyton. This town derives its importance and prosperity from being the present terminus of the railroad; when the march of progress extends that important road further westward, Alleyton will be a town of inferior importance. Columbus, on the west bank of the Colorado, is destined to be a place of considerable importance at some future day; the most of the buildings in the town are constructed of wood, and the majority of the male population are in the army, and the place is rapidly going to ruin. After leaving Columbus we pass through a beautiful farming country, the lands are rolling prairies, and present a pretty landscape. We soon come to Fayetteville, a pretty little rural village, surrounded by well cultivated farms and presenting the appearance of prosperity on every hand. The citizens are very intelligent, and schools are numerous and well patronized. After leaving this town we passed over a beautiful rolling prairie until we come to RutersvilLe. This place has gained considerable renown abroad from being the seat of the best military academy in the State. The town consists of four or five unpainted buildings. The academy buildings are situated about a quarter of a mile south of the town. These buildings are now unoccupied save by long-tailed rats and bats. The buildings are in a very good state of preservation, but the windows are all destroyed. Well cultivated farms are seen on every hand, and the citizens of this region are very prosperous and intelligent. The land throughout Fayette county is mostly of a rolling prairie. These lands cannot be excelled for farming purposes. I have no doubt but what wheat and other small grains can be raised with profit.
Passing over a rich farming region, we come to La Grange, the county seat of Fayette county. This little city shows signs of her former prosperity. It is the heart of a rich farming country, and numerous population. Quite a number of stores are doing a good business. The town is built in a beautiful location, being in the valley of the Colorado, on its eastern bank about one half mile from the river. The city has few buildings to boast of for a city as wealthy and prosperous. The place supports two newspapers, the True Issue and Patriot. Both seem to be well patronized. I did not have time to visit the government hat factory and shoe shop established there. These establishments render the city quite brisk and lively. I have formerly heard considerable slanders on the people of Fayette county, questioning the loyalty of many of its citizens, and I am now satisfied that the majority of the men who started these slanders did so through malice and spite. There has been too much of these kind of persecutions by some men. Some of the planters have protested against the wholesale impressment of the mules, wagons, and negroes by some indiscreet government agents, and they retaliate on the planter by slanders. This is the key to nine tenths of the defamations circulated against the people of Fayette county. The county has sent as many men to the army as any other county in the State considering the number of the population, and her soldiers have always won laurels upon every field they have fought.
The country after leaving La Grange, and as we near Gonzales, is not as rich a farming country as we saw on the east side of the Colorado, although in some localities the land is rich and well adapted to farming. The land is mostly covered with post oak timber, and of a sandy quality. The country is not very thickly settled, but the people are clever and intelligent. Gonzales bears unmistakable signs of her former prosperity. The city is built in a beautiful location, and surrounded by thrifty farms. The town has a number of good looking buildings, the most prominent of which are the Court House and Keyser House. There is a couple of well conducted schools in successful operations. They are well patronized. The place supports a good newspaper, the "Inquirer." The people are very clever and intelligent. There is no cod-fish aristocracy to be found any where in Western Texas. This is not to be found in some localities of Eastern Texas.
The Confederate States Court adjourned last week. The treason cases of Messrs. Porter, Inman, Parsons and Lane of Goliad, were not tried. They have been postponed until the next term. The Court did a large amount of business. Only one man was convicted for Government swindling, and sentenced to one year imprisonment in the Penitentiary, and a fine of one thousand dollars. He has applied for a new trial, and it is the general belief that he will get it. The Grand Jury did their best to ferret out the villains that have so long been plundering the public and Government, but they could obtain but little of the proof necessary to convict. I like to travel among the people of Western Texas. A traveler is made to feel at home, and the public houses can not be beat. I shall proceed to Austin and take a look at the assembled wisdom of the State now in the capital. I shall do my best to obtain a nice pair of cotton cards, and some No. 1 caps, and, if possible, I shall also get a revolver. I do not know what sort of tricks our legislators will vote themselves this time, but I think I can strike up a trade with some one who is hard up for a little specie.
The stage line of Sawyer, Fisher & Hall, between Gonzales and Brownsville, connecting with the line from Columbus, is now in successful operation. Passengers go through here in 43 hours. This enterprising firm know how to manage the ropes about staging. Travelers to Brownsville will find it to their interest to go by this route in preference to any other.
I will write you again from Austin.
Yours for the war,
[HOUSTON] TRI-WEEKLY TELEGRAPH, November 14, 1864, p. 4, c.
We were called upon Saturday to witness the operation of a very ingenious machine, for braiding or plaiting candle wick, invented and made by Ralph Hooker and Baker Jamison, of this city. It braids three strands with great rapidity and evenness, and is a curiosity worth looking at. The ingenuity of these mechanics is well known to our citizens. This machine will prove one of the most useful of their inventions, furnishing a self-consuming candle wick, hitherto a great desideratum in domestic candle-making. We believe Frank Fabj, of the Houston Soap and Candle Factory, has secured this machine.
[HOUSTON] TRI-WEEKLY TELEGRAPH, November 14, 1864, p. 4, c. 5
To the Absentees of "Terry's Texas Rangers,"
I have returned to Texas for the purpose of collecting and returning to
the command all men now absent without leave.
Those who will report to me at Houston, or to Capt. Terry's Regiment at
Austin, Texas, before, or punctually on the 1st of January next, will
have full pardon granted them, those failing to do so will be published as
deserters, and dealt with accordingly. Rangers,
your services are needed with your comrades in Georgia, I appeal to your pride,
report promptly and save your [illegible] from the stigma of a deserter.
S. P. Christian,
Major Terry's Texas Rangers.
[HOUSTON] TRI-WEEKLY TELEGRAPH, November 16, 1864, p. 1, c. 2
Soldiers' Wayside Homes.
Greenwood, Nov. 5, 1864.
Editor Telegraph:--After a long and dangerous illness (bilious fever) and after bringing upon myself three relapses by resuming my work too soon, I am once more able to write you and recommence with caution the good work of establishing "soldiers' homes." Minden, Homer and Pleasant Hill, in Louisiana, have been established and are in full operation.
I am happy to learn that the good people in Goliad, Hillsboro, (Hill county) Butler and Fairfield have moved of their own accord and established homes for our wayfaring troops. All honor to such patriotic devotion! Perhaps other places have done the same.
The principal object of this communication is to give you and the public information of General Smith's plans to aid this enterprise.
In answer to my application he has ordered the following letter:
Rev. Thomas Castleton:
Sir—The General Commanding directs me to say in response to your application to purchase subsistence stores, that after the "homes" shall have been established and their location approved by him, he will direct the Commissary Department to sell to the superintendent of the several homes a quantity equal to that which appear upon the Superintendent's affidavit to have been used by soldiers during the previous month." (A true copy.)
Thus it will appear—1. That General Smith takes the responsibility of aiding us in the only serious embarrassment we have to suffer; that is, the difficulty of obtaining the food needed in some places. Government depots are everywhere, and can supply where the community cannot. This is very opportune. In some places we need no help; in others we are unable without it to supply our home.
2. That while generous and liberal, the General Commanding is cautious, and limits his pledged supply to approved locations. By this he means to guard against too numerous establishments. Homes must not be located too near each other.
On this point I will say for general information and as a suggestion to General Smith, that the number of miles apart cannot in all cases decide the propriety of a location. It often happens that "cross lines of travel" intersect direct lines, and what is actually upon the direct line too near other homes, is absolutely needed on the cross lines, and at a proper distance from the other homes upon that cross line.
Thus, when running a direct line at proper distances, I am obliged to make that a convenience to establish one to meet a cross line at its point of intersection with the direct line. Gen. Smith's good sense will doubtless decide that each community will be able to judge correctly as to the location of homes.
Of course the homes which draw rations for each soldier as he passes, will not apply for subsistence by "purchase." Many homes will not apply at all. Others must.
The second object in writing is to urge affectionately and earnestly the citizens of all important points upon the main lines of travel from Louisiana and Arkansas through Texas, to go at once to the work and establish homes every where. It is time, high time to act. Much precious time is almost lost. Hundreds of soldiers have already passed to their abodes and back to their command, bitter with the memories of repulses and refusals at the hands of many; and will tell their wrongs and impart their bitterness to the army; while others wounded and way-worn, have gone home to die, with the bitter thought corroding their brave bosoms that after three and a half years of battle and camp services they were refused food and lodging by those for whom they have fought and suffered. How long shall this continue? Till I can visit every town and run every line in the State? Years will be too short a time for that. Up, then, my noble fellow citizens, and do the work. Follow the example recently set by Goliad, Cotton Gin, Fairfield, Butler, Pleasant Hill, &c. You can—you only need to determine upon success. Let no obstacle hinder you, make it succeed, and a hearty will is success made sure.
Gen. Smith has also promised to sell cooking utensils from the Q. M. Department wherever needed for a home. Do the best you can, and better afterwards; but do it, and do it at once.
P.S.—The following suggestions are respectfully made to all our homes:
1. Look well to it, that the person to whom the soldier is sent to obtain a ticket to the home for admission, be so chosen as to be easily accessible.
In my travels I have met a number of soldiers who said of certain homes, "it took me so long to find the ticket for admission that I was obliged to leave a good meal untasted," "the whistle blew," or "the stage started and I was sent off hungry." This ought not to be. It must not be.
2. Let constant arrangements be made to furnish "cooked rations" for one, two, or three days, as the case may demand, so that "the haversack" may supply the lack of homes until they can be established everywhere. These cooked rations should be entered upon "the register" as if eaten in the "home."
Galveston News, Caddo Gazette and Washington Telegraph, &c., please copy.
[HOUSTON] TRI-WEEKLY TELEGRAPH, November 16, 1864, p. 1, c.
For the benefit of our lady readers, we clip the following relating to the "Fall Fashions" from the New York Herald:
Fancy feathers are now greatly in vogue for neglige hats—those of the cassowary, the flamingo, the hawk, the pheasant, the peacock, and even the parrot.
The very small veils, which cover the face so coquetishly, are worked with jet beads and fringed with chenille. These small veils differ in form. One is called the "mask veil," and is made of lace and edged with chenille, tipped with beads; this form covers the face as a mask. Another kind is called the "Josephine Veil," and is larger than the mask; it is round, and has black lace ends, and is likewise fringed with jet. Then there are the white lace veils, edged with fringe of the same color as the bonnet, and tipped with white bugles; these are particularly becoming. Veils are worn all round the brims of hats, being long in front, and decreasing at the sides, until at the back they are comparatively short.
Curls find a place in almost every head dress, but only at the back and sides; never the front. Plaits worn as coronets are again resumed, and considered very distinguished.
The hair is arranged in a very complicated style for evening parties, etc.—gold combs and flowers at the back are the usual ornaments. Combs are made much more elaborately than formerly, and are enriched with a gold fringe; but during the day time the style of arranging the hair has latterly become much more simple. Many young ladies are wearing the antique bandelets or fillets, bound around their heads; these narrow bands are made of velvet, embroidered with blue or white beads; they are tied at the back, and terminate with flowing ends; it is a very good style, particularly for those who have regular features.
Little boys wear the toque, or Russian cap, with the brim turned up, and trimmed with a wide velvet ribbon to match with the dress. The cap is ornamented with a white or red pigeon's wing, or with an aigrette of peacock, eagle, or pheasant's feathers. Little girls also wear the toque, but with a long curled white feather and a very tiny aigrette in front.
A novelty in kid gloves is to wear them with five or six small buttons, and coming therefore very high up the wrist. The high wrist of the undersleeve then comes over the glove.
The prettiest effect of color can be legitimately and picturesquely obtained now by aid of the new curtainless bonnets. Seize the chance while it lasts, if you do not object to being deemed rather in advance of the fashion and a little peculiar; it is not likely to last very long—it is too fantastic. Everybody knows how everybody wears her hair at this present period. The roman coin arrangement "has obtained," as the phrase is; and so we all draw it back tightly over the ears, bind it with a velvet fillet, and tie it up in a more or less luxuriant club behind. No more effective arrangement for displaying the shape of the head, if the head has any shape at all, was ever designed. That it is felt to be graceful and good in itself, is proved by this fact, that those autocrats, the milliners, have adapted bonnets to suit the hair, instead of as usual, forcing the hair to adapt itself to the bonnet.
The great gain in the altered bonnet shapes is this, that it admits of flowers being placed immediately upon the hair, and every artist knows that this is a great gain. To be sure we have always had flowers in front of the bonnets, but though they were under the brim, they were either separated from the hair by tulle or pressed down so low on the forehead that the effect was missed altogether; besides, the hair is usually dressed in such a way upon the temples that it is utterly impossible for it to form the soft elastic background for flowers that is now afforded by the luxuriant club at the back. There will no longer be any difficulty in painting a woman in her bonnet, provided she will stand in such a way that the artist can do justice to the hair substitute for the banished bavolent [sic].
A scarlet japonica, a crimson or a buff tea rose, on dark hair would be a delicious bit of color, a soft flexible bit of lace or tulle falling down to meet it, every leaf [illegible] by the dark brown or black background. Why, the sight would almost reconcile a woman to the possession of dark locks, even though she does live in these days of glorification of golden hair. It would be such a thing as G[illegible] painted—such a thing as Phillip has found heretofore nowhere save in Spain. What if the sense of beauty, suddenly awakened, should throw off entirely those rigid lines which have too long surrounded the female head out of doors, and joining hand in hand with fashion, should insist that the votaries of the latter do henceforth wear soft wireless combinations of cloudy lace and silvery tulle rendered distinctly by [illegible] flowers alone. Remembering the spoonshaped bonnet of [illegible] ago, it can be hoped such a result can be achieved.
"It is a very [illegible]" said Aunt Bethany.
"Yes, but it's a great [illegible] to be," replied her niece.
[HOUSTON] TRI-WEEKLY TELEGRAPH, November 16, 1864, p. 2, c.
We said something a few days since about the reprehensible course pursued by some of our citizens in asserting that there was no yellow fever in the city of Houston, and the fever that had been prevailing some weeks was not of a character to justify any one in pronouncing it yellow fever.
Having shown in the article we penned upon the subject, that this scourge had really visited us this summer, though in an unusually mild form, we have now to say that every day almost we hear of some new case developing itself, and as there have been several deaths from the disease within the past ten days, we advise those who are away, not to be in a hurry to return to the city. Only yesterday we were informed by an old citizen of Houston, that he had a very plainly marked case of yellow fever in his family, the disease having developed itself on Sunday.
We have had two light frosts. They have failed to eradicate the disease, though to a great extent it has been checked. There is no telling how long it may be before we have a freeze sufficient to make it safe for people to visit or return to Houston. There have been seasons just like the present when the fever for weeks was mild and readily yielding to treatment, but becoming very fatal before freezing weather. We cannot tell how it may be this year, though we have been inclined to think that the danger was almost past. Of one thing we are certain, that the safe plan is to wait a little longer until we have really cold weather, and there are no more cases of fever occurring among those who are already in the city.
[HOUSTON] TRI-WEEKLY TELEGRAPH, November 16, 1864, p. 2, c.
"Go thou and do likewise." We know of a few men who have felt it to be a duty to look after the poor themselves, and to the extent of their means, administer to the necessities of the indigent families of those who are away fighting the battles of their country. there is a great cry, and little wool in these public manifestations of providing for the soldier's families; and while our Legislature may do good, and committees appointed by public meetings may to some extent be of great benefit, yet if each citizen in the State would constitute himself a committee of one to do the utmost in his power to alleviate suffering, and take care of the indigent, how little real suffering there would be in the State of Texas. What a terrible fuss a great many Pharisees make in our midst, and, while they thank God they are not like other men, how little good they do. The Legislature may appropriate six hundred thousand yards of penitentiary cloth to clothe the destitute families of the State, and mutual aid societies may do their best, and towns may hold meetings and appoint committees to do thus and so, and yet the half has not been done that could and ought to be done.
[Illegible] stop talking about the [illegible bottom two lines] it is to provide clothing, &c., &c., and conclude to do something themselves, individually, we would soon have the widow's and orphans' eyes free from tears, and the naked soldiers clothed. Very few of us at home do our whole duty. Agent after agent comes from the different regiments, stating they are destitute of clothes, and as cold weather approaches they must suffer unless provided with comfortable clothing. The Government has done the best it can, and even if it has not, we have no business to satisfy our consciences by railing out against the State and Confederate authorities, and doing nothing ourselves. Suppose we grant what some of our citizens are determined on believing, that every man who is a Government Agent is a rascal and cannot be trusted, and that the whole country is filled with corruption and sin. Is that any reason why we should content ourselves with holding up our hands in holy horror, forgetting to put them in our pockets, as long as we have a dollar to divide and it is needed? There has been a good deal said about shirking military service, and with a great deal of truth, but there are a great number of another kind of shirkers in our midst, and they are the men who by every means in their power shirk the performance of the sacred duty we owe our soldiers to take care of them and their families. There is no use of mincing matters or using gentle terms for fear of hurting some ones feelings, the truth is that it is shameful how many who have scarcely felt this war, forget how they have been protected and to whom they owe their safety. Let every man make it his business to look out and find some one poorer than himself, who needs what assistance he can give. Let every one who can, make it his business to find some one poorer than himself, who needs what assistance he can give. Let every one who can, make it his business to do his duty and give liberally to the needy everywhere within his reach. Never mind what Legislatures and other bodies do, for we have seen that with all that has been done our army suffers, and the families of our soldiers are needy.
Never mind what has been subscribed, and what has been contributed, find out where help is wanting, and to the best of your ability afford all the assistance you can. God knows it is as little as we can do to make it a part of the business of each day to take care of those whom our soldiers have entrusted to our keeping. We know of counties, the citizens of which have urged, that there are but few, comparatively speaking, who are able to provide for and take care of the indigent within their county limits, and yet the few, as they term themselves, are selling their surplus produce in this market for specie. They are afraid, perhaps, of doing more than some of their neighbors in other counties will have to do. Men must not think that way now. Give, GIVE, GIVE as long as you have anything to give, and do not measure your gifts or liberality by the standard of any other man.
We repeat what we said in the beginning of these remarks, and are happy to say that we know some men who, regardless of what the States, Confederacy, Mayors or Aldermen, or any other party or parties may be doing, make it their business to look for, and find too, where they can do good, and alleviate suffering. all they want to know is, where they can be useful, and it matters not to them, who is in fault, that the poor and destitute are not taken care of, they believe it to be their duty to contribute to the comfort and support of all who are really needy, and they act accordingly. "Go thou and do likewise."
[HOUSTON] TRI-WEEKLY TELEGRAPH, November 18, 1864, p. 3, c.
We find the following in the local column of the Charlotte, N. C. Times:
A beautiful, dashing lady, in the uniform of a Captain, passed on the Northern train towards Richmond yesterday afternoon. She wore a black belt with a chain attached. She is said to be from Mississippi, and has participated in several hard-fought battles, and was promoted on the field for distinguished gallantry. She wore a straw cap, set jauntily on her head, adorned with a heavy black ostrich feather, and her jacket was adorned with two rows of miniature gilt buttons. He who seemed to be her traveling companion appeared about forty years of age, and wore the uniform of a Major. She had probably been home on a short furlough, and was on her way back to join her command. There is some mystery yet unraveled about this heroine and her strange career, and which will never see the light till the heart history of a love story is written.
[HOUSTON] TRI-WEEKLY TELEGRAPH, November 21, 1864, p. 2, c.
Austin, Nov. 14, 1864.
Editor Telegraph—My last letter was written from Gonzales. Since that time I have been in the saddle almost constantly. The land in the vicinity of Gonzales, after leaving the valley of the Guadalupe river, is a poor sandy soil, very sparsely settled, and good farms are few and far between. In the vicinity of Lockhart, which is the county seat of Caldwell county, the lands look somewhat better. The town of Lockhart has been in former years quite a busy place. It is built in a beautiful post oak grove, and has a number of churches and school houses. The court house is a very tasty built structure. The country after leaving Lockhart, and as far as we traveled towards Bastrop, is a very poor and almost deserted farming region. The lands are of the poorest quality, being a light sandy soil, that a Scotchman would starve upon were he to undertake to cultivate this land. As we near Bastrop the lands improve, and when we get into the Colorado river bottom the land cannot be excelled for farming purposes. Bastrop is a pretty little city. Situated upon the east bank of the Colorado river, the town is well laid out, has a fine court house and several tasty built residences. The majority of the best part of the town was burnt down in 1862, and has never been rebuilt. The city is destined to be a business town in the future. It is the seat of a flourishing military academy, which has a large number of scholars. As we leave Bastrop we pass through the valley of the river nearly all the way until we reach this city. The bottom lands are very rich, and fine plantations are to be seen on every hand. We now come to the hills. They are very numerous, although they are very small, but I believe some people call them mountains. We pass through the little town of Webberville in Travis county. This has been a smart town in former years, but like all our towns is now very dull. We pass over a score of hills before we reach this city, in fact, the entire country is composed of hills. A traveler is much surprised when he first visits Austin. I will be honest, and admit that it is the prettiest city I have yet seen in this State.
It is built in a beautiful location; the business part of the town lies in a valley between the hills, the rest of the town is scattered over the hills. A fine view can be had from any of these hills. The capital and other State buildings are the pride of the town, although there are many very pretty buildings in different parts of the town. The city enjoys the reputation of being one of the healthiest in the State. I visited the graves of Generals McCullough, Scurry and McLeod yesterday. They are built upon a hill about one half mile from the city. The graves have been sadly neglected, not even their names are inscribed upon the head boards. This is a shame—these gallant men have sealed their devotion to their State with their lives, and it is a great wrong to see their raves so sadly neglected. I hope the proper authorities will make some move to remedy this evil.
The Legislature is still in session, but there is some talk of adjourning in the morning. I paid a visit to the capitol this morning; every man was hard at work, and
"A flaming speech is made by some when the call is yea or nay,
But all stand agreed when the question comes on five dollars a day."
Many of the members have been destitute of specie since their arrival, and they find it very inconvenient in this country where noting but specie is taken. But a few of the more knowing ones brought along some articles that were scarce here for the purpose of exchange. One man brought some tobacco; another a keg of nails. All these articles proved to be a good legal tender, and the gentlemen have made some profit besides. so many brought tobacco, that the market is now overstocked, and that article is now very cheap in the hill city. Some of the members camp out in their wagons. It is ludicrous to see an eloquent representative blowing in the Senate chambers all day, mixing up corn dodgers in the camp in the evening. But the present members of the Texas Legislature are none of your shoddy aristocrats—they are all men who would have no objection to pull off their coat and work, or to shoulder their guns and go to the field if necessary. I learn that the Legislature and Executive can not pull well together. They seem to be very hard to agree upon public matters, though each mean well. A bill was offered in the House, a day or two ago, appropriating a pair of cotton cards to the State Gazette and Crocket Quid Nunc, for their service in exposing the rascalities of the last Legislature, but the bill did not pass. I have not been able to make a trade with any one yet. It is generally believed they will adjourn w3ithout voting themselves anything.
I have met Messrs. Frazier, Brady, Andrews, Jordan and Hartley, the members from Harris and Galveston counties. They have done all in their power to accomplish something for the relief of our soldiers' families. The Governor has not returned the bill granting cloth from the Penitentiary for the families of soldiers. It is thought it will become a law.
[HOUSTON] TRI-WEEKLY TELEGRAPH, November 21, 1864, p. 4, c.
C. S. Hospital,}
Hempstead, Texas, Nov. 17, 1864 }
Ed. Telegraph: I desire to return thanks through your widely circulated paper for a donation to this Hospital of one hundred and thirty-three sheep, by Mr. Joe Cavett, of Wheelock, Robertson county, Texas.
Very Respectfully, your ob't serv't,
E. W. Rogers,
Assistant Surgeon in charge.
[HOUSTON] TRI-WEEKLY TELEGRAPH, November 25, 1864, p. 1m c,
Special correspondence of the Daily Telegraph.
Waco, Nov. 18, 1864.
Ed. Tel.—I waited in Austin long enough to see the Legislature break up. Every one seemed to be glad that the session was ended. . . .
Leaving Austin we came to the Lunatic Asylum, which is situated about two miles from town on the Waco road. The buildings are constructed of the strongest and best material. They are of stone, which being polished, makes them look like marble. The other State institutions are in the same vicinity, and are an ornament to the State. As we leave Austin we pass over a high rolling prairie, and for several miles we find well cultivated farms extending as far as the eye can reach. We soon leave these, and the prairies are untenanted until we come to the Post office of Round Rock in Williamson county. Here there is quite a large settlement. A steam wool carding machine is in full operation. There seems to be considerable wool raised in the neighborhood. The land is very rocky in this vicinity, and the sheep seem to thrive well.
As we leave this place we pass over high, rolling prairies, very sparsely settled, until we come to Georgetown, the county seat of Williamson county. The town is very small, containing a court house and several well built residences. I learned that there was quite a large settlement in the vicinity. The most of the settlers live upon the creeks, and lands are rich and well cultivated. Leaving Georgetown we pass over high, rolling lands until we pass a neat little town called Salado, in Bell county. This town is built upon a creek, and from which it derives its name. Leaving this place the lands are very high and rich, but the settlers are few. We soon come to Belton, the county seat of Bell county. It is situated in a valley, and contains quite a large number of tastily built buildings. The people are very enterprising, and support a large number of schools. there is a large settlement in the vicinity, and a large number of well tilled farms. Wheat growing seems to be very profitable in this region; large numbers of sheep are raised. I learn that this region is very subject to drought. We see but very few cattle on the prairies.
Leaving Belton, the land is prairie. It is very rich, but the settlers are only to be found along in the creeks and in the valleys. We soon come to the rich Brazos valley in the vicinity of Waco; here we find numerous and large plantations in every direction. These lands are of the richest quality. All kinds of crops can be raised in the greatest profusion. Wheat and other small grains grow luxuriantly. A number of large flouring mills are in the vicinity, and every thing shows that this region cannot be excelled as a farming region.
Waco is quite a large city. It is built on the banks of the Brazos river. The town is famous for its being the seat of one of the best academies in the State. The school is largely attended. The city contains a large number of tasty buildings. The courthouse is situated in the centre of the city. Quite a large number of stores are open, and seem to be doing a good business. The site of the town is in the valley, and is destined to be a great city at some future day. Waco is the county seat of McLennan county.
I here met with Dr. Owens, of Wharton's Cavalry corps. Mr. J. A. Winn and B. F. Harris, of this city, have extended many courtesies to me during my stay in town. I shall proceed to Waxahachie, and will write you from there.
[HOUSTON] TRI-WEEKLY TELEGRAPH, November 25, 1864, p. 1, c.
Prairie Plains, Nov. 21, 1864.
Editor Telegraph:--My place has been announced as a Soldiers' Home, and has been such since the 1st of august, but the task and expense is too much for a man in my circumstances. I am willing to do my part, but I can't do it all. I have supplied some two hundred men and horses since August, without one cent. outside of my own means, and it has exhausted my substance. I do not think there is another such Home in the State. If I could draw on the Commissaries I might manage to get along, but having to draw from my own resources exclusively, and paying the same tythe as others, it comes rather too hard. If the tythe could be used for feeding the soldiers and paying their expenses, It would make matters much better; then they could stop at almost any farm house, and not be compelled, as now, to stop two or three hours before night, or travel till very late to reach regularly established Homes. I have only given you a hint of what might be made to bear equally on all, and you will do me a great favor by stating in your paper that the Home at Prairie Plains is discontinued from and after December 1st, 1864.
[HOUSTON] TRI-WEEKLY TELEGRAPH, November 25, 1864, p. 1, c.
White Grape Roots for Sale.—The undersigned will sell some of his White Grape Roots, raised frm cuttings of the most delicious table grape known in Texas as Chassela de Fontainebleau. The next year after transplanting bearing fruit in quantity—then save two years time, and insure success in the growing of this much desirable grape; also a lot of cutting from the same.
Price $1 a root in specie or equivalent.
[HOUSTON] TRI-WEEKLY TELEGRAPH, November 25, 1864, p. 2, c.
We are glad to learn that the Corpus Christi Ranchero is to be removed to Brownsville. The importance of having a good paper there, devoted to the Confederate cause, can hardly be over estimated. It will be of value not only locally, but, if conducted with the customary ability and industry of that sheet, will be of great interest to thousands all over the State. We trust it may be sufficiently encouraged to justify a semi-weekly edition, as well as complete market, marine, etc. reports for the port of Matamoros.
[HOUSTON] TRI-WEEKLY TELEGRAPH, November 25, 1864, p. 4, c.
We notice the arrival of many citizens, who have been rusticating during the epidemic, as well as many strangers from the country. The streets present a more active-appearance than has been observed for two months. The change is welcome.
[HOUSTON] TRI-WEEKLY TELEGRAPH, November 25, 1864, p. 4, c.
Plantation Hats.—100 dozen Drab Wool, for sale at a very low price.
[HOUSTON] TRI-WEEKLY TELEGRAPH, November 30, 1864, p. 3, c.
Stolen—From the subscriber on the night of the 8th inst a handsome, well formed Dark Bay Pony, about 14 hands high, between 4 and 5 years old, and branded J L on the left shoulder; mane roached. Any information leading to his recovery will be liberally rewarded by
J. B. Stone.
Tyler, Texas, Nov. 14, 1864.
[HOUSTON] TRI-WEEKLY TELEGRAPH, November 30, 1864, p. 4, c.
Waxahachie, Nov. 26, 1864.
Ed. Te.—I have come thus far into Northern Texas. I find the climate a few degrees colder than in the latitude of Houston. I left Waco on Thursday and was caught in a terrible rainstorm the first day out. I like the country after leaving Waco much better than that passed after leaving Austin. We soon came to the Post office of Bold Springs. A rich settlement is to be found here. The land is very rich and all kinds of crops can be raised. Leaving this place we soon came to Hillsboro', the county seat of Hill county. The town is built upon a high hill, which overlooks the country for several miles in every direction. The town consists of a court house and quite a number of buildings. A rich farming country surrounds the place. The lands in the vicinity are very rich, and the prairies are covered thickly with the best quality of grass for stock. Timber is very scarce. This is the principal drawback in all the counties of western and Northern Texas. The past year has been very dry generally speaking, although there have been good crops raised everywhere. The settlers in Hill county are few. These are only to be found along the creeks. Agriculture and stock raising are the principal pursuits of the people. The lands are high, rolling prairies. The soil is a black, clay loam, well adapted to raising all kinds of crops. Leaving Hillsboro', we pass over a large range of rolling prairie. The lands are very rich. We soon came to the Post office of Milford, in Ellis county.
A large and [illegible—fold in paper] here; the land is of the best quality; wheat and other small grains grow luxuriantly; the town is tastily laid out on a hill, and contains a church and several buildings; there is a large flouring mill here; the people are very industrious.
Leaving Milford we coon come to Chambers' Creek P.O. A large settlement of tasty farms are seen along the valley of this creek; the lands are very rich, and all kinds of crops thrive well. Leaving this place we pass over large rolling prairies, which are dotted with farm houses in the valleys as far as the eye can reach, until we come to Waxahachie, the county seat of Ellis county. This is a pretty town. It is built upon a hill, and from the town a beautiful view can be had of the surrounding country for several miles. The place contains several tasty buildings; has a number of workshops, and the people are intelligent and prosperous. I like Ellis county better than any of the counties I have yet passed through after leaving Gonzales. The settlers are already quite numerous, but thrifty and industrious emigrants could do well almost anywhere in the county.
The lands are very rich and capable of making the best of farms. There is room enough in this part of the country for one-half the population of England to make them good farms and homesteads. I learn droughts occur quite frequently throughout Northern Texas, but good crops are raised nearly every year. The farmers all seem to be prosperous. Northern Texas is destined, at some future day, to be the grainary [sic] of our State. when the war closes these prairies will be rapidly settled by an agricultural people. I find schools and churches quite numerous wherever I go. These are the true signs of an intelligent population. I also find that the young ladies are as proud and good looking as in any other part of the State. They don't use paint up here to improve their beauty, but they will white-wash their faces. Well, no harm comes of their habit.
Preachers are very scarce everywhere in Western and Northern Texas. Would it not be a good plan for some of our scores of preachers who keep out of the army and speculate in the necessaries of life, to come up here and take a congregation to watch over and instruct? If they do this we would not have so many lazy preachers without congregations as we now find in many localities.
I shall turn my pony's head to the south to-morrow, and make my way to the land of railroads and telegraphic lines.
Yours, for the war,
[HOUSTON] TRI-WEEKLY TELEGRAPH, December 2, 1864, p. 1, c.
For the Tri-Weekly Telegraph.
Smith County, Texas. }
Nov. 25th, 1864. }
Editor Telegraph:--Your humble correspondent having tried every possible means, except the present process, he now respectfully appeals from the military to you, hoping that you will give publicity to his complaints. I do not believe in so much partiality being exhibited by our military officers, without being exposed to the view of an impartial public. I have made petition after petition to Gen. E. Kirby Smith, Maj. Gen. Magruder and Maj. Gen. Walker, with the signature of a great many of my neighbors, in order to try to get home, and it seems impossible for me to make "the trip." Other men are continually getting details to remain at home upon far less just and important pleas than I have presented. My petitions have been based upon the following weighty reasons: I am a young man, 23 years of age, am 6 feet two inches high, weight 175 pounds, am as strong as a jackass, was never sick in my life. I am a rich man, I own twenty-[illegible] slaves, a very fine farm; I was a very rabid secessionist in 1861; made public speeches, exhorted my fellow citizens to go forward to the post of duty; promised I would see that the families of those who would go and risk their lives in defence of my "niggers" should not suffer, and have never though of that promise since. I am a married man, my wife is a "very delicate woman," only weighs 160 pounds, cannot walk more than five miles without resting, she has never been sick either, and there are only two of us in the family. Now, I have asked the privilege of this detail that I might go home; have my rich farm well tilled, make a large crop, and realize annually a large profit. If I allow this war season to pass without speculating upon the necessities of the soldiers' families while they are away, I shall not be able to make more than 1,000,000, whereas, if I am thus indulged by the military, I can, in a few years, have three times that amount, and also save my precious carcass from falling a victim to Yankee bullets. It is true, I would have to give a bond to pay to the Government the amount of produce required by law; but then by a little smuggling, lying and concealing, and by extortioning on the soldiers' families who are suffering and obliged to buy the necessaries of life, I can make that up very easily. Now a great many poor men, in my neighborhood, who are not worth a "nigger," who own but very small farms, have sickly wives and a house full of little children, and nobody to work for them, are in the service, suffering the hardships of a soldiers' life; but then I can't afford to do that. I am not used to hard living and would not like to become so now. More than that, my wife would cry, if I had to remain in the army and live like a "hog." Again, these men went into the army at the beginning of the war and I did not go until I was drafted in the MILITIA last Fall, and then they made me stay in, when my time was out in the Militia. Now considering all these things, Mr. Editor, don't you think that Genl. E. Kirby Smith, on the justice and equality of the law, ought to put a special "D" on my tail?
[HOUSTON] TRI-WEEKLY TELEGRAPH, December 2, 1864, p. 2, c.
Crocket, Nov. 25, 1864.
Editor Telegraph.—After a hard ride of 140 miles from Waxhachie [sic] I find myself in this once famous town. I find the climate is not as cold as in that latitude. Of all the disagreeable things of this life, is a ride on horse back over Texas prairies, the wind whistling through your hair and penetrating every pore of your body. The route after leaving Waxhachie [sic] passes along Waxhachie [sic] Creek; finely cultivated farms are to be met with at short distances, for several miles down as we proceed in the direction of Corsicana. All kinds of crops are raised here; the land is of the richest quality. I saw several large fields of healthy wheat. Wheat and other small grains seem to thrive well in Ellis county. After leaving the valley of this [illegible] we pass over rolling prairies, very [illegible] settled, until we come to Corsicana, the county seat of Navarro county. [illegible] of the town is in a beautiful [illegible] the town has a good Court house [illegible] al stores; it looks otherwise shab[illegible] houses are going to decay. The [illegible] so many of the male population [illegible] army will account for this. The [illegible] Corsicana are a very clever and [illegible] of people. They have [illegible] Soldier's Home, and the tired soldier is kindly treated during his stay in town. The people are very intelligent, and schools are well sustained.
Leaving this town, we pass over a thinly settled region of country, mostly rolling prairie until we come to Fairfield, the county seat of Freestone county. This place shows that it has seen better days; it contains a tastily built court house, and many stores and other buildings, the stores are mostly closed, and very few citizens are to be seen, the most of them are in the army. The town is in a pretty location, built upon rising ground, and surrounded by timbered land, it is a pretty place and distined [sic] to be of some importance at some future day.
After leaving Fairfield, and proceeding in the direction of Palestine, the face of the country changes. We now pass over hills and find ourself in post oak timbered land, the land is of a sandy quality, and in some places very rich. We find a few well cultivated farms. When we get to the Trinity river bottom we find large plantations, here the land is of the richest quality, and the largest kind of crops are raised. As we cross the river, and after leaving the bottom, the land is hilly and heavily timbered, the soil is of a redish [sic] sandy loam, and resembles the Red River lands. But few well cultivated plantations are to be met with until we reach the vicinity of Palestine, here we find the farms more numerous and better cultivated. We soon come to Palestine, the county seat of Anderson county. This town has formerly been a place of considerable importance, and is surrounded by a thickly settled region of county, large plantations are to be met everywhere. Many Louisiana refugees have bought or rented plantations in the vicinity. The town has a beautiful court-house and square, and a score or two of stores, etc.; there are many tastily built residences. The town is surrounded by timbered land and built upon a hill, it is destined to be a place of note in the future.
After leaving Palestine and passing in the direction of Crockett, the land looks much the same as that passed the other side of Palestine, although in some portions of the route the land is more hilly and sandy. We soon came to Crockett, but how changed the town looks. Since my last visit, some eight months ago, nearly two-thirds of the town has been laid in ashes. I could not recognize the town when it came in view, so changed is it. The Courthouse and one hotel yet remain, as well as a few of the residences and stores. Rough buildings have been constructed on some of the roads. It is a melancholy sight to view the scene of devastation. The "Quid Nunc" is still in full blast here. It is a spicy paper and well conducted. I find it very popular throughout Eastern Texas. I shall proceed homewards as fast as horseflesh can carry me.
Navasota, Nov. 29, 1864.
Ed. Te.—I have turned up here after a hard week's ride from Northern Texas. Leaving Crockett, we pass over a rich and thickly settled region of country, until we soon find ourself in Huntsville. This town is rendered famous from the fact of its being the seat of the State Penitentiary. The city is situated in a valley surrounded by high hills. The city itself is built upon small hills, and looks quite pretty as we approach it from the different roads leading into town. It contains a Courthouse about half completed, and a large number of stores and other buildings. Prior to the war, the place did an enormous trade with the smaller towns in the adjoining counties, but now everything looks dull, and only a few stores are open. The town supports a good newspaper, "The Item," edited and published by George Robinson, who is so well and favorably known all over the State. George has a respectable subscription list on his books, and his paper is very popular among all classes. He speaks out plainly, so that all can understand. George was a soldier a few months ago, and always did his duty.
I visited the penitentiary in company with George, and was kindly shown through the institution by Col. Carothers the gentlemanly superintendent, those who have never passed through this institution will find it interesting to make a visit. There are at present 170 men within the prison walls. Everything goes along as regular as clock work, the discipline is much like a well disciplined military camp, every man knows his place and duty, and does it without any trouble, they are punished by being confined in the stocks or dark cells, and in cases of extreme bad behavior, whipping is resorted to. The convicts seem to take their imprisonment very easy, and all seem to be in good health—great care is taken in times of epidemics not to have it brought into the prison, and all visitors are debarred from coming inside the walls during the danger. The enclosure covers about two or three acres of land, the buildings are all constructed of brick, and built in the strongest and best manner, a wall some 20 or 30 feet in height surrounds the enclosure. The work shops are all large and well ventilated, the works are driven by a beautiful and powerful low-pressure steam engine, this is run by a citizen mechanic, assisted by convicts, the works are almost entirely devoted to the manufacture of cloth, the machinery for this purpose is of the best quality that could be procured in Yankeedom prior to the war. The cloth manufactured is of the best and most substantial quality, and the demand for it is much greater than can be made. The convicts are well learned in the management of the complicated machinery. A few shoemakers are at work, all the various trades are represented. One printer represents Galveston county, the most of the men have intelligent features. It takes a smart man to be a rascal now-a-days.
Col. Carothers informs me that there has not been a single case of billious [sic] complaints for many months inside the walls. The most of the complaints are old chronic ones. Only one man has died within the past 18 months. The prisoners are shut up nightly in single cells. These are about 7 by 5 feet, and opens with an iron grated door. They have their breakfast handed to them in their cells at daylight. They always eat in their cells. There is a comfortable bed and some other articles of furniture to each one, and some of the cells contain a library, and the walls are covered with pictures and engravings. Col. Carothers seems to be quite popular with the convicts, and i have heard that he has recommended several to the Governor for pardon, and in some instances he has been successful. Every traveler passing through Huntsville should pay this institution a visit by all means.
I find the land much better after leaving Crockett than what I have seen for a number of hundred miles back on my route. There are many good lands all over the State, but I like the land much better along the tier of counties bordering on the coast. Anderson is the county seat of Grimes county. It is built in one of the prettiest locations I have seen since leaving Austin. The main portion of the town is built upon a hill overlooking beautiful valleys in every direction. It shows that it has been an important point in former days. There are a large number of stores and other buildings. Few stores are now doing business. The Court House is a tastily built structure. A number of government shops, arsenals, &c., are established here. These render the town quite lively. The place formerly supported two newspapers, but these have played out long ago, and the printers are now handling a shooting stick with the army.
I am glad to see that the soldiers' families in the counties I have traveled through are well provided for during this winter.—The county courts of the several counties have done and are now doing all in their power to render them comfortable. The late law passed by our Legislature, granting them cloth from the Penitentiary, will be of great advantage to them. I trust that every planter will do all in his power for the soldiers' families in his neighborhood.
The country between Anderson and this place is rather hilly, although the roads are generally very good. Fine plantations, richly improved, greet the visitors at every mile, the soil is of a black clay loam and is of the richest and best quality, all kinds of crops can be raised. I have noticed several fields of fine winter wheat, which throughout the country looks fine, and if the season is not too dry next year, a heavy crop of wheat will be raised. Wheat is worth about one dollar per bushel, and flour from 4 to 5 dollars per hundred throughout Northern Texas. Corn can be bought in the eastern part of this State at from 2½ to 5 dollars per bushel in new issue Confederate money, and still the hotel keepers charge travellers one dollar per ear or one half dollar specie for a single feed. Thousands of bushels of this year's corn will not be used another year, and will go a begging at a silver dime per bushel.
Navasota has changed much since my last visit a few months ago. I now see large and prosperous workshops, new and substantial stables erected, and various other improvements. The town by this change wears a different aspect. Workmen fill the streets at the close of their day's toil, the ring of the anvil is daily heard, and the Navasota of to-day is different from what it was a few months ago. I enquire what has wrought this great change, and learn that Major Ike Stafford was assigned to duty here after leaving the office of Chief Quartermaster of the Marine Department, and that he is entitled to the credit of bringing about these changes. He is one of those Quartermasters that knows his duty and will do it at all hazards.
Navasota derives its importance from being the depot of a large and rich planting region of country. The town is situated on the Central Railroad. It has in former days been a good looking town, but the absence of so many of the male population in the army, has caused the town to look very dilapidated now. Only one store is now doing business, but a whisky shop seems to be well patronized. The completion of the Central Railroad will cause a great change in the tier of counties it will pass through. This road is destined to be a very important one at some future day. It will penetrate the granary of our State, and be the chief channel over which a majority of the breadstuffs to supply the population of the coast counties will pass.
I find that Confederate money is far more valuable in Western and Northern Texas than in this latitude. The people of those regions are not so wrapt up in money making and speculation, as those of Eastern Texas. Texas is an empire in itself. Everything necessary to support a large population can be raised. The day is not far distant when two or three States can and will be formed out of our present territory. Professor Maury predicted a few years ago, that all that portion of our State lying West of the Colorado river, would be a desert in fifty years, owing to the severe drouths that have prevailed for a few years past. It remains to be seen whether the prediction will prove true, but I think the learned gentleman will find himself mistaken. I proceed homeward in the morning.
[HOUSTON] TRI-WEEKLY TELEGRAPH, December 5, 1864, p. 4, c.
The Nitre and Mining Bureau in Texas is now producing nitre enough to supply the department with gunpowder. It is capable, we are informed, of a production of 5000 lbs per day.
[HOUSTON] TRI-WEEKLY TELEGRAPH, December 7, 1864, p. 4, c.
Glenblythe, Nov. 30th, 1864.
Editor Telegraph:--I was at San Antonio on business, some three or four weeks ago; found a busy place; crowds of stout men within the military age; from two to four young fellows in a good many of the shops, who are represented to be exempt as aliens. Goods enormously high, assortments poor, and quality as a general thing, not good. Considerable improvement in the city since I was last there. In fact, San Antonio and Houston seem the only thriving places within the limits of the State. The smaller towns and villages are desolate enough, and fast going to wreck.
After my usual habit, of peering around after the utile, I paid a visit to the now nearly deserted tannery—an extensive, expensive and elaborate affair; already well nigh abandoned, after having been in operation something over a year. Why, is to me a puzzle; almost as great it is to discover why such an establishment was ever located there; where there is neither labor nor bark. The leather which I saw in the government shops at Hempstead, and which I was assured was tanned at San Antonio, was a most excellent article. The ingredients used were, a bean, a native of the chapparal; of which no one at the tannery seemed to know more than the Mexican or Indian name, which I neglected to note; and, what is called Japonica, meaning Terra Japonica (Japan earth) of commerce in old times; now more correctly known as Catechu. It is no earth, but an extract made fro the wood of the tree, Mimosa Catechu, which grows in various parts of India. It is prepared by boiling the chips of the interior of the trunk in water, evaporating the solution to the consistence of syrup over the fire, then exposing it in the sun to harden." Our mesquit [sic] tree is nearly akin to the Mimosa Catechu; and has been used very successfully in tanning, by Dr. Park, of Seguin. I saw good leather made by him. But the superintendent of the Government Tannery told me they had been unable to produce any good result from its use there. The subject is worthy of discussion.
In the tannery were two large underground cisterns, one for oil and the other for tallow, and which, I was assured, were strong and perfectly tight, and made of cement manufactured near by. I had heard before of this cement; heard from Dr. Park of experiments made by him at Seguin, which were partially successful, and had made a good many myself here, which gave hopeful results.
Made the acquaintance of the successful manufacturer, a very clever (both Anglice [sic?] and American clever) Scotchman, Mr. Taylor, who carried me out to his splendid Lime-Kiln, made on Page's plan, the best thing of the kind, I will venture the assertion, in the Confederacy. Saw the cement he makes; and have since tried the article itself, and find it truly hydraulic—that is, it sets and remains hard under water. I have never used better.
But for this horrible war, Mr. T's fortune is made. Cisterns are indispensable to good health in this Southern climate, and most assuredly indispensable to comfort. And few would be without them, but for the difficulty of procuring good cement. Mr. Taylor is not only a thoroughly practical worker in mortar, but is more—a scientific and successful experimenter.
I have urged upon him—as defective eyesight exempts him from military service—to examine the limes in different parts of the States, and especially in the more densely settled portions, and test their capability for yielding a good hydraulic cement. Feeling confident that, wherever he can find the necessary ingredients in sufficient abundance, and accessible, he can procure the needed labor and assistance to manufacture the cement.
[HOUSTON] TRI-WEEKLY TELEGRAPH, December 9, 1864, p. 4, c.
LaGrange, Dec. 3d, 1864.
Ed. Te..—Knowing the great interest you feel in whatever concerns Terry and Lubbock's Regiment of Texas Rangers, I am induced to write you a few lines in order that the numerous friends of the regiment may sympathize with them, in the loss of their beautiful flag, presented them by the ladies of Nashville, Tenn. My son John G. Haynie, writes from near Rome, Ga., date October 16th, in which he says: "On the 13th of this month, Col. Harrison commanding a division of cavalry, our brigade in the division, and Col. Armisted's brigade in front of ours, moved out to Beach Creek, six miles from Rome, and opened a fight, Col. Armisted's brigade on our front and left, and battery posted to command the road. The enemy came up with a much larger force than ours, and after a battle of some time, they took our battery as it was moving off, they charged and drove us from our position, and all fell back in confusion.
After the regiment had gone through a thick wood, the color bearer looked up and saw the flag was gone, he only having the staff, it was too late to go back, as the Yanks were coming on. We sent back a scout next day, but did not find it, and we have since learned that the Yanks found it. We have the pleasure of knowing they did not capture it from the flag bearer. We all grieve over its loss on account of its fair donors. Its folds have waved over our regiment in many a hard fought, bloody battle, but the worst of luck will happen to the best of people sometimes. Our army is in fine spirits and hopeful of success."
And now, Mr. Editor, I propose that the mothers, sisters, and numerous friends of this regiment make up a subscription and purchase a new flag and through the ladies of your city present it, in behalf of the ladies of Texas, to Major S. P. Christian and Capt. F. Kyle, to be by them presented to the regiment on their return, as a token of our appreciation of their long tried, arduous and faithful services in behalf of our beloved Confederacy.
If the above suggestion meets your approbation, please start the subscription and annex my name for five dollars in specie.
Ann E. Haynie.
[We add five dollars. Who next?—Ed. Tel.]
[HOUSTON] TRI-WEEKLY TELEGRAPH, December 12, 1864, p. 2, c.
Headquarters, Co. E, Hardeman's }
Regiment, Gano's Brigade, T. C. }
Camp Gano, Ark., }
November 26th, 1864. }
Ed. Telegraph.—Early in September last, agreeably to a general order from District Headquarters, H. M. Lockwood and J. H. Lyles were detailed from my company, to proceed to Gonzales, DeWitt, Guadalupe and Caldwell counties, Texas, (where my company was principally raised,) to receive and provide transportation for any clothing that might be contributed.
No sooner were their presence and object known, than the ladies of the above named counties, with hearts overflowing with generous sympathy for the suffering soldier, commenced weaving, spinning and sewing, and during the short space of time allowed the detail, manufactured and delivered a wagon load of excellent clothing, for which, through the medium of your widely circulated paper, I wish to thank them and let them know how highly such kindness is appreciated by the recipients, coming as it does from those who alone make home and freedom worth the sacrifice already offered up on the crimson altar of war.
Individually and for my company I thank them. Words are too unmeaning to express the deep gratitude we feel to the fair donors, but could they see the starting tear as the hand of a mother, wife, sister or friend was recognized in the various little articles provided for them—could they hear the silent but not less fervent prayer, "God bless the Texas ladies," wafted from hearts never before moved to prayer—even when facing death in its most terrible form, they might then know the soldier's gratitude.
May the knowledge of the devotedness of our ladies to the glorious cause, nerve the arms of the soldier in battle—be his support when reverses shall cause our flag to droop, and when the angel of peace shall again unfold its "white protecting" wings over our dear Southern Land—may we know that its presence is as much attributable to the self-sacrificing efforts of our ladies at home, as the gallantry and constancy of our soldiers in the field.
H. B. King,
Captain Co. E.
[HOUSTON] TRI-WEEKLY TELEGRAPH, December 12, 1864, p. 2, c. 5
Soldiers' Home at Palestine.
Ed. Tel.—Will you please announce, through the Telegraph, for the
information of our soldiers, that we have in Palestine, Anderson county, a
"Soldiers' Home," open for the reception of visitors. Dr. J. G. Scarborough has charge of the "home," and
will give the weary soldier a cordial and hearty welcome; and is prepared to
furnish both the soldier and his horse substantial, if not sumptuous fare.
Much of the success of the enterprise is attributable to Dr. S's untiring
energy. The "Home
Register" shows that in a little over two months 181 guests have been
entertained; 315 meals furnished and 165 horses kept and fed.
The "Home" is under the patronage of, and [illegible] by the
ladies; than whom, none in Texas, perhaps, have responded more readily or more
effectually, than have those of this county, to every call for the benefit of
our soldiers. Already enough of the
substantials, or nearly so, are subscribed to supply the establishment for six
or eight months; and but a small portion of the county has been canvassed.
It would be a pleasure, were it not taxing your columns to heavily, to
mention by name, those of our patriotic citizens who have responded with such
noble generosity to this call, so justly due our veteran and battle worn
soldiers. We can give the names of
J. N. Green, J. M. and H. C. Swanson, Dr. J. G. Caldwell, Frank Coleman and W.
N. Hicks, who have contributed most liberally to this, as they have done in
every call for the benefit of the soldier.
Col. Hicks, in addition to his subscription, to the value of $5,000, to
$6,000, (at a time when Confederate money was more valuable than now,) has given
much personal attention to the enterprise, and declares "it shall be
sustained as long as we have a war worn, patriot soldier, to travel from the
camps to his cherished home and family, and back to the field of service
Palestine, Dec. 5th, 1861.
[HOUSTON] TRI-WEEKLY TELEGRAPH, December 12, 1864, p. 4, c.
Glenblythe, December 7th, 1864.
Ed. Tel.—Nichols' Battery has been camped within a mile of us, on New Year's Creek, for some weeks past. On the first announcement, by the officers, of their intention to form a camp there for the winter, a very general feeling of anxiety and annoyance pervaded the neighborhood. Our previous experience of the near vicinity of camps not having been at all times of the most agreeable kind.
But the location being an excellent one the camp was formed, and now, after an experience of five or six weeks, the universal impression of the neighborhood, so far as I can learn, is that of commendation of the orderly good conduct and discipline of those men. No rambling or raiding about the county, no pillage of turkey roosts or bee-hives or disappearance of fat shoats! All honor, then, to the officers and men of Nichols' Battery! I hear whispers of a jolly good Christmas dinner to be got up for them by the ladies, who always carry on such things well.
I have just been over to the camp to see what arrangements the men had made for their comfort during this bitterly cold norther, which sprang up so suddenly this morning. And it is really both gratifying and amusing to see what perfect snuggeries, in the way of log and stone huts, they have built for themselves. Some of the men must possess wonderfully developed lumps of constructiveness. The officers in their smoky Sibly [sic] tent, were far behind the men in everything in the way of comfort. The horses are well and safely cooped, and the supply of corn and fodder neatly put up and enclosed. I much doubt if any other body of troops in the Trans-Mississippi Department are so comfortably situated for the winter. The locality is a dry and well sheltered one, with a fine stream of water close by. It is to be hoped they may be permitted to enjoy it, until required in the field.
[HOUSTON] TRI-WEEKLY TELEGRAPH, December 14, 1864, p. 2, c.
A disposition on the part of enterprising men to build up manufacturing institutions in the State, should be encouraged. The long and heart felt devotion of the TELEGRAPH to practical independence, has been well known. Years before secession was thought of, we urged the building up of all sorts of manufactories; nay more—the production of everything of necessity to civilized life within our own borders. Had these counsels been heeded, how much better would now be our condition! If we "return to the muttons," however now, it is not recall the wasted opportunity, but to say that no better time will ever again occur than the present for the purpose.
In the way of provisions our people are now independent. Cheap and abundant corn overflows the granaries. In clothing we are partly so, but in a very costly way. It is estimated that four-fifths of the inhabitants of Texas are clothed in homespun. Homespun is very good and very independent, but it takes almost as much machinery, and ten times as much human muscle to make a yard of homespun, as a yard of more evenly made and better appearing factory fabric. Why this waste? Why lift the weight by main strength, when there are levers at hand?
Shall it be said that, cut off as we are, we cannot import machinery? How, then, have we imported the two or three hundred thousand pairs of cotton cards that have come into this Department since the war began? The cost and trouble of those cards would have furnished carding machines that would turn out double the amount of rolls, while, with a spinning jenny, one person can do the work of over a hundred on the hand spinning wheel. Have we such an overplus of human muscle that we should squander it in this way?
We should like to see a little more disposition on the part of the people, both of the cities and of the country, to put their means into these public enterprises. Not a factory has been put up in Texas but has almost returned its cost in a year. Not one will be put up this year or next but will do the same thing.
We have heard some talk of paper mills. Before the war we bought printing paper at 10½ cents per pound. At this rate it was manufactured profitably in Virginia, North Carolina, Georgia and Tennessee. We now print on paper costing us 50 cents per pound, while the material used can be bought at the same price as it was in those States before the war. There is a margin of 40 cts. more per pound to pay for manufacturing than then, or whereas the mill received then 1.75 per ream for making the paper, it would receive now $12.75 per ream for the same work. And it would find a market for 2,500 reams per year, and this would be one-tenth of its business, with a prospect of five times the business at one-third the price after the war. Now let the mill cost $20,000 and the reader can calculate whether it will pay.
Why don't the editor of the Telegraph go into it? Privately, friend, don't whisper it, because he hasn't the requisite $20,000. Will you who have that, or a part of that much help make up a company?
What is said of paper may be said of cloth, both cotton and woolen, of shoe pegs, of iron, of lead pencils, of friction matches, of earthen pots, as well as of everything else useful or comfortable in civilized life.
Do you say we hav'nt [sic] the labor? We waste ten times the labor needed in doing what we do of these things by hand, or going without them. Do you say the war may be over and then we shall not need them? Some of you said the same thing four years ago, come next April, and a miserable set of April _____s you were and we were, and all of us were, for saying it. Don't let us perpetuate our folly! Some we wot of, but for that piece of nonsense then might have been millionaires now, and a blessing to their country besides. "A day and space is given them for repentence. [sic]" Will they improve it? If not, will not somebody else in addition to the Bastrop Factory, and the Brazos Factory, and the Chappell Hill Factory, improve on their experience?
Suppose the war is over, and suppose we are ever so much in favor of free trade, will our debt permit us to have it? Suppose an export tax of ten cents per pound, should be laid on cotton? Who will be wise enough this year to be ready to profit on it? something of the kind will be done, and factories already at work will grow rich, while others are getting ready to enter the field.
We say, again, let all these institutions be built up with no further loss of time, for on them will depend not only our commercial independence, but to some degree our ability to maintain our political independence.
[HOUSTON] TRI-WEEKLY TELEGRAPH, December 14, 1864, p. 4, c. 3
To the Amateurs of Houston & Galveston.
Will you not get up something to assist the County Court and City Council
in supplying the soldiers' families and destitute poor of this city, with the
actual necessaries of life.
There are now in this city about three hundred of these families, numbering about fifteen hundred persons, who have to be fed and clothed. The City Council are doing all they can for them, the County Court is furnishing them with bread, and beef, of which it takes thirty thousand pounds each month to supply them. The beef could not be furnished them but for the generosity of Messrs. Allen & Poole, the enterprising contractors who deliver it to these families at their stall in the market for the county, at twenty cents per pound, when it is selling at from $1.50 to $2.50. Now, if any person will make the calculation of the difference between 20 cents and $2 per pound on 30,000 pounds, he will find what these gentlemen are giving to soldiers families each month.
This is a large amount for any firm to give monthly, and may appear strange to those men who complain when they are called upon to give a few dollars out of the thousands they have made since the war began. The poor could not be fed if it was not for the liberality of Messrs. Allen & Poole, unless other gentlemen of means would come forward and do as they have been doing for the past two years. These men are under no greater obligations to give away their means than others. The County has no claims upon them whatever, and what they do is of their own free will. They could stop any day they choose to do so, and who is there that would come forward and supply the poor with meat as they have done? Honor to whom honor is due.
What is now wanted, is a fund placed in the hands of the Ladies, who, from their known kindness and patriotism, will find out proper recipients and relieve their wants. They will buy clothing for the most destitute, and such articles as are needed by the sick.
If those kind ladies and gentlemen who have done so much during last winter, spring and summer, in supporting and relieving the wants of the suffering by their agreeable entertainments, will get up another series of Tableaux and concerts, the amount of money can be raised to supply every sick woman and suffering child with warm clothing, and such articles as may be indispensable for their comfort. If the ladies will come forward, they can do it, for they so rule the world.
Mr. Editor, please allow this a corner in your valuable paper.
Soldiers' families will call upon Mr. S. W. Allen, at John Collin's store, or I. C. Spence, at W. R. Wilson's store.
I. C. Spence.
County Commissioner Harris county.
Houston, Texas, Dec. 12th, 1864.
[HOUSTON] TRI-WEEKLY TELEGRAPH, December 19, 1864, p. 1, c. 2-3
Soldiers' Homes—Circular Letter.
Galveston, Dec. 10, 1864.
Ed. Te.—I notice with great pleasure a communication from Austin signed "Recipio," in your issue of the 6th inst., which announces the good news that the patriotic and generous people of that city have organized a Soldiers' Home on a most liberal plan. Upon my return from Louisiana, I found a letter from Warrick Tunstall, Esq., of San Antonio, informing me that a Home had been established in that city (in August last) befitting a chivalrous and patriotic people, to aid in which, he says, a concert acquired $500 in specie. I learned from Capt. Lillie that a second concert, gotten up by the "little girls" afterwards, raised for the same object $800.
Also a letter from Dr. Brandth, of New Braunfels, giving the gratifying intelligence that the good people of that city had opened a "Home" for our brave defenders; adding to the ordinary accommodations for the sick soldier, under the care of the "S. S.," of whose encampment he is Captain.
I have also received information informally, of Homes established in many other places, which I trust is reliable. Fairfield and Rutler in Freestone county, Springfield in Limestone county, (which I doubt) and Palestine, (which is now officially published.) Col. Hicks in this place, I was informed four months ago, had subscribed $1000 in cash, 1000 bushels of corn, 500 bbls. flour, 100 or 200 lbs. (I forgot which) of bacon, &c., &c. I mention this good example to stimulate others, and to encourage our friends everywhere to move in the good work. Also Hillsboro, Corsicana, and Cotton Gin, Dallas, &c., and some in the adjacent counties.
I have also ascertained that a new and efficient co-laborer has voluntarily entered this field in Western Texas, Rev. Wm. Cook, from whose successful efforts, a number of Homes have arizen [sic] into being. But I prefer to wait for his own report before publishing what I have heard. I rejoice to know that I am not alone in this work in Texas.
It must fill the hearts of all patriots with joy, to see these Homes rising up all over this proud State, to welcome with generous hospitality the men upon whom our whole country depends, under God, for our protection; and who have so successfully defended as heretofore. Let the work go on! Let every place open its wide welcome. Let all act at once! Now is the time. Indeed, did all know what I could tell them, if I deemed it prudent to publish, and what will publish itself in due time—alas! too soon, I fear, all would think quite late, if not too late, for some places to act.
It is enough to say, that the instincts of true patriotism will always indicate the path of safety. To follow it, is sure of hopeful results, and will defend from unseen dangers, while covetousness, selfishness, and cold heartedness must end in the loss of present benefits, and go blindly on to a logical result—fate! I hope Texan planters will take heed in time, and not only keep open doors of hospitable welcome to all soldiers, but aid the Homes whenever within their reach. This is no time for families living in luxury, and growing rich amid their country's disasters, because the Providence of God has kept the foemen from their doors; to turn from those doors the men who, for two, three, and some three and a half years have stood with their lives in their hands, and bared their noble bosoms to the foeman's steel and bullet. They have stood in the dread crises with "death-[illegible] falling fast" about them. Brothers and fathers and bosom friends have fallen by their sides. They come from the graves of the brave and the true—from fields of blood and glory, where they bore away the dead forms of some they loved most, and flow back to offer upon their country's holy altar all that was left them on earth. Must they come back to the doors and firesides of a great State, whose peaceful abundance is the purchase of their valor, and of the blood of their slain brothers, and be rejected at those doors—forbidden a nearer sight of those hearths, than the smoke curling in mockery from the chimney stacks?
Can any man tell me what difference (under these circumstances) it can make to at least half our soldiers (only so that they can gain their own independence) whether the picture just drawn remain on those chimney stacks, to stand gloomy sentinels over ashes alone, pointing out the foeman's desolating march?
We cannot afford to break the bonds of amity and reciprocity between our people at home and the troops in the field. Nay, more, does any man think that our troops will long brook the treatment they are too often called upon to endure for the want of home, by these too often rejections at planter's doors?
It has now become the rule of our soldier to begin to beg a place to stay early in the afternoon, in terror of the too common fate of "lying out," unfed and unsheltered, all night. Many will deem this a rhetorical flourish. It is veritable fact. I know it to be true. Many have spent whole nights at the root of a tree, with their horses tied to one of its branches! ! ! in pelting storms. They have done this hundreds of times in the long march; in the face of the foe; on the battle field. They never complained. They will do it again cheerfully a hundred times, if the God of battle protects their lives. For there, they thought of happy homes, their own, and their neighbors; of the State, whose "Lone Star" symbol proudly waved over them, and whose prosperous homes, if defended, would make them forget all their forms of sorrows in the hearty cheer and cordial welcome and grateful appreciation which awaited their return.
But it is in sight of one, two, or three of those homes, that the suffering soldier lies. Their window lights gleam through the pelting storm, that is now his only greeting amid the homes he offered up his life to save. He has been at these homes and is rejected. He entreated until his manhood shrank from its own degradation. He can die. But he can endure no more self inflicted shame. Hark! a sound of revelry. Forms flit and whirl behind the window panes. Merrily the dance goes on. "Oh! Yes. They did not wish to be disturbed in their delights by a poor ragged soldier, and the others were too busy preparing. I only asked for food, and to sleep in an out house. Even that was denied me. Oh! me, I once was merry too, when poor dear Mary lived whose grave I go home to see. Two summers and three winters have gleamed and swept over. She sobbed only one parting word as I left, and it was, "Win or die." If you live to return, come back free, and God bring us to his throne to meet again on earth. "Yes! Mary," there, not here, we meet again, and even there I will meet thee free, and untarnished, by the coward or the traitor slain." Just then, is it surprising if hard thoughts arise against the man who had rejected his plea for shelter and especially when the only visible difference between the shivering, sufferer and the hard hearted planter, in sight of whose luxurious and frollicking house he lay, was, that the one flew at his country's call, a volunteer, to face the cruel foe and the other was content to enjoy his ease and increase his wealth at home, and that the one is only forty-four years old, but the other is 51. Hard thoughts have a thousand forms, and in different minds take different paths. Let us not strain the yielding brow to breaking.
Dark days may yet come to a people whose long exemption from the ravages of war has made us so forgetful of those,
"Who are our country's stay
In day and hour of danger."
In those days we cannot afford to have bitter memories of neglect and cruelty rankling in the soldiers' bosom, for in those days the flinching of one man in a company may spread panic through the regiment. Panic in the regiment may easily demoralize the brigade, and from division to corps, the army may become disordered, and the day be lost. With the loss of one battle, a whole zone may be overrun, and thousands of homes which refused the meed of grateful kindness to the soldier, shall find that in begrudging the trouble and expense of caring for the way-worn soldier, they have the trouble of seeking a refuge among strangers, and in penniless poverty to expiate the crime of hard hearted cruelty against those who had the highest claim upon their gratitude and beneficence.
I am possession of many important facts under this head, occurring in a sister State, full of startling suggestions to our people; but delicacy and sympathy with the parties, now refugees, forbid. I have traveled over long miles, in gloomy sadness among chimney stacks and ashes, where many a weary soldier had dragged his suffering form and ridden his jaded animal from house to house of luxury and pride, refused the scanty pittance of a meal, and floor to lie on. And I have ridden among those lines with men who had no tears for the woes of those who as they expressed it, "had more feeling for a dog than a soldier." No one supposes that in any desolated or other region, the whole people ever did or ever could treat the soldier with neglect. But when it is the rule, with only exceptions, let our people be assured that the soldier will not forget the facts, and that a just Providence will remember them in the day of retribution; and if an intervening and a more dreaded evil shall be averted by the self-sacrificing devotion and liberality of the few, and by "soldiers' Homes," sustained by a few, as they always are, yet by the growing disaffection of our troops in camp, arising from either extortionate charges with some or to a refusal of hospitality by others, let us not forget that we are jeopardizing all that is left us.
I am not unaware that much can be said of the faults of some soldiers, who, while enjoying the hospitality of planters and others, have stolen spoons, sheets, blankets, quilts, &c., &c., from their benefactors. This is inexcusable; for it there is no apology; the few are guilty, but shall the many suffer?
Many excuses can also be made for planters living upon the crowded lines of military travel. Some of them are literally "eaten out." They cannot sustain the burden. I know of some who have been obliged to leave their homes from this cause. some who have fed the soldiers gratis till all their food was exhausted, and their neighbors refusing to aid them, and even to sell for Confederate money, no other course was left them but to remove.
Planters in some cases are very inconsiderate on this subject. They know that houses of entertainment on the road are exhausting their resources by necessitated hospitality awarded to penniless soldiers, and yet will neither give nor sell to help them. Out of danger themselves by living off the road, they are alike regardless of the suffering soldier, and the "inn keeper" is thus the victim of what ought to be a mutual burden. How they can keep themselves in unshamed tranquility, I cannot imagine.
Some encouraging exceptions have come to my knowledge. "Sergent's Hotel," near Calhoun's Ferry, on the Trinity river, has never refused the penniless soldier his full supplies. Col. Alston and his son-in-law and some neighbors have "for the war," aided Colonel S., and now that this hotel, always the very best in the country, has become a Soldier's Home, the same parties sustain it nobly. This is an example to all planters in our whole country. Will they note it?
How different this from "Red Top" Prairie P[illegible] Post-office, where the excellent proprietor, Col. Bookman, has alone borne the burden during the war; and since his house has become a home has received no help from his neighbors. When I established that "home," I called upon Mr. S. Stewart, a gentleman of high standing, and also upon an eminent physician, to whom I had been specially recommended as benevolent, and enterprizing, and patriotic. The former promised to help and call on others to do the same; but the result is, Col. B. says he has received no aid at all from any one. Why is this? These persons may have reasons. If so, the public would like to hear them. I can think of none.
As it is, I have to pay the bill from our "State Committee for S. H." in Houston, as I pledged Col. B and as I have been obliged to pledge many others. I am sorry that no response in money has come from the country in all o this work. Do our friends in the country intend deliberately to give us the "cold shoulder" in this work" If so, I must pass by many places which need homes, and the soldier must pass on unfed and unsheltered, where I could otherwise have made his heart glad. I have already pledged more than is in the treasury, besides incidental expenses, which I feel unable to bear. Five hundred dollars, new issue, will not cover the cost of paper, envelopes and stamps, &c., which I have already purchased for the immense correspondence through which so much has been done for the cause; and by which, when unable to leave my room, I was able to reach hundreds of places in Arkansas, Louisiana and Texas.
All I ask now is, are our people willingly and deliberately giving us these signs of their disapproval of the enterprize, or of their want of confidence in us? In either case, they must not be surprised to see the work stop; and homes already established, become defunct. I beg to assure our planting and city friends, that it is neither for my interest nor health, nor pleasure, to be both asking aid of them for the salvation of their own all, by elevating and saving from demoralization their noble defenders, instead of receiving what is daily offered me to my interest, and making my home in my ambulance, through days of storm and nights of frost instead of the bosom of my family.
I can only say, the task is too much to be performed alone; and when I have said this, the responsibility will no longer press upon me. I admit I have no claim in this line. I make none. All know the country, and the armies have no claim upon me, only as I have volunteered to meet this great want. The public can easily tell me by silence and withholding their needed help, that they neither appreciate my work nor desire my services.
Our State Committee, of which Mrs. Col. riley is President, and A. J. Burke, Esq., Treasurer; and without whose unanimous vote and 'order" not a dollar will be disbursed, are security to the public that their donations will find the proper channel, and our city editors will gladly receive for them and acknowledge in their papers whatever may be sent through them.
Two or three weeks will find me employed in attention to homes near by and some necessary "outfit." Let me know before that time what is the public voice. Speak quick.
I have to acknowledge the unbounded kindness afforded me in my four months tour, and the unanimous and universal sympathy and cordial co-operation and aid rendered me from General K. Kirby Smith down to the no less noble common soldier; from the lordly mansion to the no less honorable log hut. I know my work is appreciated; but I cannot "make bricks without straw." In my sickness, friends, like sisters and brothers, have sprung up everywhere, and I thus return my thanks. I am more than satisfied. I need go no further if ambition inspired me, but I must have a full central treasury. Homes that I must pledge to support or rather foot the "balance due" will not always need it, for the neighbors will generally foot the bill; but in order to establish them and make the parties safe, I must be able to pledge, I did so to a number in my recent tour, that are now the best self-sustaining homes on our list.
I thank your correspondent "Recipio" for his suggestion as to Hotel Homes; and invite suggestions from all. By referring to my second circular, Recipio will find that plan, as one of many suggested, and recommended in most places of sparse travel. Also I organized five on the same plan four months ago. I hope Recipio will find the people able and willing to continue the expense of full hotel charges. I have always succeeded in arranging at half price.
Finally (although I have much more to say) let me speak to householders in laces where the common complaint is, that no place can be found—no house, no rooms, and nobody willing to take the trouble of entertaining the soldiers. Do any family think themselves above the "low work" of giving comfort to our heroes of a hundred battles? for such will come. I consider it the most honorable position any man or woman or family can take. Why is it not so prized?
If General Lee should pass through a town, what family would not eagerly press forward to win the honor of entertaining him? Gen. Lee thinks his soldiers have won for him, under God, all the honor he has gained, and now enjoys; and that they are as deserving of honor as himself. Every brave soldier of my country's armies is to me a Lee, I think "there be six Richmonds in the field"! So the despairing coward gasped out his horror as he fled from Bosworth field.
So again and again have the routed cohorts of our invaders cried, "We think there be a hundred thousand Lees after us." To me, when I look over fields of glory, won by our dauntless armies over half a continent, and for there and a half years of unequal strife, I think they be three hundred thousand Lees in the field. Now and then, two, five, ten and twenty of them come through our lines, to see their loved ones, or to recruit their exhausted ranks, or other business for the army; and they are all LEES to me. For them I labor and suffer and labor is rest and pain is sweet for them. For them I mean to labor and to suffer, till the war shall end, and they come home to enjoy the well-earned fame, and the love and honor of a grateful people, and the independence they have won. And then, what days God may allot me on earth, I intend to devote to the work and enterprise of STATE EDUCATION for their children, and making of them and of their disabled brothers, educators for the State.
The time I trust, will soon come for developing plans. Meanwhile let every house open a hearty welcome to the passing soldier—let homes be sustained everywhere at distances of 20 to 40 miles apart; and let every soldier remember that ill conduct amid scenes of hospitality is a stain upon the reputation of the army, a stab near the heart of our enterprise, and must necessarily shut up many hearts against his wayworn brother.
Trusting in God let every man do his duty; repent of his sins, and the day of deliverance will soon burst upon our suffering nation.
Will other papers please copy.
[HOUSTON] TRI-WEEKLY TELEGRAPH, December 19, 1864, p. 2, c.
Washington, December 14, 1864.
Editor Telegraph—I have just returned here from a tour through Washington and Fayette counties. We passed through the towns of Independence, Long Point, Round Top, Chappell Hill, Rutersville, La Grange, Fayetteville and Brenham. Independence is a beautiful town; it is situated upon a large mound shaped hill, and a view of the surrounding country for several miles can be had from every portion of the place. One of the most flourishing schools in the State is located there, viz: The Baylor University. There are a large number of scholars in attendance. The family of the late General Houston reside there at present. Long Point is a small town, 15 miles west of this town. It has formerly been quite a business place, but its activity has now departed. I have met with Dr. Linscum [sic—Linsecum], a venerable and scientific gentleman.
After passing fifteen miles further westward, we come to Round Top, in Fayette county. This place is now nearly deserted, but its closed stores show that it has once been a business town. Many German settlers are in the neighborhood, their farms are well improved, and they are a very intelligent people. Schools are found in every neighborhood. The more I see of the people of Fayette county, the more am I satisfied that they have been outrageously slandered in calling into question their loyalty to the South. Nearly every family in the county have sent a father, husband, or son to the army, and many a once happy home is mourning some loved one lost. Let every true patriot throw back the defamations against this people in the face of those who utter them. I have spoken in a former letter of La Grange and Fayetteville.
We next come to the smart village of Chappell Hill, this place is famous for its well conducted school, called Soule University; the academy is a large and tastily built structure. The town is built in a beautiful location, and surrounded by large and prosperous plantations. The town is quite a large one, and contains many tastily built residences. We next come to Brenham, the county seat of Washington county. This place has suffered little since the war. It is the depot for a large region of country, and does a large and prosperous trade with the interior towns. It is built in the heart of rich country. The Washington county Railroad running from Hempstead, a distance of 20 miles, terminates here. This road when completed further in to the interior will be quite an important one. It now sadly needs repairs. All the mails for Austin and vicinity pass over this road, and they are often delayed in consequence of accidents. When these happen they should be forwarded by another conveyance, and not suffered to remain in a mud hole on the road. Many planters come several miles to their post offices to receive their mail, and it is a sad disappointment to them not to get their papers. I trust this evil will be remedied by the company.
This town has in days past been one of the most famous towns in the State, and was in the days of the Texas Republic the seat of government for a long time. The town is tastily built, and is surrounded by a rich planting community. I consider Washington, Fayette, Grimes, Bexar, Austin and Caldwell counties the gardens of our State. The Texas Ranger is published here. Mrs. Eva Lancaster, its accomplished Editress, is making arrangements to publish it more regular hereafter in an enlarged form. Washington county is one of the richest counties n the State, and ought to support a good newspaper well.
I find that the soldiers' families are well cared for every where, especially in this county. The planters have done and will continue to do all in their power for their relief. Many worthy families, who have formerly been in comfortable circumstances, dislike to let their neighbors know their present needs, and some would starve sooner than do so. This class should be found and assistance given them unasked for.
I find many furloughed soldiers who were wounded the past season in Louisiana, at their homes still suffering from wounds. The surgeon's certificates that they were unfit for duty at present, were lost in the mails, and a few of these gallant men are published as deserters. They will join their commands as soon as they recover. I trust that officers will be more careful in future, and not blast the reputation of brave men by publishing them as deserters, until they have reliable evidence of the fact.
[HOUSTON] TRI-WEEKLY TELEGRAPH, December 21, 1864, p. 1, c.
Walker County, Nov. 24, 1864.
Editor Telegraph:--It is, I believe, generally known that gangs of deserters and "jayhawkers" have for some time been congregated in the immense recesses of the almost impenetrable "Big Thicket." Recently, however, the security of these foes to the Confederacy has been most unceremoniously disquieted, and their organization broken up. About 40 more of the "reserve corps," under I know not what officer, accompanied by that redoubtable old bear hunter and soldier—Richard Williams—who, with a pack of negro dogs, was impressed for the occasion, came upon the lurking places of the patriotic gentry above mentioned. Their chief rendezvous was on Winter's bayou, about ten miles below Col. Hill's plantation, in the centre of a cane brake over a mile in width. Here in the heart of a wilderness 30 miles every way in extent, the "jayhawkers" and deserters had taken up their abode, built comfortable shanties, cleared lands, planted corn, erected a tan yard for making leather of the hides of stolen cattle, and surrounded themselves with many of the appliances of civilization. But, alas! in an evil hour for these expatriated cowards and enemies of the South, our "Leather Stockings" (Williams) with marvelous sagacity, has tracked their foot-prints through cane brake and thicket, and the fierce cries of his dogs warn him that the wolves are "at bay." Instantly the "reserves" are launched upon them. But, although the dastards may rob the passing traveler, and plunder houses protected only by women and children, they can't stand the cold steel in the hands of true men.
They make only a show of resistance, and then "scatter." Our bold "reserves" are generally too quick for them. Twenty-four were captured; four only of that gang escaped. Pretty good for the "first drive" of the "reserve," and the indomitable Williams, (he is an old 1835 soldier), certainly deserves the highest praise. I talked with Williams yesterday. He says there are yet, at another place in the thicket about twenty more deserters, &c.
[HOUSTON] TRI-WEEKLY TELEGRAPH, December 21, 1864, p. 2, c.
For the Telegraph.
A Remedy for Fevers.
Ptelea, trifoliata.—1-1-Lin. Classification—Order
28 [?], Genus 2 [?]—Modern classification.
Ptelea is the Greek name for Elm, but this plant is no kin to E.m. Botanic character—Dioecious [?], Sepals 4, united at the base. Petals 4, spreading, much larger than the sepals. Stamens 4, alternate with and larger than the petal. Filaments hairy on the inside. Fruit a samara [?], 2-celled, with one seed in each cell, wing reticulated.
Specific name and character—P. Trifoliata. A shrub, branching, the young branches pubescent. Leaves alternate. Leafless sessile, ovate, the terminal one alternate at the base, obscurely crenulate. Flowers interminal panicles. Petals oval, pubescent, greenish. Flowers, and broken twigs, have a disagreeable odor. Blooms, in Texas, early in April. It is found on the dry sandy bluffs and banks of muddy creeks and rivers from the Carolinas to the Guadaloupe in Texas. It is a shrub, often growing in bunches, six to eight feet high. Leaflets always three on a footstalk, somewhat shaped like the leaves of the ash; the middle one always the largest. Blooms, in considerable bunches, at the end of the branches of the new growth; individual blooms small, greenish, or dirty white. Seeds numerous, hanging on threadlike appendages at the ends of the branches in August, but fall off in September. In November they are bleached and laying around the bush, look like the scales of a large buffalo fish. They odor of a fresh broken twig resembles that of the bug scaraboeus.
The bark of the root is the part used for medicine. It is a warm stimulating tonic, anti-periodic, alterant, expectorant. It is administered in the form of tincture, or in fine powder—I prefer the latter, but a large majority of patients would rather have it in spirits; and as that form of preparing it suits their nature best, and the object is to cure them, it had better be put into the liquor. The dose for an adult, is two table spoonfuls, three or four times a day, on an empty stomach. It does best to take it half hour before eating. When taken in the form of powder, the dose for an adult, is a teaspoonful, in half a gill of cold water, stirred till it is wetted, and then swallowed down, powder and all, before it has time to diffuse its better principle into the water, morning, noon, evening and bedtime, on an empty stomach.
In the two forms named above, it is administered in intermittent fevers, and its greatest powers are manifested in protracted cases; particularly where there is enlargement of the spleen, it is superior to all other known remedies. My experience with this article includes a period of forty-two years, and I now place more reliance in the Ptelea bark, as an anti-periodic and tonic medicine, than quinine, barks, or any other article of that class of remedial agents.
Its use should be continued until all symptoms of the complaint have disappeared.
In dry coughs, when tinctured in good whisky and taken in doses of a table spoonful, three or four times a day on an empty stomach, it acts as a valuable expectorant tonic.
Combined with equal parts of lady's slipper (eypripedum pubescens) with sufficient cayenne to render it pretty pungent, tinctured in good spirits, is a potent remedy. I have seen this preparation administered in cases of great weakness, and the troublesome cough which sometimes follows severe hemorrhage from the lungs, with decided advantage. A small portion of the tincture of lobelia inflata added to this preparation, greatly increases its expectorant powers. In this form it is applicable to any form of chronic cough.
There is plants of it growing on the right hand side, near the further end of the first bridge above the mouth of White Oak bayou going from Houston. Go on the bridge and when within twenty feet of its furthest end, look down on the right side; and there in a place that has been pretty badly washed are five or six bunches of it, break and smell of the twigs, if they make you think of a polecat, you have got the true Ptelea trifoliata.
[HOUSTON] TRI-WEEKLY TELEGRAPH, December 21, 1864, p. 4, c.
Among the features of the Clothing Bureau of this District, under charge of Capt. E. w. Taylor, is hat making. The hat factory began, as it were, from the stump a year or more ago, and has gradually grown to be an institution of no little importance. It now turns out 2000 black wool hats per month. These hats are very well put up and durable, and afford a supply for a large part of the army in the field. They are made altogether of Texas material, and colored with home-made dye. WE believe such a manufactory for the general market would be a paying enterprise.
[HOUSTON] TRI-WEEKLY TELEGRAPH, December 23, 1864, p. 2, c.
We are indebted to Col. Szymanski for the use of late papers. Col. S. has just completed the delivery of the Camp Groce prisoners on board the Yankee fleet, in exchange for a like number, some five or six hundred, to be delivered by the Yankees at Mobile.
[HOUSTON TRI-WEEKLY TELEGRAPH, December 23, 1864, p. 2, c.
"The mansion occupied by Daniel Webster at Portsmouth, during the first year of his practice, is transformed into an Oyster Saloon. His old office is now occupied by a Peruvian Guano Agent."—Exchange.
We can tell a better story than that and not go two blocks from our office. The mansion occupied by General Houston, when President of the Republic, now embraces an oyster saloon, a bar room, and a shoe-maker's shop, and the Old Capitol building has been long used as a hotel.
[HOUSTON] TRI-WEEKLY TELEGRAPH, December 23, 1864, p. 3, c. 1
Soldiers' Homes—Circular Letter.
I offer respectfully the following suggestions:
1. That each Home in the wealthier districts should, from time to time, set apart, and send to our Central State Committee, Houston, A. J. Burke Treasurer, a portion of their funds to aid us in sustaining Homes in places where the population are unable to support them.
2. Let each Home now organized remember that if they fail and allow their Home to die, it not only cuts that chain and wrongs the passing soldier, but brings disgrace on the cause, imparts discouragement to others.
3. Let every neighborhood where a few families on the road are "eaten out," meet together, and by some fair division aid the sufferers and open one of these houses as a Home.
4. Let every town make a call through some clergyman or leading citizen, and hold a meeting, appoint a responsible committee, and see to it that the subscription be fully circulated. Let every name that gives be recorded, and every one who refuses also, together with the reasons assigned for the refusal. We want this record from every Home and from every place which finally refuses, and if the parties will send me the facts, well authenticated, I will see to their publication. It is high time the country should know who they are that are determined to make others bear all the burdens of our struggle for independence, while they wring every quivering muscle of their bleeding compeers to express and distill their blood for their own reveling banquets!
5. The most economical plan of organizing a "S. H." is to procure a building and a detailed disabled soldier to take charge of it. Cooking utensils can be either collected piece by piece of neighbors or purchased of quartermasters through an order from Gen. Smith, which he will supply upon application together with an order to the Commissary department to each suitable "S. H." at the end of the month the amount of rations which upon the affidavit of the Superintendent of the "S. H." shall appear to have been used for our troops.
If the rule be adopted to pass each soldier's papers through the Commissary and to make his due-bill for rations, the ticket of admission to the Home (which is the best plan in every "post,") then of course no purchase of rations is needed or permissible. The rations thus, in the form of tickets, can be drawn in the lump whenever needed.
Table ware can be had from potteries and knives and forks collected by peacemeal [sic]; or, as a last resort, an old saw-blade cut up can make ten or twelve knives. Elegance is well enough, where possible, but "necessity is the mother of invention," and homes and food are necessities, although only old saw-blades make our knives.
6. It is a good method to pay a certain price per meal either to hotel, a boarding-house, or a private family; and give the rations of all who are supplied. One to two dollars New Issue per meal will pay well enough. It is too late in the day for hotel keepers to mourn about their costly food. We supplied near one thousand meals in the month of September last, in our Home in Shreveport, at fifty cents per meal "Old Issue," and in October an equal number at sixty-five cents. The other cost of the establishment—rent, salaries, &c., put by themselves, placed the lodging at 80 cents per night. This, too, when everything was purchased at the ordinary market prices and donations put down at their value.
7. In the country and where there is no "Military Post," it is probably best to engage an honorable house-holder to open his house, pay him so much per meal and horse feed, in currency or in produce at a stipulated price. Then at the close of each month, buy (through an order from Gen. Smith) and affidavit and all that has been fed and "turn it in" &c. This is a good and lasting ground of success. Two meals may fairly be considered a "ration" and buy accordingly.
8. It is absolutely essential in order to reach the benefits designed by "Soldiers' Homes," and to secure the continual aid which Gen. Smith has pledged; to fully carry out the two rules or "By-Laws" heretofore published, to-wit: 1st. "Receive no soldiers without good papers." 2nd. Suffer none to remain lounging about longer than a traveler intent upon his journey would naturally stay. All should stay the Sabbath. The one is to prevent harboring deserters and imposition. Look well to the papers—officers and men alike. If Gen. Smith should call, examine his papers! The other is to prevent "loafing." It is not a boarding house to stay at, but a way-side home. Therefore make them "roll on." Special cases may demand extension of time. This should be committed to a trusty party, and not be left to caprice.
9. Soldiers' Homes are designed as much for officers as for men of the line; and generally as much needed by officers as privates. Indeed, officers are less provided for than privates, and unless an income is derived from home, poor men are compelled to resign their offices. Unless something can be done in this line, it will soon be that poor men will be totally excluded by their own deliberate yet necessitated act, from all high office in the army. This we cannot afford. Perhaps the poor man is now in the private ranks, who is to rise up a "more than Lee," and lead us on to victory and peace.
This is one reason why I have every insisted that officers and privates are equally entitled. But a higher consideration has moved me. I would not have our heroes feel themselves mendicants, and our Homes to be "alms for indigence." No, no! a thousand "no's." They are tokens of a country's gratitude, and gifts of the affection. I scorn the imputation of charities to men to whom we OWE, not only these benefits but many others.
Four months ago, I was standing a looker on "taking notes," as "mine host" opened his "register," for the first time as the stage had arrived. A Captain with a new Confederate suit, came up to pay his bill. Landlord. "Your name?' He gave it. "Company?" It was recorded. "Regiment?" Capt. stared and answered it. "Where are you going?" Hesitating.—"Home, sir, but why this questioning?" Landlord. "Only we have just opened a Soldiers' Home, and this is my duty." The Capt. held out his money. "Your bill is paid." It puzzled him. "But I have not paid it." Landlord. "This is a soldiers' Home; we don't charge soldiers. Our friends here pay for you all." "But, though not rich, I am not an object of charity," confusedly murmured the Capt., still showing the money, along the desk.
I could be still no longer; I stepped forward. "My dear captain," said I, "this is no charity—no alms. It is a gift of affection, and a token of affection from a people who know how to appreciate such an army as ours." The tears started into his eyes and his money went into his pocket. "This," said he, "is an unexpected pleasure. By taking one meal a day, I thought I had enough to take me home. This is great work you are doing, sir." Parting hands were grasped, and I saw him no more. Let officers feel welcome at our homes. I would to God we could in every place give them and the equally honorable privates as good accommodations as our hearts dictate. But, in nine cases out of ten, the only alternative is either to have no home at all or to have a very poor one. Good food can always be had well cooked and served. But good fare and beds or a good house, neither love nor money can procure, except at private houses and hotels. I have a few times heard bitter taunts and have seen bitter sneers in mention of some of our homes by officers. Did they know at how much cost of effort and obloquy these poor homes have been erected, and how many thousands of dollars and hungry hours they have saved the poorer of their compeers, they at least would save us from censure and taunt.
When we cannot do as well as we would, we do as well as we can, and will do better at the possible opportunity.
10. On receipt of this circular letter, will every place enter at once upon the work, and proceed to the establishment of a Home.
Houston, Dec. 15, 1864.
[HOUSTON] TRI-WEEKLY TELEGRAPH, December 26, 1864, p. 2, c.
Bibles for Hood's Army.—Sixteen thousand copies of the Holy Bible and Testament arrived here yesterday evening en route for Hood's Army. They are the first installment of fifty thousand copies presented to the Confederate troops by the American Bible Society of New York. They came by way of Memphis Tennessee.—Selma Mississippian.
[HOUSTON] TRI-WEEKLY TELEGRAPH, December 26, 1864, p. 2, c.
Steam Saw Mill, Near Houston,}
December 18, 1864.}
Editor Telegraph.—Very many soldiers' families in my neighborhood, and in the settlements above, are absolutely suffering for bread. I know parties who have sent to the county depository in Houston, week after week, for their quota of corn meal, and have been disappointed in getting it, and most of the time are upon short rations, scarcely sufficient to keep soul and body together. This, I am told, is mainly attributable to the difficulty in getting the corn ground, the city mills being constantly employed for the Government.
Wischer's [?] and several other grist mills in the upper settlements, from some cause or other, have ceased to operate, and those in that vicinity who have corn, cannot conveniently get it converted into meal. Will you therefore be pleased to give it publicity, through your Telegraph, that I will devote two days in each week (Fridays and Saturdays) to grinding corn for soldiers' families and indigent persons residing in [illegible] and [illegible] settlements, and in my own immediate neighborhood, free of toll or charge?
Your obedient servant,
R. D. Wescott.
[HOUSTON] TRI-WEEKLY TELEGRAPH, December 26, 1864, p. 4, c.
The Relief Committee of the City of Houston beg leave to announce that the funds in their hands for the poor and indigent families in this City is pretty well exhausted; in view of this fact, and the certainty they feel that the citizens of this city will approve and patronize a Concert for those indigents, they announce one for that purpose at Perkins' Hall, on Saturday, 31st December, at 7 o'clock, p.m. The best amateur performers, both from Houston and Galveston, and also several strangers of fine talent may be expected, and they hope to made this entertainment one of the best of the kind offered to the public in a long time.
Tickets can be procured at the usual places.
Henry S. Fox,
C. C. Speer.
Houston, Dec. 24, 1864.
[HOUSTON] TRI-WEEKLY TELEGRAPH, December 28, 1864, p. 2, c.
For the Telegraph.
Rangers' Camp, }
Turner's Mills [?], near Tuscumbia, Ala.}
September 21st, 1864.
Yesterday was a marked era in our history. A new, elegant and beautiful flag was floating in the breeze at headquarters. The rich material had been purchased in Nashville, and the chaste work had been wrought by fair hands in the vicinity. They ground is in the form of a parallelogram and of blue silk, whilst there is a round field of lilly [sic] white in the center. On this there rests a Maltese cross of bright red silk, on which are worked eleven stars with white silk floss. On the one side of this white field, and around the cross, there is worked with blue silk floss, viz: "Ducit amor Pattriae," "TERRY'S TEXAS RANGERS;" on the other, "God defend the right," "Terry's Texas Rangers."
The following is the letter of presentation and the reply of the ladies:
Soldiers of the 8th Texas Cavalry:
Gallant heroes: While in the iron grasp of a merciless foe,--while surrounded on every side by glittering bayonets, and the threats of an unprincipled soldiery,--we have dared with our own hands to work for you this battle flag which we present to you. Upon such occasions we know that it is customary to say much, but language would fail to portray our feelings, or express the deep emotions of our hearts, as your many heroic and gallant deeds—the many bloody battles fought and won—arise before us to bear testimony of your truth and fidelity to your country and to us. Yes! gallant heroes, well have you made your pledges to your country true. But onward, still onward under this banner until you shall hear the shout of freedom, the thunders of a liberated people echoing along the mountains and re-echoing in the depths of the valleys. Then shall you stand forth wreathed with immortal laurels, decked with the gems that valor wins. Our minds will draw sublime pictures of your gallant, heroic band rushing on with this banner, midst the thickest of the fight, to glory and to victory. By the memory of Shiloh, where your blood was poured forth like water, and ran trickling to dye the bosom of the beautiful Tennessee, whose rippling waves are now singing the requiem of your fallen comrades. By the memory of those plains covered with your blood, the redness of which is changed into black, emblems of mourning for those brave ones who gave their lives in defence of our sacred soil—by the memory of our bondage and the death of your loved Terry, strike—strike to avenge—strike to redeem—strike for the truth, and GOD WILL DEFEND THE RIGHT.
Camp Texas Rangers, }
September 21st, 1864.}
Ladies: The beautiful banner which you did us the honor to prepare and send us, by the hands of our mutual friends, was received on yesterday, together with the cheering, brave and inspiring letter penned by your hands and dictated by your hopeful hearts. It were idle to attempt to express the deep feeling produced by its reception, and vain to undertake a description of the manifestations of exalted and enthusiastic regard in which the precious gift and its beloved donors are held by "Terry's Texas Rangers." Under its bright and beautiful folds we pledged ourselves anew, and again dedicated ourselves to the high and holy cause in which we are engaged.
Inspired by your words, and the mottoes inscribed upon our new banner, old vows and old resolutions were rejuvenated, and higher, holier and more determined efforts promised. How well these promises may be kept we leave you to determine by our future conduct. Nerved by the just cause of our bleeding country, cheered by the smiles of our brave and beautiful sisters, and sustained by their prayers, I feel no hesitancy in pledging you that where the fight rages fiercest and danger lies thickest; your banner shall be seen like the white plume of Henry of Navarre, to dance upon the surge of battle. Though our ranks have been sadly thinned since last the beautiful streets of the "Rock City" echoed to the tramp of our thousand horses feet. Yet the hearts of the few who are left are as dauntless, their resolves as firm and their hopes as high. Hope on then, Sisters in Liberty, and know that while one is left with strength to strike a blow, it shall be struck at the shackles which fetter thee, that Tennessee shall be redeemed from the iron grasp of the spoiler, by the help of God and Southern arms. Already the dark cloud which has so long lowered above you is dispersing, and through its gloomy folds glimpses of the silver lining appear. Yet a little while and all shall be well, for "God" will "defend the Right." Trust us then, stimulated by the high incentives you have held up before us, to "strike to avenge, strike to redeem, strike for the Truth." The proudest and happiest day of our existence is that upon which were announced to us, those "words that burn," coming as they did, from the fair daughters of our sister State, delivered under the frowns of oppressions of the hated foe. Promising you that your gift shall never be dishonored, nor trail in the dust before the invaders of your homes and country, and with the hope that we may yet be allowed to wave it over the Capitol of Tennessee redeemed, disenthralled, free, I beg to subscribe myself in behalf of "Terry's Texas Rangers," in weal or woe.
Your friend in truth,
Lieut. Colonel Comd'g.
During the day it was inspected by all the passers by and elicited many marks of esteem for the heroic ladies of Middle Tenn., and many solemn vows that their bondage should soon cease, and their homes should be rescued from the foul presence of the unprincipled soldiery, which have so long oppressed, insulted and robbed them. At dress parade in the evening it was presented to the regiment and their letter was read by Lieut. Colonel Cook, after which he was called on for a speech. He replied briefly, paying an eloquent tribute to the fair donors, when three hearty cheers were given for the ladies of Nashville. Our old flag, sent to us over two years ago by two fair daughters of Texas, and which has proudly floated over us ever since, was then folded up for preservation among the archives of our State. Oh! what varied memories cluster around our old flag! How many of our gallant comrades have fallen under it? It now belongs to the past of our bloody history. May our children gaze with delight upon its dimmed stars and tattered borders, for long years after our country shall have gained her independence. soon our new banner will dance proudly upon the breeze of Tennessee, and our prayer is that it may ere long wave in triumph before the eyes of the beautiful donors, upon the fortifications and through the streets of their glorious city, when the voice of oppression shall be heard no more, and the glittering bayonets of the cruel and hated foe shall never again sparkle in the bright sunlight around their homes.
R. F. B.
[We presume this is the flag that was lost in October.—Ed. Tel.]
[HOUSTON] TRI-WEEKLY TELEGRAPH, December 28, 1864, p. 4, c.
See card of Bastrop Military Academy. This institution educates free of charge all soldiers who are wounded so as to be unfit for service. It takes a limited number of this class without charge for board, and the President writes us that he has room for two more. It is one of the best institutions of the State, and we are glad to learn it is prospering.
[HOUSTON] TRI-WEEKLY TELEGRAPH, December 30, 1864, p. 2, c.
We derive some statistics from the Texas Almanac, for 1865, just received, an attentive perusal of which will correct some of the notions entertained by people who should be well informed.
The total product of the Penitentiary for nine months, ending August 31st, was 790,553 yards Osnaburgs; 131,209 yards Jeans; 78,693 yards Kerseys; 184 yards Plains; and 946 yards Sheep Gray: Total, 1,021,585 yards. Of this 380,791 yards cottons, and 56,958 yards woolens, total 437,749 yards, were sold to the army; 333,124 yards cottons and 12 yards woolens were exchanged for supplies; 77,513 yards were appropriated to soldiers' families; 16,929 yards cottons, and 1,318 yards woolens were used in the Institution and Lunatic Asylum, and 635 yards woolens sold to citizens. The total value of the amount sold was $2,388,541.
In the assessment rolls we find the following facts: Our own county, Harris, as has been the case for the last six years, is not included, from the returns not being at Austin in time. The heaviest liquor drinking county given is Red River, which pays tax on sale of liquors of $10,030. Bexar comes next, paying $7,907. The heaviest tax paying county given is Bexar, paying $_0,386. Nearly all the heavy tax-paying counties are left blank from failure of Assessors to get in their returns.
The assessment of the Confederate tax gives us more satisfactory data. In this, Harris county paid in taxes $2,114,432.62. Bexar comes next, paying $826,837.91, and Cameron county next, $423,564. The following counties pay over $800,000 each, viz: Marion, Grimes, McLennan, Travis, Fayette, and Colorado. The following pay over $200,000 each: DeWitt, Washington, Austin, Fannin, Walker, Rusk, and Harrison. The total amount of the Confederate tax for the State is $13,768,489.24. This it will be seen falls considerably short of the wild estimates that have from time to time been made by various writers on the subject. It falls short of our own estimate made last summer, which was $15,000,000. Others put the figures as high as $40,000,000. Some additions should however be made, that will run the total to $14,000,000.
The total of the tithe cotton amounts to 6,066,888 lbs. or 12,132 bales of 500 lbs. to each bale, and this indicates a crop of 1863 of 121,320 bales. Wharton is the heaviest cotton raising county, paying a tithe of 867 bales; Washington comes next, paying 835 bales. Of this 121,320 bales, to which may be added about 45,000 bales from the crop of 1864. There have been exported about 90,000 bales as near as a rough estimate will arrive at.
Harris county paid on money and credits on hand 1st July, 1863, 1 per cent. amounting to 149,468; on agricultural produce on hand July 1st, 1864 8 per cent. 222,938; on profits in 1862, 10 per cent. 18,973; on do in 1863, 165,079; on live stock on hand Nov. 1st, 1863, $802,506; occupation tax from April 2d, 1863, to July 1st 1864, $89,760; tax on sales April 1863 to July 1864, $735,630.
These details may be uninteresting to many readers, and hence we will continue them no further. To some of our readers, however, they will be deemed of no little importance. We give them for what they are worth.
[HOUSTON] TRI-WEEKLY TELEGRAPH, December 30, 1864, p. 2, c.
We are pleased to learn that the committee have obtained the Shrimpf House for a Soldiers' Home in this city. This building is of brick, of three stories, and is the best that can be found for the purpose in the city.
[HOUSTON] TRI-WEEKLY TELEGRAPH, December 30, 1864, p. 3, c . 2
Soldiers' Home in Houston.
Houston, Dec. 28th, 1864.
Ed. Tel.—Through the kindness of Maj. General Walker and the excellent medical officers of this district, the Houston Hall or Schrimpf's Hotel has been temporarily devoted to the soldiers way-side home in this city.
We hope the committee will be able to open on Saturday next, 31st.
The ladies of the State Central Committee will supervise and manage the Home with A. Sessums, Esq., as their treasurer and commissary to whom all donations in material or money are to be transmitted, and he will personally pledge to the donors that the donations shall be transmitted, that the donations shall be applied to the objects intended to the comfort of the traveling soldier.
The same committee continue "State Central Committee" to aid in sustaining feeble homes in the State, with A. J. Burke, Esq., as their Treasurer, to whom all donations for this general work should be forwarded.
To avoid confusion. Note well—Donations for this local Home should be sent to A. Sessums; and for the aid of feeble homes and expenses should be sent to A. J. Burke.
By distinctly stating the object for which gifts are designed, every donor can make it certain that the donations will reach the objects designed.
We now take pleasure in inviting the beloved planters and other friends of the soldiers, to send at once butter, lard, potatoes, corn, bacon, hams, and any vegetables, &c., that can be spared, to A. Sessums, BY EXPRESS.
If the respective Committees at each Railroad Depot, will choose their own agent there, Mr. Sessums will be responsible for whatever shall arrive by Express.
We particularly request Planters on railroad lines to agree together and send a car load of wood, as a large amount will be needed.
[HOUSTON] TRI-WEEKLY TELEGRAPH, December 30, 1864, p. 3, c.
San Antonio, December 9th, 1864.
Ed. Tel.—I saw in your columns to-day an article dated, "Glenblythe, November 30th," and signed "T. A." in which, after stating that "some three or four weeks ago," he had visited San Antonio, etc., he proceeds to give an account of a visit to the Government Tannery, near this place, under the charge of that accomplished and gentlemanly officer, Maj. Washington, Q. M., C. S. A. He, "T. A.," commences by saying that he visited "the now nearly deserted tannery." I would like to know if Mr. T. A. calls a tannery "nearly deserted" which produces some 12,500 pounds of leather per month, equal to about 900 sides of leather—said leather being of all descriptions and of the best quality. He then goes on to say that it is a puzzle to discover why the Tannery was ever located here, where there is neither "labor nor bark." The reason is this, San Antonio being near the frontier, and consequently one of the best places to bring the materials which are used to, (not to speak of its unsurpassed water privileges) was selected by its present superintendent, as the best locality for the tannery which he was sent out to locate. The bean he speaks of is "Cascalote," a native of Mexico, and of itself a most valuable article for tanning, at the tannery it is used with the Japonica, and the leather produced is, as T. A. says, a most excellent article. After a short description of the manner in which the Catechu or Japonica is prepared, he makes a statement which I wish emphatically to contradict, viz: Speaking of tanning with a preparation made of the Mezquit, he says, "But the Superintendent of the Government Tannery told me that they had never been able to produce any good results from its use there. The subject is worthy of discussion." Now, in the first place, at the time he says he was here, the Superintendent of the Tannery was not in San Antonio at all, but on a visit to Brownsville, and did not return till the 26th or 27th ult., and so far as not being able to produce any good results from the use of the Mezquit, it has never been tried at the tannery at all.