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Vol 16 No. 08 - May 1939

The Retreat Of The Texas Army

By Captain Jesse Billingsley.

This account of the San Jacinto Campaign, written by Captain Jesse Billingsley, Captain First Company First Regiment, Texas Army, and was published in The Galveston TriWeekly News, Saturday, September 19, 1857. In this article Captain Billingsley brings to light some facts little known to present day students of Texas history, particularly regarding the retreat of General Houston to avoid a conflict with Santa Anna. In 1894 Sion R. Bostick, of San Saba, who was in the Texian army and participated in the Battle of San Jacinto, told this writer that General Houston was "on the run," and only agreed to fight when his army refused to retreat farther, and in order to make the battle decisive old Deaf Smith slipped away and burned Vince's bridge, not by orders of General Houston, as is reported in some Texas histories, but at the suggestion of some of the officers who were determined to make a stand. In the same issue of The Galveston News in which Captain Billingsley's article appeared there was an editorial comment as follows:

"Among many others of those who participated in our early struggles, to whom we have applied for reliable information with a view to get at the truth of our past history, is Capt. Jesse Billingsley, who has kindly furnished us with the following narrative of the campaign and retreat immediately preceding the battle of San Jacinto. It will be seen that Captain Billingsley confines himself to a statement of such facts as came within his observation, and having command of the first company raised to meet the enemy on that occasion, he naturally became acquainted with many facts unknown perhaps to officers higher in command. In his private note to us, Captain Billingsley says: 'A press of business has delayed my compliance with your request, but with the leading incidents attending Gen. Houston's retreat and the glorious struggle on San Jacinto, I am probably as well acquainted as any other man who participated in that campaign, for, as you will see from he accompanying communication, I commanded the first company enrolled to meet the foe. But with the minor details others may probably be better informed, as I kept no record of the passing events, which I now deeply regret, for a true history of our early struggle has not yet been laid before the public. But what I do state may be depended upon as substantially correct in every particular."

Further Mentions: Capt. Manchac * Colonel Travis * Mrs. Dickenson * Burnham's * Gen. Sesma * Maj. B. F. Smith * Cap. Karnes * Capt. Mosley Baker * H. Baker * Capt. W. Martin * Col. Burleson * Col, Sherman * Capt. M. Baker * John A. Wharton * Col Kos *

Texas Honors A Ranger Captain

By Ira Aten.

Account of the State of Texas erected memorial monument in honor of Captain Frank Jones of Company D, Frontier Battalion, Texas Rangers, on the banks of tine Rio Grande, alongside the highway southeast of El Paso, near Ysleta. Captain Jones was killed by Mexican bandits on June 10, 1893. Account includes old photo of the memorial with Ed Aten, Captain John R. Hughes, Sergeant Ira Aten, and Ed Bryant.

Further Mentions: Sergeant John R. Hughes * Ed Bryant, Wood Saunders, Ed Aten Tom Tucker and Carl Kirchner *

What Old-Timers Say About Longhorns

By Florence Fenley, Uvalde, Texas

Longhorn steers and mustang horses are the warp and woof of early West Texas history. Spanish expeditionists have been given the credit of leaving stock at the various missions they established throughout Texas, but they didn't stay to manage the herds which were to increase by the thousands and run unmolested over the length and breadth of the state. Here is what notable drovers and cattlemen had to say about the intrepid breed.

Mentions: Ab Blocker, Sam Blalack, Bob Little, O. T. Cardwell, Bill Parsons * Pearsall * Jim Shackelford, Tait Roland * Loma Visita to Tortuga Creek * Nunn, Daugherty, Blackaller, Lawhorn, Adams * Perry Wilson * Devil's River * Brackettville * the Pearsall ranch * Mr. Wells * Sam Price * the Guadalupe and San Marcos Rivers * Everett Johnson * Cross S ranch southwest of Uvalde * Ed English, and H. E. Johnson * the Tom McNelly ranch * the old Block ranch on Pumpkin Creek, Nebraska * the King ranch * Julesburg, Colorado * Platte to Greeley * Cheyenne to Horse Creek * Sidney Bridge * Snake Creek *

Frontier Home Attacked By A Wildcat

By Arthur J. Carson, Kerrville, Texas.

Mr. Carson relates a terrifying night at his home in Burnet county, Texas. Mentions: Aunt Georgia Hendricks * Marble Falls * Old Ponto *

A Builder Of Texas

By J. M. Woods, San Antonio, Texas

Hardy German pioneers early drove their ox-drawn wagons, into which were loaded their wives, children, and household goods brought over from "The Fatherland," and their farming implements into "The Hill Country," a vast area of mountainous country which lies to the north of San Antonio Here they located their homes, began the cultivation of the soil, the raising of cattle, sheep and goats, battled the bloodthirsty Comanches, and in time erected church and school houses, and built settlements which developed into frontier towns—the outposts of AngloSaxon civilization. This account focuses on one of those great immagrant men and his family - Lucian Ferdinand Toepperwein. All members of the Toepperwein family assisted in the development of that far-flung frontier of civilization.

Further Mentions: the Lodge room of Kendall Masonic Lodge No. 897, at Boerne, Texas * red clay courts of Frederick the Great * Speculative Masonry * Operative Masonry * the Just and Perfect Lodge Ferdinand of the Red Eagle under the Scottish Jurisdiction of the National Masonic Mother Lodge of the Three Globes" of Berlin * Ferdinand Toepperwein * Red Eagle at New Ruppin * the Blue Lodge * Maltese Cross * the Juan Frederick * Toepperwein had been a school teacher at New Ruppin, Prussia * he struck westward from Indianola, tarried briefly at New Braunfels, came on to San Antonio * Freedom Masonic Lodge No. 100 at Fredericksburg, Gillespie county, Texas *

Colonel Andrew Neill

Willie Mae Weinert in Seguin Enterprise

The record of the Neill family as kept in the oldest of the many "Neill" Bibles that are still in the possession of the various descendants in Texas, has first "John Neill born 1730, died 1818; married to Jo An Crawford, who was born in 1745 and died in 1829." This account is the story of Andrew Neill who came to Texas in 1836 with the volunteers under Captain Felix Huston. This was just after the Battle of San Jacinto. This is good genealogy of the Neill family in Texas. Contains old photo of Colonel Andrew Neill and his wife, Naomi Brown Neill.

Further Mentions: The son, John Neill * Margery Ferguson * William Neill * some of Seguin's first settlers * William came to Seguin in 1840 and settled near the Hollamon place on Market Street * John Neill came to Seguin in 1842 and bought land near the home of William Neill. The home of Andrew Neill was the house that is now known as the Dr. Meyers house. Andrew Neill built this house in 1854, according to the letters of Miss Jennie Hollamon * James Neill * Uncle Billy Neill * Mr. Long * the Arbuckle family * the battle of Plum Creek in 1840 * Andrea Neill married Miss Naomi Brown u, dat titer of Dr. Hugh and Lucinda Johnson Brown * Charles Elliott, Earl of Aberdeen * It was in the office of Colonel Neil that John Ireland studied law * Otto Nitsch * the Oakwood Cemetery at Austin *

On A Mexican Mustang Through Texas


This is part of a serial account of two daring adventurers who colorfully describe their exciting and sometimes humorous happenings on their trip through the wilds and wiles of Texas during the 1870's.

(Continued from Last. Month)

In and Around Old McDade

By T. U. Taylor, Austin, Texas.

Old McDade, part of Lee county when it was made up from several counties: Bastrop, Burleson, Fayette, Washington, etc. is the subject of this excellent account of historical events and condition in that region in pioneer days. Especially relates the lynching of the four men, Wade Alsup, John Kuykendall, Young Floyd, and Beck Scott. - Includes old photos.

Further Mentions: The Yegua empties into the Brazos from the west and is the border line between Burleson and Washington counties * the Arrowhead section of Lee county * The Blue Branch Guards * Pat Eathart, a noted fiddler * Steve Hawkins * Young Hugh Jackson * Wade Alsup, John Kuykendall, Young Floyd, and Beck Scott * The Home Guards * Bill Longley * Sheriff Heffington * Charles Lynch * Thad McLemore * Wright McLemore * Henry Pfeiffer * Asa Beaty * Jack Beaty, Haywood Beaty, Charlie Goodman, Bart Hasely, and Robert Stevens * Tom Bishop * Milton's saloon * Willie Griffin * Tom Bishop * Charlie Goodman, Part Hasely, and Robert Stevens * George Milton * the H. & T. C. Railroad * The Beaty brothers * Knob cemetery seven miles north of McDade * Henry Joiner * Dave Dillingham * the Knob community * Wash Jones * Litt Moore *

A Texas Cowboy's Funeral

Record of a true cowboy funeral held on the occasion of the tragic death of Charlie Reed, a young cowhand who had been thrown from his horse and died when the horse landed on him.

It was a large crowd of cewboys that the falling of his horse on the roundup gathered at the Mesquite Ranch on two days before…

At head of the corpse, Pony Bill, "the Cowboy Preacher," said:

"Boys, I hardly know what kind of a talk to give you on this sad occasion. _our several years I have worked with you on the ranges, and have preached to you in my awk'ard way every time I could round up a bunch of you an' hold you to listen to me, but I warn't never afore called on to talk in the presence of death.

"Day afore yesterday this poor, dead boy here throwed on his saddle an' rode out with you in joyous spirits, singin' the songs o' the ranges. Little did he then dream that he was ridin' right into the bog of eternity! While cuttin' a steer out o' the bunch his hoss struck a prairiedog hole an' fell, crushin' poor Charlie to the growl' an' when you picked 'im up his immortal soul had crossed into the Great Ranges beyond, from which there ain't no back trails. Death loves a shinin' mark, an' it never pitched a rope to a brighter one than this boy. Etc, etc.

Ben Thompson: Killer Of Men

By J. Marvin Hunter.

The killing of Ben Thompson and King Fisher in the old Variety Theater in San Antonio, on the night of March 11, 1884, created more excitement over the State than any tragedy that had occurred since the assassination of President Lincoln during the Civil War. The Galveston, Austin, Dallas, Houston and San Antonio newspapers carried full reports of the killing the next morning, and street newsboys sold 'em "like hot cakes." Yet there were many people who knew Ben Thompson and King Fisher personally, and greatly admired them. That the killing was the outcome of a tragedy that had been enacted scarcely twenty months before, when Ben Thompson killed Jack Harris in that city, there is no doubt, and yet—there are conflicting versions as to who fired the shots that snuffed out the lives of these two killers of men. This is the subject of this lengthy and detailed story.

Further Mentions: Austin, where Ben Thompson had been City Marshal * the murder of Jack Harris * Emile de Tour * Colonel John R. Baylor * Fort Clark * Lieutenant Hailer * the routing of Pyron's regiment at La Fourche * his brother, Billy Thompson * Colonel John S. Ford (Old Rip), * Martin Moore * Ben and Billy Thompson went to Nuevo Laredo * Miguel Zertuche and Martinez Gonzales * John Rapp * L. D. Carrington * Thompson killed Coombs * Colonel Beard * Maximillian * Captain Gilley * General Mejia * Phil Coe * Mustapha * Wild Bill Hickok * Ellsworth * Sheriff Whitney, of Ellsworth * Topeka & Santa Fe railroad * Captain Ed Creary * Mark Wilson * Joe Foster, a gambler * Billy Sims * DeWitt county * Refugio county * J. K. Fisher * W. H._Sims * the Variety Theater * policeman by the name of Coy * J. C. Foster * Jacob S. Coy *

Scouting In The Indian Country In 1858

By J. Marvin Hunter.

Account of some of the notable experiences of Benjamin Crawford Dragoo, who joined John R. Baylor's company of Rangers in 1855. He served as a ranger in some of the most brutal and bloody of Indian conflicts along with Captain Sul Ross, Buck Barry, and Col. Dalrymple's company.

Mentions: Kimble county, Texas * settled on Blossom Prairie in Red River county * settled in what is now Titus county four miles from where Mount Pleasant now stands * Fort Sherman on Big Cypress creek * gathered in that fort were the Coots family, Gibson, Dial, and Bell families * Navasota river * Fort Parker * Cynthia Ann Parker * Cottonwood creek, twenty miles above Fort Belknap * A man by the name of Gray * Waco Village, as it was called in those days * younger brother, Jim Dragoo * Fort Griffin * F. M. Cassidy * Lieutenant Callahan, the gallant ranger for whom Callahan county was named * the Pease river country *

The Capture Of Cynthia Ann Parker

By J. Marvin Hunter

Cynthia Ann Parker was captured by the Comanches at the massacre of Parker's Fort, May 19, 1836, when she was nine years old. She remained with the Indians until December 18, 1860, when she was recaptured from the Indians during a battle on Pease river between Sul Ross' Rangers and the Comanches. Several claims have been made that certain members of the party captured Cynthia Ann, particularly that Captain Ross himself made the capture. One of the best versions of the affair was given by Peter Robertson, a participant in the Pease river fight, and is here given.

Mentions: Ben Dragoo, Jack Long * Jack Cureton's company * Sergeant Spangler * Stewart * Peta Nocona *


Mentions: Mr. and Mrs. Roy G. Bradford, of Houston * Mr. and Mrs. Delos R. Johnson * Mrs. A. I. Welcombe of Hammond, Louisiana * Colonel Walter Godkin who ranches in the Pipe Creek section of Bandera county * Nicolas Lopez, a blacksmith of Tampamelon, Mexico * Donato Lopez * Mrs. Beatrice Gay *


Brief account of Mr. and Mrs. D. M. (Mont) Newcomer, highly esteemed pioneers of Pipe Creek, Bandera county, Texas. Includes old photo of Mr. and Mrs. D. M. Newcomer and Mrs. Lydia Buell.

Mentions: It was on March 26th, 1889, that Mont Newcomer, a handsome young swain, led to the altar pretty Fannie Rucker, the belle of the county, the ceremony being performed by Justice of the Peace Barter, at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Gay Buell * the Rucker home * Mrs. Mattie Newcomer Johnson of Rankin, Texas,, Robert Buck, Gus Reinarz, Mrs. Emma Newcomer, Adolph Reinarz, Mrs. Hattie Newcomer, and Frank Buck * Adolph Reinarz * sons, James M. Newcomer of Breckenridge, Texas, and Felix Newcomer of Pipe Creek * one gandson, Bobby D. Newcomer

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