Sunday, April 19, 2009

Texas Secession: Now and the Civil War

Last night I was working on my Civil War period novel and was transcribing an actual letter written by my great-great grandfather, Silas Igo Shearer on December 30, 1863 when he was a Union soldier from the Company K 23rd Iowa Volunteers. At the time he was at Fort Esperanza, Texas.

Silas Igo Shearer

I couldn’t help but relate his writing with what has been on the news this week in regards to secession by Texas and comments made by Texas Governor Perry. I had posted a comment on Rochester Slim’s Blog the other day in regards to secession. I said, "I wonder what the sensible Texans think about all this talk again of secession." I’m not alone in feeling this secession talk is silly and even stupid. Seems they should have learned their lesson many years ago, and apparently a lot of Texans did not like secession back then during the Civil War.

In fact, according to Silas in his letter home to his wife, Elizabeth Jane, he wrote the Texans anxiously awaited an opportunity to surrender to the Union soldiers and lay down their arms. This excerpt from my great-great grandfather Silas:

The prisoners say we will not have very much fighting to do in Texas. They say that there is about six or eight thousand enlisted troops in Texas the balance are all conscripts and the men came in to our line and gave themselves up. This Lieutenant was an enlisted man. He said the Rebs was about to conscript him so he enlisted with the determination of coming into our lines the first opportunity. This is the fact, for he says he knows of Companies and their Commanders waiting for the opportunity of stepping across the line. They said if the Army of Texas knew what we was fighting for they would lay down their arms before they had the State invaded. The Rebels dread the Texans that will come into our lines more than they do us Yankees as they call us.

Maybe the light over Austin, Texas is dim and not very bright these days, or maybe the governor caught “dumb” from his former boss, G.W.

Well, back to my novel writing and the real adventures of a Union soldier, along with the fictional Iowans he left behind for a period of four years. And yes, Silas did return home to his Iowa farm in 1865, leaving the Union army as a Sergeant.


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