Page:Confederate Veteran volume 02.djvu/187

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169
CONFEDERATE VETERAN.

GENERAL AND GOVERNOR ROSS, OF TEXAS.




The Bryan (Tex.) Eagle gives a brief but very entertaining sketch of the career of the Confederate veteran commander of Texas. It says:

Gen. Lawrence Sullivan Ross was born in Benton port, Ia., September 27, 1838. In the following spring his father, Capt. Shapley P. Ross, moved to Texas, and became Indian Agent at Waco, which was then a mere Indian village. His sister, now Mrs. Kate Padgitt, of Waco, was the first white child born in McLennan County. His early boyhood was spent surrounded by hostile Comanches, and inured to hardships and dangers, thus fitting him for deeds of bravery which afterward characterized him.


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In 1858, while at home on a summer vacation from Florence Wesleyan University, of Alabama, he won his spurs and the sobriquet of the "boy captain" in a desperate battle with the Comanches, slaying ninety-five of their number, capturing three hundred and fifty head of horses, and recovering from the brutal red-skins a little girl whose parents were never known, but whom Ross brought up and educated, naming her Lizzie Ross. A dangerous wound received by young Ross in this engagement almost put an end to his brilliant career. On his recovery he returned to his Alma Mater, where he graduated with distinction the following summer. [He named the little girl Lizzie, in honor of Miss Lizzie Tinsley, who became his wife in May 1861, This protégée was reared in refinement, and married a wealthy California merchant, but she and a child both died, leaving no trace of race or lineage.—Ed. Veteran.]


Immediately on his return to Texas in 1859 he was placed in command of the frontier by the clear-sighted Governor, Sam Houston, and organizing at once a faithful band of followers of like mettle with himself, he defeated the Comanches with great slaughter, destroying their principal village and stronghold, captured over four hundred horses, and rescued Cynthia Ann Parker. In this memorable battle Ross killed in a hand to hand combat the chief, Peta Nocona, whose shield, lance, buffalo horns, etc., were sent as trophies to Gov. Houston at Austin, where they were deposited in the State archives.

The incidents of this desperate struggle have been related with pride by old Texas settlers, and listened to with thrilling interest by the young around man a Texas fireside, and form one of the most fascinating chapters in the history of our State.

Entering the Confederate army as a private, he rapidly rose to major, lieutenant colonel, colonel, and at the age of twenty-five was brigadier general. He participated in one hundred and thirty-live engagements of more or less importance, and had seven horses shot from under him. But it was at the battle of Corinth, when in a charge upon Battery Robinett, within a short distance of three hundred yards, he lost fifty out of three hundred and fifty men before the fort could be reached and taken, that be won his greatest distinction as the "hero of Corinth." In response to a letter from the Confederate War Department, Gen. Dabney H. Maury gave L. S. Roes as the name of the man who displayed the most distinguished gallantry on this memorable occasion.

After the war. which had left him penniless, he went to farming. In 1873 he was sheriff of his county, and as such succeeded in putting down lawlessness; in 1875, a member of the Constitutional Convention; and in 1881 was elected to the State Senate, in which body he served as Chairman of the Finance Committee. Often solicited to become a candidate for Governor, he only consented in 1886, when he was nominated and was reelected in 1888 by a majority of 152,000! He retired from this high office with the plaudits of friends and opponents, having given universal satisfaction by his conservative, patriotic policy. He had the honor of affording the State two of the most popular administrations that it has ever had. In January, 1890, he stepped from the Governor's office to the President's chair of the Agricultural and Mechanical College, of Texas, where he is having ample opportunity to display his fine executive and administrative ability.

Gov. Ross has written a thrilling sketch of early life in the the Lone Star Republic, including the capture of Cyntha Ann Parker, notes of which may appear in the Veteran.

At the last Confederate reunion for the State of Texas, held at Waco. Governor Ross declined to be a candidate for reelection, but his old soldiers and other comrades would not have it. No other man was considered, and the yoke of servitude was again put upon him, but the was easy. Such fellowship is exactly suited to his taste. In an address the Governor gave interesting and thrilling reminiscences of early times in Texas.



W. C. Woodruff, who was a member of the First Mississippi Regiment in the Mexican war, was also in the Confederate war. He relates that the feeling toward Col. Jefferson Davis was not kind. His discipline was too rigid for the volunteers, but that after the battles of Monterey and Buena Vista he was very popular. He was a hero in strife.



Dr. L. C. Campbell Camp and Daughters of the Confederacy at Springfield, Mo., are raising funds for a monument there. In their circular they say: 'Can you help us?"