Huntsville: A Story of Post Civil War Texas
place of General Sam Houston, hero of San Jacinto. The street names
referred to in the story were the ones in use at that time, though many
of the streets today bear different names.
The chief administrator of the Texas state prison at Huntsville has
the unusual title of “Superintendent”. In the story, rather than use this
unwieldy five- syllable word, the author has chosen to use the more
familiar term of “Warden”. And those familiar with the town of
Huntsville may notice that rather than being in the heart of town, the
story location of the prison is a few miles out.
The general information on the Civil War, and the description of
the reconstruction era in Texas, as related in the Prologue, is
accurately depicted. The brief account of the Battle of Galveston
commanded by Confederate General John Bankhead Magruder is
true, as is the successful campaign against the Comanche Indians led
by Texas Ranger Captain John Salmon Ford. Also, Ford's leadership
role in the “Cavalry of the West” during the Civil War, is factual.
Much of the information on Texas history was taken from two
comprehensive volumes: one entitled LONE STAR -- A History of
Texas and Texans written by T. R. Fehrenbach; and the other entitled
The Texas Rangers -- A Century of Frontier Defense written by
Walter Prescott Webb. And a rich source of western lore was found
among the pages of the Time-Life series of The O ld West. With that
said, the author invites you to read and enjoy.
The American Civil War lasted almost exactly four years -- from
the first battle on April 12, 1861 when Confederate troops fired on
Union forces at Fort Sumter -- until Lee's surrender at Appomattox
on April 9, 1865. Over 600,000 brave men gave their lives in this
bloody, fratricidal war -- more than all the U.S. losses in WWI and
WWII combined. Confederate fatalities totaled about 250,000, with
Texans accounting for about ten percent.
It was not so much their defeat, but the onerous and corrupt
reconstruction policies imposed on the South that instilled the
resentment and hatred of the North that still smolders in the hearts of
many southerners to this day. The reconstruction regime established
in Texas was especially venal and oppressive.