I happened upon this article on the following website that I also posted on >>http://history-sites.com/mb/cw/mocwmb/<<
DALLAS HERALD, January 26, 1865, p. 1, c. 1-2
The following letter was originally written for publication in the Herald, but when it was received, (a year ago last October,) the Herald had suspended publication and the proprietors were in the service. It was, consequently, sent to the Editor of the Houston Telegraph, and was published in that paper. We have recently found a copy of the Telegraph containing it, and being desirous that it should be placed on record in our columns, we publish it:
Head Quarters, 20th T. D. C.,
Boggy Depot, C. N., Oct. 14, 1863.
Mr. Editor.óBelow you will find a list of names of lady refugees that have just come through the enemy's lines from Missouri, passing this place yesterday morning en route for Texas; the majority of whom are married ladies, and their husbands are all in the service of their country, some of them with Maj. Gen. Price, and some with Col. Quantrell.
Mrs. Sarah Ann Noland and child, husband in Gen. Price's army; Mrs. Mattie J. Yagee, wife of Capt. Yagee, with Col. Quantrell; Mrs. Nannie Muir and two children, husband with Gen. Price; Mrs. Mary Walton and two children, one of whom died the day before they reached this Post, and was buried here by the rebels; her husband is also with Gen. Price; Mrs. Rebecca Flannery with several children; Mrs. Laura Flannery and child, husband in Col. Quantrell's command; Mrs. Henrietta Muir, husband murdered by the Yankees on 18th Jan. last; Mrs. Ida Irvin and child, husband with Col. Quantrell; Mrs. Mary Ann Irvin, husband with Col. Quantrell; Mrs. Jane Flannery, husband with Col. Quantrell; Mrs. Sarah Wells and six children, husband with Gen. Price's army; Mrs. Elizabeth Johnson, a widow lady, and whose only son is with Col. Quantrell; and Miss Maggie Johnson, her daughter. And last, but not least, Miss Mattie Baker, who has not relatives living.
The ladies have all made their way from within the lines of the Yankees driving their own teams without any male person to assist them in making the long and tedious trip.
Before leaving their houses in Missouri, they provided themselves with good horses, to haul their wagons, which contained what little of their effects the Yankees permitted them, in their great mercy, to bring along with them. But before they had proceeded far on their journey, Lincoln's hireling soldiery robbed them of the last horse they had, leaving their wagons standing in the road, in a country where they were entirely unknown, and not a friend near, to whom they could apply for aid. They were not only deprived of their property, but were insulted by almost every indignity that a band of lawless men and unbridled soldiery could offer. After several days canvassing on foot, the ladies succeeded at the most enormous rates in securing a sufficient number of oxen to move forward toward their destination.
On they came, trudging their lonely way, caring for, and watching their teams at night, and gathering and hitching them up in the morning. Insult heaped upon insult were offered them as they passed along; and they were repeatedly informed by the Yankees that the Confederates would not show them any respect whatever, that Quantrell and his men were all considered as a band of robbers and outlaws by the rebels themselves.
It was enough to make any patriot's heart burn with rage and indignation, to set [sic] and hear them recite their wrongs and suffering for the past two years, which are numberless, and unprecedented in the annals of history. Many of them have not seen their husbands for over two years, and don't know whether they are living or have been numbered with the pale nations of the dead. Often have these ladies prepared the hasty meal for the guerrilla and carried it to him while he was hid in the bushes awaiting to avenge the wrongs done him by the vilest foe that ever invaded the homes of a gallant people.
Notwithstanding the sufferings and trials through which these ladies have passed, their patriotism is ardent and even more determined than before. They declare that they never wish to see their husbands and brothers leave the field until the last armed foe has been vanquished, and that if it came to the worst that THEY would shoulder the musket and BREAST the storm of battle, and fall a sacrifice upon the altar of their country's freedom.
They expressed a decidedly favorable opinion of the rebels they met here, stating that the generous conduct of the soldiers was greatly in contrast with that of the insolent wretches who are bowing at the feet of Father Abraham; and they felt once more like they were with their brothers, and that they could breathe free again.
Both citizens and soldiers at this place vied with each other in giving them every assistance in their power, to alleviate as much as possible their distress, and to show them every courtesy due them from a gallant and brave people, battling for freedom's cause.
In addition to the many trials they encountered on their journey, none seemed more heart rending than that of the death of Mrs. Mary Walton's child, before mentioned. It was a beautiful, angel-like cherub. Well do I remember its calm and placid countenance, as I saw it while it was being transferred from the rude coffin, made by the ladies themselves while passing through the Indian country, to the more finished and neat one prepared for it by the rebels. How sad and solemn the reflection that while its remains were being conveyed to its last resting place, witnessed by its mother, the father was far away battling for his liberty, unconscious of the fate of his jewel. The burial was attended and executed by the soldiers of the 20th Texas, who all joined the mother in weeping for her child, obeying the holy injunction which says "Weep with those that weep." Not a dry cheek was there.
The patriotism, forbearance and long suffering of these ladies should be a lesson to the ladies of Texas who, as yet, have felt none of the hardships and privations of this war, especially those who are continually writing to their husbands and brothers in the army, making out their cases as dark as possible, thereby discouraging their friends, and inducing them to desert their country's flag.
Ladies of Texas, my word for it, if you will write to your relatives and friends in the army, that you are ready and willing to do and suffer everything that is necessary for the sake of liberty, and for them to remain at their posts until they can come home honorably, desertions in our army will soon be a thing of the past. Let no Texas mother dishonor herself by offering any inducement to husband or son to leave their comrades in the face of the enemy, and go home without the consent of his commander. With a just cause and a God of Justice with us, we have but to discharge our duty, and success is beyond the possibility of a doubt.
What an example for all young ladies is found in the patriotic course of Miss Maggie Johnson and Miss Mattie Baker, both beautiful, lovely and graceful.
Yours truly, J. W. Johnson.