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Date Posted: 16:24:58 03/15/09 Sun
Author: Cousin Hank
Subject: Re: We came, we didn't see, so we went home
In reply to: Steve Mayeux 's message, "We came, we didn't see, so we went home" on 10:06:12 03/15/09 Sun

Hiya, Steve,
It speaks well of everyone that there was little sign of our week-long habitation. We all tried to pick up trash.
Thanks for reminding us of the hardships of Walker's Division. Four brothers of my mother's clan (named Mann) were in that division, three of them died of an epidemic in that winter camp. There wasn't much source of clean water and too many troops were packed into winter quarters in a small area so it's no wonder so many got sick and died. They were assigned to a Confederate force posted on the White River near Des Arc, Arkansas, as part of a large force defending Memphis, Tenn. I got the following info from a book titled titled “Captain Jack and the Tyler County Boys – a history of Company K, 13th Texas Cavalry Regiment.” by Thomas Reid :

Co. K (my g-g-grandfather's company) started as a mounted cavalry unit, but on July 24, 1862, they were redesignated as infantry and lost 40 cents a day in pay with the loss of the horse.
After they were ‘dismounted’ and the horses sent home, James Mann wrote to his little sister Mary, “John says he don’t want you to let his horse go for he says one of us might get back and we will want him”.

On their march north toward Memphis in 1862, the 13th Cavalry passed through Little Rock. Sept. 5, the men cleaned everything, groomed themselves and drilled for four hours to get ready for the dress parade at the state house the next day. They marched splendidly at the dress parade, drawing compliments from the Governor of Arkansas and the generals in attendance.

Continuing north, the soldiers reached Camp Hope, Arkansas, near the city of Austin, Arkansas. While on the march and for several days afterward the weather was awful – rain, drizzle, cold, wind, mud, not many tents or winter clothing. At Camp Hope, 20,000 men were in close quarters, with no clean water to drink, so bacterial and viral illnesses broke out. Four to six men were buried every day. It was estimated that the division lost 1500 men dues to illnesses, none to enemy action.

John Pinkney Mann (my g-g-grandfather)was in a hospital there at Camp Nelson from November to January, then rejoined the unit.
J.P. Mann continued with Co. K through several marches and engagements in Louisiana through 1863 and in April 1864 he was part of the Confederate forces that beat the Yankees at Mansfield and Pleasant Hill. The Walter P. Lane Rangers were there too.
He was in the Battle of Jenkins’ Ferry at the Saline River, Arkansas on April 30, 1864.
The division continued operation in Louisiana and Arkansas, and in late 1864 were in winter quarters near Minden, LA, not far from Shreveport. The Tyler County men were skilled in felling trees and building cabins, which they did just before the cold and sleet came. Some were granted leave around Christmas and made it back to Tyler County.
In March 1865, the division marched from Shreveport to Hempstead, arriving at Camp Groce on April 15, 1865. Back then it was 2-1/2 miles from Hempstead. (We've walked those grounds at Liendo Plantation.)
There, the men heard rumors of Lee’s surrender. They ignored such wild stories and continued to drill and perform their duties in the usual manner. They were a very large and undefeated army and as yet there were no enemy troops in Texas.
But as April ended, men started to slip away. Pvt. John P. Mann, the last of the four brothers, was reported absent on the morning of April 30th and no one thought badly of him. (Family history says he was sent home to apprehend deserters.) A couple of days later it became clear that Gen. Kirby-Smith was negotiating a surrender of the Trans-Mississippi Department. On May 19, most of the troops left for home. All the Tyler County boys were probably home by May 28th and started clearing fields, building fences and putting in crops.

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