Following the American Civil War Sesquicentennial with day by day writings of the time, currently 1863.

Post image for Three Months in the Southern States–Lieut. Col. Fremantle, Coldstream Guards.

Three Months in the Southern States–Lieut. Col. Fremantle, Coldstream Guards.

April 24, 2013

Three Months in the Southern States–Lieut. Col. Fremantle, Coldstream Guards

24th April (Friday).—We made a start at 4.15 A.M., and with the assistance of McCarthy, we managed to lose our way; but at 6.15 a loud cheer from the box, of “Hoorraw for h—ll! who’s afraid of fire?” proclaimed that Mr Sargent had come in sight of Grey’s ranch.

After buying some eggs and Indian corn there, we crossed the deep bed of the river San Antonio. Its banks are very steep and picturesque.

We halted immediately beyond, to allow the mules to feed for an hour. A woman was murdered at a ranch close by some time ago, and five bad characters were put to death at San Antonio by the vigilance committee on suspicion.

We crossed the Selado river at 11, and nooned it in its neighbourhood.

Mr Sargent and the Judge finished the gin; and the former, being rather drunk, entertained us with a detailed description of his treatment of a refractory negro girl, which, by his own account, must have been very severe. McCarthy was much disgusted at the story.[1]

After bathing in the Selado, Mr Sargent, being determined to beat Ward, pushed on for San Antonio; and we drew up before Menger’s hotel at 3 P.M., our mules dead beat — our driver having fulfilled his promise of “making his long-eared horses howl.”

Later in the day I walked through the streets with McCarthy to his store, which is a very large building, but now desolate, everything having been sold off. He was of course greeted by his numerous friends, and amongst others I saw a negro come up to him, shake hands, and welcome him back.

I was introduced to Colonel Duffs brother, who is also a very good-looking man; but he has not thrown off his British nationality and become a “citizen.”

The distance from Brownsville to San Antonio is 330 miles, and we have been 11 days and 4 hours en route.

[1] However happy and well off the slaves may be as a general rule, yet there must be many instances (like that of Mr Sargent) of ill treatment and cruelty. Mr Sargent is a Northerner by birth, and is without any of the kind feeling which is nearly always felt by Southerners for negroes.—July 1863.

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