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

In his history of “Terry’s Texas Rangers,” Mr. L. B. Giles narrates the following tragic incident of the East Tennessee campaign:

“It was during this winter that one of the saddest events in all our career happened: the hanging of E. S. Dodd by the enemy. He was a member of Company D. He was of a good family and well educated. For many years he kept a diary, setting down at night the happenings of the day. He was taken prisoner with this diary in his pocket. On that evidence alone he was condemned and executed as a spy.”

In January, 1914, the State Librarian received a letter from a resident of New York State, informing him that she had in her possession a diary found on the body of a Texas Ranger hung as a spy. Negotiations for its acquisition by the State Library were opened at once, and terminated successfully. The only information about the diary this person could give was that it “was found by a lieutenant from a N. H. regiment, who for years was a friend of our family, and some time before his death (which occurred six years ago) he gave it to me.”

E. S. Dodd came to Texas from Kentucky late in 1860 or early in 1861. After visiting an uncle, James L. L. McCall, at Waco, he made his home with another uncle, Dr. John R. McCall, at Austin. He was teaching school near Austin, and was not yet out of his teens, when he enlisted in Terry’s Rangers.

Ernest William Winkler

Texas State Library
November 5, 1914

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