April 23, 2019

Louis Trezevant Wigfall (1816-1874)

Louis T. Wigfall, secessionist, was born in Edgefield, South Carolina, on April 21, 1816, to Levi Durand and Eliza (Thomson) Wigfall and educated at South Carolina College and the University of Virginia. Wigfall believed in a society led by the planter class and based on slavery and the chivalric code. As a young man he neglected his law practice for contentious politics that led him to wound a man in a duel (and be wounded himself) and to kill another during a quarrel. In 1846 Wigfall arrived in Galveston, then moved with his wife, Charlotte, and three children to Nacogdoches, where he was a law partner of Thomas J. Jennings and William B. Ochiltree. Soon Wigfall opened his own law office in Marshall. He was active in Texas politics from the month he arrived, "alerting" Texans to the dangers of abolition and growing influence of non-slave states in the United States Congress. At the Galveston County Democratic convention in 1848 he condemned congressional efforts to prohibit the expansion of slavery into the territories and expressed sorrow that Texas would not take the lead in opposing such unconstitutional actions. Named in 1850 to the Texas House of Representatives, Wigfall attacked United States Senator Sam Houston as a coward and a traitor to Texas and the South. Wigfall played a major role in organizing Texas Democrats and fighting the American (Know-Nothing) party and Sam Houston in 1855-56. Wigfall was one of the few men in Houston's opposition who rivaled him as a stump speaker, and he was widely credited with Houston's defeat for the governorship in 1857. That year Wigfall was elected to the Texas Senate, and in 1858 he had a strong voice in the state Democratic convention that adopted a states' rights platform.

With the breakup of the Know-Nothings, many moderates moved back into the Democratic party, and it appeared that Wigfall`s radicalism was repudiated and that Houston and moderates were ascendant. But Wigfall capitalized on the fear that John Brown's raid on Harper's Ferry caused in the slave states and was elected to the United States Senate in 1859. In the Senate Wigfall earned a reputation for eloquence, acerbic debate, and readiness for encounter. In the forefront of southern "fire-eaters," Wigfall continued his fight for slavery and states' rights and against expanding the power of national government. Nevertheless he tried, unsuccessfully, to get federal funds to defend the Texas frontier against Indian attacks and to build the Southern Pacific Railroad into Texas. After Abraham Lincoln was elected president, Wigfall coauthored the Southern Manifesto, declaring that any hope for relief in the Union was gone and that the honor and independence of the South required the organization of a Southern Confederacy. Wigfall helped foil efforts for compromise to save the Union and urged all slave states to secede. He stayed in the Senate after Texas seceded, spying on the Union, chiding northern senators, and raising and training troops in Maryland to send to South Carolina. With the assistance of Benjamin McCulloch, he bought revolvers and rifles for Texas Confederates.

Wigfall made his presence felt when the Civil War began at Fort Sumter, rowing under fire to the fort and dictating unauthorized surrender terms to the federal commander. Between April and July 1861, when he was finally expelled from the Senate, Wigfall was a member of the Provisional Congress of the Confederacy, an aide to President Jefferson Davis, and a United States Senator. He was commissioned colonel of the First Texas Infantry on August 28, 1861, and on November 21 Davis nominated him brigadier general in the Provisional Army, a move later confirmed by the Confederate Congress. Wigfall commanded the Texas Brigade of the Army of Northern Virginia (Hood's Texas Brigade) until February 1862, when he resigned to take a seat in the Confederate Congress. At the beginning of the war Wigfall was a friend and supporter of President Davis. But soon after Wigfall's election to the Confederate Senate they quarreled over military and other matters. During the last two years of the Confederacy Wigfall carried on public and conspiratorial campaigns to strip Davis of all influence. Despite his public advocacy of states' rights, Wigfall did little for Texas. In the Confederacy he worked for military strength at the expense of state and individual rights. But he opposed the arming of slaves and was willing to lose the war rather than admit that blacks were worthy of being soldiers. After the fall of the Confederacy, Wigfall fled to Texas for almost a year and then, in the spring of 1866, to England, where he tried to foment war between Britain and the United States, hoping to give the South an opportunity to rise again. He returned to the United States in 1872, lived in Baltimore, moved back to Texas in 1874, and died in Galveston on February 18, 1874. Source

COORDINATES
29° 17.590
-094° 48.695


Trinity Episcopal Cemetery
Galveston

April 16, 2019

Michael Francis "Mike" Dukes (1936-2008)

Mike Dukes was an American collegiate and professional football player who was best known as a linebacker for the original Houston Oilers. Born in Louisville, Kentucky, Dukes attended Southwest DeKalb High School in Decatur, Georgia and then played in college for Clemson University. He then played the 1959 season for the San Francisco 49ers of the National Football League. Dukes left the NFL for the upstart American Football League where he played eleven seasons for the Oilers, Boston Patriots and New York Jets. He played for the first two championship teams of the American Football League, the 1960 and 1961 Oilers, and was selected to the UPI All-AFL Team in 1961. Dukes died in an automobile accident on Interstate 10 in Beaumont, Texas on June 16, 2008 at age 72 and was interred in Port Neches.

COORDINATES
30° 00.054
-093° 57.731

Section 10
Oak Bluff Memorial Park
Port Neches

April 15, 2019

John Ireland (1827-1896)

John Ireland, governor and legislator, son of Patrick and Rachel (Newton) Ireland, was born near Millerstown, Kentucky, on January 21, 1827. He served for several years as constable and sheriff of his home county, began to study law in 1851, and was admitted to the bar in 1852. He established himself at Seguin, Texas, in 1853. Ireland, mayor of Seguin in 1858, was a delegate to the Secession Convention in 1861; he voted for secession. He volunteered as a private in the Confederate Army in 1862 and advanced to the rank of lieutenant colonel. He was stationed on the Texas coast at the end of the war. He was a member of the Constitutional Convention of 1866 and served as district judge in 1866-67. He was removed by Philip Sheridan as an "impediment to Reconstruction." Ireland was elected to the House of the Thirteenth Legislature and to the Senate of the Fourteenth Legislature. As a legislator he opposed granting lands and subsidies to railroads, his work against the grant to the International-Great Northern Railroad winning him the sobriquet "Oxcart John." He served as associate justice of the Texas Supreme Court from 1875 until the Constitution of 1876 reduced that body from five to three judges. He was unsuccessful as a candidate against Richard Coke for the United States Senate in 1876 and against Gustav Schleicher for the United States House of Representatives in 1878.

   Ireland was elected governor of Texas in 1882 and again in 1884. As governor he continued somewhat Oran M. Roberts's economic policy, although he reversed policies for the rapid sale of public lands and the state's purchase of its own bonds at high prices. He urged a persistent enforcement of criminal laws and reduced the number of pardons. His administration was marked by the Fence-Cutting war of 1883 and strikes by the Knights of Labor in 1885 and 1886. He worked to develop state institutions and to protect state lands. During his terms the University of Texas was established, and the cornerstone for the Capitol was laid. It was Ireland who insisted that the building be made out of pink Texas granite rather than imported Indiana limestone. In 1887 Ireland lost to John H. Reagan in a contest for the United States Senate. He married Mrs. Matilda Wicks Faircloth in 1854. After her death in 1856, he married Anna Maria Penn in 1857. He had three daughters and later adopted his daughter's son, Patrick Ireland Carpenter. Ireland was a Mason and a Presbyterian. After his retirement from the governorship, he practiced law in Seguin until his death, on March 15, 1896. Source

COORDINATES
30° 15.917
-097° 43.626

Republic Hill
Texas State Cemetery
Austin

April 9, 2019

William Neff Patman (1927-2008)

William Patman was born March 26, 1927 in Texarkana, Texas. He attended public schools there and in Washington, D.C., where his father was a Congressman on the House Banking Committee. He subsequently attended the Kemper Military School in Boonville, Missouri, graduating in 1944. He served in the United States Marine Corps as a private first class from 1945 to 1946. He was a diplomatic courier for the United States Foreign Service from 1949 to 1950, then subsequently served in the United States Air Force Reserve as a captain from 1953 to 1966. After Patman graduated from the University of Texas at Austin in 1953, he was admitted to the Texas bar and served as a legal examiner for the Texas Railroad Commission until 1955. In 1955, Patman commenced the private practice of law as well as acting as the city attorney for Ganado, Texas from 1955 to 1960. In 1960, Patman successfully sought the now District 18 seat in the Texas State Senate. He took office the following year and served until 1981, also working as a delegate to state Democratic Party conventions during his senatorial tenure. In 1980, he was elected to the District 14 seat in the United States House of Representatives, when the short-term incumbent Joseph P. Wyatt did not seek reelection. Patman was re-elected in 1982, when U.S. Senator Lloyd M. Bentsen led the entire Democratic ticket to its last ever full sweep of Texas statewide offices. In 1984, however, Patman was unseated by Republican Mac Sweeney of Wharton, when Ronald W. Reagan swept Texas in his presidential reelection bid. After his defeat, he did not seek further office and retired to his ranch in Ganado, where he spent his last years. Patman died December 9, 2008 of stomach cancer at the age of eighty-one at M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston.

COORDINATES
30° 15.930
-097° 43.601

Monument Hill
Texas State Cemetery
Austin

April 2, 2019

John Lapham Bullis (1841-1911)

John Lapham Bullis, military officer and commander of the famed Black Seminole scouts, son of Dr. Abram R. and Lydia P. (Lapham) Bullis, was born at Macedon, New York, on April 17, 1841. As the eldest of seven children he had significant leadership in the family. He received a standard education at academies in Macedon and nearby Lima. Despite the devout Quaker sympathies of his parents and the revivalistic fervor of the surrounding area, he rarely attended services, but he apparently still remained on good terms with the family. Bullis enlisted as a corporal in the 126th New York Volunteer Infantry on August 8, 1862, and subsequently participated in several of the most important actions of the Civil War. At the battle of Harper's Ferry in September 1862 he was wounded and captured. He rejoined his regiment after exchange, was again wounded and captured at the battle of Gettysburg, and spent the following ten months confined to the notorious Libby Prison in Virginia. Having again been exchanged for Confederate prisoners in the spring of 1864, he joined the 118th United States Infantry, Colored, and received the rank of captain. He participated in a number of major combats around Richmond, Virginia, during the remaining months of the war. Bullis reenlisted in the regular army as a second lieutenant on September 3, 1867, and returned to Texas, where his Civil War regiment had been stationed for Reconstruction duty following the war's end.

Garrison assignments in coastal Texas provided little chance for military action or promotion, and so in November 1869 he was transferred by request to the new Twenty-fourth Infantry, composed of white officers and black enlisted men. Although the initial years of service along the lower Rio Grande border proved fairly routine, Bullis participated in a number of operations against small Indian raiding parties and cattle rustlers. More important, while stationed at Fort Clark in 1873, he received command of a special troop of Black Seminole scouts that had been mustered three years earlier. Because of their intimate knowledge of the terrain in Coahuila, Mexico, the scouts were assigned to Col. Ranald S. Mackenzie's expedition in 1873 against renegade Kickapoo camps at Remolino. Bullis and his twenty scouts distinguished themselves in battle and played an important role in Mackenzie's withdrawal to Texas. They served again with Mackenzie during the Red River War of 1874, which was directed against Comanches, Kiowas, and Southern Cheyennes in the Texas Panhandle. Sixteen years later Bullis received brevet citations for his "gallant service" at Remolino, for similar actions on the Pecos River and near Saragosa, Mexico, during 1875 and 1876 respectively, and for a fight in 1881 with Lipan Apaches at the Burro Mountains in Coahuila. Upon Bullis's transfer in 1882 from command of the Black Seminole scouts to new duties in Indian Territory, the people of Kinney County, Texas, presented him with two ceremonial swords, one silver and one gold, in appreciation of his efforts to protect the border. The swords were later donated by his daughters to the Witte Museum in San Antonio. The Texas legislature likewise passed a special resolution in his honor.

After service at Camp Supply in Indian Territory from 1882 to 1888, Bullis joined his old regiment in Arizona and served as agent for the Apaches at San Carlos Reservation. In 1893 he was transferred to Santa Fe, New Mexico Territory, to act as agent for the Pueblos and Jicarilla Apaches. Four years later he returned to Texas with the rank of major and was appointed paymaster at Fort Sam Houston. During the Spanish-American War and Philippine Insurrection he saw service in Cuba and the Philippines. In 1904 President Theodore Roosevelt promoted him to the rank of brigadier general, and on the following day Bullis retired from service. Drawing upon knowledge from his scouting experiences across West Texas, Bullis purchased numerous tracts of land as investments. In 1885 he also entered into a lucrative partnership with fellow officer William R. Shafter and rancher John W. Spencer to open the Shafter silver mines in Presidio County. The investments made Bullis a wealthy man and helped promote the settlement of West Texas. His marriage in 1872 to Alice Rodríguez of San Antonio ended with her death in 1887. Four years later he married Josephine Withers, also of San Antonio; they had three daughters. Bullis died in San Antonio on May 26, 1911. He received a final, posthumous, honor when, on the eve of American entry into World War I, the new military training base near San Antonio was named Camp Bullis. Source 

COORDINATES
29° 25.292
-098° 27.997

Section A
San Antonio National Cemetery
San Antonio