RECOLLECTIONS OF Mr. F.M. “FRANK” FITZGERALD JR.
Second Texas Co. C, CSA (Bayland Guards)
In April 1861 I joined a company being organized on Cedar Bayou in Harris Co., and known as “The Bayland Guards. Ashbel Smith, Captain, Sam Ashe, Joe Harrell and Martin A. Lea, Lieutenants. Said company later became Company C 2nd Texas Infantry Regiment, which organized in the winter of 1861 & 2, with John C. Moore, Col., and W.P. Rogers, Lieut. Col., and X. B. DeBray, Major. We left Houston the 12th day of March 1862 and arrived in Memphis, Tenn. April 1st, and proceeded to Corinth, Miss., where we joined General Albert Sidney Johnston’s army - - -then on the move to the battle of Shiloh at Pittsburg landing on the Tennessee River.
The 2nd Texas Infantry Regt. numbered 987 men.
2 days at Corinth, Miss.
2 battles of I-U-K-A
1 at Fort Pemberton
1 on Chickasaw Bayou, or as the Yanks called it, Walnut Mills
Farmington, and 48 days and nights at the siege of Vicksburg and was there taken prisoners, and paroled there, being only 329 of the 987 left alive. As a token of honor for our gallantry, by order of the Commanding General, we had the name of every battle we fought inscribed on our Flag.
There are only 4 of the old Bayland Guards now living, out of 93, as follows: S. F. (Bud) Lawrence,
W. H. Woodall, Albert Smith, and myself.
I was dismissed from the Confederate Army, April 15, 1865, after serving 4 years and 9 days
- -23 months on the firing line - - - where scarcely 15 days passed without being engaged in, or hearing hostile guns. Was taken prisoners at capitulation of Vicksburg, Mississippi, after being under incessant fire of artillery and musketry day and night 48 days.
When our little army of 17,000 heroes, as Gen. Grant called us, hoisted the white flag, marched outside our works, stacked arms and surrendered to his army which numbered 148,000 well fed and equipped men. They had us surrounded in a space of territory 4 miles long and from 1/2 to 1 mile wide.
They had 1500 cannon on this line, and one morning at 9 o’clock they loaded and fired five rounds from each cannon, and possibly 3 times as many with small arms just as fast as they could take and shoot, and let me tell you there was nothing doing in actual war. During that 10 minutes, we all expected that their plan was to take the place by storm that morning, and I assure you that every— one of us that were able to stand up and handle a gun were at our post, ready to meet them and try to make it the costliest victory Grant ever won.
For us the old boys used to say, on going into battle, we smelled powder and had blood in our eyes and were determined to kill twice as many of them as they did of us. But they didn’t come, and I’ll say we were glad of it.
I attended the State Confederate Reunion at Temple, Texas, a few months ago and was sadly disappointed at not having the pleasure of meeting some of my comrade members of the 2nd Texas Inf. there, but I was the only one there. But it has been a long time since the close of the Civil War, and I know there must be very few of the 329 that was parted at Vicksburg in July 1865 now living, and in a very few more years we will be a thing of the past.
Mr. Fitzgerald in the form of two letters wrote the above recollections in 1921. He was 14 years old when he joined the Bayland Guards.