This Week In Texas History

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Even as he issued an order on May 25, 1865 for all county sheriffs to protect state and Confederate property, Gov. Pendleton Murrah feared there was no stopping looting in the post-Civil War chaos.

When news of Robert E. Lee’s surrender reached eastern Texas by word of mouth in late April 1865, soldiers started to desert in droves. Gen. Magruder, the Galveston commander, reported on the 29th that scores of demoralized troops were disappearing every night.

The evacuation of the island on May 21 set off an unruly stampede as the last traces of military discipline evaporated. Hundreds of soldiers, most carrying weapons, streamed inland in an ugly mood.



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