TPA Roundup – 5/7/2012

The Texas Progressive Alliance thinks Mrs. Sarkozy would have been the better candidate than her husband as it brings you this week’s roundup.

Three more Congressional candidate interviews from Off the Kuff: State Rep. Joaquin Castro, the heir apparent in CD20; Bexar County Tax Assessor Sylvia Romo in CD35; and former Bastrop County Judge Ronnie McDonald in CD27.

BossKitty at TruthHugger is overwhelmed by the disgusting realization that everyone’s future will be determined by America UNDER THE INFLUENCE!

BlueBloggin sees Zombies everywhere. Zombies are disengaging Common Sense and promoting the Great Unlearning of America at the bidding of the Koch Brothers. Zombie Politics Desecrates Science Education and Economy.

Texas GOP House Speaker Joe Straus and anti-abortion groups make nice. WCNews at Eye On Williamson has the skinny, The political calculus is changing in Texas.

CouldBeTrue of South Texas Chisme hopes the Valley recognizes Filemon Vela for the opportunistic a**hole he truly is.

The Libertarians selected former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson as their presidential nominee at their national convention in Las Vegas this past weekend, and then pushed all their chips in on the pivotal issue of 2012: weed. PDiddie at Brains and Eggs doesn’t think it’s a smokescreen.

Lightseeker explains, over at TexasKaos, how Texas has a shoot first law – Even the Sponsor Didn’t Know It. Give it a read.

The Week of May 7 – 12 in Texas History:

Mission San Francisco de la Espada

Mission San Francisco de la Espada – The first mission established within the boundaries of Spanish Texas was San Francisco de la Espada. In 1689, Spanish authorities found the remnants of a French settlement, Fort Saint Louis.[3] During their expedition, the Spanish met representatives of the Caddo people, who lived between the Trinity and the Red Rivers. The Caddo expressed interest in learning about Christianity,[4] and the following year Alonso De Leó   led an expedition to establish a mission in East Texas. It was completed near the Hasinai village of Nabedaches in late May, and its first mass was conducted on June 1, 1690.[5][6]

In its first two years of existence, the mission faced much hardship, as floodwaters and then drought destroyed their crops. After an epidemic killed half of the local population, the Hasinai became convinced that the missionaries had caused the deaths.[7] Fearing an attack, on October 25, 1693 the missionaries buried the mission bell, set the building ablaze, and retreated to Mexico.[8]

The mission was reestablished on July 3, 1716, as Nuestro Padre San Francisco de los Tejas.[9] In 1721, it was renamed Mission San Francisco de los Neches. It was moved in 1731 to San Antonio where it was named Mission San Francisco de la Espada. The surviving structure is now part of San Antonio Missions National Historical Park operated by the National Park Service. A commemorative representation of Mission San Francisco de los Tejas, is located in Weches at Mission Tejas State Park.

May 07, 1844

On this day in 1844, the Scioto Belle, a river steamer believed to have been built on the Scioto River in Ohio, arrived at Galveston from New Orleans. The vessel was described in the Telegraph and Texas Register as a substantial, well-built ship, nearly new, well adapted for carrying freight, and with excellent accommodations for passengers. The steamer operated between Galveston and Houston and landings on the Trinity River but, probably because of the poor condition of the Trinity channel in the 1840s, was not able to go much farther up the river than Liberty Landing. In 1844, during a yellow fever epidemic, the Scioto Belle was docked at Lynchburg and converted by Dr. John Henry Bowers into a hospital.

May 07, 1861

On this day in 1861, Anna Pennybacker, clubwoman, woman suffrage advocate, author, and lecturer, was born in Petersburg, Virginia. She graduated from the first class of Sam Houston Normal School in Huntsville, Texas, continued her education in Europe, and subsequently taught grammar and high school for fourteen years. In 1884 she married native Texan Percy V. Pennybacker. Mrs. Pennybacker wrote and published A New History of Texas in 1888, and the textbook was a staple of Texas classrooms for forty years. She founded one of the first women’s clubs in Texas, the Tyler Woman’s Club, in 1894. She went on to serve as president of the Texas Federation of Women’s Clubs from 1901 to 1903, a position in which she raised $3,500 for women’s scholarships at the University of Texas and helped persuade the legislature to fund a women’s dormitory there. After holding important offices in the General Federation of Women’s Clubs, Mrs. Pennybacker was an associate member of the Democratic National Committee (1919-20) and through her work with the Democrats met Eleanor Roosevelt in 1924. Their fourteen-year friendship was based on mutual interests in the advancement of women, world peace, and the Democratic party. Anna Pennybacker died in Austin in 1938.

Civil War in Texas

The so-called battle of Adams Hill occurred on May 9, 1861, between federal forces under Lt. Col. Isaac Van Duzer Reeve and Texas Confederate troops under Col. Earl Van Dorn. The confrontation took place on the military road between San Antonio and El Paso, about fifteen miles west of downtown San Antonio. Under the terms of the surrender of the Department of Texas, Reeve proceeded from Fort Bliss to the Texas coast to join other federal troops in the evacuation of Texas. His force consisted of companies B, E, F, H, I, and K and a detachment of Company G, Eighth United States Infantry, which represented the garrisons of Fort Bliss, Fort Quitman, and Fort Davis. Reeve reported the total strength of his command at 320 men, including two hospital stewards, twelve musicians, and ten officers. Col. James V. Bomford of the Sixth United States Infantry also accompanied the column.

Upon arriving at Fort Clark, Reeve became aware of the Confederate internment of paroled federal troops in Texas and of concern by Confederate officials in San Antonio that Reeve’s force was, in fact, hostile. He nevertheless resolved to continue his march to the coast to evacuate his command in compliance with former Department of Texas commander David Twiggs‘s terms of surrender. On May 8 Reeve camped his command on the east side of the Medina River opposite Castroville. At midnight, having received further word of Van Dorn’s advance from San Antonio with the purpose of confronting the column, Reeve resolved again to push forward to San Antonio.

Upon the advice of Lt. Zenas Randall Bliss, Reeve halted his column on a high hill a few hundred yards from San Lucas Springs. There was a small collection of buildings and corrals, which Reeve supplemented with his wagons for defense purposes. At around nine that morning, two officers representing Colonel Van Dorn arrived under a white flag with the Confederates’ demand that Reeve surrender unconditionally. With no actual hostile force in sight and his position a strong one, Reeve declined.

Van Dorn, on the march, soon arrived in full force. His command, which consisted of six companies of Col. Henry E. McCulloch‘s cavalry regiment, a squadron of Col. John S. Ford‘s State Troops (under the command of Lt. Col. John Robert Baylor,) Capt. William Edgar’s battery of light artillery, and a battalion of infantry under Lt. Col. James Duff, comprised nearly 1,370 men and six pieces of artillery. Van Dorn’s representative now offered Reeve an opportunity to inspect the Confederate force. Lieutenant Bliss was sent forward and examined it, then quickly reported the strength of the force to Reeve. Inasmuch as the federals’ effective strength had been reduced to 270 by sickness, desertion, and stragglers, Reeve resolved that resistance would be futile and surrendered his command to Van Dorn. The Confederates, satisfied with this turn of events, retired, allowing Reeve to continue his march, under arms, at his own leisure. The federals arrived at San Antonio on May 10, and the next day a Confederate officer was sent to recover all arms and public property.

Period accounts of the confrontation refer to the event as having taken place at San Lucas Springs. Later accounts say Adams Hill. There were no shots fired; it appears that both sides were eager to avoid bloodshed.

Preparations for the very last battle of the Civil War At Palmito Ranch begins:

The Confederates in Texas were aware of the fate of the Confederacy’s eastern armies. On May 1, 1865, a passenger on a steamer heading up the Rio Grande towards Brownsville tossed a copy of the New Orleans Times to some Confederates at Palmito Ranch. The paper contained the news of Lee’s surrender, Lincoln’s death, and the surrender negotiations between Johnston and Sherman. Within the next ten days several hundred rebels left the army and went home. Those who remained were as resolute as their commanders to continue the fight in Texas. The federals, meanwhile, had received an erroneous report that the southerners were preparing to evacuate Brownsville and move east of Corpus Christi. In light of this intelligence Colonel Barrett ordered 250 men of the Sixty-second United States Colored Infantry and fifty men of the Second Texas United States Cavalry (dismounted) to cross to the mainland from Brazos Island at Boca Chica Pass to occupy Brownsville. Carrying five days’ rations and 100 rounds of ammunition per man, the Union troops crossed over to the coast at 9:30 P.M. on May 11, 1865. Under the command of Lt. Col. David Branson, this detachment marched all night and reached White’s Ranch at daybreak. There Branson’s men halted and tried to conceal themselves in a thicket along the Rio Grande. The camp was spotted by “civilians” (probably Confederate soldiers) on the Mexican side of the river. Realizing that any hope of surprising the Confederates was lost, Branson immediately resumed his march toward Brownsville.

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