Campbell Wood

b. 5 December 1842, d. 28 October 1914

Campbell Wood, 1842-1914
  • Campbell Wood was born on 5 December 1842 in Montgomery County, Alabama.
  • According to her son Isaac, Mariah nursed Campbell Wood like her own baby, and when he was grown he often brought her presents.
  • He and William Barnes Wood and Elizabeth Green Wood accompanied Green Wood and Evelina Alexander Barnes to Texas in 6 January 1850.
  • Green Wood and Evelina Alexander Barnes appeared in the US federal census of 1 June 1850 in Montgomery County, Texas. Other members of the household included Campbell Wood, William Barnes Wood and Elizabeth Green Wood.
  • On Sunday, 10 November 1850, Green Wood recorded in his plantation daily account book: "Plesant day, all dined with Willis B. Wood."
  • On Wednesday, 25 December 1850, Green Wood recorded in his plantation daily account book: "Mr. J. Abercrombie and Family and W. B. Wood and Family and Mr. Peter C. Harris to dinner with us."
  • On Thursday, 22 May 1851, Green Wood recorded in his plantation daily account book: "J. C. Abercrombie and Lady came down this evening," and on Friday, the 23rd, "Lizzie, J. Brown and Campbell and Len [Abercrombie] all went home with J. C. A. and Lady."
  • On Saturday, 11 September 1852, Green Wood recorded in his plantation daily account book: "Campbell sick to day; sweated off fever with Lobelia," and on the following day, "Campbell had Fever again about 2 oclock, gave Lobelia after Supper; fever continued untill 12 oclock."
  • Campbell wrote: I promise my sister this day not to drink any ardent spirit during the year 1856. Campbell Wood.
  • Evelina Wood wrote on 14 May 1855, to her daughter Lizzie Powell, undergoing treatment for cancer in Murfreesboro, Tennessee: ". . . No one laid up here, all well except colds -- Campbell has a rising on his thumb, something like a felon -- you will scarcely recognize him he has grown so much -- We will be obliged to send him to Huntsville as Mr Williamson leaves us in two weeks for Shreveport . . . ." Letter in private collection of B. M. Henwood, descendant of Wm Wood Powell; original transcription by R. E. Reichardt.
  • On Sunday, 2 September 1855, Green Wood recorded in his plantation daily account book: "Started to Huntsville with Campbell Wood to Austin College," and on the following day, "Boarded Campbell at Mr Bakers, paid $40 in advance, Paid $15 in advance for Tuition." On Wednesday, the 5th, "Returned home from Huntsville."
  • On Thursday, 17 January 1856, Green Wood recorded in his plantation daily account book: "Went to Huntsville with Campbell to school," and on Friday, the 18th, "Boarded Campbell with Colonel Woodall at Huntsville Globe Hotel." On the following day, "Came home from C. Abercrombie."
  • On Friday, 30 May 1856, Green Wood recorded in his plantation daily account book: "Bob went after Campbell to Huntsville."
  • On Sunday, 31 August 1856, Green Wood recorded in his plantation daily account book: "Took Campbell Wood to Huntsville to College," and on Tuesday, "Returned from Huntsville to Dinner."
  • On Wednesday, 7 January 1857, Green Wood recorded in his plantation daily account book: "Campbell Wood started back to Huntsville to College."
  • On Sunday, 6 September 1857, Green Wood recorded in his plantation daily account book: "Started Campbell Wood to Huntsville to school."
  • On Friday, 18 December 1857, Green Wood recorded in his plantation daily account book: "Sent Bob to Huntsville for Campbell W."
  • On Tuesday, 2 March 1858, Green Wood recorded in his plantation daily account book: "Campbell Wood left for Rutersville."
  • On Sunday, 18 April 1858, Green Wood recorded in his plantation daily account book: "Enclosed a Draft to Campbell for Colonel Forshey."
         This transaction is related to 15-year-old Campbell's attendance at Texas Monumental & Military Institute in Rutersville. Campbell attended Austin College in Huntsville from September 1855 to December 1857, and then Green sent him off to Rutersville when war seemed imminent. Col. Forshey dined at Greenwood in July 1858.
  • On Wednesday, 7 July 1858, Wm Barnes Wood, in Green Wood's absence, recorded: "G.M. Wood
    returned home today without Campbell," and on Friday, the 9th, "Sent Lawrence to Huntsville after Campbell Wood." Then on Saturday, the 10th, "Campbell Wood got home from Rutersville."
  • On Thursday, 29 July 1858, Green Wood recorded in his plantation daily account book: "Colonel C. G. Forshey came to Dinner."
  • On Friday, 3 September 1858, Green Wood recorded in his plantation daily account book: "Campbell Wood left this evening for Rutersville by way of J. C. Abercrombie." [It is an educated guess that Campbell and Len Abercrombie travelled together to Rutersville.]
  • Green Wood recorded, "On 5th September 1858, Sent Colonel Forshey a Draft on E. B. Nichols & Co for $110."
  • On Friday, 17 June 1859, Green Wood recorded in his plantation daily account book: "Campbell Wood got home from Rutersville."
  • On Thursday, 18 August 1859, Green Wood recorded in his plantation daily account book: "Mrs. Wood, Ella, Mr. Powell and Campbell left for Kellum Springs in company of Mrs. Scott and Miss Ella Scott," and on Saturday, the 27th, "Mrs. Wood and all others got home from Kellum Springs."
  • Green Wood recorded, "Received Galveston March 10 1860 of R B Nichols & Co One Hundred Dollars for the ?? of Col C G Forshey, and for account of Major Green Wood $100."
  • Green Wood and Evelina Alexander Barnes appeared in the US federal census of 1 June 1860 in Montgomery County, Texas, next to their son William Barnes Wood.. Other members of the household included Campbell Wood, Ella Abercrombie Wood, Sarah Anne Harris, Eliza Stocks Wood, Charles Harris Wood, Willis Eason Wood, Elizabeth Ames Wood and Powell Wood. Green Wood is listed in the 1860 Slave Schedule with 106 slaves (33 of whom were age 10 and younger, and 8 of whom were age 60 and older) and 23 slave houses, for an average of 4-5 persons per cabin.
  • He was a farmer, according to the 1860 census.
  • On Tuesday, 12 June 1860, Green Wood recorded in his plantation daily account book: "Campbell Wood returned from Rutersville, Jack H. Williamson came home with him."
  • On Thursday, 2 August 1860, Green Wood recorded in his plantation daily account book: "Sallie Wood and Eliza A. [and] Campbell Wood left for Kellum Springs, also Mr. A. W. Speight and Lady."
  • On Wednesday, 19 December 1860, Green Wood recorded in his plantation daily account book: "Campbell came home to spend Christmas."
  • Mid-April 1861, Green Wood wrote to Campbell Wood: “My dear Son:- I hand you herewith a check on W. M. Rice of Houston. Pay your bills, come home and join the army. Affectionately, your father. Green Wood.”.
  • On Sunday, 28 April 1861, Green Wood recorded in his plantation daily account book: "Campbell and Jack [Williamson] returned from Rutersville."
  • On Monday, 29 July 1861, Green Wood recorded in his plantation daily account book: Mr. Powell & his company left this morning for Virginia. Campbell Wood went off in fine spirits for the war. . . . Bob & Ben went with the waggon to Hempstead to carry Bagage.
         We must remember that Campbell was a youngster of eighteen, fresh from his training at Texas Military Institute.
  • Campbell Wood enlisted on 2 August 1861 near Harrisburg, and joined as a 3rd lieutenant Capt. R. M. Powell's Company, Texas Volunteers, later known as Company D, 5th Texas Infantry Regiment. He appears as a "2 Lt Jr" on the company muster roll for November/December 1861, "Sick in Camp since Dec 16, 1861." According the May/June muster roll, he was "Sent to rear Hospl June 7, 1862." On 23 August 1862 he was promoted to 2 Lt Sr in place of A C Woodall. The January/February 1863 muster roll, "Left company for Texas on 30 days furlough Feb 8, 1863." He was wounded at Gettysburg on 2 July 1863 and applied for retirement.
  • Captain "Mike" Powell wrote to his young sister-in-law Ella Wood on 6 April 1862, from Camp Wigfall, near Fredericksburg, Virginia. He ended the four-page letter, "We are all enjoying fine health now & are very anxious to see Lt. Hill return with our recruits. Your bro' Campbell is getting very fat, Bose not so fat as he used to be, & Pete Williamson looks like a Dutchman that drank a gallon of Lager beer every day. We all want to go home very much but not until the war is over. If I never come home you must tell Wood that you are to take care of him & that he must love you & wait on you as long as he lives, & when war comes he must fight for his country & not stay at home. Give my love to your father and mother & all the family, Your Bro' Mike."
  • The following appeared on 3 October 1862 in the Houston Tri-Weekly Telegraph: Lieutenant Campbell Wood, Adjutant 5th Texas, sends us a list of the killed and wounded of the 4th and 5th, which we have already published. We are glad to learn that Col. Robertson's wound is reported slight. He says that Gen. Hill's division was the head of their column in crossing into Maryland. Our correspondent Wanderer was again wounded, though we are glad to know his would was but slight. Dempsy Walker's wound is spoken of as dangerous.
  • On Thursday, 29 January 1863, Green Wood recorded in his plantation daily account book: "Sent Bob to Huntsville with $350 to Wmr T Robinson to pay money borrowed by Campbell Wood, $150 of Lt Woodall & George Grant $200 in Virginia."
  • The following appeared on 6 March 1863 in the Houston Tri-Weekly Telegraph: The following changes have taken place in the 5th Texas, since our last advices: . . . Lieut. Campbell Wood, to Adjutant 5th Texas. . . .
  • On Sunday, 8 March 1863, Green Wood recorded in his plantation daily account book: "Campbell Wood returned home from Virginia on a visit."
  • The following appeared on 22 February 1864 in the Houston Daily Telegraph: Our young friend, Joseph Bates, just returned from the Rangers, has obliged us with a package of late Mobile and Selma papers, for which we are very thankful. He informs us that General Wharton has recovered and gone to Richmond. Harrison commands a brigade and is doubtless a Brigadier before this. Major Pat Christian commands the Rangers. Among other letters, he brings us the following from Lt. Campbell Wood: Peachtree Village, Texas, Feb. 16, '64. Ed. Tel. -- I send you, by Mr. Bates, of the Terry Rangers, a letter, handed to me by Colonel Thrasher, of the Press Association. I am now on my way to Danville, Montgomery county, where I reside, but as Mr. Bates will go through Houston I will send it by him. Great preparations are being made for the spring campaign. The army is in fine spirits. Army of Virginia is better clothed and better fed than they have been since the war commenced. All feel confident of success -- never were in better spirits. Longstreet's corps has been ordered to rejoin Gen. Lee. It is expected that Bragg is to be Assistant Secretary of War in this department. Gen. Hood has been ordered to Texas -- will take the field in April. He is now waiting for his "leg," which the Texas brigade sent to Europe for. Gen. Robertson has been relieved from duty, and is now standing his trial in Richmond. I am not sufficiently acquainted with the particulars to give them to you. I could give you a good batch of news, but have no convenience for writing. Respectfully, Campbell Wood, Lt. Co. D, 5th Texas, Longstreet's Corps.
  • On Tuesday, 7 June 1864, Green Wood recorded in his plantation daily account book: "Campbell Wood started this morning to Virginia, Charles with him."
  • On Monday, 27 June 1864, Green Wood recorded: "Campbell Wood left for Virginia, Charles and a packed mule."
  • On Monday, 19 June 1865, Green Wood recorded in his plantation daily account book: "Campbell Wood got home 11 o'clock at night."
  • On Tuesday, 8 August 1865, Green Wood recorded in his plantation daily account book: "Campbell Wood got home from Houston."
  • The following appeared on 25 January 1867 in the Galveston Daily News: Merchants of the cities of Galveston and Houston and the interior of the state are mose respectfully informed that we, the undersigned, have this day entered into copartnership for the purpose of carrying on a Cotton and Wood Factorage, Produce Brokerage and General Commission Business, and hope by devotion to business under the above heads? exclusively, to merit a share of their patronage. H. H. Milby, Late of Houston, Campbell Wood, Late of Montgomery Co., Chas L. Lowday, Late with W. B. Nichols & Co. [published from December 1866 through at least July 1867.]
  • The following appeared on 3 February 1867 in Flake's Bulletin: [Arrived at the] Island City Hotel. -- . . . Campbell Wood, Danville . . .
  • On the voter registration list for Montgomery County, Danville Precinct, dated 7 August 1867: Arch Gilford, Gip Gilford, Tom Wood, Campbell Wood, and Douglas McQueen Campbell and Edmund Powell.
  • On Sunday, 6 September 1867, Green Wood recorded in his plantation daily account book: "Started Campbell Wood to Huntsville to school."
  • William Barnes Wood and Cornelia Josephine Mitchell appeared in the US federal census of 1 June 1870 in Danville, Montgomery County, Texas. Other members of the household included Campbell Wood, Evelina Wood, Evelina Alexander Barnes, Ella Abercrombie Wood, Eliza Stocks Wood, Elizabeth Ames Wood and Powell Wood.
  • He was a clerk, according to the 1870 census.
  • The following appeared on 20 October 1870 in the Houston Daily Union: At a meeting of the survivors of the Army of Northern Virginia, held in the city of Houston, Texas, on the 18th of October, the object being to express the sorrow felt by all at the death of Gen. R. E. Lee, our late commander, Robert Burns was called to the chair, and Joe Cramer appointed secretary; and upon motion a committee of three, consisting of W. S. Billups, Campbell Wood and C. C. Beavens, was appointed to draft resolutions to suit the occasion. . .
  • He married Ann Hall Mitchell, daughter of Unknown Mitchell and Margaret Augusta Williams, on 24 June 1872 in Austin, Travis County, Texas, second cousins once removed; Campbell's maternal grandmother Nancy Abercrombie Barnes was the sister of Nannie's father's maternal grandmother Jane Abercrombie Hall.
  • The following appeared on 4 August 1878 in the Galveston Daily News (from the Willis Enterprise): We now have in our possession a masonic apron made of lambskin which is perhaps the oldest in the state. It is the property of Campbell wood, of this place, and was worn by his grandfather in a Virginia lodge over a hundred years ago, when there were but three lodges in that state, and George Washington was the master of one of these, and seemed to know as well how to use the gavel as he did his "little hatchet."
  • Campbell Wood and Ann Hall Mitchell appeared in the US federal census of 1 June 1880 in San Saba County, Texas. Other members of the household included Elizabeth Augusta Wood, Evelyn Annie Wood, Sarah Josephine Wood and Annie Laurie Wood.
  • He was a physician, according to the 1880 census.
  • On 8 June 1882, Campbell Wood was granted by the Texas General Land Office scrip for 1280 acres, a provision available to confederate soldiers permanently disabled during the war. He sold the certificate for $80 to Hayes Longee of Boston, Massachusetts, on 16 June 1882.
  • The following appeared on 10 June 1883 in the Galveston Daily News: Sheep ranch for sale in San Saba Co; some improvements; mesquite grass; good winter protection; 7 lasting springs, which afford an abundance of water; 400 acres tillable land in one body. Price $2 per acre. 500 graded sheep with it if desired. Add. Campbell Wood, Cherokee, San Saba county, Texas.
  • Evelina Wood wrote from Willis, Texas, to her grandson Wood Powell in Christian County, Illinois on 12 April 1887, ". . . Campbell writes me no rain in his county yet, he thinks of looking [for] a location to practice medicine. I can not see how he is to live – but will try to hope for the best. . . ."
         Letter in private collection of B. M. Henwood, descendant of Wm Wood Powell, transcription by R. E. Reichardt.
  • The following appeared on 12 June 1890 in the Fort Worth Daily Gazette: (Situation Wanted -- Male) Travelling Man -- Wanted, a position on the road in Northwest Texas for a reliable house. References exchanged. Correspondence solicited. Address, Campbell Wood, Cherokee, San Saba county, Tex.
  • The following appeared on 1 April 1892 in The San Saba County News: (Cherokee) Dr. Campbell Wood, that gallant old confederate, who followed the flag of the lost cause as Hood's Adjutant General until it went down in gloom lives near our village. He is the father of seven interesting daughters and has always said, that if he was not the father of a warrior, he hoped he would be the father of some warrior's wife. He never tires of telling tales of grim vissaged war. He was in the village yesterday and seemed to be all smiles elated about something. We were not surprised at his joy when he informed us that he had a boy at his house, had just weighed him, that he tipped the scales at 15 lbs. I know now what his father will call him, but I hame him Hood. Hope he may be sent to west point and in the coming time, fight as gallantly for Uncle Sam as his father did for Texas Confederacy.
  • In 1894, Campbell Wood was living in Cherokee, San Saba County, Texas.
  • Campbell Wood and Ann Hall Mitchell appeared in the US federal census of 1 June 1900 in San Saba County, Texas. Other members of the household included Elizabeth Augusta Wood, Annie Laurie Wood, Campbell Ella Wood, Ellerbe English Wood, Mary Lou Wood and Campbell Wood Jr.
  • He was a farmer, according to the 1900 census.
  • Campbell Wood became a widower at the 10 November 1902 death of his wife Nannie Mitchell.
  • The following appeared on 14 November 1903 in The Lampasas Leader: Mrs. Campbell Wood, of this city, passed away, in Houston, on Monday, Nov. 10, 1902, at 8 a.m. Mrs. Wood has been a great sufferer for many months, and at her earnest entreaty she was carried to Houston early in October, Miss Bessie Chism, of this city, kindly accompanying her, and where she was met by two of her daughters and other relatives. Her death was not unexpected. Though all of the family could not be with her, three of her daughters attended and tenderly nursed her, and there were present many other relatives of the family. The interment took place at Willis, in Montgomery county, on Tuesday afternoon, where the family formerly lived before moving to this section of the state. The family have resided in this city since October, 1901, having moved from Cherokee, San Saba county.
  • In 8 March 1907, Campbell Wood was living in Cherokee, San Saba County, Texas, at the commencement of his memoir.
  • Campbell Wood appeared in the US federal census of 15 April 1910 in San Antonio, Bexar County, Texas, at 814 Avenue D. Other members of the household included Annie Laurie Wood and Ellerbe English Wood.
  • Campbell Wood died on 28 October 1914 at age 71 in San Antonio, Bexar County, Texas, at 314 West Carolina Street . His death was officially witnessed by Annie Laurie Wood.
  • He was interred at Confederate Cemetery, San Antonio, Bexar County, Texas.
  • The following appeared on 28 October 1914 in The San Antonio Light: Dr. Campbell Wood, aged 72, died Wednesday morning at 12:45 o'clock at his apartments, 314 West Carolina street. Dr. Wood was a native of Alabama, having been in San Antonio only during the last eight months of his life, although he had lived in Texas about 60 years. He was a Confederate veteran, and saw service with Hood's Brigada from Texas. He is survived by five daughters, Miss Ellerbe Wood of San Antonio; Miss Lollie Wood of San Francisco; Miss Lulu Wood of Colorado Springs; Miss Bessie Wood of Boston, Mass; Mrs. T. O. Reilly of Llano, a son, Campbell Wood of San Antonio, and a sister, Mrs. D. N. Campbell of Houston. Funeral arrangements have not been made yet, pending the advice of Dr. Wood's sister, Mrs. D. N. Campbell of Houston.
  • He was interred on 30 November 1950 at Sunset Memorial Park, San Antonio, Bexar County, Texas, having been disinterred from the Confederate Cemetery.
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    The following narrative, as told by Isaac Martin, was recorded as part of the 1936-1938 WPA Federal Writers' Project. Isaac Martin and his wife Rhoda were living at that time in Voth, Jefferson County, Texas.
         Dis ol' man jes' layin' 'roun'. Ain't nuttin' to him no mo'. I done wo' out. I jes' waitin' for de Good Marster to call po' ol' Isaac home to Glory.
         When dey read de proclamation to my mammy and daddy dey mek 'em give eb'rybody' age in de fam'ly. I was twelve year' ol' den.
         I was bo'n up here in Montgomery county 'bout t'ree mile from Willis upon de I&GN Railroad. I holp to buil' dat I&GN Railroad.
         Ol' Major Wood he my daddy' marster, and 'course he mine too. He was well fixed. He had 'bout seb'nty or eighty wukkin' slaves and I dunno how many li'l niggers. I didn' know nuttin' 'bout ol' Missus, Mrs. Wood. I jis' 'member she a big fat woman. Dey didn' 'low no li'l nigger chillun up in de yard 'roun' de big house 'cep'n' to clean up de yard, and dem what done dat, dey hatter be jis' like dat yard, clean as peckerwoods.
         Ol' marster he warn't mean. He nebber whip' 'em jis' so iffen anybody say de slave orter be whip. Dey hafter see him and tell him what dey done befo' he give de order to de overseer to whip. Iffen he don' t'ink dey orter be whip, he say don' whip 'em and dey don' git whip.
         I had to mind de cows and de sheep. I had a mule to ride 'roun' on. It was dis way, I hafter mind de cows. Ol' marster he plant dif'rent fiel's in co'n, fifty or sixty or a hundred acres. When dey harvestin' de co'n, when dey git one fiel' done dey tu'n de cows in so dey kin eat on de stalks and nubbins what lef' in dat fiel'. I got to ride 'roun' and see de cows don' bus' over from one fiel' what dey done harves' into de other fiel' where dey wukkin', or what ain't been harves' yet. I jis' like dat, ridin' dat mule 'roun' de fiel' and keepin' de cows in.
         Den dere was five or six of us boys to keep de dogs out de sheep. You know iffen de dogs git in de sheep dey ap' to kill 'em.
         Us go huntin' wid de dogs lots of time, and lots of time us ketch rabbits. Dey was six dogs, and de rabbits we kotch was so much vittles for us. I 'member one night us went out huntin' and ketch fo' or five rabbits. Us tek 'em home and clean and dress 'em, and put 'em in de pot to have big rabbit supper. I was puttin' some red pepper in de pot to season 'em, and den I rub my eyes wid my han' and git dat pepper in my eyes and it sho' burn. You know how red pepper burn when it git in your eyes, I nebber will forgit 'bout dat red pepper. De ol' folks uster show us how to fix de t'ings we ketch huntin', and cook 'em.
         Ol' marster sho' t'ought mo' of his li'l nigger chillen. He uster ride in de quarters 'cause he like to see 'em come runnin'. De cook, she was a ol' woman name' Forney, and she had to see atter feedin' de chillen. She had a way of callin' 'em up. She holler, "Tee, tee, t-e-e"; and all us li'l niggers jis' come runnin'. Ol' marster he ride up and say, 'Forney, call up dem li'l pickaninnies,' and ol' Forney she lif' up her voice and holler, "Tee, t-e-e, t-e-e," and ol' marster jis' set up on de hoss and laugh and laugh a lot to see us come runnin' up. He like to count how many li'l niggers he did have. Dat was fun for us too. I 'member dat jes' like yestiddy.
         "Nuttin' went hard wid me. Fur's I know 'bout slav'ry dem was good times."
         Dey had 'bout t'ree or fo' hundred of sheep. My father hafter kill a mutton eb'ry Friday for de house. Dey bring up de sheep and somebody hol' de head 'cross a block and my father cut de head off wid a hatchet. Sheeps is de pitifullest t'ings to kill. Dey jis' give up. And dey cries, too. But a goat, he don' give up, naw suh, he talk' back to you to de las'.
         I 'member one time dey gwine to give a school feas', and dey gwine kill a goat. Dey hang dat goat up to a tree by he hind legs so de blood drain good. Dey cut he t'roat, dat's de way dey gwine kill 'im. Dat goat seem like he kep' on talkin' and sayin' "Please, God, don' kill me" to de las', but dat ain't done no good. Dat goat jis' beg to de las'.
         My ol' marster he live in a big house. Oh, it was a palace. It had eight or nine rooms. It was buil' outer logs, and moss and clay was stuff' twixt de logs. Dere was boards on de outside and it was all ceil' nice on de inside. He lived in a mansion.
         Dey was plenty rich. Ol' marster he had a ol' waitin' man all dress up nice and clean. Now if you wanter talk to ol' marster you hafter call for dat ol' waitin' man. He come and you tell him what you want and den he go and tell ol' marster and den he say, "Bring him in,'"and den you go in and see de ol' marster and talk your business, but you had to be nice and hol' your hat under your arm.
         Dey's big rich people. Sometime' dey have parties what las' a week. Dey was havin' dere fun in dere way. Dey come in kerridges and hacks.
         My father was de hostler and he hafter keep de hosses and see 'bout feedin' 'em. Dey had a sep'rate li'l house for de saddles. Ol' marster he kep' good hosses. He warn't mean.
         He had a great big pasture and lots of times people go camp in it. You see it was disaway, de Yankees dey got rushin' de American people, dat de Confed'rates, dey kep' comin' furder and furder wes', 'till dey come to Texas and den dey can't go much furder. De Yankees kep' crowdin' 'em and dey kep' on comin'. When dey camp in ol' marster' pasture, he give 'em co'n. I see 'em dribe a whole wagon load of co'n and dump it on de groun' for dey hosses. De Yankees nebber come 'till de war close. Den dey come all through dat country. Dat was destruction, it seem to me like. Dey take what dey want.
         When freedom come and de proclamation was read and de ol' marster tol' 'em dey was free and didn' have no ol' marster no mo' some of de slaves cried. He tell 'em, "I don't want none of you to leave." "I'll give you $8.00 a mont'." All de ol' folks stay and help gadder dat crop. It sho' griebe ol' marster and he didn' live long atter dey tek his slaves 'way from him. Well, it jis' kill' him, dat's all. I 'members de Yankees on dat day dey sot to read de proclamation. Dey was gwine 'roun' in dey blue uniform' and a big long sword hangin' at dey side. Dat was cur'osity to dem niggers.
         When ol' marster want to go out, he call he li'l nigger serbent to go tell my father what was de hostler, to saddle up de hoss and bring him 'roun'. Den ol' marster git on him. He had t'ree steps, so he could jis' go up dem steps and den his foot be right at de stirrup. My daddy hol' de stirrup for him to put he other foot in it.
         I was big 'nuff to run after him and ax him to gimme a dime. He laugh and sometime he gimme de dime. Sometime he pitch it to me and I run and grab it up and say, "T'ankee, marster," and he laugh and laugh.
         Ol' mistus she had a reg'lar cook. Dat was my mudder's mudder. Eb'ryt'ing had to be jis' so, and eb'ryt'ing nice and clean.
         Dey didn' do no reg'lar wuk on Sunday. Eb'ry Sunday one of de other wimmins hafter tek de place of de cook so she could git off. All of 'em what could would git off and go to de chu'ch for de preachin'. Dem what turn didn' come one Sunday, would go anudder 'till dey all got 'roun' to go.
          Marster had two or t'ree hundred head of cattle. My gran'father, Guilford, had a mule and hoss of he own. Uncle Hank was his brudder, and he had de sheep department to look atter. Sometime de niggers git a hoss or a sheep over, den de marster buy 'im. Some of de niggers had a li'l patch 'roun' dey cabin' and dey raise veg'table. Ol' marster he buy de veg'table sometime. I didn' know what freedom was. I didn' know wedder I needed it or not. Seem to me like it was better den dan now, 'cause I gotter look out for myself now.
         Us uster be on de watch-out for ol' marster. De fus' one see him comin' lit out and open de gate for him to ride froo and ol' marster toss him a nickle.
         When it was time to eat, do ol' cook she holler out, "T-e-e, t-e-e, t-e-e-e" and all us li'l niggers come runnin'. She have a big tray and each of us have a wessel and a spoon. She fill' us wessel and us go eat and den us go back for mo'. Us git all us want. Dey give us supper befo' de han's come in from de fiel' and what wid playin' 'roun' all day and eatin' all us could hol' in de afternoon, twarn't long befo' us li'l niggers ready to go to sleep.
         One t'ing, ol' marster didn' want his niggers to run about. Sometime dey want to go over to anudder plantation on Sunday. Den he give 'em a pass iffen he willin' for 'em to go. Dey had patterrollers to ride from plantation to see iffen dey was any strange niggers dere.
         When dey wanter marry, de man he repo't to ol' marster. He want his niggers to marry on his own plantation. He give 'em a nice li'l supper and a big dance. Dey had some sort of license but ol' marster tek care of dat. He had two sons what had farms and slaves of dere own. Ol' marster didn' care if his slaves marry on his sons' farms. If any of de slaves do mean, he mek 'em work on Sunday. He didn' b'leeb in beatin' 'em.
         So many of 'em as could, usually go to de white folks chu'ch on Sunday and hear de white preacher. Dey sit off to deyse'fs in de back of de chu'ch. Dem what stay at home have a cullud preacher. Dey try to raise 'em up social.
         Dey had a ol' woman to look after de babies when dey mammies was out in de fiel'. Dey have a time sot for de mammies to come in and nuss de babies. De ol' woman she had helpers. Dey had a big house and cradle' fer dem babies where de nuss tek care of 'em.
         When anybody die dey have a fun'rel. All de han's knock off work to 'tend de fun'rel. Dey bury de dead in a ho'made coffin.
         I nebber pay no 'tenshun to talk 'bout ghos'es. I nebber b'leeb in 'em. But one time comin' from chu'ch my uncle' wife say, "Ike, you eber see a ghos'? Want to see one?" and I tell her "I don't give a cent, yes I want to see one." She say, "I show you a man dress' all in white what ain't got no head, and you gwine feel a warm breeze." After a while down de hill by de graveyard she say, "Dere he go." I look' but I neber see nuttin', but I feel de warm breeze.
         I uster go to see a gal and I uster hafter pass right by a ol' graveyard. It was all wall' up wid brick but one place dey had steps up over de wall so when dey hafter bury a body two men kin walk up dem steps side by side, and dat de way dey tek de corpse over. Well, when I git to dem steps I hear sump'n'. Den I stop and I ain't hear nuttin'. When I start walkin' ag'in I hear de noise ag'in. I look 'roun' and den I see sump'n' white come up right dere where de steps go over de wall. I had a stick in my han' and nex' time it come up I mek a rush at it and hit it. It was jis' a great big ol' billy goat what get inside de wall and was tryin' to git out. He get out jis' when I hit him and he lit out froo de woods. Dat's de only ghos' I eber see and I's glad dat warn't no ghos'.
         Ol' marster he had twenty head of cows. Dey give plenty milk. Dey uster git a cedar tub big as dat dere one full of milk. De milkers dey pack it on dey head to de house. Us cow-pen boys had to go drive up de caffs. Cow-pen boys? Cow-pen boys, dem de boys what keep away de caffs when dey do de milkin'. Co'se, lots of times when dey froo milkin' us jump on 'em and ride 'em. Wheneber dey ketch us doin' dat dey sho' wear us out. Dat warn't yestiddy.
         Fur as I's concern we had a plum good time in slav'ry. Many a year my grampa raise a bale of cotton and marster buy it. Dat was encouragin' us to be smart.
         My daddy name' Edmond Wood and my ma name' Maria. I had a brudder and a sister; dey name' Cass and Ann. I been a farmer all my life. I kep' on farmin' 'till de boll weevil hit dese parts and den I quit de farm and went to public work. I work in de woods and cut logs. I buy dis house. I been here 'roun' Voth 'bout twenty-five year'.
         I been marry twict. De fus' time I marry -- I git so stinkin' ol' I can't 'member when it were, but it been a long ways back. My fus' wife, Mary Johnson. She die' and den I marry dis yere woman I got yere now. Her name been Rhoda McGowan when I marry her but she been marry befo'. Bofe of us ol', ain't fit for nuttin'. Us git pension' and dat what us live on now, 'cause I too ol' to do any work no mo'.
         Me and my fus' wife we had ten chillun. Dey's all dead but fo' and I ain't sho' dey's all livin'. Las' I heerd of 'em one was in Houston, and one in Chicago, and one in Kansas City, and one live here. I see him dis mawnin'.
         I heerd tell of de Klu Klux but I ain't neber seed 'em. I neber did go to school needer.
         I's a member of de C.M.E. Meth'dis' Chu'ch. When I uster could git about I uster be a steward in de chu'ch. Den I was de treasurer of de chu'ch here at Voth for some seben year'. I uster b'long to de U.B.F. Lodge, too.
         Back in slav'ry dey allus had a ol' darky to train de young ones and teach 'em right from wrong. And dey'd whip you for doin' wrong. Dey'd repo't to de overseer. Some of 'em was mean and repo't somebody dey ain't like jis' to git 'em in trouble. De overseer he had to 'vestigate 'bout it and if it was so, somebody git a whippin'. Sometimes some folks repo't sump'n' when it warn't true.
         Ol' marster he was plum ind'pendant. His plantation was off from de town. He uster had his mail brung to him. Fur's I kin 'member I didn' had to look out for nuttin'. Dey had a time to call all de slaves up and give 'em hats, and anudder time dey give 'em shoes, and anudder time dey give 'em clo's. Dey see dat eb'rybody was fit. Ol' marster allus give 'em all some kinder present at Crismus. I dunno what all he give de ol' folks but he give de chillun candy and de like.
         I was allus tickle' to see ol' marster come 'roun' -- Oh, good gracious, yes. And it allus tickle' him to come 'roun' and see all his li'l niggers.
         One time Cap'n Fisher was 'sociated wid ol' marster, and him and anudder man come 'long wid ol' marster up de road what run froo de quarters. Dey wanter see de li'l niggers. Ol' marster call 'em up and frow out a han'ful of dimes. It sho' tickle' 'em to see de li'l niggers scramble for dem dimes, and us look' for dimes 'roun' dat place for a week. Dat was enjoyment to de white folks dem days.
         Marster was good to his niggers and none of 'em eber run away. My mudder she raise ol' mistus' baby chile. She uster suckle him jis' like he her own baby and he allus t'ink lots of her. After he a growed up man he uster bring her presents lots of times. He call her 'mammy all de time.
         He went off to de war. He los' he hearin' and got deef. Muster been de noise from dem big cannons what done it. He got his big toe shot off in de war, too. After de war was over he come home and git married.
         Dat 'bout all dat I kin 'member 'cep'n' dat I vote' in de state and other 'lections when I's twenty-one year' ol'.

    Writer Fred Dibble described Isaac Martin: "Quite black, with close-cut hair and stubby gray whiskers, Isaac Martin is contentedly spending the evening of his life. But two or three darkened teeth show between his thick lips as he talks. He was enjoying the friendly shade of the old tree in his backyard from his comfortable seat in an old rocker. His feet were bare and his once striped trousers were rolled up above his knees to keep him cool in the hot midsummer weather. Beside the chair was a pair of brogan shoes with gaping splits across the toes to avoid cramping his feet. He told the story of bygone days with evident enjoyment."
         Born in Slavery: Slave Narratives from the Federal Writers' Project, 1936-1938 (digital online collection). Texas Narratives, Volume 16, Part 3. Washington, DC: Library of Congress Manuscript Division.
  • Last Edited: 3 Sep 2015

Family: Ann Hall Mitchell b. circa 1849, d. 10 November 1902