Friday, July 26, 2013

Sunday, July 26th, 1863

To day the boys commenced getting boards to cover some cabins, &c. I remained at home reading. Mother [Mahala Sharp Hall nee Roberts] & Roberta [Hall] came up to see the sick, who are improving except Jemima who is quite sick. The boys went fishing with some success, instead of splitting boards as is erroneously stated. weather clear and hot with the Ther: standing at 96°.

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  1. Sunday, July 26, 1863

    The Steamboat House.
    Huntsville, Texas.

    General Houston . . . came home, quite miserable with a cold. Margaret put him to bed in the front room down-stairs and called Doctor Markham.

    The days were hot and the narrow couch was drawn to the center of the room to get the benefit of the circulation of air. The patient did not improve. . . . The physicians told Margaret that the General had contracted pneumonia.

    On July twenty-fifth he fell into a drug-like sleep. The family gathered about the couch and Reverend Doctor Samuel McKinney offered a prayer.

    General Houston slept through the night, with Margaret at his side. When morning dawned she asked for her Bible and began to read in a low voice.

    "In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would not have told you. I go to prepare a place for you."

    As these words fell from her lips General Houston stirred. It was mid-forenoon. Margaret put down the book and clasped her husband's hands. His lips moved.

    "Texas -- Texas! -- Margaret . . . "

    As the slanting shadows of sunset crept upon Steamboat House General Houston ceased to breathe. A life so strange and so lonely, whose finger-tips had touched stars and felt them change to dust, had slipped away. . . .

    excerpted from The Raven by Marquis James

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