May 3, 1865, Franklin, Tex.,
Statement of William J. Davis.

Franklin, Tex., May 3, 1865

I was born in La Fayette [Fayette] County, Ala.; came from Johnson County, Tex. (Alvarado town); left there on the 3d of April last. I have been in the Confederate service as a soldier. I entered it the 13th of June, 1862, Colonel Bass' regiment, afterward consolidated in Major Johnson's battalion. I left the Confederate service the 19th of last February, on furlough to the 25th day of March. I served principally in the Indian Nation and in Arkansas. I left Texas and the service of the Confederates because I did not like the cause I was fighting in; was opposed to it from the commencement. Nineteen of us left together; held a council in the Cross-Timber and left. Three of us came in ahead this morning; the rest we left this side of the Huecca Tanks. I have taken the oath of allegiance, administered to me this morning, because I wish to see peace again and the Government restored, and to live once more under the Stars and Stripes. Judge Baird, a former resident of this Territory, and another man are raising a force to come to New Mexico. Baird, in the first place, had an order from Henry McCulloch, brigadier-general, to raise a battalion of Confederate troops to range in the direction of New Mexico. Various reports among the people – was said they were going to El Paso, Santa Fé, &c. It was to be a marauding party, of course. When I left had nine full (eighty-four men) companies. They had come in to the various camps near Gainesville, Cooke County, and Fort Belknap. I was told by a clerk in the quartermaster's department connected with the expedition that they would probably get two full regiments, as the men were coming in by hundreds. This clerk was a connection of a brother-in-law of mine. I do not recollect his name. These companies were composed of all sorts of men – bushwhackers, some of Quantrill's and Anderson's bushwhackers, &c. The impression that prevailed among the men was that they were coming out here for the purpose of again coming into the Federal Government, taking the oath of allegiance, &c. The real object was not known, but I believe its object is to overrun, if they can, this country. They were to start about the beginning of this month (May), as soon as the grass became good. They were to take the direct route west from Belknap. The Confederate authorities tried to force these men down from Hempstead, in Austin County, where the Confederate depot had been established, to get them into the rebel service. They went, I think, about 100 miles, then refused to go any farther, and were ordered back to Gainesville. This force was well mounted, but I don't think they had a sufficiency of arms. I was thirty days in traveling from Johnson County to this point, averaging twenty miles per day. The route we traveled was bad on account of water and grass, and I don't believe large bodies of troops could travel it. There was a party of twenty-five men started for this country before we did; in fact, we were to come together. I have not heard anything about them since we started. They were guided by a man named Frank Martin, who said he had been in New Mexico last fall, and had gone back to Texas again last fall. It was said he knew the route. I think he came here as a refugee and took the oath of allegiance last fall. My only purpose in leaving Texas was to get where Federal rule was; to get to Missouri and get my family out of Texas.

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This statement was sworn to before me this 3d of May, 1865.


 Captain, Fifth U. S. Infantry, Commanding.


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