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    Clandestine Union activities in Goliad County exposed

    Confederate Broadside: Goliad County. One and one-half page, 7.75" x 12", June 1, 1864, revealing the names and traitorous activities of Goliad County Union sympathizers by Charles Crane, who fortuitously became aware of the activities while sitting in the Goliad post office.

    The broadside begins, "Before me, the undersigned authority [Goliad County Justice of the Peace John R. Tally], comes Charles Crane, to me personally known, who states on oath, the following facts: About the middle of March last, affiant [Charles Crane] was setting near the back door of the Post Office, at Goliad, with his back to the door, when several persons met in the rear of the Post Office, and held a conversation in an under tone among themselves; but the wind was blowing towards the house, and he over-heard a part of what was said. . . . The party were discussing their plans of helping disloyal persons to leave the country and go to the Federals on Mustang Island." The broadside then reports that the confidential conversation ended when another Unionist sympathizer entered the post office and told the group that they might be overheard. The group left, except for "Dr. Porter", who came to Crane as he sat in his chair "and asked him what he had heard". Crane replied that "he hadn't heard much. Porter said he knew affiant must have heard some of the conversation. Affiant told him that he had over-heard something-that he could not help doing so, and that it was their own fault. Porter then told affiant that if he ever divulged anything he had heard of that conversation, he (affiant) would be put out of the way."

    A few days later, Dr. Porter visited Crane, who had recently migrated to Texas from the north, and tried to convince him to "go down to the Federals . . . they would take him, free of charge, wherever he wished to go." Crane then made a quick decision to act "so as to obtain some of their secrets." Acting as though he might be a sympathizer, Crane learned that "all the people who live on the Blanco Creek, in Goliad County, and in that region, are favorable to the Federal Government." He also learned that a Confederate company was being raised in the area by "Capt. Maulding . . . for the purpose of avoiding the [Confederate] service." Crane was advised to join the company to "thereby avoid being Conscripted, and avoid the service."

    Throughout the fascinating narrative, Crane reveals the names of Union sympathizers (Dr. Porter, Bill Looney, Dr. Lane, Charles Inman, and Isaac Franklin). His own name courageously appears at the end of the text, followed by Goliad County's Justice of the Peace John R. Tally, who had recently moved from Galveston where he also served as the justice of the peace. Interestingly, the broadside was printed by "Frank Brown, Printer, Austin", who, one year later, revived the Southern Intelligencer, an antebellum anti-secessionist newspaper in Austin. Printed on blue paper with rice paper repairs at the seams; repair also at top left. Very good.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    November, 2009
    21st Saturday
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