McCollough in Bonham, Fannin County, Texas

 

Since the late war, there have been very few events worthy of record as matters of history, in Fannin County. During the days of reconstruction, the scenes upon the political arena were many and varied, but differed very little, if any, from those enacted all over the South.

In the spring and summer of 1865, when the cause was about given up by all the southern states except Texas, General McCollough with a regiment of Confederate soldiers was stationed at Bonham. Under a military order, one tenth of what the people had and made, other than real estate, was taken by the General and his tithe gatherers, for army purposes, which, as it afterwards turned out to be, was only a legalized system of robbery. It is said that in some instances, the manner of collecting this tax was quite different to the usual custom ; the collector would weigh, or measure up the produce, and deal out what he saw proper, to the producer. Some of the men who were running the business, saw that the end was near, and made a ten-strike for number one, and are doubtless enjoying the little contributions until today.

After the end was declared, and these collected piles of produce, at the various commissaries were left unclaimed, many people raided them, and the widows mite went to replenish the pockets of those who could have much better done without it. However, time, and the progress and prosperity of every branch of 5uti'loess and industry of Faun in county have eclipsed these differences and matters of the public conscience.

It was during McCollough's occupancy of Bonham, he had, or claimed to have, an order from headquarters, for the arrest of the Guerrilla chief, Quantrell, and his men. Whether Quantrell had heard of the order or not, is not known, but he surprised, Gen. McCollough's one day by walking into his office at the Court House and introducing himself. The General told him, that it was his painful duty to arrest him, and he might consider himself and men under arrest. The guerrilla unbuckled his pistols, took off' his sword and laid them on the table. Meanwhile, McCollough had sent out for a company of his men to come in and arrest and take charge of Quantrell's men. Presently, the General consulted his watch and found it to be his dinner hour; he rose and bowed himself out, without inviting his prisoner to dine. When he had gone, Quantrell buckled on his arms, walked out of the court house, blew a shrill whistle, at which his faithful followers collected, coming from all parts of the town; mounted their horses and followed him at his word and gave up the chase.

It was several weeks after Lee laid down his sword at Appomattox, before news of the surrender reached us. When it did and the question was settled beyond peradventure, the military headquarters at Bonham were broken up, to be followed by reconstruction events and incidents one of which is given below.

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