by Dr. Pelham Mead
The civil war is over and the rebel troops have all surrendered except the Texas Rangers Cavalry 9th division “Terry’s Rangers.” They escaped in the night from North Carolina and fled to their homes in Texas. 150 our of 250 crept through the Union picket lines in the night and rode in small groups to Texas. From that point on they were considered outlaws to be hunted down. They had no pardon papers like other Confederate soldiers had, but they were proud and would not bow to the Yankees.
After many incidents Sergeant K. of the Texas Rangers arrives home to Delkalb Texas only to find his ranch, the Lucky K burnt to the ground. All the slaves were gone and their shacks were burnt to the ground also. The manor house was half destroyed and the future of the Lucky K looked dim. To make matters worse, carpet baggers from the North were buying up farms for pennies an acre and organizing the negros and giving them guns and threatening the white people. It was a new Texas Sergeant K. did not want to belong. He met Frank McMullan in the Hill county Texas and Frank was recruiting farmers and families to move to Brazil for cheap land and a new beginning. Sergeant K. signed on and traveled back to Galveston, Texas to board the ship, “Derby,” a brig from New Orleans the Frank McMullan leased for 7,000 dollars. 150 families camped out on the beach at Galveston waiting for the Derby to arrive. Once in port many delays occurred but on December 1, 1865, the colonists left for Brazil.
A few hours out of New Orleans and Frank McMullen realized they had only two barrels of water. The passengers believed the captain was in on a conspiracy to sink the Derby and collect the insurance money. They challenged the captain with drawn pistols. Sergeant K. backed up Frank McMullen with his navy colt pistol. The Captain changed his attitude. A few days more and the Derby was hit by a squall with mountain high waves. The captain tied the wheel and sent to bed. The tied wheel was discovered at 1:00 am. Frank McMullen awoke at 3:00 to find out the Captain abandoned his post. They woke the captain and untied the wheel, but by then the ship was floundering in the waves. One thousand yards away were the rocks of Bahia Honda, Cuba and the ship crashed upon the rocks ripping a large hole in the side. One passenger broke his collar-bone but all 150 passengers including Sergeant K. swim and waded in the shallow water to the shore. A kind Cuban helped bring food to the ship wrecked Americans. Frank McMullen had to travel 30 miles leaving the families behind to find the Brazilian embassy to ask for help. The Brazilian embassy sent Frank to New York city on a steamboat to seek funds and additional help from the Brazilian government. Upon returning to Cuba Frank McMullen got two steamers leased to take the colonists to Rio de Janeiro. 28 days later the ship arrived in the harbor of Rio de Janeiro after stopping at many Caribbean islands on the way.
So behind a new chapter for Sergeant K. and the 150 colonists in looking for land to settle and establish their new lives.
to be continued.