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Benavides Garcia Herrera Hunter Jeffries Zapata

Confederates Fighting in Mexico, Clarence Jeffries.

My mother's uncle, Joseph Hunter, who died some four months ago in Nueces County, Tex., was a Confederate soldier, and it was my understanding that his company was organized at Corpus Christi, Tex., and saw service on the frontier along the Rio Grande River, which divides Texas and Mexico. My uncle told me that at one time his company (commanded by a Captain Nolan, according to information given by others) was camped at the town of Zapata, which in on the Rio Grande River sixty miles below Laredo, Tex., and volunteers were called for to cross the river into Mexico to attack a camp of one Octaviano Zapata, who was leading a band of eleven men down the river on the Mexican side to Matamoras, Mex., to cross the river to Brownsville, Tex., then occupied by the Federal forces under Col. John Haynes, who was recruiting a regiment of Mexicans, which he later took to the seat of war. The Confederate volunteers crossed the river and found Zapata's band in camp at night, and utterly wiped it out.

Wishing to get other information on this, I called on Jesus Herrera, a Texas-Mexican (an American citizen born of Mexican parents in Texas), who was a member of one of the three companies of Confederate troops stationed at Lareda, where they were recruited by Maj. Santos Benavides, and commanded by Captains Refugio Benavides, Julian Garcia, and Cristoval Benavides, all of these soldiers being Texas-Mexicans. Mr. Herrera claims that Zapata's band was not composed of recruits, but of robbers, who depredated on both sides of the river, when pressed by the officers of the law on one side, crossing over to the other; that he was camped near the town of Guerrero, Tex., which lies opposite the town of Zapata and near the banks of the river; that the mayor of that place asked for aid from the Confederate forces mentioned; and that the commanders of these companies asked for volunteers to cross the river and attack this band-and all the men responded.

As this is the only instance of Confederates staging a fight in Mexico, so far as I know, I thought it might be of interest to recall it.

SOURCE: Confederate Veteran Magazine, December, 1922.

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