Optional page text here. Tyre Hancock

Tyre Hancock

Tyre Hancock, far right.
Photo Courtesy of James Dawson Hancock, Jr.

Tyre Hancock was born June 20, 1843 in Lebanon, Wilson County, Tennessee. According to Jennie Hancock’s CSA Confederate Widow's Application for Pension - Texas State Archives - File Number 47213, Tyre "enlisted at the beginning and served till the close of the war, Company B, 11th Texas Regiment, Walker's Division, infantry." He was 18 years old when he enlisted as a private in Captain James H. Jones' Company, Roberts' Regiment Texas Infantry, (subsequently Company B). He was enrolled and mustered into service February 26, 1862, at Henderson, Texas. He was admitted to Confederate States Army General Hospital, Shreveport, LA, Feb. 21, 1865, and returned to duty Feb. 27, 1865. He was surrendered May 26, 1865, at New Orleans, LA, and was paroled at Shreveport. LA in August 1865. Tyre Hancock died August 18, 1911, and he is buried in the Old Oak Cliff Cemetery, Dallas, Texas.

Memoirs of Tyre Hancock

Dallas, Texas, February 14, 1910

Miss Mamie Yeary,
McGregor, Texas
Dear Madam,
Your request for my war record is received, with the additional request that I give some war reminiscences and a condensed history of myself during those dark days of the Civil War.
Our Company consisted of 129 men, the day we were sworn in and during the war we got about 50 recruits, making 169 men, 35 was all that was left when we were discharged in 1865.
Our first experience as soldiers was a march from Houston Texas to Navasota, Texas on foot, about 200 miles. Navasota was the terminus of the H&TC Railroad, which was about the only railroad in Texas, there we took the freight train to Houston, where we remained for three months, and organized into the 11th Texas Infantry Regiment. We elected O.M. Roberts colonel, an act we never came to regret.
After leaving Houston, we marched to Little Rock, Arkansas, where we were attached to Randal's Brigade, and later to Walker's Division. We were in winter camp quarters there until Spring. During that long hard winter many of our men died. We commenced to bury them with honors of war, by firing a platoon over the grave as the rude coffin was lowered. Often Fifteen or Twenty of these platoons were fired in a day in hearing of the rude hospital, which so alarmed the sick that is was discontinued. Then they were buried without ceremony.
After leaving Camp Nelson our duties consisted mainly in long, hot, dry and wearisome marches up and down the Missippi River and into Louisiana, guarding the River to keep the enemy from crossing. We had very little fighting to do. We were almost continually on the march for more than a year before we met the enemy in a real battle. The place was Eight miles South of Opolusas, Louisiana, and known as the Battle of Carion Crow Bayou. We marched to the battle-ground, Sixty Miles, in Fourty hours without sleep and with only one meal. We were formed in line of battle in a valley, and were told that the enemy were just over the hill, and were commanded to charge to the top of the hill. We raised the "Rebel Yell" and charged. I saw a fine large tree on top of the hill, and was determined to get that tree, and I did, and fired the first gun direct at the enemy in the valley below. I was not scared, until I looked back and saw that I was far ahead of my command, and was real glad when they came up. Greene Duncan was mortally wounded just as he passed my tree, and Nathan Walker and I picked up Poor Greene and took him out under the heaviest fire of shot and shell that I ever experienced. We laid him behind a friendly log and started back. Just then I saw Tom Green's Cavalry across the prairie, charging the enemies rear, at the same time I looked and the enemie's Cavalry was charging our rear, right among our boys. was some hard hand to hand fighting, and many were killed or wounded. Five or Six of their Cavalry ran through our line amd were comming straight to us firing with their pistols. Nath was a good runner and got away. I feel like I was killed and escaped.
In this battle we had 900 infantry, commanded by O.M. Roberts and 500 Cavalry, commanded by Thomas Green. We were fighting 200 Infantry and about 500 Cavalry. We lost 145 men. We captured 900 prisoners and killed and wounded 500 others. Greene Duncan died in a few days, and Nath Walker was killed some months later, at Jenkins Ferry. This little battle has never figured much in history, but it was quite an event with us that took part in it, as it was our first baptism of fire.
Our nest real battle was at Mansfield and Pleasant Hill, Louisiana, the details of which has been frequently mentioned in hisory.

Some few days after this terrible battle I received my first furlough and visited my old home, sixty miles away. Rumors of the battle has preceded me and my parents had heard that our division was out all to pieces, and were naturally very uneasy about me. The day they looked for my return, or to hear of my death, my old Mother and Father sat on or walked the old-fashioned gallery all day anxiously looking through the wooded lane to see or hear of their boy. Late in the evening, when I came in sight, they forgot they were old, and they jumped the fence. I heard my mother shouting. No word was spoken for sometime, just shouting. The neighbors heard her and begin to com, and when I told them that their loved ones were safe, we had a very happy gathering.
My furlough lasted Sixty days, during which time the Jenkins Ferry Battle was fought, in which Three of my company was killed. Nathan Walker, Bill Sumner and Will Mabray, and nine wounded. I returned to the army and served to the end. Our command was discharged at Hempstead, Texas, after a long and wearisome march to that place from Shreveport, Louisiana.
Some amusing little incidents of the war, in which I figured might be appreciated, though in giving them I will have to disclose some secrets that were closely guarded by us private soldiers. I was called a pretty good hustler, in those days, for something to eat when I was hungry, and often my mess had me to thank for a delicious roast of fresh skinned pig. Jake Parker, now living in Minden, Texas, and I was almost inseparable as hustlers together, but Jake and I were taken prisoners one day. We slipped out of camp with our guns. We soon got a shot, but missed. The cavalry, who were guarding the camp, heard the report and charged us, we were taken to headquarters. I was spokesman, and made such a fair promise never to be caught out again that the officers in charge took pity on us and let us go, threatening dire vengence if we were caught again.
On our return to our company, Jake looked up at the sun and asked me if I thought we had time to make another round and I said of course we had. This time we were more successful, and got a fine fat pig, and kept our promise not to let them catch us again.
Zack Sanders was another fine hustler and afraid of nothing. Zack and I went out one evening and came across a fine bunch of mutton peacefully grazing near a briar thicket, my gun brought down a fine fat one, and Zack had it in the thicket quick and filled himself full of briars. The next day we had the finest baked quarter you ever saw. Joe Ware, our mess-mate, said he was going to ask Lt. O.M. Airhart to dinner. We tried hard to get him not to do so, as that particular lieutenant was very on outside hustlers, but Joe went and told him that we had a fine beef roast and the boys all wanted him to take dinner with them. He came, and as we were all seated around the oven and viewing the find brown bake, he said "Boys, those oar mighty small beef bones", and began to look rather ugly, but Joe Ware said, "Now Lieutenant, we asked you here to eat and not make remarks, and now you eat", and the Lieutenant did eat until we were almost sorry we had invited him.
Lt. Airhart was honest to the core, and was always in the front of the battle. He died a natural death a few years ago. Joe Ware went through the war and was soon lost sight of.
Zack Sanders made a brave and usefull soldier and was loved by all the boys, he went through the war safely and for a while made a quite and peaceful citizen, but got into troube with a negro. The negro's troubles ended in a second, and we have lost trace of Zack now for many years.

Source: Cindy Klein

Texans in the Civil War
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