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Friday, September 09, 2011

Moments in Texas History ~ 9.9.2011

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Terry's Texas Rangers mustered into Confederate service
September 09, 1861
On this day in 1861, the Eighth Texas Cavalry, a group of volunteers popularly known as Terry's Texas Rangers, was mustered into Confederate service in Houston. The regiment had been assembled by Benjamin Franklin Terry in August. Terry was elected colonel, Thomas S. Lubbock lieutenant colonel, and Thomas Harrison major; by the fall of 1862, Terry and Lubbock were dead, and Harrison became regimental commander, serving in that post until the end of the Civil War. The Terry Rangers distinguished themselves in a number of battles, including those at Shiloh (1862) and Chickamauga (1863); in the Atlanta campaign (1864); and as raiders in Kentucky and Tennessee under Lt. Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest. They were also part of the force under Gen. Joseph E. Johnston that attempted in vain to slow Maj. Gen. William T. Sherman's "march to the sea" during the final months of the war. Rather than surrender with the rest of Johnston's army in April 1865, 158 of the reported 248 survivors of the regiment slipped through Union lines to join other Confederates yet in the field. With the total collapse of the Southern cause, however, the Terry Rangers drifted home as individuals and in small groups, having never officially surrendered. With the exception of Hood's Texas Brigade, the Eighth Texas Cavalry was probably the best-known Texas unit to serve in the Civil War.
Meteorite hits Grayson County
September 09, 1961
On this day in 1961, at 10:08 P.M., a fireball was seen passing northward through the sky just east of the Fort Worth-Dallas region. It hit the ground near Bells, Grayson County. Some ten ounces of a very rare carbonaceous chondrite was retrieved from the meteorite over a six-month period. Only about twenty ounces of this substance had been known previously to fall in the world. Texas has had at least nine cases of "falls"--meteorites recovered from a witnessed fireball. By an unusual coincidence, the fall near Bells was the second to occur in Northeast Texas within approximately 100 miles of each other and within a period of a little over 100 days. An 18-pound chondrite had fallen in a backyard near Marshall shortly before 10:30 P.M. on May 30, 1961.
East Dallas incorporated
September 09, 1882
On this day in 1882, East Dallas was incorporated. In 1872 William H. Gaston had begun promoting settlement in the area and had persuaded the railroads to go through East Dallas. In the 1870s East Dallas became a popular recreation destination on the streetcar lines that ran from Dallas to the state fairs and the horse-racing track. East Dallas was considered the most luxurious place to live in Dallas County; 90 percent of its houses had running water by 1889. The main thoroughfares were well maintained, and a speed limit of eighteen miles an hour was set to slow down swift horses. In 1886 the first all-brick schoolhouse in Dallas County was built in East Dallas. In 1887 another boom occurred there when the Texas State Fair and Dallas Exposition at Fair Park opened. In 1889 the legislature revoked the charter of East Dallas so it could become part of Dallas. Some claimed that those who revoked the charter did so to make Dallas the largest town in Texas. The city of Dallas took over all the debt of East Dallas in addition to its streets, schools, and public buildings. On December 31, 1889, the day before East Dallas officially became part of Dallas, the city council of East Dallas passed $45,000 in street improvements, which Dallas was forced to finance.
Posted by Jeff 9.9.2011 -  The Texas State Historical Association

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