died at his home in
Early on the
As the wreck
occurred close to the shore of the peninsula, though the night was very
dark and the wind blowing a perfect gale, about half of the party
including Capt. Rugeley and Captain Cookenboo, were washed ashore and
escaped. But most of the men already benumbed by the cold, in the water
were soon helpless, and were either drowned for frozen to death.
The death of Mr.
Selkirk leaves Judge Alex Burkhart of Matagorda, the sole survivor of
the company which met with such disaster there. From Judge Burkhart, who
was officer of the guard at the post while the major part of the
garrison were sent on the expedition to meet the Federals, we get most
of the information herein.
Mr. Selkirk in
relating his experience said he was so overcome by the cold that he
remembers little of the occurrences immediately preceding the wreck, and
nothing of the experiences following. His first recollection, when
partly restored to consciousness, was being carried by a strong
fellow-soldier names Decrow (Mr. Selkirk was about twenty years old and
of slight build); that Decrow laid him down on the sand of the beach and
said "Will, you rest here while I go to that house yonder where the
light is and get help." How long he remained there he does not
know, as he again lapsed into unconsciousness; but after a while he
heard voices, and heard Decrow say, "Well, here is where I left
Will; I remember this log; I am sure, for I noted this log particularly.
Mr. Selkirk says he could hear but could not move or talk; he tried to
call but his voice would fail him, and he remembers with what horror his
mind, was filled at the thought that if they should fail to find him
"It would be all up with me that time, sure." Finally Decrow
came close enough to him to see him, and they carried him into the
house, which proved to be the home of Mr. Henry Freeman, a stock-farmer
on the peninsula, and now the grandfather of George Kilbride of
Matagorda, to whom Mr. Selkirk related the above experience, a year ago
on a visit to Bay City while they stood admiring the monument which had
just been erected to the memory of the ex-confederate soldier.
Matagorda News and Midcoast Farmer,
Copyright 2005 -
Present by Carol Sue Gibbs
Feb. 7, 2005
Apr. 4, 2007