ALEX’S DEATH MESSAGE
This is a copy of a letter from Alexander McKeen “Alex” Killough to his wife Harriet Elizabeth which tells about his brother, James H. “Jim” Killough, in the War Between the States at the Battle of Cabin Creek in Indian Territory (Oklahoma). His unit was attacking a Yankee wagon train of 250 wagons near the present town of Vinita, Okla. Records of this battle indicate that the federal forces had a fortified position at this point where they regularly stopped their wagon trains and that the Confederate forces were forced to attack this fortified position. Family stories say Jim was buried on the east bank of Cabin Creek. He was a private in Co. E, 30th Texas Cavalry in Gano’s Brigade when he was killed. He is the only one of four brothers and a cousin who was killed in the war. (Letter copied as written.)
Camp Sept. 30, 1864
After an absence of too weeks beyond the Ark River we have returned to this place again much worn out and exhausted, we were in three engagements with the enemy which resulted in victory for our arms but the victory on my part was over shadowed with gloom on account of the death of my dear brother who was killed in the last engagement. He was brave, he was good, he was beloved by all the company who deeply mourn his loss. He was shot while making the third charge on the enemy works just before daylight. We were ordered to fire and lay down. He was reloading when the ball struck him passing through his arm near the body and into his side under his arm. He lived but a few minutes and passed away, I have reason to believe, to that bright army where there will be no more roll call or blast of the bugle to disturb his rest. It is impossible to describe to you how sad, how lonely, how desolate I felt on that occasion, language can not express my feelings. I know my mother and father will take his death very hard but it is the will of God and we should submit to his acts the best we can. We captured a very large train, burnt about half of it and brought the balance through. It is thought we will start for Red River soon, if so I hope I will get to come home this fall. Tell Hattie (his young daughter) I have a new dress for her also one for you and mother. I must close write soon. A. M. Killough
N. B. (?)
I forgot to state in my letter that Liut. Chitwood was severely wounded and died a few days after. There was only four or five killed in our regt. a good many wounded, several in our company wounded. The enemy over shot us. The last fight lasted about eight hours. We had the most men but they had a very strong position. A. M. K.