Governor urges Texans to make sacrifices
On this day in 1865, during the final months of the Civil War, Governor Pendleton Murrah urged Texans to put aside personal ambitions and make sacrifices in defense of their liberty. Murrah, a native of either Alabama or South Carolina, had moved to Texas in 1850. After serving in the state legislature, Murrah was elected governor of Texas in 1863. As governor, he became involved in a series of controversies over control of the state's manpower and economy with Gen. John B. Magruder, the Confederate military commander of the Texas district, and his superior, Gen. Edmund Kirby Smith, commander of the Trans-Mississippi Department. In spite of these quarrels, Murrah supported Kirby Smith in his determination to carry on the war in the face of military reversals. Even after Lee's surrender, Murrah continued to urge resistance. When it was obvious that Union forces would occupy the state, he vacated his office, leaving Lieutenant Governor Fletcher Stockdale in charge, and joined other Confederate leaders fleeing to Mexico. The long trip was too much for Murrah, who suffered from tuberculosis. He was confined to bed upon reaching Monterrey and died on August 4, 1865.