On this day in 1874, the first of a series of twenty-three letters and poems signed "Pidge" was published in an Austin newspaper. They were actually the work of Thomas C. Robinson, and appeared in the Austin Statesman and State Gazette. Robinson, born in 1847, had come to Austin in 1874 after feuding with a neighbor in his native Virginia. After enlisting in the Texas Rangers, he served under Leander H. McNelly during the Sutton-Taylor feud and battled Juan N. Cortina's raiders. Pidge's literary efforts describe Austin in the 1870s and provide a rare illustration of ranger service written from the field. They reveal literary knowledge, intelligence, and wit. Robinson returned to Virginia on leave to settle a feud with his former neighbor. In the resulting gunfight he was mortally wounded and died on April 4, 1876, just four days after the last Pidge letter was published in Austin.
On this day in 1854, the U.S. War Department ordered Randolph B. Marcy, in conjunction with Indian agent Robert S. Neighbors, to locate and survey land for Indian reservations in unsettled territory, preferably on timbered land of good soil adjacent to navigable water. The sites selected after consultation with the various Indian groups concerned were four leagues of land on the Brazos River below Fort Belknap for the use of the Caddos, Wacos, and other Indians, and another tract of the same size forty miles away on the Clear Fork of the Brazos for the use of the Comanches. A third tract of four leagues adjoined the one on the Brazos and was intended for the use of the Indians living west of the Pecos River, chiefly the Mescalero and Lipan Apaches. These western Indians, however, failed to come in to the reservation, and this tract was added to the Brazos agency, making that reservation total eight leagues. Both reservations reverted to the state when the Indians were removed to the Indian Territory in 1859.
On this day in 1968, PFC Milton Lee earned the Medal of Honor for heroism in action in Vietnam. After attending Harlandale High School in San Antonio, Lee enlisted in the army. He arrived in Vietnam in January 1968. On April 26 of that year, near Phu Bai, South Vietnam, he was serving as radio and telephone operator when his platoon came under intense fire. Lee rendered lifesaving first aid while under heavy enemy fire. During a subsequent assault on the enemy position he saw four enemy soldiers, armed with automatic weapons and a rocket launcher, lying in wait for the platoon. He passed his radio to another soldier, charged through heavy fire, overran the enemy position, and killed all the occupants. He continued his assault on a second enemy position. Though mortally wounded, he delivered accurate covering fire until the platoon destroyed the enemy position. Only then did he die of his wounds. The Medal of Honor was presented to his grandmother and guardian, Mrs. Frank B. Campion, by President Richard M. Nixon at the White House on April 7, 1970.