Bay City National Guard left for Mexico 100 years ago

Photo courtesy of Haskell Simon
Company G in 1916. Haskell Simon’s father, Sgt. Aaron Simon, was on the far right on the front row.

   The days of ’61 were recalled by the old Confederates who looked on the scene. Mr. D. A. Coston and wife were there to see their son Grover off. Capt. J. C. Jones, whose son C.R. is one of the company, and W. H. Pressley and Capt. Frank Rugeley formed a little group waiting for the start.  
   M. Pressley said “This reminds me of the start for the war in 1861, when I marched off with the first company from Leon county, the “Leon Hunters.” 
   Some people said ‘Oh it won’t last long,’ but it lasted four years, the last two I spent at Fort Delaware, where I was condemned as a spy and sentenced to be shot, but escaped by swimming the bay.” 
   The voice of Mrs. Coston was tremulous yet brave as she spoke of the departure of her only son and dependence, Grover, and when Capt. Rugeley undertook to lighten the burden with the suggestion that there would be nothing serious come of it, Mrs. Coston replied, “Well, it will mean the loss of a few of our boys, and you cannot tell who it will be. But some have to go and it just as well be one as another.”
   More than two thousand people gathered at the Southern Pacific depot yesterday morning to bid the boys godspeed and safe return. 
   There were tear-stained faces of mothers and strong-hearted fathers, grieved sisters and brothers, and sad-hearted sweethearts, the latter, of course, more quiet in their grief than the sisters, but their sorrow none the less genuine.

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