Every once in a while, a sharp gust of wind would cause the flags to snap as if at attention in salute to the fallen soldier.
Emigrating from Germany to Texas as a child, William Singler enlisted in the service of the Confederate States of America on March 17, 1862, in Liberty, Texas. He was only 19 years of age. He served as a private in Co. 1, 25th Regiment, Texas Calvary (Dismounted). In the fall of 1862, his regiment was sent to Arkansas to re-enforce and hold Fort Hindman on the banks of the Mississippi River, where an outbreak of measles and other diseases took its toll on that group. Out of a force of 6,000 troops under Brig. Gen. Thomas Churchill and as part of the Trans-Mississippi Department, only 5,000 were well enough to fight.
On Jan. 9, 1863, a Union force of 33,000 men under the leadership of Maj. Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman and Maj. Gen. John McClernand landed downriver of Fort Hindman, also known as Arkansas Post, with three ironclad gunboats, several timber-clad gunboats and 60 transports. At the end of that 30-hour battle, William and his comrades were taken prisoner, after which they were sent to Illinois to a Union prison camp. He remained there until he was released in a prisoner of war exchange in April 1863 and sent by steamship to Virginia.
Under Gen. Braxton Bragg’s Army of Tennessee, Singler went on to fight in Tennessee, Georgia and North Carolina. Although the Confederates surrendered on April 19, 1865, William’s muster roll shows that he wasn’t paroled until April 28, 1865, nine days later, in Greensboro, N.C. Traveling by foot, steamship and railway, it took him almost two months to reach his beloved family at home in Texas.
The program for Saturday’s marker dedication ceremony for Singler began with the call to order by SCV member David Smith of San Antonio, followed by the posting of the colors by the Sons of Confederate Veterans and pledges and salutes to the flags given by all present. The invocation was given by the Mrs. Mary Ida Lobaugh, synodically authorized minister of Peace Lutheran Church of Woodsboro. The welcome was given by David Smith. The unveiling of the tombstone was performed by Singler’s great-granddaughter, Jo Annette White of Refugio, followed by the SCV dedication. The eulogy was also given by Jo Annette White. The Libation ceremony was conducted by Donald Lawrence, SCV member from San Antonio.
The Black Rose ceremony was led by Mona Lawrence of the Texas Order of the Confederate Rose. The rifle salute was performed by SCV members from Col. A. M. Hobby Camp 713, Corpus Christi, and the cannon salute was performed by members of the Texas Lone Star Grays Camp 1953, Schertz.
Just prior to the benediction by the Rev. Lobaugh, Papalotian Jo Kreis displayed her Cherokee Braves Confederate flag and told of the defense treaties the CSA signed with the Cherokee, Chickasaw, Choctaw, Creek and Seminole tribes in 1861 and how thousands from those tribes had fought in same Army of the Trans-Mississippi Department, as had William Singler.
It being San Jacinto Day, the anniversary of the final and deciding battle in the Texas Revolution against Mexico, David Smith called that fact to the attention of all in attendance for a moment of remembrance before the benediction, completing the program.