Walter L. Mann Papers
Manuscript Collection: MC023
Confederate colonel and Galveston lawyer Walter L. Mann was born in Holmes County, Mississippi, December 16, 1838. In 1840 his family moved to Corpus Christi, Texas, the most remote white settlement on the western Gulf Coast of Texas. Mann attended the University of Virginia until 1857, when the death of his father compelled him to return to Corpus Christi and assume the charge of the estate. He commenced to study medicine, attending medical lectures in New Orleans in the winters of 1859 and 1860.
At the outbreak of the Civil War, Mann raised a company with Captain Jas. A. Ware, and was elected First Lieutenant. Shortly afterward he was assigned to duty on the staff of Brigadier General Hamilton P. Bee, who commanded the lower Rio Grande district. In 1864 he was elected Colonel of a regiment of cavalry stationed in and around Galveston for the defense of the coast. In Galveston Mann and a small band of soldiers presented the last organized resistance of the Confederacy, and Mann was the last Confederate officer to capitulate, on occasion of the Galveston surrender, June 5, 1865.
Mann married Eliza McMorris, in November 1865, and after engaging in commercial pursuits in Galveston, devoted the rest of his life to law. He received his license to practice, and in 1869 entered into partnership with Walter Gresham, his cousin, which remained successful until Mann's death on July 10, 1875. Mann was the first president of the Mens' Guild and one of the founders of Grace Episcopal Church, both in Galveston. He and Eliza had four children.
Correspondence, land titles, power of attorney, patent, and surveyor's sketch comprise the Walter L. Mann Papers. Three letters from Hamilton Bee in Havana, Cuba, to Walter Mann in Galveston, Texas, 1865-1866, concern Bee's move from Mexico to Cuba, the possibility of Bee's pardon in the United States, Bee's request for a loan from Mann, and the financial status and activities of "Tip" (John George) Walker and John Bankhead Magruder. Two autograph copies of letters, both dated May 25, 1865, deal with the armistice of Galveston and the safe passage to New Orleans for Ashbel Smith and W.P. Ballinger, Texas Commissioners. One letter is written by Captain B.F. Sands of the United States Navy to General Magruder, the other from Col. Ashbel Smith to Capt. E.P. Turner. The remainder of the papers are legal documents that record transactions concerning properties near San Felipe, Texas, 1824-1859. Two of the land titles have portions written in Spanish. The surveyor's sketch is drawn on linen and has artifactual value.
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Copyright has not been assigned to the San Jacinto Museum of History. All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Library Director. Permission for publication is given on behalf of the San Jacinto Museum of History as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained by the researcher.
[Identification of Item], Walter L. Mann Papers, MC023, San Jacinto Museum of History, Houston, Texas.
Gift of Frances Mann Law, 1952.
Processed by Joel Minor, 2001.