Reluctant Reb receives first Texas pardon
On Mar. 21, 1877, Guy M. Bryan wrote the new President of the United States, an old college classmate, to recommend a relative for the Supreme Court.
William Pitt Ballinger had no idea why the caretaker governor of Texas summoned him in the middle of May 1865. But he was relieved to learn Pendleton Murrah and Gen. John Bankhead Magruder had accepted the fall of the Confederacy as an irreversible fact.
The war was over, and they needed someone to negotiate a separate peace for Texas. For once Ballinger’s stubborn opposition to secession would come in handy. The victorious Yankees might be willing to talk to a Unionist, who had not shed a single drop of blood for the Lost Cause.
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