Linnie Ross (Sanders) Wallace

Sometime back on my blog I posted stories about my great grandfather’s, Brinson Bryan and Shaw Wallace. No reminiscence of my youth would be complete without a mention of my grandmother, Linnie Ross (Sanders) Wallace.

My first memories of my grandmother Wallace, Linnie Ross Sanders Wallace, were of her singing to me and telling me the story of the following song, author unknown:

“Backward turn backward o time in thy flight,
Make me a child again, just for tonight.
The tears on my pillow, thy loving watch keep’
Rock me to sleep Mother, rock me to sleep”.

Her mother, Susan Collins Sanders, died in 1877 and at the time Linnie was 11 years old.

Linnie’s Father, Levi L. Sanders, spent 3½ years fighting with the 6th Texas Cavalry during our Civil War. Being born in 1866, she was a “Civil War Baby Boomer”. She was a Texan and a “Rebel’s Daughter” and taught me the First verse of Bonnie Blue Flag”. It was first the Regimental song of the 8th Texas Cavalry, Terry’s Rangers, and later the anthem of the Southern States.

“Bonnie Blue Flag”, by Harry McCarthy

“We are a band of brothers and native to the soil,
Fighting for our liberty, with treasure, blood and toil.
And when our rights were threatened, the cry rose near and far,
Hurrah for the Bonnie Blue Flag that bears a single star.

For southern rights hurrah,
Hurrah for the Bonnie Blue Flag that bears a single star.”

She also made sure that I knew what “Decoration Day”, now known as our Memorial Day, was and how it started. Before the end of the Civil War, during the spring, Southern ladies began placing red, white and blue “bunting” on the graves of the Confederate dead. This practice spread all over the South and also to the North and in 1868, May 5, was officially designated Memorial Day.

Our family legends say that during the latter part of our Civil War, some type of significant event occurred between her dad, Levi Sanders and Sul Ross, the Brigade Commander of the Texas Cavalry Brigade and future Governor of the State of Texas. This event caused Levi to say that he would name his next child after him and Sul replied that he would pay that child’s way through college. Legend doesn’t say what the event was, but my grandmother, Linnie Ross Sanders, born in 1866, was named Linnie Ross, and she told me the story and that Sul Ross paid her way through college at Baylor, located ,then, at Independence, Texas.

Another very interesting story that she told me several times, and was recently verified by another of her grandson’s, George Pyland, my cousin, was that when she was 5 years old, of her seeing Cynthia Ann Parker. In 1836, Cynthia Ann was captured by Comanche’s, lived as an Indian for 24 years until she was re-captured in 1860, by Sul Ross, who, at the time, was leading a company of Texas Rangers. Cynthia Ann’s Brother, Issac Parker, was a neighbor in Van Zandt County, Texas, of Levi Sanders, Lennie Ross’ Dad and she tells of seeing Cynthia Ann several times and how she scared her. Cynthia Ann Parker died of a broken heart in 1871

Linnie taught school in East Texas for several years before marrying Dr. Harmon Elliott Wallace, my maternal Grandfather. After the turn of the 20th century, Linnie and Harmon moved to west Texas where he practiced medicine for over 10, years, then moved his practice to Regan, Texas. They had 8 children, 7 surviving to adulthood, including my mother, Ruth Wallace Bryan.

She was a fine Christian lady, a good Grandmother to me and a credit to our State!