Thursday, December 4, 2008

Lydia Field McCool "Much esteemed for her modesty, beauty and virtuous refinement"

Lydia Field was the daughter of  Henry Field and Jane Augustine Potter. Lydia was born 12 Dec 1845 in Iowa. She moved with her father and step-mother, Mary Ann Bail, to Texas in about 1856. The family is found living in Cooke County, Texas in 1860. Lydia's father, Henry Field, is listed as a 45 year old shoemaker with no real estate and $800 personal estate value.

When Lydia is 15 years old, she married William McCool (17 Feb 1861 Cooke County, Texas).
According to McCaslin, Lydia allegedly eloped with William McCool and then they settled nearby. McCool "joined William C. Twitty's company during May, 1861, in Gainesville, but never reported for mustering. He paid taxes in 1862 in Cooke County on two cattle, and that summer joined Randolph's Partisan Battalion."

William McCool, along with two others from Randolph's command, A. N. Johnson and John M. Cottrell, were captured by James D. Young. After a confederate court martial presided over by Randolph, all three men were found guilty of treason against the Confederacy and hanged at the Young's Red River home.

Lydia Field McCool lost both her husband and father as a result of trials and hangings. Lydia's father, Henry, wrote a will the day before he was hanged. Henry left to his daughter, Lydia, the following: "three cows and calves also one colt known as the Roan Filley for her own use and benefit."

Diamond's Account of the Great Hanging states this about the McCools:

"William McCool, who was hung with Johnson and Cottrell, was the son-in-law of Henry Fields, who was hung early after the organization of the Court.
Mrs. McCool, the daughter of Fields, is a lady much esteemed for her modesty, beauty and virtuous refinement. She was attached to her husband by the strongest ties of affection. But a short time previous she had secretly abandoned her father's roof, to join her destiny to her bold and determined lover. How sad and melancholly the reflection that she who loved so well could not have loved more wisely. Or why could he not, 'Taste the honey, and not wound the flower.'"

George Washington Diamond's Account of the Great Hanging at Gainesville, 1862, Manuscript Edited by Sam Acheson and Julie, The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Vol. LXVI, January, 1963, No. 3, pages 404.

Go to an update on Lydia Field McCool.

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