Legendary Ladies of Texas Page: 77
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Bonham. Quantrill and his men escaped, however, and crossed the Red
River into Indian Territory.
After a short period of mourning her late husband, Sophia re-
sumed her parties at Glen Eden. It was at one of these affairs that
Sophia, like Scarlett O'Hara in Margaret Mitchell's novel, Gone with the
Wind, was able to strike a blow for the Confederacy.
The incident began when Colonel James Bourland and a detach-
ment of Confederates stopped by Glen Eden on their way to Fort Wash-
ita in the Indian Territory. Sophia, always the gracious hostess, gave a
party for them. However, she had hardly sent them on their way when
some Union scouts arrived in pursuit of Bourland.
Sophia not only welcomed the enemy soldiers, but turned on all of
her considerable charms and opened her extensive wine cellar to them.
Then she insisted that they stay for a sumptuous dinner. The delaying
action worked exactly as she hoped it would. After her guests enjoyed
the feast her slaves had prepared for them, Sophia invited them into
the wine cellar for a night cap. Then she locked the drunken troops in
the cellar and took her horse and forded the treacherous Red River. She
rode straight to Fort Washita to warn Bourland that she had "captured"
Confederate troops accompanied her back to Glen Eden, found the
Union soldiers still enjoying the vintage wines and took them prisoner.
Sophia had become a heroine.
She was to do even more valorous deeds. When Indians killed one
of her neighbors and threatened to attack Glen Eden, Sophia threw up
a barricade of cotton bales around the mansion and mobilized her
slaves. They succeeded in holding off the attackers until the Indians
finally gave up and quit the pitched battle in disgust.
Sophia never considered herself a fighter, however, and she de-
cided to look for safer territory. One day she loaded a small fortune in
gold coins into buckets, poured hot tar over them, strung the buckets
under her wagon and headed south. When she reached Waco, two
hundred miles south of her plantation, she stopped.
It was a fortunate decision because it was in Waco that she was to
meet and marry the man who was to bring her long years of happiness.
He also was a returning Confederate Army officer and a former judge.
His name was James Porter and they were married in April, 1865. They
returned to Glen Eden shortly after and lived there happily until his
death in 1886.
By this time Sophia had been the mistress of Glen Eden for forty-
three years. Her once great beauty had faded and she no longer could
brag that men fought over her. The death of Judge Porter, admittedly
the love of her life, left her desolate and disinterested in the social
activities that had been her passion for so long. Like it or not, Sophia
was growing old-and she didn't like it.
Mrs. Belle Evans, her long-time friend, became her companion at
Glen Eden and the only bright spot in her existence. It was Mrs. Evans
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Legendary Ladies of Texas (Book)
Collection of historical anecdotes providing "a study of Texas women and the conflicting images and myths that have grown up about them" (back cover). The index begins on page 225.
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Abernethy, Francis Edward. Legendary Ladies of Texas, book, 1994; Denton, Texas. (https://digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc38860/m1/91/: accessed June 27, 2022), University of North Texas Libraries, UNT Digital Library, https://digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Press.