Battle of the Brazos: A Texas Football Rivalry, a Riot, and a Murder

Battle of the Brazos: A Texas Football Rivalry, a Riot, and a Murder

by T. G. Webb
Battle of the Brazos: A Texas Football Rivalry, a Riot, and a Murder

Battle of the Brazos: A Texas Football Rivalry, a Riot, and a Murder

by T. G. Webb


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During halftime of the October 30, 1926, football game between Baylor University and the Agricultural and Mechanical College of Texas, a massive riot erupted between the two student bodies that resulted in the death of Texas A&M senior cadet Charles Sessums. Though various newspaper articles have chronicled this infamous “cold case” over the last ninety years, none has placed the riot in its proper context, nor has any official determination ever identified the person responsible for Sessums’s death.

T. G. Webb has pored over related historic documents, including contemporary newspaper accounts, records in the library archives of both universities, personal correspondence of the victim’s family, and the original report of the Pinkerton detective hired by Texas A&M to investigate the incident.

In Battle of the Brazos, Webb examines and explains the riot, its origins, and its aftermath, untangling many enduring myths that grew up around the event over the years to establish the definitive record. He allows readers to witness the heart-breaking arrival of Cadet Sessums’s parents at the Waco train station as they came to receive the body of their deceased son, and he places readers amid the swirl of charges, recriminations, and allegations that clouded the atmosphere at both Texas A&M and Baylor. Most significantly, Webb provides previously unpublished indications of a cover-up designed to shield the killer’s identity from public knowledge.

This “historical whodunit” is a must-read for sports fans and historians, devotees of “leather-helmet” football, local history buffs, and Texas football enthusiasts alike.


Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781623496616
Publisher: Texas A&M University Press
Publication date: 07/30/2018
Series: Swaim-Paup Sports Series, sponsored by James C. '74 & Debra Parchman Swaim and T. Edgar '74 & Nancy Paup
Pages: 184
Sales rank: 1,153,664
Product dimensions: 6.20(w) x 9.30(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

T. G. WEBB is an avid college football fan and local historian. He lives and works in Waco.

Table of Contents

Foreword John A. Adams Jr. ix

Acknowledgments xi

Introduction: The Battle of the Brazos 1

Part I The Rivalry 5

Chapter 1 The Most Tragic Event 7

Chapter 2 Brazos Bottom 12

Chapter 3 Friendly Enemies 24

Chapter 4 A Perfect Day 43

Part II The Riot 59

Chapter 5 All Hades Broke Loose 61

Chapter 6 Hard for Wisdom to Find Its Way 74

Chapter 7 Through! 91

Chapter 8 There Shall Be No Regrets 97

Part III The Murder 105

Chapter 9 The Baylor Incident 107

Chapter 10 "The City with a Soul" 116

Chapter 11 "He Is Just Away" 126

Epilogue: Taps 135

Appendix A Announcement of the Cancellation of Athletic Contracts between the A&M College of Texas and Baylor University 137

Appendix B A Letter from Samuel Palmer Brooks to the Parents of Charlie Sessums 139

Appendix C Account of Charles M. Sessums' Death following A&M-Baylor Football Game, October 30, 1926, and the Later Death of His Assailant 141

Notes 145

Bibliography 161

Index 165

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