Battle of the Brazos
A Texas Football Rivalry, a Riot, and a Murder
Sports - College Histories - Texas History
6 x 9, 184 pp.
17 b&w photos. 3 appendixes. Bib. Index.
Pub Date: 07/30/2018
Swaim-Paup Sports Series, sponsored by James C. '74 & Debra Parchman Swaim and T. Edgar '74 & Nancy Paup
Price:        $27.00

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Battle of the Brazos

A Texas Football Rivalry, a Riot, and a Murder

T. G. Webb
Foreword by John A. Adams Jr.

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 Most significantly, Webb provides previously unpublished indications of a cover-up designed to shield the killer’s identity from public knowledge.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.


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

What Readers Are Saying:

“The football rivalry between Baylor and Texas A&M goes back a long, long way. It has always been intense on both sides, but most of the time, the two schools confined the actual hitting to the two teams on the field. One time, with dreadful consequences, passions overflowed and a tragedy occurred. T. G. Webb has done a masterful job of tracing the history of this powerful event, separating fiction from fact and telling parts of the story that have never seen the light of day until now. Whether your favorite color combination is maroon and white, green and gold, or something else, you need to read this book.”—Grant Teaff, head coach, Baylor football, 1972–1992

“As a fan of Texas history in general and Texas sports in particular, I loved the research and story told by T.G. Webb in Battle of the Brazos. I've researched the story myself and written about it twice, if that tells you anything. Webb did a better job of digging, and I enjoyed the results immensely.” —Kevin Sherrington, Sports columnist, Dallas Morning News


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