Battle of the Brazos

A Texas Football Rivalry, a Riot, and a Murder

978-1-62349-661-6 Cloth
6 x 9. 184 pp. 17 b&w photos. 3 appendixes. Bib. Index.
Pub Date: 07/30/2018
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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 Most significantly, Webb provides previously unpublished indications of a cover-up designed to shield the killer’s identity from public knowledge.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.

 

Swaim-Paup Sports Series, sponsored by James C. '74 & Debra Parchman Swaim and T. Edgar '74 & Nancy Paup

Published by Texas A&M University Press