A threatening cough had reduced him to one hundred and seventeen pounds,--his weight four years earlier, though he had grown six inches. For a time his hours were fairly free; and he made the acquaintance of a classmate's sister, Miss Julia Dent, living in the neighbourhood.
When Texas and Mexican affairs called his regiment to Louisiana in the following May, he found that he regarded Miss Dent as more than an acquaintance; and they became engaged.
Before the end of the month he wMiss Dent as more than an acquaintance; and they became engaged.
Before the end of the month he was in camp near the Red River on high ground, so healthy that they named it Camp Salubrity; and presently he was cured of his cough, and developed a reddish beard that is described as being much too long for such a youth.
General Richard Taylor, of the Confederacy, remembers him at this time as a modest, amiable, but by no means promising lieutenant in a marching regiment.
But Taylor could scarcely have held this estimate after Molino-del-Rey and Chapultepec.
In the months of peace preceding