General Earl Van Dorn
was, in the opinion of the writer, the most remarkable man the State of Mississippi
has ever known.
My acquaintance with him began in Monterey
, in the fall of 1846.
He was aide-de-camp then to General Persifor F. Smith
and was one of the most attractive young fellows in the army.
He used to ride a beautiful bay Andalusian horse, and as he came galloping along the lines, with his yellow hair waving in the wind, and his bright face lighted with kindliness and courage, we all loved to see him. His figure was lithe and graceful, his stature did not exceed five feet six inches, but his clear blue eyes, his firm set mouth, with white strong teeth, his well cut nose with expanding nostrils, gave assurance of a man whom men could trust and follow.
No young officer came out of the Mexican
war with a reputation more enviable than his. After the close of that war he resumed his duties and position in the infantry regiment of which he was a lieutenant.
In 1854 the Second Cavalry was organized, and Van Dorn
was promoted to be major of the regiment.
He conducted several of the most important and successful expeditions against the Comanches we have ever made, and in one of them was shot through the body, the point of the arrow just protruding through the skin.
No surgeon was at hand.
, reflecting that to withdraw the arrow would leave the barbed head in his body, thrust it on through, and left the surgeon little to do. When the States resumed their State sovereignty, he took a bold and efficient part in securing to Texas
, where he was serving, all of the war material within her