years, to the thoughts and ambitions of my youth and young manhood, for I had grown much older in that time.
First was the ambition, inherited from my grandfather McAllister
, to acquire a farm big enough to keep all the neighbors at a respectful distance.
In company with my brother and another officer, I bought in Colorado
a ranch about ten miles square, and projected some farming and stock-raising on a large scale.
My dream was to prepare a place where I could, ere long, retire from public life and pass the remainder of my days in peace and in the enjoyment of all those outof-door sports which were always so congenial to me. But events ‘over which I had no control’ soon defeated that scheme.
That, like all the other plans of my own invention, came to naught.
The ranch was sold, and I got out of it, as I always tried to do, about as much as I had put in.
Upon a suggestion from General Henry J. Hunt
, the famous chief of artillery, when I was in the War Department, I ordered a light-artillery school to be established at Fort Riley, Kansas
Also, upon his suggestion, I directed that the four batteries which were to compose that school should be supplied with carbines, so that they might serve as cavalry when necessary to protect the neighboring settlements against Indian raids, and thus overcome any objection which might be urged on the ground that the barracks at Fort Riley
were needed for cavalry.
The school was organized, under Colonel John Hamilton
; the batteries did good service as cavalry in the summers of 1869 and 1870; and all was working, as I thought, in a highly satisfactory manner so long as I remained in command of that department.
But after I went to California
, for some inscrutable reason the school was broken up and the batteries again scattered to separate posts.
When that department again came under my command,