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[255] moved to Texas. He was educated at the Wesleyan university, at Florence, Ala. While at home on a vacation, he organized his first company, composed of 135 men, and hastened to the support of Gen. Earl Van Dorn, then in command of the Second United States cavalry. Joining forces with that officer, he took part in the battle of Wichita, against the Comanche Indians, where 95 red men were slain and 350 horses captured. It was in this battle that he rescued a white girl, eight years of age, who had been held by these brutal savages since infancy. Her parents never being discovered, she was adopted and educated by General Ross, and named Lizzie Ross. Captain Ross was desperately wounded at the battle of Wichita, and lay for five days on the battlefield, before he could be removed to the nearest United States post, go miles distant. Before the dead had been buried and the smoke of battle had cleared away, General Van Dorn and all the officers of the Second cavalry signed a petition to the secretary of war, commending young Ross' brilliant and heroic service, and urging his appointment to the regular army. Gen. Winfield Scott wrote him a complimentary autograph letter, tendering his support and influence. As Ross was not of age, and had not completed his college course, he declined the honor, and, after his recovery, returned to the Wesleyan university, where he graduated with distinction the following summer. Immediately after his return home, he went to the frontier of Texas, under Gen. Sam Houston, and did effective work against the Comanches. In one affair of this campaign, he engaged in a hand-to-hand conflict with the chief, Peta Nacona, and after having his horse shot under him, he cut down Nacona with his saber and escaped uninjured. At the organization of Texas troops for the Confederate war, he enlisted as a private, but rapidly rose to rank, and at the age of twenty-four, on May 4,862, was commissioned colonel of the Sixth Texas regiment of cavalry. He was immediately assigned, by Major-

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