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July 17th (search for this): chapter 1
and all eager for a chase as well as a fray. It was soon apparent that we would be forced to pass over a portion of the staked plains or desert lying between the Concha rivers and Mexico; that in order to overtake the Indians we would most likely have great fatigue and privation to endure, as we could expect to find but little water during the pursuit. However, in the conviction that we could live for a short time wherever Indians could subsist, we began the chase on the morning of the 17th of July, marched about forty miles, and camped that night upon the dry plains without water or the sight of game, so frequently in view the previous day, and without even the chirp of a bird to cheer us on our journey, we knew not exactly whither. At early dawn the following morning the march was resumed; we passed during the day a water-hole utterly unfit for use, and went into bivouac that night with the same surroundings, fully fifty miles further out in the desert. Our canteens were now emp
s I had had occasion to visit almost ever portion of that extensive and beautiful territory, and was able to form an idea of the future prosperity of that State. So deeply impressed had I become with its vast and undeveloped resources that I had, just prior to the war determined to resign and make it my home for life. Therefore when Kentucky failed to act, I entered the Confederate service from the State of Texas, which thenceforth became my adopted land. I arrived in Richmond about the 5th of May, sent my luggage to the hotel, and proceeded without delay to the office of Colonel Lee who had, I was informed, been recently promoted to the rank of Major General. He extended me a most cordial greeting, and, taking me by the hand, said: I am glad to see you. I want you to help me. I replied that I came to Richmond with that object, and inquired what duties he desired me to perform. He answered: I wish you to go to Yorktown and report to Colonel Magruder. I naturally asked at what ti
gineers, upon a surveying expedition in the direction of Salt Lake. My duties were soon brought to a close by the receipt of an appointment as Second Lieutenant in the Second Cavalry, a new regiment organized in accord with an Act of Congress, in 1855, and commanded by Colonel Albert Sidney Johnston, with R. E. Lee as Lieutenant Colonel, George H. Thomas and W. J. Hardee as Majors. Lieutenant Philip Sheridan relieved me, and I returned to San Francisco en route to Jefferson Barracks, Missouri,at that period the great theatre of life upon which I was destined so soon to be thrown as an humble actor with him and others just mentioned, and who have since become so distinguished and prominent as American soldiers. In the early Autumn of 1855 I sailed from San Francisco for New York, via Panama, and reported for duty at Jefferson Barracks, Missouri. Soon thereafter, if my memory betray me not, I received a draft for about one thousand dollars in gold, as my share of the profit in the
have rendered their aim very imperfect, as shown by the circumstance that one of my wounded men whose horse had been killed, was pierced in the back with three additional arrows (one of which passed through his lung), as he was making his way to the rear of the line. Early in August I returned to Fort Mason, where not long afterwards I was promoted to the rank of First Lieutenant, assigned to Company K, and placed on duty at Camp Colorado, on the upper waters of the river of that name. In 1858 I re-established Camp Wood, on the Nueces river, about forty miles distant from its source, and at this post my company continued in the performance of the ordinary duties of soldiers upon the frontier till the declaration of war in 1861. In November, 1860, I was granted a leave of absence for six months, and on my arrival at Indianola I received an order directing me to report for duty as Chief of Cavalry at West Point. I immediately proceeded to Washington, and made application in perso
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