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We were not bothered by the Indians very much until the Civil War, when the troops were largely withdrawn from the frontier posts, and the country was left unprotected. The Indians came in great numbers then, killing many settlers and driving off a great many of their stock. Also Mexican cattle thieves became troublesome, and stole thousands of cattle off the range, which they would drive across the Rio Grande into Mexico. Many of the ranchmen were compelled to take their families back to the settlements for protection. After the Civil War cattle soon became plentiful on the range, and Sam Allen of Powder Horn soon had a monopoly on the shipping by chartering every boat from there to New Orleans. He sent men out all over the country to buy fat cattle, which made times pretty good for a while, but as no one could ship by water except "Allen, the demand was soon filled, and in order to reach the market for their stock the cattlemen began driving their cattle to Kansas. In 1872 I took my first herd, starting from Uvalde and going up that long and lonesome trail to Wichita, Kansas. We had a pretty good time going up, with only a few storms and stampedes, and lost no cattle. We crossed the Red River at Red River Station, then took the old Chisholm Trail and went out of the Indian Territory at Caldwell, Kansas. After holding my herd at that point about three months I sold to A. H. Pierce, and came home by way of Kansas City, St. Louis, New Orleans, Galveston, and then to Austin on the new railroad, and from Austin by stage to San "Antonio and Uvalde.
In 1873 I took another herd of steers up the trail. Had a pretty hard time that trip and lost many head of cattle and about all I received for them. Nearly all of the Texas cattlemen went broke that year, as it was the year of the severe panic, when silver was demonetized.
During the years 1874 and 1875 occurred what is still remembered by the old-timers as the "Big Steal." Cattle were driven off and the country was left bare. They