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Immediately after breakfast the old "hombre" saddled his horse, tied a rope around me and put me behind him on his horse. Then he rode to an American family and got a written note from the white man that he (the Mexican) had not kidnaped me, but was taking me home.
The old Mexican took me on home and received a generous reward from my father.
Afterward I learned that I had roamed to Chipadares, a distance of about twenty miles from my home. At that time that was the nearest settlement southeast of home.
During the Civil War I was just a mere boy of nine years. Nevertheless, I recall some thrilling adventures.
My father was exempted from the army on account of owning a flour mill. This mill was located on the San Antonio River about sixteen miles from our farm. Father had to run the mill himself, so he and mother moved there and left my older brother, 13 years old, and I at the farm to take care of the stock and everything.
One day while I was alone the Confederate soldiers came around gathering up horses. They threatened to take mine and had me scared to death. I begged bard for my horse and I told them that I needed him to get supplies with. After frightening me real good they told me I could keep my horse. I was the only one they left with a horse around that neighborhood.
The schools in those days were very much different to the schools of today. We only had private schools and these lasted the entire year. Our only vacation was two weeks in August.
The only subjects they taught were reading, writing, arithmetic, spelling, history, geography and grammar. On Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday we studied reading, writing, spelling and arithmetic. On Thursday and Friday we had history, grammar and geography.
I started to school when I was eleven years old and attended three years. After that I was sent to San Antonio, where I studied surveying.