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but being in a reminiscent mood, I thought I would write a short .sketch of what I saw and know of trail life, and to do so I will have to go back with Father Time to my earlier days.
I was born in Independence, Mo., in 1842, and raised on a farm a little while, and in Joe Shelby's Missouri Cavalry Brigade the balance of the time from 1861 to 1865. When General Robert E. Lee surrendered, General Shelby and about three hundred of us boys concluded to take a ride across the Rio Grande and help Emperor Maximilian clean up Cortina, Juarez, Diaz, and a few other brigands. We started from Corsicana, Texas, all young daredevils as ever fired a shot at the Yankees in defense of our beloved Southland, and as good marksmen with pistol or rifle as ever rode in any cavalry brigade of any country on earth. We knew the savas could not do anything toward licking us. We rode down to San Antonio, turned west and went through Uvalde and crossed the Rio Grande at Eagle Pass. At Piedras Negras we had a fight with the Mexicans, in which only fourteen of our boys were involved, but we killed fourteen Mexicans who wanted to take our horses. At Uvalde we had traded some of our American horses, which had given out, for some horses that had Spanish brands, and these Greasers thought they would dismount us. Not a man in our crowd could speak Spanish, but how we could handle our gun ! They had our horses by the bridle reins and were pointing to the brands on them, while we were laughing at them, for we knew they were flirting with the graveyard. General Shelby saw that something was going wrong and came to us and asked what was the matter. We told him that from the signs they were making those devils wanted our horses. He said, "Hold your horses, and kill Mexicans." When he said that, every man pulled his gun and shot them loose from our bridles.
There was a regiment of over a thousand Mexican