ekweral oh Capla iulis
rhudcerbolt of the Zeras Frontier,
EDWARD S. WALLACE
ON February 6, 1866, Captain John Lapham Bullis, of the
1 18th United States Infantry, Colored, was honorably
mustered out of the service near Brownsville, Texas. He
had spent four and a half years in uniform and had served in the
campaigns of the Army of the Potomac and later on garrison
duty on the Rio Grande. He had been a prisoner of war after
the Battle of Gettysburg but, fortunately, had been exchanged,
and he had risen from private to captain at the age of twenty-
three, by merit and experience.
After his discharge young Bullis tried his luck in the commer-
cial world and ran a business of supplying firewood to the Missis-
sippi River steamboats at points along the river in the states of
Arkansas and Mississippi. But this venture proved risky, worri-
some, and adversely affected his health,2 and like many a man
of his time, he must have found that the army was in his blood,
for on September 3, 1867, he was appointed a second lieutenant
in the 41st United States Infantry3 and began a career in the
regular army, in which he achieved the greatest distinction on
the Texas frontier.
On November 11, 1869, he was transferred to the 24th Infan-
try, and on November 8, 1871, he was mentioned in General
Order No. 17, Department of Texas, as follows:
On the Ist of September Lieutenant Bullis, at a distance from the
main party with four privates of Company H, 9th Cavalry, discovered
three Indians driving a herd of about three hundred cattle. Lieu-
tenant Bullis attacked at once and captured the herd. The Indians
were pressed closely about a mile when they joined a party of fifteen
iStatement as to the Military Record in the United States Army of Brevet Major
John L. Bullis, 24th Infantry, U. S. Army (Typescript in possession of General
Bullis' daughter, Mrs. W. Sumner Halcomb, of San Antonio, Texas).
2Johnnie Bullis, Helena, Arkansas, to his mother, "Mrs. Dr. A. R. Bullis,"
February 8, 1867 (Letter in possession of Mrs. Halcomb).
3Statement as to the Military Record of ... Brevet Major John L. Bullis (MS.).
Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 55, July 1951 - April, 1952. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101139/. Accessed April 24, 2015.